As you begin preparations for Thanksgiving or receive invitations to attend celebrations, be sure to consider COVID-19 risks. This is especially important in light of the flu season. Seniors, of course, and particularly those with chronic conditions, are at increased risk. Still, no one is talking of skipping Thanksgiving entirely. After all, we can be thankful that we’re here and looking forward to the holidays. So, our focus is on assessing and avoiding unnecessary risks. We want to keep you and your loved ones safe! Below, we offer creative ways for celebrating Thanksgiving safely in Manhattan.
CDC Recommendations to Keep in Mind
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers extensive advice for the holidays and even offers suggestions for having a good time. Many of these precautions are widely understood. This makes it easier to communicate what’s expected at holiday gatherings — and explain why an invitation may have to be declined.
Should You Host Thanksgiving?
The safest celebrations are with those in your own household. That said, the important thing is to make a decision based on key factors:
- Do seniors or anyone belonging to a higher-risk group live with you?
- Can you provide adequate sanitation for guests?
- Do you have the floor space to accommodate social distancing guidelines?
- Can you provide single-use utensils for all your guests?
- Can you and your guests quarantine for 14 days before Thanksgiving events?
If you must avoid gathering with family and friends, try a virtual get-together. Have your meal in your respective homes but fire up Zoom while feasting. This way, you can still share a sense of togetherness during an important national holiday. Alternatively, cook your favorite family recipes and deliver them to your loved ones the day after Thanksgiving.
Is Traveling Safe?
Traveling is a wonderful Thanksgiving tradition in America. In 2020, it may add an extra layer of risk — both for the travelers and the people with whom they come in contact. Thus, travel precautions must be observed. This year, AAA estimates that about 50 million people will travel over the holiday, down 10% from 2019. May will travel by car, by far the safest way. In addition, some holiday revelers plan to stay in hotels, cabins, vacation rentals, or condos (rather than with family or friends).
For those who plan to travel, be sure to bring these 10 items with you. The list includes hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, reusable water bottles, travel blankets, and coolers. The latter allows you to pack your own snacks, lunches, and beverages, limiting the number of public areas you must frequent.
Hosting Thanksgiving Safely in Manhattan
If you do host a Thanksgiving party, a few rules apply (in addition to state recommendations on gatherings):
- Keep numbers limited so spaces don’t become over-crowded.
- Hold parties outdoors if weather permits. If not, keep indoor spaces well ventilated: make sure windows and doors stay open, if possible.
- Remind guests about safety measures. Be sure to provide masks and hand sanitizers (with at least 60 percent alcohol).
- Limit the number of people in the kitchen or food preparation areas. Have one person serve salads while another serves the mashed potatoes. Advise your guests to wash their hands before the meal, and avoid buffet-style service.
- Shopping for Thanksgiving goodies can expose you to large crowds. See if you can order online or shop a week before the holiday.
- In the follow up to Thanksgiving, guests may test positive or experience COVID-19 symptoms. Don’t avoid dealing with it. Anyone exposed to that person should be notified. In addition, the person who tested positive should quarantine for 14 days.
Fortunately, Thanksgiving won’t be a dour affair. The networks have planned everything from parades to special movie extravaganzas to entertain audiences. Catch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade online and enjoy a host of music specials throughout the holiday weekend.
If you prefer to spend time outdoors, going to a pick-your-own orchard or apple cider mill may be a good idea. For those living in milder climates, take an afternoon walk to enjoy the dazzling display of autumn’s last colors.
David York Agency Supports Your Right to Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely in Manhattan
If the above information about celebrating Thanksgiving safely has been useful, check out David York Agency’s blog for more articles about senior care in Manhattan.
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