How to talk to your families about COVID Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year poses unique challenges: quarantines and travel guidelines, work policies and outdoor dining recommendations, and managing family members who may approach the coronavirus with varying degrees of caution.

"We're not like going to be sitting around the table wearing masks," a woman told Fox 5.

"My mother's 85," a man said, "so I have to be cognizant of that."

"Actually," another young woman said, "my family has not been good with COVID. They treat it like a fake thing."

"The minority could be the person who doesn't want to wear a mask," licensed clinical social worker Laura Young said, "and the minority could be the one who wants to wear a mask."To avoid creating or worsening any family rifts, Young advised approaching those in a family's minority when it comes to masks, social distancing and COVID lifestyle changes with respect, asking the questions that need asking to keep Thanksgiving as safe as possible without becoming accusatory or insulting.

"For some people, it'll be like walking on eggshells," Young said.

Holy Name Medical Center Infectious Disease Department Chief Dr. Suraj Saggar echoed Dr. Anthony Fauci in warning Americans to, whenever possible, avoid gathering in groups indoors this holiday season.

"Transmission of this virus is more efficacious indoors, where you have a higher viral load," Dr. Saggar said. "As the air cools, as the humidity drops, the virus is actually able to stay in the air for a longer period of time."

Whether we celebrate inside or outside, in-person or over Zoom, none of this seems destined to to reduce, much less replace, talk of politics around the Thanksgiving dinner table.

"There's a real possibility we won't even know who the president is," Young said.

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