JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We are just over a week away from Thanksgiving, and it’s no secret the holiday will be celebrated a lot differently this year due to the pandemic.
When Elaine Sherman prepares her Thanksgiving meal this year, she plans to make a few of her favorites including turkey, mashed potatoes, and whole wheat rolls, just to name a few.
However, she won’t have to make large portions this year because she’s not feeding a lot of people.
“My family seems to really be far away and everything, and flying and all of that is just out, so it’ll be just myself, my husband, and my son,” said Sherman.
Sherman said not being able to invite all of her family over is a sad reality, but she knows having a small gathering is the best and safest option for her family.
“You want more people to come to your Thanksgiving, but that’s the way it goes,” said Sherman.
For Chantal Traxler, she too will only be around her immediate family for Thanksgiving. But the small crowd won’t put a damper on their fun.
“Yes, we’re going to get stuffed as a turkey. I’m excited!” said Traxler.
In the middle of the fun this year, medical experts are urging everyone to be safe. In fact, The University of Mississippi Medical Center is giving people a few tips to keep in mind this Thanksgiving:￼
· Encourage elderly people or those with medical conditions not to travel to your home.
· If you do have guests coming in from outside your household, advise them to quarantine for 14 days before traveling.
· Ask visitors to get a COVID-19 test 48 hours before their arrival.
· Ask guests if they’ve gotten their flu shot, and if they haven’t, encourage them to do so before visiting your home.
· Plan in terms of having adequate social distancing – 6 feet – between guests, and move the celebration outdoors, if possible.
· Thoroughly disinfect your home before and after hosting guests. Make sure guests have easy access to hand sanitizer and masks and access to a sink for washing their hands.
· When serving a Thanksgiving meal, don’t allow people to fill their plates buffet-style. Instead, dedicate one or two people to do the serving, and “sanitize your hands before touching or serving anything.”
· Finally, consider keeping the Thanksgiving celebration to the nuclear family living in your home and Zoom or FaceTime with friends and relatives as everyone gathers for their meal.
This is advice both Sherman and Traxler said they’ll be following closely.
“My husband also has an autoimmune disease so it’s super important to me,” said Traxler. “I wear my mask everywhere and try to keep 6 feet as much as I can.￼”
“We will be following the guidelines somehow one way or another anyway,” said Sherman. “Even if we have to have it outdoors, or if we had to mostly wear masks, we will probably do distance. I think survival is important.￼”
When it comes to deciding how many people to invite over, there’s no magic number, but health officials say the less visitors, the better￼.