How Have Plans For Thanksgiving Changed


Seth Hrnicir-Van Metre, Staff Writer

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration for families, but COVID-19 restrictions have made many reconsider their plans. Instead, many are opting for smaller gatherings and new ways to celebrate.


Due to the new restrictions Governor Ralph Northham has recently announced, outdoor and indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people, as well as an increased mask mandate in public indoor spaces.


“Last year we had all of my grandparents, which was lovely. It was so good to get to see them all, and I’ve been missing them,” senior Abigail Williams said. 


Grandparents present an especially difficult challenge for Thanksgiving celebrations this year. With senior citizens being at a higher risk group, more precautions have to be taken in order to ensure their safety.


“We aren’t having my grandparents over this year because of the pandemic,” senior Hannah Disney said. “We just plan to have dinner with my immediate family.” 


Families with more elaborate celebrations are still trying to hold onto that holiday magic, while also keeping it safe and compliant with COVID-19 guidelines. 


“Due to Covid we will only be having my uncle over for dinner. Normally we host a big party and make themes to base our dishes off of,” senior Rebecca Yee said. “Last Thanksgiving we had a Disney theme, and based our dishes on Disney cuisine. This year since we only have one guest and our theme is much smaller.”


While traditionally Thanksgiving is a holiday enjoyed in the company of others, the tight restrictions placed on Virginia have given people the opportunities to find creative solutions to this year’s abnormal holiday season. 


“We’re definitely going to FaceTime my grandparents who we won’t see in person on Thanksgiving,” Williams said. “And  I think it would also be lovely if we tried to incorporate some of their recipes into our meal, to get an illusion that they’re around.”


Senior citizens are only a part of the issue, with those who are more prone to the disease making up a large portion of concerned citizens.


“My aunt canceled her thanksgiving this year because my grandpa has underlying health conditions and covid is getting pretty bad in Pennsylvania,” junior Isabella McRoberts said. “I probably won’t see my older immunocompromised family members this year either.”