The effects of COVID-19 on Thanksgiving


Monica Jarosz

Thanksgiving traditions are changing due to COVID-19 guidelines. Many people will wear masks to holiday gatherings to prevent exposure.

Monica Jarosz, Staff Writer

In the spring, many people thought the only holiday affected by the coronavirus would be St. Patrick’s Day. This proceeded to become Easter, then Memorial Day, then Independence Day, then Labor day, then Halloween. Fast forward to today, and Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years celebrations are all in jeopardy of losing their normal holiday traditions.

Early this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) released their recommended guidelines for “Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings.” Wearing masks, keeping adequate air circulation and bringing food for personal consumption only are just a few of the CDC’s suggestions of how to be cautious this holiday season. 

Low-risk activities include virtual dinners, delivering meals to high risk individuals, watching Thanksgiving events online, and only celebrating with those that live together. 

The unfortunate part of slowing the spread of COVID-19 is that usual Thanksgiving traditions and plans have had to be altered or cancelled as a whole.

Jacob Nelson, a sophomore at Fossil Ridge High School was originally planning on getting together with both his mom and dad’s sides of the family. Due to COVID-19, Nelson’s family has decided against this to play it more safe.

“We are not going to do our whole family but maybe just immediate family and not have that big of a dinner,” said Nelson.

On the other hand, Maren Tuell a junior at Fossil, has plans to visit family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both her family and the relatives they will be visiting are being extra careful in these coming weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

“We will wear masks and use hand sanitizer,” said Tuell. 

Tuell is still traveling and is not as concerned about gathering.

“Family is important,” she mentioned.

Traditions like playing games, pulling apart the wishbone with a cousin who lives across the country, and filling stadium seats at a football game are all in danger as the virus continues to influence our everyday lives.

Other than small gatherings, well-known nationwide events have also been changed. The Macy’s Day Parade is now completely online and being recorded prior to the stream of the event. Many of the float controllers and performers will be wearing masks as much as possible to keep everyone safe who are working hard to still host the event. 

Annual Turkey Trots, if they are not being held in person with social distancing measures, are having virtual options where participants can complete the race individually in the safety of their own neighborhood.

As cases continue to rise in college towns, many families and hometowns are concerned about college students bringing the virus back when they head home for Thanksgiving break and  festivities.

Even Black Friday is taking a toll. Many shoppers will be resorting to online shopping as stores reach capacity and fear of catching the virus is made apparent. 

Thanksgiving may look different this year. Plans may be cancelled and traditions may be adjusted. But what we should all still strive to do is to stay safe, eat good food, and find something to be grateful for even in this time of uncertainty.