Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 Pandemic


A table is being prepared for Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic on Nov. 26, 2020. Photo credit: Alissa Schoepflin

By Alissa Schoepflin

During the holiday season, families across the world would normally be preparing to gather round for a home-cooked meal with family and friends for Thanksgiving. Yet due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are several restrictions and setbacks for Thanksgiving Day, including limiting the number of guests for gatherings, cleaning and sanitizing frequently, as well as for guests to bring their own meal and beverage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommended to stay home for the upcoming holidays. It is also encouraged for others to celebrate these holidays through virtual video chats with family and friends.

If you and your close ones are planning a gathering for Thanksgiving, it is advised to stay at least six feet apart from people who do not live in your household, according to the CDC.

Ventura County resident Midge Seeley expressed her thoughts and feelings towards this upcoming Thanksgiving, and how she and her family will be together during the holiday.

“This Thanksgiving will be much the same as in years past with the exception that there will be no one at our holiday table but family,” Seeley stated.

Seeley revealed her family’s past celebrations of the holiday and how this year will be different than previous years.

“In years past, we have invited friends or acquaintances that have no family or no place to go, but due to the circumstances of this year, it’s just not safe,” Seeley elaborated.

Like most people this holiday season, many families are unable to share the upcoming holidays with their families due to the ongoing pandemic. Dorothy Powell, a Ventura County resident, shared her views on the restrictions for Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s been hard and pretty sad because I can’t come together with all my family. It has always been a family gathering, but due to this ongoing pandemic, I won’t be able to get together with the rest of my family which will make the upcoming holidays a bit harder than the ones in the past,” Powell expressed.

“Especially during Thanksgiving, most of our family would travel to be apart of the Thanksgiving and go out Black Friday shopping with one another and enjoy the day as a family, but this year it won’t be that way,” shared Powell.

As many gathered around the dinner table to celebrate Thanksgiving, Gayle Baas, a Ventura County resident, explained what her plans are this year with the restrictions.

“This year will be much quieter and immediate family only. I will be inviting my husband’s twin sister to come and stay with us for the weekend, but I will not be inviting any friends this year,” Baas explained.

While many families plan to continue their yearly traditions on Thanksgiving, whether it is preparing home-cooked meals with one another or contacting family members that are in different states, Baas expressed what family traditions she will continue this Thanksgiving.

“My husband’s sister and I always cook holiday meals together. We usually discuss the meal a week before and split up the dishes. She then comes up the day before, and we get together and meal prep together,” Baas revealed.