Life Advice



Tips for handling Thanksgiving this year

Alison Bowen, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Dating Advice

It’s Thanksgiving, and another pandemic holiday season, even though many thought we would be done with all of this. Thankfully, vaccines are available this year, which reduces the issues families will face.

But many will still face a slew of challenges, from what to cook (supply chain problems) to pivoting conversations in a positive direction. And many families will have a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated members, creating the still-stubborn need to plan around COVID-19.

A survey from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that many Americans are planning to take precautions, including asking about vaccination status or requiring testing. About half plan to ask about vaccination status, and about half will ask guests to wear masks. Nearly three-fourths plan to keep celebrations limited to members of their household.

Here are tips to keep the holiday safe and festive.

COVID-19 precautions

With vaccines available, the holidays will be less restricted, but we are not yet to Christmas, when children age 5 and older will have gotten both their shots. This has been creating dilemmas for families.


That’s why the University of Chicago Medicine’s Dr. Allison Bartlett, with one child under 12 who has had their first vaccine shot but not their second, is still limiting Thanksgiving. “It makes Thanksgiving a little tricky,” she said.

She encourages people to think of Christmas or even New Year’s as a better time to have large gatherings.

“If everyone is vaccinated except the littlest kids and the littlest kids are all from the same family, and visiting with grandparents, that’s a reasonably safe situation,” she said. “It’s the mixing of unvaccinated, or partially unvaccinated with other families, that starts to amplify that risk.”

If you don’t want people in your home who are sick or unvaccinated, say that early. Similarly, if you’re going to someone else’s home, “You should ask about what the status of people who will be there is.”


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