Celebrating Thanksgiving During A Pandemic

Celebrating Thanksgiving During A Pandemic

Some of us thought the COVID-19 pandemic would be over by Thanksgiving. Some of us assumed that the pandemic wouldn’t have a major impact on our holiday plans. The truth is that the past few weeks have revealed that not only is COVID-19 still here, but it’s also gotten worse. This has many of us wondering how we should handle Thanksgiving.

Traveling On The West Coast

On October 13, the three west coast states released a press release that outlined their guidelines for traveling during the holiday season. It wasn’t the news many of us wanted to hear. The joint press release the three west coast states issued urged limiting travel to, “work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.”

The good news is that California hasn’t followed in Connecticut’s footsteps and issued a mandated quarantine for individuals who are traveling from high-risk states, but the state is advising that people stay home as much as possible this Thanksgiving. At this point, the state is simply advising that anyone coming to California quarantine themselves for fourteen days. At this point it’s merely a suggestion, if positive tests continue to rise, it’s possible the state will create a mandatory quarantine.

Celebrating Thanksgiving In 2020

Many of us aren’t worried about out-of-state travel restrictions, because a large majority of us opt to spend the holiday with local friends and family. COVID-19 shouldn’t impact local get-togethers, right?


On October 9, the California Department of Health issued a list of requirements that, if followed, they hoped would prevent the infection rate from soaring after the Thanksgiving holiday.

These mandatory requirements included:

  • Keeping attendance to under 3 households.
  • Limiting Thanksgiving gatherings to people you cohabitate with or who you routinely physically interact with.
  • Collecting contact information and names of everyone who attends the Thanksgiving gathering.
  • Having the gathering outdoors whenever possible.
  • Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms is required to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings.
  • If a person develops COVID-19 symptoms within 48 hours of attending a Thanksgiving gathering must notify everyone who was also in attendance.
  • Social distancing requirements should be observed during the Thanksgiving gathering.
  • Hand sanitizer and handwashing stations should be readily available.
  • Unless eating or drinking, a mask should be worn during the gathering.
  • Gatherings should not last longer than 2 hours.
  • Outdoor singing/chanting/dancing is strongly discouraged, but playing an instrument outdoors is allowed.

The L.A. mayor urged the residents of his city to “not do anything stupid” this holiday season. The best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is by using common sense and limiting the number of people you come into contact with over the upcoming holidays.

Happy Safe Thanksgiving!