Well… yes. Within reason. Probably. If you’re careful.
Of course, if you mean a Thanksgiving like the Norman Rockwell painting, with Mom and Dad and the turkey, and all the hungry extended family members crammed cheek-by-jowl around the table without masks on, then…
No, you can’t. Not and have it be safe. Sorry. You’re going to have to make adjustments.
Fortunately, since everyone in the country seems to be asking the question our headline poses, a lot of people are providing answers. Such as The Associated Press, NBC News, NPR, and all sorts of other news outlets.
We’re going to concentrate here on advice from the official government source, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They may not be the most fun source, but they’re, you know, official. And no-nonsense.
The CDC starts out with the usual stuff that you know already, the stuff that applies wherever you go: Wear a mask — one with two or more layers. Wear it over both your mouth and nose! (If we can find a T-shirt that says that, we’re going to start wearing it, a lot.) Make sure it fits snugly along the sides of your face. Also, stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you. And wash your hands!
Attending a Gathering
If you leave your house to attend a Thanksgiving feast that includes people with whom you do not reside, here are some tips to make yourself and everyone safer:
- Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
- Wear a mask, and safely store it while eating and drinking.
- Avoid going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, — you know, like… the kitchen.
- Use single-use options, such as salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items such as food containers, plates, and utensils.
Are we having fun yet? We hope so. But what if you’re in charge of this shindig? More advice…
Hosting a Thanksgiving Gathering
If they’re coming to your house, ask them all to follow the above procedures. Also:
- Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
- Limit the number of guests.
- Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
- If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows.
- Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
- If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, such as plastic utensils.
Then there’s the matter of travel — which the CDC doesn’t really recommend, but it has some suggestions on how to do it if you do it…
If you must go over the river and through the woods, at least do the following:
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Get your flu shot before you travel. As long as you’re not allergic to them (which you may be if you’re allergic to eggs), which most people are not.
- Always wear a mask in public settings and on public transportation.
- Stay at least 6 feet apart from anyone who is not in your household.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
Yes, it’s a lot to think about. But think also about this overriding point: Turkey and dressing are worth it, as long as you do it right. Just be careful, folks…