Prepping for Thanksgiving: COVID-19 Edition

With COVID-19 cases surging across the country, I think it’s important to keep our family and friends safe as we move into the holiday season. Many colleges including CU Boulder are moving into a virtual learning mode which is sending students flocking home. This poses the threat of even more of the case surge in major cities and hometowns across the county. So before we sit around the dining room table to enjoy beans, greens, potatoes, turkey, and stuffing, let’s prepare ourselves in a safe way.


  1. 1. Resrtict contact.

    Woman sits studying on her bed. She is on her laptop and holding a phone.

    Before traveling home it would be a great idea to restrict contact with others. This could look like not doing to bars, parties, or crowded restaurants. This could also look like minimizing contact with people who you do not live with at school. Personally, I think five to seven days before you’re headed home.

  2. 2. Travel tips.

    If you have to travel home here are a few tips you should keep in mind.

    When flying home you should: 

    -Check restrictions: As cases go up states are reducing travel options.

    -Wear a mask at all times (self-explanatory, right?)

    -Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

    -Avoid touching your face.

    When driving home you should: 

    -Limit the number of rest stops you enter.

    -Check availability and guidelines for hotels if you need one.

    -Wear a mask. 

    -Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before getting back into your car.

    -Bring extra supplies.

    -Choose carryout food options.

  3. 3. Isolate at home.

    Before hugging your family and possibly spreading germs you picked up while traveling home, it would be best to take a shower and spend a few days isolating. This would look like wear a mask, keeping your distance, and spending time in separate rooms for the first few days

  4. 4. Hosting dinner.

    The CDC has recommended the option of single-use options like serving utensils and dining ware, sauces, containers, etc for the holiday season. While for some that option is totally out the window, recommending guests to bring their own sets of cups, silverware, plates would also be a safe option. 

    Another recommendation would be limiting the number of cooks in the kitchen. I can see all the grandmas and moms sighing in relief. I know it’s tempting to be in the kitchen and wanting to help out but limiting the number of people in the kitchen will help reduce the chances of getting germs in the food.

  5. 5. Opt for going virtual.

    zoom call with friends

    I know that much of the 2020 experience has been via Zoom or Facetime but for some, that may become the only option to participate in the holiday festivities. Here are some ways to keep the traditions alive even if it means virtually:

    Send traditional recipes out or offer to contactless deliver them

    Schedule a Zoom or Facetime call for dinner.

    Use movie sharing applications like Teleparty so the whole family can tune in together.

I just want to remind everyone that while this year has been crazy there are still some highlights that make it better. I encourage you to use the holiday season to make as many memories as possible. Please remember to stay safe and keep your family safe this holiday season.