How to celebrate the holidays in a pandemic

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Photo via wikimedia commons under creative commons license

Miley Cyrus at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Kate Shanahan, Sports/Op Ed Editor

Holidays are a time for gathering and embracing the company of family members and friends who live near or far. The long awaited Thanksgiving break is quickly approaching for college and high school students eager for some time off from studying.  Students returning from college put their families at risk by having a different COVID circle while at school, and families put each other at risk by gathering for a holiday meal together.

Thinking back to the beginning of the year, no one believed that COVID would still be just as problematic as it currently is. During the summer months, it almost seemed as though the virus was slowing down. However, there is still no official vaccine and coronavirus is on the rise again in many countries and various states of the U.S. So, how do you celebrate a festive holiday season during a raging pandemic?

One option for families spread across the nation or separated by seas would be to gather virtually for a family meal. Although not ideal, making use of Google Meet or Zoom could certainly unite the family together in a safe way. By staying within your family unit, you can do your part to stop the risk of spreading COVID-19. This method of celebration could become problematic with glitches, lagging, or WiFi connectivity issues.

Setting up a time to gather could be done via a group chat so everyone is on the same page. If your family is super organized, you could even designate times for appetizers, the main course, and dessert!

Additionally, students coming home from college can take an extra step of caution by quarantining by themselves for ten to fourteen days. By the end of the quarantine period, college students should go out of their way to get a COVID test to know for certain that it’s safe for them to return home for the holidays.

Another safe way to spend the holiday season would be to socially distance family units at a family meal. Separating each family at a different table could allow extended families to join together for good company during Thanksgiving. Additionally, consider opening windows and doors to allow ventilation throughout the event, another precaution to ensure the safety of everyone in the family. Although it won’t be the same without big hugs and kisses from aunts, uncles, and grandparents, this holiday season will certainly be one to remember.