*UPDATED* Celebrating Thanksgiving During the COVID-19 Pandemic

UPDATE as of 11/20/2020: The CDC has revised their holiday recommendations and now strongly encourage people to not travel for Thanksgiving this year to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay home and celebrate Thanksgiving this year with those in your household.

Thanksgiving is one of the holidays that will feel the impact of COVID-19 the most. As much as we want to get together with friends and family, doing so increases the chances of spreading COVID-19. Celebrating thanksgiving differently is strange, but in 2020, celebrating thanksgiving as we have in years past is not ideal. Here are some alternative ways to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

Thanksgiving Meal
The most recognizable celebration on Thanksgiving is the meal. This year, we encourage you to only eat with those who live with you inside your household. However, you don’t have to leave anyone out by hosting a virtual Thanksgiving meal using your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Video call service, Zoom, has announced that they are lifting their regular 40-minute call limit on meetings on Thanksgiving so we can all celebrate together even if we aren’t in the same building, town, or even state. Whether you are making a traditional Thanksgiving meal or doing your own thing, you can still spread your thankfulness over food without the risk of spreading COVID-19.

If you are going to have people from outside of your household over for Thanksgiving, please plan accordingly so that everyone is safe. The CDC suggests that you only invite close family and friends, hosting the meal outdoors where guests can easily socially distance themselves, have guests bring their own food, drink, and utensils, ask guests to wear a mask and frequently sanitize and wash their hands, and set expectations ahead of time so you and your guests can all follow the same precautions.

Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others but if you are going to travel, make sure to follow safe travel recommendations. Always wear a mask, follow social distancing guidelines, sanitize or wash your hands often, and avoid touching your mask, mouth, nose, and eyes. It is also recommended that you check for any travel restrictions, especially if you are traveling by plane.

If you are traveling by car, make sure your car is stocked up in case of an emergency, this includes blankets, flashlights, road signs, snack foods, water bottles, first aid, etc. Check out our blog on getting your car ready for more information. You should also take the time to ensure that your car is in fine working order by filling up on gas, checking the oil, filling up your tires, etc.

Further reading: Staying Healthy During Holiday Travel

Please take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Thanksgiving. We encourage you to celebrate differently this year, but if you are celebrating Thanksgiving with others outside of your household, please be safe and follow all CDC guidelines.

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