We’ve down Countdown to Turkey Days in the past. There have been really fun years and really hard years. It doesn’t take a magic eight ball to predict that this year will be one of the really hard years.
For starters, unless you are extremely blessed to live in circumstances where everyone who would be on your list, is already in your bubble, it’s not likely that you will get to gather with everyone you want.
So let’s take today to take stock of what is happening right now, take a look at what’s going on in our respective areas and try to get a sense of what things might look like in roughly three weeks. (I would expect counts to be higher, if not significantly higher; unless your local authorities are locking things down, right now.)
Suppose you plan to gather with family and want to quarantine to reduce the risk of their exposure. It would be best if you were prepared to stay at home as much as possible, starting two weeks before the 26th. Limit your shopping to curbside pickup or delivery. Do not have anyone over. If you have children leaving the house to go to school, you cannot quarantine, and your family isn’t really a low-risk situation for those at higher risk of complications. This doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to have a lower-risk Thanksgiving meal. It just means lots of planning, care, and precaution needs to be put into place.
If you can’t quarantine prior to Thanksgiving, please be extremely careful with what you choose to do.
As you plan, keep the following in mind:
Eating outside is your safest option.
Even if you do eat outside, try to not pack a picnic table. Give space to allow airflow. Get creative. Take TV trays outside. Spread picnic blankets.
Limit who enters the home. In the best-case scenario, the visit will be short enough that no one needs to use the restroom. If this isn’t possible, windows and doors should be open to encourage airflow, and masks should be worn. No one should ever be congregating in hallways or bathrooms
Only household members should be helping with transferring items from indoors to out.
Use food service gloves.
Use masks while serving food and beverages.
Consider using video conferencing, maybe you have a competition to see who makes the best pumpkin pie or turkey.
It’s not going to look like last year, but maybe, if we do our part, this year, next year will be closer to normal. I’m sorry, but COVID didn’t just go away like some people thought it would the day after the election.
Normally, this year’s Day 1 homework would be to decide when and where and then clear the dining room table.
Today I just want you to take some time and figure out what you can manage this year. That feels like a lot.
Will you be having dinner with your household members? Will you be dining alone, but want to make it special somehow? Are you going to try to involve family outside of your immediate COVID bubble? If so, how will you do so safely?
What are your plans? (And yes, I know they can change.)