Several steps to make this year’s Thanksgiving celebration safer


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Thanksgiving 2020, coronavirus days, Protective face mask and thanksgiving flatlay on wooden background. COVID 19 spread prevention measure

By Jacob Baker

Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, and with that usually comes a big family gathering with a variety of foods to give thanks. With COVID-19 surging across the U.S, it’s important to realize the beloved tradition of Thanksgiving is a high risk activity during this pandemic and should be met with preparation and caution. 

The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with the individuals in your household, according to a Nov. 12 CDC news release. But if there are plans to celebrate with others outside the household, there’s several steps to make this year’s celebration safer.

Read More: ‘Pritzker announces Statewide COVID-19 restrictions’

It’s very important to take precautions if an individual plans to travel, especially between states. There are multiple precautions to consider before, during and after traveling, According to an Oct. 29 American College Health Association brief, before traveling, individuals should get an influenza vaccination, review state travel regulations and limit close contact with people outside the household as those interactions should be seen as opportunities for spread of the virus. 

During travel, limit the number of stops and make sure you are using hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes. After traveling, quarantine from your family by staying six feet apart, prepping separate meals and avoiding physical contact. 

No matter what, wearing a mask, washing hands and staying six feet apart are things everyone can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19 during this Thanksgiving holiday. If attending a Thanksgiving gathering, limit the number of guests, bring your own food, utensils, drinks and bring single use condiments, according to the CDC news release. Try having the gathering outside, limit the number of guests, wear masks unless eating and clean and disinfect items and areas in use. 

Another possibility that has been used thoroughly during the pandemic is a virtual gathering to celebrate with others. 

Read More: ‘How to have a successful virtual Thanksgiving’

“Embrace technology and think outside the box,” Amanda Rajendran, medical director at the health center of Northwestern Medicine, said. “There’s been baby showers and meetups done the virtual way during the pandemic that have been really fun and I don’t see any reason why we can’t do this during the Thanksgiving holiday as well.” 

Getting tested before Thanksgiving is always an option, but individuals have to keep in mind the test is just as current as when the test was taken. Quarantining and other safety measures should be taken just as seriously after the test has been taken. DeKalb residents have several options. They can get tested at the CVS, 1022 W Lincoln Highway and at the Physicians Immediate Care, 2496 Dekalb Ave. 

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and being thankful for others. During a pandemic, it’s about all of us and not ourselves. Thinking about others’ safety goes a long way to help stop the spread and to make sure loved ones aren’t put in harm’s way.   

“This virus is not merciful,” Rajendran said. “You’re gambling when you’re exposing yourself to it. This is the beginning of the season of giving, and what better way to start it off by thinking about others and making those small personal sacrifices this holiday season is one of the best gifts you can give to people.”