The covid-19 pandemic is possibly at its most dire moment yet, especially in the U.S. Reported cases and hospitalizations continue to reach new record highs here, while daily deaths may soon threaten to approach or surpass the record death tolls seen in the spring. Despite this, at least according to the findings of a new national survey released this week, a good chunk of Americans are planning to celebrate Thanksgiving like it’s not 2020. Friends, it is still 2020.
The survey, conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, found that nearly 40% of Americans will likely attend large gatherings of 10 or more people this holiday season. Ten is frequently cited by experts as a number of people in a room that significantly increases the risk of transmission of the virus, which can linger in the air in the form of tiny aerosols emitted by an infected person. The survey also found that a third of respondents likely wouldn’t enforce mask-wearing (the CDC recently updated its guidelines on masks, stating that even cotton masks appear to lower the risk of spreading and catching covid-19).
In lieu of these findings, we wanted to see how our readers are planning to tackle Thanksgiving this year. Will you be sticking to an entirely virtual celebration—obviously the lowest-risk option? If not, are there any added steps you’ll be taking, like establishing a quarantine pod beforehand? Have you had to turn down any invites this year? Do you think anything could change your mind about your plans between now and November 26?
Personally, I’ll be holding off from a typical Thanksgiving with my family in New York City. Though some family members likely had covid-19 early on in March and April, I still haven’t tested positive for antibodies or an infection. And given New York’s recent rise in cases—now likely to shut down the city’s schools—I simply don’t feel it would be safe for myself and my older relatives to leave things up to chance.
But what about you?