Thanksgiving during a pandemic


Drawing by Mali Downing.

Sadie Springer, Staff Reporter

Thanksgiving is looking a little different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Families in the Riverside-Brookfield area are finding creative new ways to celebrate one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. 

In an ordinary year, Thanksgiving is a day full of family, friends, and food. Everyone has their own way of traditionally celebrating, but it typically includes some degree of social interaction. 

“We would spend it with all of my aunts and uncles and cousins. We would have a huge meal like most people do,” freshman Malia Davis said. 

“It is usually a farther drive and a whole day event,” freshman Emily Hernandez said. 

But the ongoing pandemic has shaken up conventional festivities. On account of the new restrictions set in place in Illinois, large gatherings that usually take place on Thanksgiving are now deemed unsafe. 

“This year, I know that we will not be doing Thanksgiving with the rest of my cousins, and aunts and uncles. We are just going to stay at my house…and have a smaller meal for the five of us,” Davis said. 

If you are planning to see loved ones on Thanksgiving, the CDC recommends mask-wearing, being six feet apart, proper hygiene, and limiting guest numbers. Also, individuals should bring their own food, along with cups, plates, bowls, and utensils. The CDC additionally recommends that people should gather outdoors, which could be tricky due to the lowering temperatures usually seen this time of year. It would also be smart to consider other Thanksgiving activities such as a virtual meet with family members, watching television, playing board games, or online shopping.

“I believe we are going to do a big Zoom, or facetime of some sort at some point in the day, just to kind of touch base and see how everyone’s days have been going,” Davis shares. 

Although not being able to see your family on such a special day can be unfortunate, it outweighs putting your loved ones at risk. 

“It is more important that everyone is safe than selfishly spending a meal together,” Hernandez said. 

All the things we sadly have to give up this year will undoubtedly pay off, and hopes for the years to come soar. 

“I think as long as we are listening to what the CDC is telling us, and we are following the rules, the quicker it will be gone,” Davis said, “So by next Thanksgiving we can hopefully be back with all of our family.”

2020 has been an eventful and challenging year, but there are still many things to be thankful for. 

“I am thankful for family and friends that I still can see…and what they have done for me, and with me in these times,” Davis said. 

“For health, I have had thus far,” Hernandez adds.