It’s that time of year again where relatives gather around the food-filled table and share that for which they are thankful. Unfortunately, this year might look a little different. The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of our traditions and replaced them with new ones.
Here’s how to have family safely over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Dr. Oz.
Limit your guest list this year
This can be hard for many families who are accustomed to having large family gatherings for the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve, etc), but this year it is especially important to cut down on the guest list and limit it to those who are immediate family or those of which you currently live with.
Dr. Oz says, “This is especially important if your family dinner will include loved ones who have a higher risk of catching COVID-19, such as those who are over the age of 65 or have a medical condition or issues with their immune system.”
If any guests experience COVID-19 symptoms, let them know it is better to stay home than attend the family gathering.
Create enough spacing
Make sure that you have adequate spacing for your guests. The CDC recommends “staying six feet apart from those who do not live with you.” Dr. Oz notes that the risk of transmission is lower outdoors.
“If you live somewhere warm, host your dinner outside. For those who live in cooler climates, open the windows in the front and back of your home to create airflow.”
Set house rules from the get-go
As a host, it is important to make sure that everyone is safely having a good time. While it may be annoying, Dr. Oz says to remind your guests that masks and social distancing are a must when not eating. He suggests also providing small individual bags for each of your guests to put their masks in once it is time to eat. When they are done eating, they can put their masks back on without having to worry if any germs got into the food.
Dr. Oz also recommends reminding guests to take a test a test before visiting your home.
“While the tests are good at picking up who has COVID-19, false negatives can — and do — happen. Try to get tested as close to your event as possible, giving yourself enough time to get results back, and then lay low until it’s time to celebrate.”
Have Thanksgiving dinner buffet-style
To minimize the risk of droplets and viruses getting onto the food, serve up your Thanksgiving dishes buffet-style. If you are not into that, you can also serve the food on individual plates for your guests.
“Food should not be on the main table because it extends the time the food will be breathed on, and with people talking — or yelling as is the case in many loud families on thanksgiving — it raises that risk,” Peter Delucia, health inspector, says.
To avoid overcrowding the buffet line, Dr. Oz has many suggestions. You can call guests up by astrological sign, by age, or by profession. Remember, the idea is to have fun with it.
You can still make this holiday safe and fun for the whole family. It might just look a little different.