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Having a safe Thanksgiving during COVID-19 may seem like a daunting thing to decide. With the United States experiencing 11.1 million cases resulting in 256K deaths, Thanksgiving is a tough pill to swallow. However, we do realize that many families have been away from each other since this started in March. Do you settle for a virtual Thanksgiving? Are you brave enough to do an in-person gathering?

These are some really tough questions when we think about a safe Thanksgiving during COVID-19. The reality is we know that people are still going to travel over the holiday season. Because of that, here are some things to consider as you celebrate Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving set up for two families of three.

A Virtual Thanksgiving During COVID-19

Having a Thanksgiving dinner virtually is the best option that a family can use. With the number of infections spiking higher than ever, one must not downplay how key this route is for your health.

If you choose to have a virtual Thanksgiving, here are some rules to follow.

1 – Ensure you schedule the virtual event just as you would inform guests on when to arrive for in-person. There is no reason to not make this a formal event even if it is virtual. You want to make sure everyone has the food ready by the set time and that no one misses out on the fun.

2 – Be familiar with your virtual event Platform and it’s capabilities such as limited time frames for free accounts. Not all virtual event platforms offer you lifetime access for free. Remember it takes a lot to stream on a platform. You don’t want to invite people to your virtual Thanksgiving and it shuts off at 45 minutes like Zoom does for free accounts. Buy the extended service even if you plan to cancel it.

3 – Use your computer and not your phone. Phone calls and text messages can interrupt your streaming. If you are the host, that’s the last thing you want to happen. Place the computer in an area that allows the viewer to see everyone at your home. Phones limit visibility where the viewer only sees you.

4 – Consider starting the virtual event when you are cooking your final dishes or even setting the table. It further connects people and make them feel a part of the dinner experience.

A In-Person Thanksgiving During COVID-19

While this is not the first option to go with, we do know that people will still want to have Firendsgiving and Thanksgiving in person. Should you go this route, understand that your risk of infection is much greater than a virtual experience. Here are some tips you should consider to have a safe Thanksgiving during COVID-19.

1 – Use an outdoor space as your first option. Have a small folding table for each household. Ask guests to bring their own small blanket. The host can also purchase heaters. As of late, portable heaters are being quickly sold out. Places like Overstock and Home Depot are seeing an uptick in purchases of outdoor heaters. Avoid having one long table for everyone. Each family could also be responsible for decorating their own table.

2 – If you don’t have an outdoor space, open a few windows to increase air flow. Also change out your A/C filter a few days before your guests arrive. The easier the air flow in your space is, the better.

3 – Deep clean all common areas. Things like bathrooms, living rooms, dinning rooms, your kitchen, and door handles are all high traffic areas that must be cleaned.

4 – Consider what sports teams are doing with the bubble. If you must have guests who do not live with you to come over, ask them to isolate a week or more before coming over. Also require that guests get tested at least 3 days before they arrive at your place.

5 – Only allow one person to plate everyone’s food verses everyone doing it. Less people around the food is way better than multiple bodies.

6 – Avoid having everyone eat at the same table. Crowded tables were great pre-COVID. Purchase small folding tables and linen to set up in various parts of your home. Allow the amount of chairs to determine how many people can be in your space. Most people don’t have tons of chairs, which in this case is great.

Keep reading for ways you can support your community during Thanksgiving

In-door Thanksgiving Table Options during COVID-19

Thanksgiving Table Set up for four people during COVID-19
Table Set up for four people during COVID-19
Thanksgiving Table Set up for two families of three during COVID-19

The goal of these COVID-19 Thanksgiving seating options is to make sure you give everyone as much distance as possible. The above two options show how your table can be configured for four friends eating together. It also shows an option for two families of three eating together. Note that it’s OK to not have everyone eat at the same table. Folding tables come in handy.

How to Lesson The Burden of Thanksgiving Dinner

We all know how burdensome cooking Thanksgiving dinner can be even if you enjoy it. Cooking multiple dishes is time consuming. With the current pandemic, why not support your local community by ordering out? Verses doing everything, hire local Bakers, Chefs or Florists to make your dinner party easier on you. 

If you are going the virtual route, prepare traditional dishes and safely deliver them to friends and family. It allows you all to still enjoy sharing a meal. 

In Conclusion

It’s key that you do your part and have a safe Thanksgiving during COVID-19. Truly think through this process and see what ways you can help to slow this pandemic down. The more precaution we take now, the faster we can get past the pandemic. Thanksgiving, although a holiday that represents something we don’t agree with, does allow families to get together in love for one another. We want to make sure that this time next year, you are celebrating with the same people you love.

Have more tips others can consider? Leave it in the comments.