Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November every year. It is a day that people reserve to spend with their loved ones and to be grateful. Most families get together and prepare a large meal and sometimes offer a religious service. This year’s thanksgiving might be very different as compared to previous years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Public health officials are concerned about this year’s thanksgiving due to a surge in cases all over the United States, therefore, CDC has issued thanksgiving guidelines on how to celebrate it without the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.
The main thanksgiving guidelines that the CDC has issued is that the people should assess the levels of infections in a community in order to determine whether to postpone, cancel or limit the number of individuals or whether to take part in certain activities. The CDC has recommended limiting gatherings where the rate of infection is high.
Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said that some people in the US are going to have a thanksgiving which will be very normal but in some other parts of the US people should only be able to have their immediate family members and should do it in a way that all those people wear masks and also don’t involve in large crowds.
Fauci further said that the US is now seeing an uptick in cases in the Northwest and the Midwest, which is a predictor that there are going to be surges of cases in the country. He believes that if the people of the US are celebrating Thanksgiving, the best way is to do it in the safest possible way.
According to the CDC’s Thanksgiving guidelines in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to its lowest, the people should celebrate it in their own homes with their household members or virtually celebrate it with their extended family. Holiday food can also be prepared for distant family members, particularly those who are at a higher risk of being exposed to the virus and then deliver it without having to contact them. Virtual dinner can also be done to further reduce risk.
CDC further recommends shopping online instead of going to stores or malls for holiday sales, as it is a safer way to grab the deals. The CDC also recommends watching movies, sports events, or parades from home to further prevent the risk of the spread of the virus. Moreover, if someone is hosting a dinner for thanksgiving the CDC recommends that it should be done outdoors to reduce the risk.
The activities that pose the highest risk of spreading the virus, according to CDC’s Thanksgiving guidelines, include dinners, parties, or Indoor gatherings with large crowds particularly involving people who are not the immediate family members. The agency said that Indoor gatherings are more likely to spread the virus than outdoor gatherings, particularly the indoor gatherings where the ventilation is poor, however, if the ventilation is good such as the doors or windows are open, then the risk is reduced.
Other activities at Thanksgiving which are of high risk according to CDC include gatherings lasting longer, shopping in crowded malls or stores, attending public events with large crowds, and the use of alcohol or drug as it can affect a person’s judgment resulting in careless behavior.