COVID-19 seems to have no power to stop Americans from celebrating Thanksgiving Day as they used to, according to a recent survey.
A recent national survey revealed that many Americans are planning to celebrate this year's Thanksgiving Day the same way they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center conducted the survey on how the US intends to observe the annual celebration this year.
The survey asked respondents if they will accept an invitation to go to a Thanksgiving celebration with more than 10 people attending. It found that two out of every five Americans are willing to attend gatherings with large crowds on Thanksgiving Day despite the risk of coronavirus spreading.
After seeing the survey results, Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, chief quality and patient safety officer at OSUWMC, cautioned the public and warned them to be careful against COVID-19. He said that as people look forward to this year's Thanksgiving celebration, they should ask themselves if they want to be part of the "solution" or if they want to be part of the "problem."
The safety officer added that the virus can spread when people are sitting together in close proximity -less than six feet apart from one another- and with face masks down, uncovering their noses and mouths.
The survey also revealed other interesting details about Americans' attitude with regards to Thanksgiving and COVID, as per the New York Post:
- First, it found that 33 percent of survey participants will not ask their guests to wear masks on Thanksgiving Day celebrations.
- Second, it discovered that 20 percent of Americans do not intend to avoid or turn down guests, even if they have symptoms.
- Third, 27 percent of the respondents expressed their disinterest to practice social distancing during Thanksgiving Day celebrations. They explained that they will not stay away from one another as they will only slice turkey and break bread with the people in their household.
Experts say gatherings can spread the virus
Experts reveal that even a small household gathering could be an effective avenue for the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said small gatherings in homes played a major role in the spread of the virus in the US.
The CDC urged the people to avoid getting into places in the house where people are in close proximity. It also suggested that people should bring their own food, stay outside to avoid close contact, and refrain from going in and out of kitchens. These suggestions apply for everyone, even when people in gathering follow the rules and restrictions recommended by the agency.
Celebrate it differently
Gonsenhauser suggested that people should carefully consider the possibilities that might happen when celebrating Thanksgiving. For example, people should consider the risk that inviting a guest, coming from a community where there is a number of virus spread cases, brings.
He also suggested that people should think twice if they are in a low incidence area and a high-risk person joins that household for the celebration.
The safety officer explained there is a "better" way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day without compromising the health protocols implemented by the government.
This idea, however, doesn't really appeal well to many: he suggested canceling in-person plans or gatherings, and recommended celebrating the day differently, such as having a virtual dinner, or dropping off treats in front of people's houses.