Thanksgiving COVID-19 guidance


Mollie Tashlik, Staff Writer

Although Thanksgiving is normally celebrated with family, eating a big delicious dinner, this year’s holiday  was anything but normal.  COVID-19 has brought challenges, making traditional celebrations seemingly impossible.  

Like many other family-oriented holidays that have come and gone since March, Thanksgiving was no different, joining the list of celebrations that bring the risk associated with an airborne virus. As coronavirus cases continue to rise, larger celebrations posed an even greater risk.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that Thanksgiving celebrations be held virtually, with in-person festivities limited to only immediate household members gathering together.  Additionally, the CDC advised that people should veer away from the temptation to attend larger gatherings.  Some high risk activities include singing, shouting, laughter, and especially the sharing of food and drinks.

Guests at a small gathering of fewer than ten people were advised to bring their own food and drinks, avoiding potluck style events.  It is much safer and highly recommended for larger families to celebrate virtually, out of caution.  Lastly, the CDC strongly advised against travel in order to lower the risk for transmitting or becoming infected with coronavirus.  Airports, bus stations, and train stations are hubs for the virus to spread and the recommendation was that these potential areas of higher transmission should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

Although the joy of a big family dinner with loud conversations may be missed this year, there are plenty of ways to keep family Thanksgiving traditions alive.

 “Normally, I have Thanksgiving with my grandparents, but due to Covid, my family has decided to have Thanksgiving via Zoom.  I will definitely be missing my grandparents, but it is the safest option right now,” said junior Sara Mody.  

Like many, Sara was unable to share this holiday with her extended family face to face, but technology like Zoom still allows for connection.  

“Our family does a huge family Thanksgiving every other year, so we’ll be having a smaller dinner and a family Zoom.  Even though it’s very new, it’s still a great opportunity to embrace the holiday spirit safely and eat some yummy food.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!” said recent Schreiber graduate Ashley O’Neill.

Holiday changes are having an impact across the community, impacting both students and teachers.  

“Thanksgiving will certainly be different since I am not seeing my close relatives and having my uncle’s homemade mashed potatoes.  However, I am looking forward to having a quiet Thanksgiving with my immediate family,” said math teacher Ms. Julia Ottinger.  

Like many, Ms. Ottinger will be missing out on family favorites, but there are alternatives.  To keep tradition alive, families and friends were able to share recipes and cook together via Zoom to keep the holiday connection strong.

Overall, to balance COVID-19 safety precautions and Thanksgiving traditions, modifications were necessary in order to accommodate the situation.