COVID-19 changes Thanksgiving plans


A Thanksgiving gathering, something that will look very different this year due to COVID holiday restrictions. cottonbro/Pexels


With COVID cases rising in both the country and in the state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state of Connecticut have recommended that citizens reconsider their Thanksgiving plans this year.
It is recommended that this year people celebrate Thanksgiving with those that are in the same household to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC has given a list of activities that are both safe and keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive. This includes hosting a virtual Thanksgiving event in which people can share recipes with each other or they can show the food that was made for the main meal, watching television with family members, playing video games with other household members, and writing a list of things that you are thankful for. The CDC says that making Thanksgiving meals and leaving them to neighbors on a porch would be safe since this does not involve direct contact with others. 
The CDC has also set a list of guidelines for those that will not be staying home this year.
These guidelines urge those that are participating in gatherings to stay six feet away from those that are not in their household. This is “especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting sick,” which include the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions. 
Wearing a mask to these gatherings is required. The mask must have two or more layers and must cover both your mouth and nose to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The gathering itself should be outdoors since they “pose a lower risk than indoor gatherings.” All Connecticut gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors, are not to exceed more than ten guests. Connecticut officials recommend having your guests screened for COVID before they come over and to ask those that do feel sick to stay home. The Department of Public Health  recommends that Connecticut residents stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Both the CDC and Connecticut advise that those that are traveling are to bring their own items and avoid sharing them with others to ensure that everyone stays safe. These items include drinks, food, plates, utensils, masks, and hand sanitizer. It is also suggested that you get your flu shot if you are planning to travel outside your community.
These COVID-19 holiday restrictions, and COVID in general, have caused some people to change their plans this year. Cassidy Murphy, a Canton High School senior, typically goes down to New Jersey to visit her grandparents and other family members for Thanksgiving. This year, her aunt and uncle will be coming over to her house. The changes “definitely make me feel weird because I have done the same thing for Thanksgiving every year before this and now it’s going to be completely different,” said Ms. Murphy. 
Regardless of what families decide to do, Thanksgiving “shouldn’t be swept under the rug,” said Madelynn Dunahoo, a senior at Canton High School. “That being said, we need to be safe and considerate of how our actions could impact others.”