Kelly Thorell ‘21, Opinion Editor
Thanksgiving is the time for large family gatherings, the sharing of food, and hugs with our grandparents: everything contradictory to COVID safety guidelines. One would expect such a holiday to be canceled in this era of social distancing. But with Thanksgiving being one of America’s most iconic holidays, it will likely be celebrated—in some way.
Many South Lyon families are changing their traditions, or adopting certain protocols for the sake of safety.
Sophomore Lana Mac said, “My family and I are planning on staying safe by avoiding going to our big family dinner that we do every year.” She added, “Instead, we’re thinking of doing something small with just us five and enjoying the holidays at home watching lots of movies and lots of baking.” Especially with beloved grandparents and elderly extended family, staying home with her immediate family for this year’s Thanksgiving can be a safe option to protect them.
Freshman Zoe Brower said, “We will be staying safe by not traveling and social distancing.” With the added stress of this year, seeing our long-missed family members can be almost considered essential. If families are uniting, it is not a bad idea to social distance, wear a mask, or at least avoid hugs, especially with our high-risk relatives.
Taking the precaution of avoiding contact with others, senior Lucie Salvatore said, “Normally, we have all my extended family from California fly to our house for Thanksgiving and have so many people at our place. Now, because of the pandemic, we might have to set up a table in our sunroom for my grandparents to eat in while we eat in the kitchen.” She continued, “It’s going to look a lot different this year without as many guests.” As mentioned by Salvatore, if we are with high-risk family members, social distancing within our homes is a great way to keep them healthy. Before visiting high-risk family members, it can be a good idea to get tested beforehand and enact precautions while serving food, such as using gloves while serving.
Though sometimes even travel is too risky: junior Connor Wallis said, “We are going to stay safe by only visiting with immediate family,” and sophomore Alysa Seiter said, “We are staying safe by only [celebrating with] close family [members] that [have] been together this whole time.” Long-distance travel often requires mediums such as airplanes and nights spent at family members houses’
—both risky moves, during a pandemic.
It should be remembered that Thanksgiving and family gatherings do not necessarily have to be canceled, but instead gatherings should be practiced safely. It should also be remembered that, even during Thanksgiving 2020, it’s a time to give thanks and be grateful for what we do have.
Thanksgiving is the time to cherish our family, so let’s keep them safe.