A Pandemic Thanksgiving


Allyson Lowe

Thanksgiving is a very important holiday in America, and is celebrated throughout the whole country. However, this year may look a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC has just released guidelines on how Americans should spend their Thanksgiving safely. Will people actually follow these guidelines, or spend their Thanksgiving like any other year?              


What Thanksgiving Could Look Like:

Although these recommendations from the CDC are not required, it is strongly advised that Americans follow them. Here is what the guidelines consist of:

  • Location of the gathering- Indoor gatherings with poor ventilation pose more risk than outdoor gatherings
  • Duration of the gathering- The longer the gathering, the more risk. 
  • Number of people at the gathering- The CDC does not have a recommended limit on the amount of people at a gathering, but the size of a holiday gathering should depend on the ability of the attendees to wear masks and social distance
  • Behaviors of attendees during the gathering- All attendees should social distance, wear masks, and regularly wash hands
  • People should not attend any gatherings if:
    • They have symptoms of COVID-19
    • They have been diagnosed with the virus
    • They are waiting for COVID-19 test results
    • They may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days
    • They are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Basically, the CDC wants every American to be very careful this year, and take strict precautions. If people actually follow some of these guidelines, Thanksgiving will look very different than what we’re used to, which is sad, but it’s for the best. With rising case numbers in the U.S, Americans need to be very cautious if they want things to go back to normal anytime soon.


How Are Regular People Spending Their Thanksgiving This Year?

Now the question is, will people actually follow these guidelines? According to Ralston Valley freshman, Grace Casari, she plans to spend her Thanksgiving in Washington with her mom’s family, and then fly back to Colorado for the rest of break. As for safety precautions, she plans to wear a mask and social distance. “I haven’t heard of the guidelines, though I would like to, where could I?” Casari stated in a recent interview. The CDC’s guidelines are mostly common sense, and one must assume most people will do the basic safety precautions, like Grace. Evan Grkinich, a freshman, is also going to spend time with nearby relatives at home for the holiday. He sees his relatives often, and is very close with them, so strict precautions will most likely not be needed. Finally, Katie Resendez, a sophomore, will be spending her Thanksgiving at home with just her mom, dad, and brother. “My family won’t come down due to COVID,” Resendez states. Although Katie has not read the actual guidelines, her Thanksgiving already looks a lot different due to the virus, and will just be spending time with immediate family. This may be how a lot of families will spend the holidays, because many are avoiding travel due to fears of COVID-19. With cases rising all over the country, it is definitely a smart idea to keep safety in mind during gatherings. 


With COVID-19 cases spiking in the United States, many Americans are torn on what to do for Thanksgiving. Some are canceling travel plans, while others are cautiously scheduling trips to go spend the holidays with family/friends. It may be best to travel and come in contact with people as little as possible, but as long as people are taking strict precautions, it could make things a lot better. It is recommended you take a look at the CDC guidelines! While this year’s Thanksgiving will be different, it is still possible to have fun, but with a little extra safety.