How to Have a Safe Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is usually a day devoted to spending time with family and friends while stuffing your face with food. Many people flood airports and travel great lengths to see family, but that might not be such a good idea anymore as COVID-19 cases are rising all over the US. America’s epidemic is only getting worse and to prevent the spread, people are advised to stay home and celebrate on a smaller scale this year. But that doesn’t mean all your Thanksgiving plans have to be cancelled.

Instead of traveling far to see family, call them or text to check in on them. FaceTime and Google Duo are great video calling platforms you can use to get in touch with family far away. You can eat on the phone together so it doesn’t feel like they’re hundreds of miles away. 

If you still plan on traveling, try to limit the number of people you come in contact with before and during your trip, and maintain social distancing. Wear masks at all times, except if you’re eating of course, wash your hands frequently for at least twenty seconds, and make sure you have hand sanitizer handy if handwashing isn’t possible. Getting tested a few days before and after your trip, and quarantining while awaiting results, are  also  good ideas. 

If you or someone around you is experiencing symptoms like fatigue, cough, fever, sore throat, a loss of taste or smell, nausea/vomiting and/or trouble breathing, make sure you tell everyone at the gathering so people can begin quarantining. If you experience symptoms before you’re scheduled to leave, just stay home.

Another best practice for travelling this year is checking the Coronavirus regulations of the state you’re leaving and the state you’re travelling to. For example, Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan strongly discourages nonessential travel and prohibits indoor gatherings of 25 people or more. Some states will require you to quarantine for two weeks or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon entry. Make sure you’re aware of the number of cases in the area you’re going to. If the caseload is dangerously high in the state you’re travelling to, consider cancelling your trip.

Just having a small Thanksgiving dinner with your immediate family is also a perfectly lovely option. It might not be the same as having a huge reunion-style gathering, but as long as you’re around people you love, that’s all that matters. 

The best option for celebrating Thanksgiving is in fact just staying home, but if you really feel like you must travel, of course take all of these guidelines into consideration. Remember to stay safe, clean your hands as much as possible and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!