We are living in unprecedented times people! Who knows what to expect from minute to minute. After an entire year of being isolated from friends and family, it’s hard to think about not getting together for the holidays. Sure, this is a free pass to Zoom Thanksgiving for those who can’t stand it. But for those of us who enjoy hosting or attending family gatherings, we are wondering, is there is a way to do it safely? After doing much research, I wanted to lay out 5 ideas to have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving despite the Pandemic.
Stay Within Your Social Bubble
The best practices for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving dinner are the same as every other day: Hand washing, mask-wearing, and social distancing. So that means that the safest way is to stay within the bubble of your household. Beyond that, it will take pre-planning to keep you and your family safe this Thanksgiving.
Pre-Plan for a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving
“Particularly if you can communicate concerns to other family members ahead of time… these are events that we can talk about where risk can really be reduced appropriately,” said Cameron Wolfe, an infectious diseases physician at the Duke University School of Medicine. If it’s possible, try to move the gathering outside. If that’s not possible then avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces for a venue. Or you can also open doors and windows for some cross ventilation. It might take some pre-planning to get Grandma to give in to the notion of the family moving the celebration outdoors. But it’s important to protect the elderly members of your family. Even if that means skipping the trip entirely or just dropping off their favorite recipes. Another option would be to have all members of the family tested for COVID-19 as close to the holiday as possible.
Food and Drink Safety
Make sure to wear a mask when preparing food. And buffet-style eating arrangements are high-risk activities. It’s best to have the food in pre-served portions. An alternative is to keep one person in charge of serving the food onto plates. This minimizes the number of people touching serving utensils. Make sure to also limit the traffic in and out of the kitchen.
Get Your Flu Shot and Other Preventative Measures
It is possible to catch COVID-19 and a flu strain at the same time. What would also be stressful would be to confuse flu symptoms for COVID-19. The best way to avoid the hospital altogether this Thanksgiving is to get your flu shot and use the best practices recommended by the CDC to stay as healthy as you can. It also wouldn’t hurt to stock up on some vitamin C and make sure you’re getting some sunlight in your life (vitamin D).
It’s important to stay home and self isolate after the holiday celebrations. That means skipping Black Friday shopping. It’s best to keep your germs to yourself for at least 14 days after attending. Avoid any people who might be at risk. You might also want to be proactive and go ahead and be tested for COVID afterward.
Are there any precautions you and your family are taking to stay healthy and happy this Thanksgiving? Share them in the comments.