Tips for the holidays in the pandemic


Amanda Kelley, Photographer

Among everything else, Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year. There are specific guidelines Governor Kate Brown has set for all Thanksgiving gatherings. For example, there can be no more than six people at a gathering and those people can only be from up to two separate households. The CDC (center for Disease Control) has listed many tips for staying safe while traveling during the holidays and how to be safe at holiday events.

The easiest way to stay safe and healthy is to, of course, stay home and celebrate with only your household. However, this is not realistic and many citizens want holidays to be as normal as possible. There are some simple ways families can have a relatively normal Thanksgiving while also being responsible. For starters, when doing holiday shopping, it is important to always properly wear a mask over the nose and mouth and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after going into stores.

These tips are quite easy to follow, but it is slightly more difficult to stay safe when going to or hosting a gathering. According to the CDC, when possible, people should try to bring their own food, plates, cups and utensils, or use single use items such as paper plates and plastic forks. If social distancing is not possible, it is also advised to wear a mask when people are not eating, and safely store the mask when they are. Anybody who is not actively preparing or handling food should try to stay out of the kitchen as much as they can. And if the weather is good, families should opt for an outdoor gathering to reduce air transmission and allow for better social distancing. It is also a good idea for hosts to speak with the guests ahead of time so that everyone understands the expectations and comes prepared. Lastly, if everyone plans to share food, one person should serve everyone and make sure they are wearing masks and preferably gloves.

For families who believe it would be easier to just stay home, there are ways to still have a fun and festive day. There are many Thanksgiving Day television programs such as the parade, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and multiple football games. Another way to celebrate is by making a small and traditional Thanksgiving dinner just for your household. Another fun activity is to try out new recipes for Thanksgiving dinner.

This year may be different from years prior, however that doesn’t mean families can’t celebrate and possibly even make new traditions. If everyone can be as safe and responsible this holiday season, hopefully by next year holidays can return to normal.