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Do we need to "cancel" Thanksgiving?

By Habib Rattani

Volume 1 Issue 2

November 24, 2020

Do we need to "cancel" Thanksgiving?

Image provided by Getty Images

Covid cases have risen once again, so should people cancel Thanksgiving celebrations altogether? Some people agree while others disagree. Personally, I feel everyone can have their own opinion, but they should be free to make their own choices. Individuals should be able to make their own decision, but it is hard with all the opinions going around in the news and on the internet. These opinions spread fast and far, influencing others to believe certain things including on this matter.

America stands for freedom, so individuals can make their own decision without one person or group dictating what they can or cannot do in their own homes. Thanksgiving is a time to spend with loved ones and be thankful for what you have. If everyone in the household tested negative and is comfortable with being around one another, then I don't see an issue. If everyone is Covid-free and keeping precautions in place, they should be able to have a gathering. At the end of the day, it's all up to the attendees attending the event being organized. There are some set guidelines, but there has been advice given by health experts stating their concern and suggesting everyone stays home and celebrates with only the individuals living in their household.

According to some statements by health experts, ABC news reported "The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is to celebrate with people in your household," the agency reported what one of those experts said: "If you do plan to spend Thanksgiving with people outside your household, take steps to make your celebration safer. My hope is I think a lot of people were not going to travel who did in the past," he said. "I think a lot of people made that decision already for a variety of reasons. My hope is the folks who were on the fence and were hoping to travel, you know, thinking about it, planning a little bit, will now realize it's not the time to travel." I agree with the enthusiasm towards taking precautions, but the fact of the matter is, if someone feels safe and comfortable enough, they should be able to travel. I don't agree with health experts adding comments toward the matter which may manipulate the audience in one direction or another. A number of Covid deaths were due to other health issues in the individual’s body, but the “cause of death” would be reported as due to Covid. For example, someone may pass away from Covid, but also had heart disease or diabetes. There are many underlying factors that go into the cause of death due to Covid, not just Covid alone.  People need to attend to all of their health needs, especially during the pandemic.

In some cases, celebrating Thanksgiving with people not living in your household could be unsafe. Covid cases have risen once again and the second wave is said to be upon us. Due to some of these factors, I can justify the concern of others for travelling and spending Thanksgiving with more distant loved ones as an issue. Due to these concerns, precautions should be taken. For example, if you had planned on travel, you should have been tested, and quarantined, to make sure you do not affect others if you happen to have Covid. As reported by ABC news, “The CDC says to make Thanksgiving safer; if you are with friends or family outside your household, you should wear a well-fitting mask, keep 6 feet of distance from people who do not live with you, and keep hands clean. The agency also recommends bringing your own plate, cups, and utensils, store your mask safely while eating and drinking, avoid going in and out of the kitchen while food is being prepared, and using single-use options for condiments and food containers.” These are some suggested safety measures that could be taken which do make sense and help provide as much safety as possible for those who choose to celebrate Thanksgiving with people outside their immediate household.

Even with these suggestions, the decision should be up to the person without others' opinion manipulating the individual's thought process. Agencies and media outlets’ opinions weighing too heavily could create drastic measures being taken, like banning travel altogether. A solution to the problem could be as simple as providing insight on statistics and the current situations for the area you wanted to travel to for the holiday. Depending on all the evidence and looking at the situation wisely, if the individual is comfortable with traveling, they should be free to do so. However, precautions should be taken, for example, wearing a mask when travelling, staying six feet apart, and getting tested. The real question is: do you think Thanksgiving should be “canceled” due to Covid?

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