How to celebrate Thanksgiving safely this year

This Thanksgiving, you and your patients are likely eager to get back in touch with loved ones and de-stress after this hectic and strange year. Here’s how your patients can celebrate the holidays – and give thanks – safely.

How to celebrate Thanksgiving 2020

The CDC offers guidelines on how your patients can celebrate Thanksgiving while keeping COVID-19 risk down. Here are some tips for your patients to keep in mind as they plan their festivities:

  • Keep local regulations in mind. First and foremost, your patients should make sur they’re adhering to any rules and restrictions put out by their state and local government. For those in Massachusetts, that means following the new mandates, which limit the size of private gatherings and require people to be in their homes between the hours of 10 PM and 5 AM. Learn more about these new mandates from our previous post on the subject. Certain high-risk towns may have additional restrictions for your patients to consider when planning their celebration.
  • Continue using preventative measures. These include wearing masks, frequent hand-washing, and social distancing.
  • Celebrate outdoors when possible. The more space your patients and their guests have, the easier it will be for them to stay six feet apart. There’s also better ventilation outdoors, which contributes to a lower COVID-19 risk. Your patients can hold their festivities in their yard, or on their deck or porch.
  • The fewer people the better. This may be difficult for those with big families, but the more people are in a gathering, the harder it is to socially distance and the easier it is for COVID-19 to spread. In addition, Massachusetts now has a limit of 10 people for indoor gatherings and 25 for outdoor.
  • Avoid travel – for everyone celebrating. Traveling offers numerous opportunities for COVID-19 exposure, whether one is taking a plane, using public transportation, or taking a long drive necessitating visits to rest stops. Massachusetts even has a travel advisory, requiring anyone traveling from states other than Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Hawaii into Massachusetts to get tested and quarantine for two weeks. The same goes for anyone returning to Massachusetts from other states. For this reason, it’s better to do something virtual with out-of-state relatives rather than seeing them in person.

There’s plenty of ways for your patients to celebrate Thanksgiving while following the above guidelines. Here’s some suggestions from the CDC:
  • Have a small dinner with only people in your household
  • Cook and drop off traditional family recipes for neighbors
  • Have a virtual dinner and share recipes with friends and family
  • Shop online rather than in person
  • Watch sports events, parades, and movies from home

It's more important than ever to take time to reconnect with loved ones. With these tips, you and your patients can enjoy the company of friends and family while staying safe.

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