Students celebrate pandemic-era Thanksgiving


Mahika Sharma

The Centers for Disease Control want everyone to stay safe during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mahika Sharma, Staff Writer

In the past, people across America have typically spent their Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. However, this year, the pandemic threatens to disrupt these holiday plans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have discouraged indoor gatherings on Thanksgiving with the surge of COVID-19 cases.

“Normally for Thanksgiving, my family [would] visit my grandparents who live about an hour away,” sophomore Megan Rudacille said. “We [would] have an early dinner there and then hang out and watch football.”

However, many students recognize that their usual Thanksgiving plans can pose dangers for those who are susceptible to the virus. According to the CDC, while anyone can contract the coronavirus, those most at risk are the elderly.

“This year, our Thanksgiving plans are sort of up in the air,” Rudacille said. “With our lives kicking back into gear a bit more, we need to consider the germs we introduce to my grandparents, even in masked outings.”

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), an average of fifty million people, like Rudacille, have journeyed across America to celebrate Thanksgiving in each of the last five years. While others do not typically celebrate Thanksgiving by traveling, they agree with the sentiment that it is best to stay cautious and follow CDC health guidelines no matter what their plans entail.

“I usually celebrate Thanksgiving by going to the mall with my family, as it is fun to just explore and go to different shops,” junior Gursimar Dhaliwal said. “This year, if we do go to the mall again, we will probably have to wear masks and carry hand sanitizer.”

Some, however, are embracing alterations to their Thanksgiving festivities and encouraging others to do the same.

“This year, in light of [COVID-19], we will likely be skipping family gatherings,” computer science teacher Bradley Smith said. “I think people should certainly consider altering their plans [and] I know plenty of people who are. I am actually looking forward to [staying] local and [having] a few slower days.”

Smith is also thankful for being able to stay at home because it has allowed him to spend more time with his eight-month-old son, James.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for all the extra time I’ve been gifted to be able to stay home throughout the entirety of my son’s life,” Smith said. “I feel like I’ve stolen so many wonderful moments that I wouldn’t have been able to have and I think about that almost every day.”

Despite all of the hardships people have faced due to the coronavirus especially in regard to their holiday plans, they have found reasons to be thankful.

“This year, I’m feeling very thankful for technology,” Rudacille said. “There is so much I can keep in my life that I would have lost completely without modern technology. Most importantly, I can stay in close contact with friends and family through texting and calling.”