This year, it’s more important than ever to spend time with our loved ones at the holidays. It has been a challenging year for all of us, between the pandemic and the election. Celebrating holidays like Thanksgiving can be a bright spot in a difficult year, allowing time for fun, family, and joy. It’s also an opportunity to reflect on everything we have to be thankful for this year. However, this year has been drastically different in that we are all wanting to have a COVID free thanksgiving.
If you are planning to host or gather for Thanksgiving with friends or family, there are several steps you can take to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy. Here are tips to have a safe, COVID free Thanksgiving.
Small Groups: Keeping groups smaller than normal can help to limit exposure or spread of illnesses like COVID or just the regular flu. Groups of less than 10 are safer than large groups. However, if you want to have the entire family together, there are some other ways to keep people safe.
Head Outdoors: Set up tables and chairs in the backyard and celebrate Thanksgiving outdoors. Being outside is safer than being inside with COVID-19 germs, as even light breezes can help to dilute any lingering particles. Another bonus: the weather in Arizona is often perfect for outdoor dining on Thanksgiving weekend.
Space Out: No matter how many people you are having over, try to keep good physical distancing between guests (especially guests from different households). Six feet of social distancing is the general rule of thumb. Spread out tables and chairs and encourage good distancing among your guests.
Mask Up: If you are having a large gathering, request that people wear masks when they are indoors, or when they are unable to social distance. Wearing a mask when not eating will help keep everyone safer. Consider the rules when dining out at a restaurant: when not seated, wear a mask. This rule could be applied to your Thanksgiving gathering.
Wash Those Hands: Have hand sanitizer readily available on all tables and in the kitchen for guests. Also encourage them to head to the bathrooms to wash their hands regularly. Keeping hands clean can help too. Washing your hands is one of the best things you can do to have a COVID free thanksgiving.
Quarantine: If you plan to have high-risk family members in attendance (like older family members or those with certain health conditions), consider asking everyone to quarantine in advance of the holiday. Two weeks of quarantine helps to reduce the risk to those individuals. However, quarantining in advance of holidays isn’t always possible for most families, so high-risk individuals should consider how and if they would like to be part of the family festivities this year.
Go Virtual: The safest way to have a COVID-free Thanksgiving is to stay at home and celebrate with your immediate household members. You can virtually celebrate with your long-distance family with calls or video chats throughout the day as you cook or eat. If you are a high-risk individual and decide to opt out for health reasons, virtually joining your family gathering can be a great way to feel a part of the holiday this year. Those tips and things to do will help you above in order to have a COVID free thanksgiving!