Holidaze —Thanksgiving amidst a pandemic

The United States is almost a full year into dealing with COVID-19 and most people still haven’t fully adjusted. With holidays right around the corner and a vaccine still months away, many are questioning what it means to celebrate the holidays this year.

Thanksgiving is a holiday notorious for bringing family and friends together and recounting the blessings of the year. Sitting around the table laughing and being close to loved ones seems like a distant memory.

This year our health is a number one priority, so how can we celebrate Thanksgiving while staying safe?

Online student, Mallory Hobson, said her family is doing a virtual Thanksgiving dinner to ensure the well-being of their family. Everyone will enjoy their meals while connecting over FaceTime or Zoom, so nobody is at risk. It seems like a perfect solution so long as everyone’s internet connection holds up.

When asked how they felt about the change for dinner this year, Hobson said, “It’s a downer that I can’t see my family in-person, but we will still have a great time this Thanksgiving. I would rather keep my family safe and distant than close and in danger of getting COVID-19.”

Cartersville student, Sarah Schubert, and their family have decided that the safest way to enjoy a meal in-person together is to have everyone bring their own plate of food from home and social distance while eating.

“My family thinks this is the best solution to our problem. No one will touch the food other than the person eating it, and after eating, everyone will wear masks to be safe,” said Schubert.

Some families plan not to meet up at all.

Douglasville student, Khaled Abdul-Rahman, said, “Well, I don’t think we are planning on having a family Thanksgiving dinner since most of my family live in the northern region of the country.”

Though this isn’t out of the ordinary for Abdul-Rahman, he still thinks taking precautions is important. “We have to take responsibility to protect ourselves and the people around us,” he said. “My message to the people who are planning on having family dinners is to be responsible and limit the amount of people in the house and plan accordingly to the size of the house. We will get through this together.”

Human Communications Professor, Allison Hattaway, is ensuring family safety with a whole new way of celebrating.

“Our family has several members who are in the high risk category for Covid. So, we have decided not to gather indoors and slave over the stoves like we usually do. Instead, we are ordering hot, ready made Thanksgiving meals from Cracker Barrel and will set up tables and chairs outside on the porch. Each family will have their own table and each table will be six feet apart. Even when we are outdoors visiting, we wear masks to be safe,” said Hattaway.

There are plenty of different options to stay safe. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a helpful guide on precautions to consider when planning Thanksgiving this year.

However students choose to celebrate this Thanksgiving, there are plenty of ways to stay safe, eat good food and spend time with loved ones.