10 Ways to Keep Your Thanksgiving Safe

Sending our best wishes for stress-less holiday. Because lord knows, we deserve it.

With the coronavirus worsening across our country, we know this year's Thanksgiving will likely be smaller and less inclusive for most Pausers, including our own.

Unfortunately, small gatherings are believed to be the culprit behind much of the current spike in cases, with homes a main source of transmission. That’s because most homes are poorly ventilated and sealed up tight to be more energy-efficient. But what’s good for our heating bills makes it more likely that invisible viral particles will linger in the air.

So even though we all wish we could kiss and hug the people we love, laugh loudly at all the old family stories, shout and sing with abandon — we still have to commit to keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe.

To that end, here are our best tips for a happy scaled-back Thanksgiving:

  1. Open multiple windows as wide as possible and be prepared with space heaters and extra layers to combat the cold air if temperatures dip.

  2. Turn on exhaust fans (like the ones in your bathroom and over the stove). These help rid the air of contaminants. (A regular fan is not an effective substitute for this; it just moves the air around the room and increases the risk of contamination to others.)

  3. Consider a portable air cleaner. Look for one with a high CADR (clean air delivery rate).

  4. Have fewer guests. Limit the number of households attending. Indeed, experts advise not to mix households at all. (Many people wrongly assume they’re safe if they stick to just family or close friends.)

  5. Ask yourself: Will there be a vulnerable person at your table? Are guests flying in or traveling from hot spots? A “yes” might signal it’s time to reconsider your choices.

  6. Weather permitting, have dinner outside. The recent popularity of space heaters and fire pits is a testament to more outside entertaining.

  7. Practice smart hygiene and habits: Wash hands often. Swap out bathroom hand towels with paper towels. Space guests out around the table. Be mindful of touching items handled by others.

  8. Wear masks when you’re not eating or drinking.

  9. Don’t linger after dinner since exposure time increases your risk of catching the virus. (Eating and running is not rude, in this case!)

  10. Make your small feast festive. (We like these tips from Martha Stewart.) Or stick with the huge meal and enjoy leftovers until 2021!

And remember, of course, that Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be limited to just one day.

Take a moment every day to be grateful for the person you’ve become, for the many good lessons you’ve learned, and for the love you give and receive.

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One More Thing

May your table be filled with popcorn, toast and good cheer.

We are thankful for your stories, your insight and most of all, your support. Here’s to the start of a happy and harmonious holiday season.


Sheryl + Jennifer

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, two years ago, on Thanksgiving,
When my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the restaurant.
Alice’s Restaurant Massacree, Arlo Guthrie

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