Eh, probably not this year. It’s almost turkey time and this Thanksgiving will be quite a bit different than 2019. Instead of your home brimming with people or traveling to see family and friends you haven’t seen in a while, it probably should be a bit quieter… and that’s a good thing for this year. It’s unfortunate that COVID-19 is making surges in states around the country (Michigan included) and there is worry that it and the seasonal flu may converge and cause extra problems. Yes, this should put a damper on our travels, party hosting and party attendance.
According to the CDC, the main guidance is to assess the levels of COVID-19 infections in the community you’ll be at for the holiday. Gathering indoors continues to make things riskier. If there are high infection rates in the area, limit the amount of people at the gathering or postpone or cancel it altogether. Each individual family needs to evaluate the risk and benefit of what they are doing. The CDC has recommendations for low, moderate and high-risk activities. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
If you’re looking for ways to change things up at home, here are a few ideas:
Have a menu with only five items: main dish, two favorite sides, and your two most favorite desserts
Have a Thanksgiving potluck or small brunch with the people you trust the most and make sure they’re following coronavirus protocols of mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing
Order out a Thanksgiving meal and help a local business
Prepare holiday food and deliver it without contact to someone in need
Have Thanksgiving with your immediate family and invite extended family or friends to join via Zoom with their Thanksgiving
Enjoy the fact that this year you won’t have an exhausting and extended family gathering that goes on for hours, along with hours of preparation and hours of clean-up
If you decide to travel on a road trip, assess the risks along the way like restaurants, gas stations and rest stops. Do everything you can to limit your exposure. If you are renting a place to stay, make sure that place was cleaned thoroughly; many rentals are taking extra measures now and say that on their webpages. If you fly on this traditionally biggest air travel period of the year, be careful at the airport where the greatest risk is with more people and less controls. The airplanes themselves are considered generally safe with all the precautions the airlines are taking, but there is always the chance of increased exposure.
It is possible to celebrate Thanksgiving safely and on a smaller scale this year. Resist the lure of holiday parties and seeing the family and friends you haven’t seen during this confusing and chaotic year. We must stay on the alert. Everyone has coronavirus fatigue. Remember that we will continue to get through this as we’ve done all year. We can stay strong and deny our regular lives a bit longer. Please. For everyone. This year is truly all about sacrifice for the greater good.
If you’re anything like me, you dream about last year and what you were doing at various times of the year. I love to travel and last year I was fortunate enough to go on numerous vacations like I try to do every year. This year, well, I’ve been home on porch villa. Porch villa is not my vacation of choice. I am longing for my first air travel vacation post-COVID-19, which will be on a warm, sunny beach under a palapa watching the waves and enjoying an adult beverage. And when that day comes, it will be glorious.