A very COVID-19 Thanksgiving: Staying connected during a pandemic

By Angelica Lara
November 22, 2020

photo taken by Maria  F. Rosas
sunset photo taken by Maria F. Rosas

Thanksgiving is usually a time for families to get together and spend time with each other. It’s one of the few times many families will meet in-person to all have a big dinner together, but how will this change with a pandemic currently going on and cases beginning to rise? 

Currently, the CDC says guests should be encouraged to bring their own food and drinks, but if you are going to serve your own food, have one person who will be the designated food server. This includes items such as condiments and serving utensils. 

Anthony Frasca, a junior education major, and his family usually join his uncle and aunt for Thanksgiving in Philly. “We are staying home this year and joining my extended family via Zoom.”

The Zoom app on mobile devices

Like him, many families will be meeting virtually this Thanksgiving because of the sudden spike in new cases, but how can you have a virtual Thanksgiving without making it too difficult or uncomfortable? A writer at The Cut suggests holding a Zoom Thanksgiving, which would make it easier and safer to see loved ones and continue this American tradition. 

Instead of having the entire family in one call all at once, the article recommends meeting in little groups and only for a few well-structured hours at a time, instead of a whole day event. You can still decorate and dress up, and even prepare small games like scavenger hunts to make the Zoom call more entertaining. 

Elizabeth Seravello, a junior political science major, would usually help her mom mix all the side dishes in the morning. She said, “We watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV but this year the parade isn’t happening, so it won’t really feel like Thanksgiving.”

Seravello said she doesn’t really know what she and her family are going to do for Thanksgiving. “We haven’t really made any plans for Thanksgiving, but I guess it depends on how we feel leading up to Thanksgiving.”

While the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade will still be happening, it will have more safety precautions. These include a shorter route to avoid large crowds from forming and the decision to switch to a television-broadcast-only production.

The precautions will also reduce the parade participants by 75 percent, including deferring all selected high school and college marching bands until the 2021 parade. Even the 80-100 usual balloon handlers will be cut and replaced with anchored vehicles instead. 

Thanksgiving dinner
Photo taken by Angelica Lara

Just like celebrating Thanksgiving with family, many students also enjoy spending a day holding a sort of Friendsgiving event or dinner before break. In years prior, Cabrini usually held a Thanksgiving dinner for all students to attend with a small fee, right before school let out for break.

Unfortunately, this year there is currently no Thanksgiving dinner scheduled on-campus. These ideas can also work to have an early or later Thanksgiving with friends and can even be used to stay connected with friends and family after fall break ends.

Cabrini has always scheduled a break a few days before and after Thanksgiving to take a rest from work and enjoy family time. This year, however, Cabrini classes will be moving online, but buildings will remain open and students will be allowed to stay on campus.

With students at home for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester, it’s clear that this holiday season will look a lot different, both for students and their families.

That being said, with all this technology to meet remotely at our fingertips, there are still lots of ways for people to spend time with their loved ones and get a hint of normalcy for the first time in months.

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Angelica Lara

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