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Let’s Not Spread COVID-19 This Thanksgiving

My dad’s side of the family has this Thanksgiving tradition; all the grandkids participate in a whipped cream contest. Grandpa sprays whipped cream in our mouths until the mass of sweet foam is too much and towers our open jaws. It’s really just an excuse to get embarrassing photos of us, still, everyone gets excited about the commotion. That tradition along with any other family gatherings won’t be happening this year for our family — and they shouldn’t be happening for yours. Some turkey and pie aren’t worth a funeral. 

As of Sunday, November 8, the United States has reached 10 million coronavirus cases. We’re breaking records and not the good ones. The individualist attitude of Americans is killing us, and health experts are warning that in these coming weeks, we’re only going to see more surges. 

Not Today COVID-19
Photo by CottonBro from Pexels

Contact in households amounts to about 70% of coronavirus transmission when the surrounding community has control measures (BMJ). The reason gatherings at home have such potential to cause infection is because homes don’t have mechanical ventilation systems, so it takes longer for air to move through the interior. You could help airflow by opening windows, but really the best option is to move any gathering outdoors and distanced. 

Another factor that makes hosting or attending a traditional Thanksgiving this year is having people from different households and areas come together. COVID-19 doesn’t make exceptions for loved ones being around each other. What so many people seem to still have a hard time grasping is that we can infect those closest to us. Keep in-person celebrations limited to household members only.

A safe alternative to a gathering this Thanksgiving is to do a Zoom call or FaceTime at some point during the day. We’ve been meeting virtually for classes and work — let’s transfer that logic to the holiday season. If you have family members who aren’t technologically savvy, pick up the phone! What’s most important about the holidays is connecting with loved ones. Maybe play a game virtually or share stories.


Share those family recipes so no one has to go without a family staple this year! Use this time to create a family cookbook and collect recipes for all sorts of dishes, then send it to the rest of the family. 

For the past three years, my brother and I have taken Thanksgiving photos together, usually right as we’re about to run out the door and meet our family. This year since we won’t be traveling, we’ll definitely have more time to do an actual photoshoot. Dressing up in an outfit, even if you aren’t going anywhere to celebrate, makes the day a bit more special.

Stay safe and aware this holiday season. Everything has been turned upside down in 2020; I hope there’s been some joy and light that you can be thankful for this season.

Jessica Mardian

Virginia Tech '21

Jessica is a senior at Virginia Tech, double majoring in Creative Writing and Multimedia Journalism.