For years, Joan Carter-Smith has hosted Thanksgiving at her home in Clarksville, MD. She says this year, she will celebrate the holidays only with her immediate family. She and her husband, along with her daughter and son-in-law, had COVID this summer.
“The question is where,” she says. “Because we’re such a close-knit family and we just enjoy being around each other. If not here at my house, it will be at my daughter’s house because she has much more room.”
The 69-year old mother of four expects about 16 people.
“I only gather with my family. We don’t go to anybody else’s house. It’s just us, so I know that none of us are sick. We were all cleared by the health department, and our results are negative for the second COVID test. I know that if anyone of us is sick, we’re not going to risk being together just for the sake of it.”
Gupta urges caution.
“If people are going to get together, what you don’t want to do is create a superspreader event amongst your own family and friends. And so indoor gatherings of individuals that you don’t shelter in place with, that you’re not sort of huddling with already, you should limit those to just five or less.”
“Because,” he says, “you don’t want a short-sighted, short-term decision to impact or cut short the life of someone you deeply love and who you want to spend many more holidays with.”
Judy Ross hopes for a vaccine soon and looks forward to the day she’ll be able to get together over a meal with family and friends.
“I would not go to a Thanksgiving gathering or dinner during the High Holy Days, and I think if you took a poll, most people would not do it either,” she says. “It’s too risky.”
Article: COVID Safety During the Upcoming Holidays
Anthony Fauci, MD, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.
Vin Gupta, MD, pulmonary critical care doctor, assistant professor of health metrics sciences, University of Washington Medical Center.
Judith Ross, Washington, D.C.
Joan Elizabeth Carter-Smith, Clarksville, MD.
Senior Rabbi Susan Grossman, Beth Shalom Congregation, Columbia, MD.
Adas Israel Congregation.
CDC: "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions," "Considerations for Restaurants and Bars," "Running Essential Errands," "Travel During the COVI-19 Pandemic."
Hartford HealthCare: "37 Routine Activities Ranked by Risk of COVID-19 Infection."
Edward-Elmhurst Health: "How to Make Your Home a Coronavirus Safe Zone."
Cleveland Clinic: "COVID-19: How To Determine What Activities Are Safe and What's Worth Skipping," "COVID-19: How To Stay Safe During Outdoor Activities."
UC Davis: "How to Safely Shop During Coronavirus (COVID-19)."
UC Davis Health Newsroom: "Movie theaters may pose less COVID-19 risk than we think, says UC Davis Health Expert."
Texas Medical Association: "What's More Risky, Going to a Bar or Opening the Mail?"
Kaiser Health News: "Bars Serve Up New Rounds of COVID Contagion."
Mayo Clinic: "COVID-19 Safety: Tips for travel, restaurants, and the gym," "Coronavirus travel advice."
Columbia University Irving Medical Center: "Staying Safe in the Summer of COVID-19."
Novant Health: "9 Tips to Stay Safe When You're Out Shopping."