It may not feel like it, but the holidays are right around the corner. And as of now, the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of slowing down. That means the holiday season will look a little different. So, how can you have a socially distanced Thanksgiving?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, attending a large indoor gathering with people from outside of your household — which would include extended family members — is a higher-risk activity. That means the big, classic Thanksgiving with every aunt, uncle, cousin and second cousin from out of state may not be an option. So, what can you do?
A moderate-risk activity is to have a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community. Turn your Thanksgiving into a sort of potluck with those in your immediate area. People should bring their own Thanksgiving meal with their favorite holiday foods, so they can safely enjoy food while still seeing others.
Whether your Thanksgiving is outside or inside, it’s important to practice social distancing, so set tables 6 feet apart and try to keep the seating arrangement to people who live together. You can still socialize with folks at other tables and feel a sense of community during the holiday, but do so a little more safely.
If people can bring their own food, that is the safest option. But if you opt for a buffet setup, have just one person serving the food to limit contact.
It’s also a good idea to use disposable plates and cutlery and avoid sharable items like condiments or bottles of salad dressing. If you do opt for reusable cutlery, tablecloths, napkins, etc., be sure to wash, clean and sanitize them thoroughly after Thanksgiving. It's also a good idea to use touchless garbage cans and to use gloves when taking out the trash.
It’s also still important to practice good hand hygiene and make sure there is enough soap and hand sanitizer for all, wear face masks and stay home if you are sick. And if your loved ones are giving you a hard time about coming home for the holidays, here’s how to talk to them about it.