As the holiday season approaches, the COVID-19 pandemic is not getting any better. In fact, things are only getting worse. With the number of cases of COVID-19 in the United States skyrocketing every day, never before has it been more important to stay safe, especially as the fall and winter months approach. With that said, this doesn’t mean that we can’t find ways to celebrate the holidays. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and there are many things we can do to still enjoy the day as normally as possible while avoiding the risks of the pandemic. Thanksgiving this year won’t be what we are used to; that simply cannot happen. But, there are still many things we can do to have a safe and happy holiday.

Perhaps the greatest tool we have at our disposal is modern technology. Sometimes, we take for granted the fact that we can FaceTime our friends for hours at a time, or join a Zoom call and chat with our whole family. The options we have to connect with loved ones have never been greater, and they should be utilized to share Thanksgiving with our friends and family. It could be something large, like organizing a game of Pictionary over a Zoom call with some family members, or something very small, such as sending a text to someone telling them how thankful you are for them. Technology is an amazing tool that we are lucky to have, and we should definitely take advantage of it this coming Thanksgiving.

Another big part of Thanksgiving is the food. Thanksgiving is synonymous with large family feasts, and sharing food with each other. And just because there is a pandemic doesn’t mean that this tradition has to stop. Even though most people might not be with their whole family, sharing a meal with those that live with you is still a great way to spend Thanksgiving. Maybe use this year as a chance to cook new things, and use new recipes that haven’t made it into the traditional larger-scale Thanksgiving dinner. If all goes well, maybe add a few of them to the menu for next year. In addition, sharing food with someone is still an option, as you can always drop it off at their house, and leave it at their door for them to get later. You won’t be there to see them dig in, but they will enjoy it nonetheless. 

Finally, there are safe ways to see friends and family in person. One of these ways is getting  together with some loved ones in a large, outdoor space, and having a chat with them while wearing masks, and staying six feet apart. It’s not the most convenient way to see friends and family, but there’s something about being in person, face-to-face with them that isn’t present over FaceTime or Zoom. Visiting them at their homes and talking to them through an open window is also a good option. Again, it’s not quite what we’re used to, but seeing a loved one in person for Thanksgiving this year will surely be a special moment.

We are in a time when staying safe and healthy is the number one priority for everyone. In order to accomplish this, we have had to change the way we live our lives, and how we celebrate Thanksgiving will be no different. This special day will be different from what we’re used to, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy ourselves, and celebrate what we are thankful for.