How to Plan Thanksgiving During Covid-19
This year has certainly been a trying year with the pandemic still causing so much illness throughout our communities. Unfortunately, Connecticut is now on an uptick of infection rates, which has caused state officials to discourage travel and pose restrictions on social gatherings. As difficult as it may seem, causing stress and isolation, many families are having to rethink a new way of celebrating Thanksgiving. Taking steps to protect yourself from getting and spreading the COVID-19 virus should be considered when planning the upcoming holiday.
According to a recent blog from Hartford HealthCare, planning a safe Thanksgiving should be key. “Instead of focusing on what we cannot do this season, it’s important to train our minds to look at the positive, said Dr. Laura Saunders, a psychologist at the Institute of Living, part of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network. Tips on how to plan and start a new tradition on Thanksgiving can be found in this article: https://hartfordhealthcare.org/about-us/news-press/news-detail?articleId=29340&publicid=395
Unfortunately, the risk of spread is worsening. According to the CDC, small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. As of November 5, 2020, Governor Lamont has limited gatherings in Connecticut to the maximum of 10 people in households. The CDC offers the following considerations to slow the spread of COVID-19 during small gatherings. They recommend avoiding higher risk activities and list lower and moderate activities to consider during the holiday. These activities include:
- Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household
- Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others
- Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family
- Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday
- Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home
Moderate risk activities:
- Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community
- Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.
- Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
- Attending small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place
Avoid these higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:
- Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving
- Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race
- Attending crowded parades
- Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household
- Using alcohol or drugs that may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.
To learn more about the CDC’s COVID-19 Holiday Celebration guidelines, click here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html