Thanksgiving is drawing near and many are looking forward to celebrating the holiday season with friends and families. The only gloomy aspect that may dampen the holiday spirit is the pandemic. Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for the upcoming holidays.

The guidance titled "Holiday Celebrations" updated last week, noted several considerations that will help protect everyone, including people's families and friends, and even their community from coronavirus. The guidance is not meant to replace health and safety rules but is meant to supplement regulations that are established for holiday gatherings.

The CDC mentioned that a holiday activity that poses the lowest risk for contracting COVID-19 is celebrating Thanksgiving at home. Having meals with members of the family or celebrating it virtually with extended members will put you at the lowest risk.

CNN reported that Dr Anthony Fauci, White House Coronavirus Task Force member told that it is understandable to bring a group of people or friends for a gathering, considering that it is traditional and generates a warm feeling about the holidays. However, he also warned that a certain degree of care must still be observed.

Other suggestions that fall under low-risk would be giving holiday food to non-household members but delivering it without contact. Shopping online is also considered safer and watching sports and movies from home is also low-risk.

Moderate risk activities would include hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, like an outdoor event with friends and family. The CDC stated that gatherings where preventive measures are observed like wearing masks, as well as social distancing, pose a lesser risk as compared to gatherings where there are no preventive measures in place. Some examples of moderate-risk activities include visiting orchards or pumpkin patches where hand sanitising is required. Going to outdoor events even if there are coronavirus safety measures in place, would still fall under moderate risk activities.

On the other hand, as per CDC's guidance, the highest risk activities would be those where the possibility of catching the virus or spreading it is at its greatest. This would be large gatherings, parties, dinners, especially when there are guests who are not members of one's immediate family. In particular, the agency noted that indoor gatherings where there is poor ventilation pose the greatest risk as compared to areas with good ventilation.

CDC issues Thanksgiving holiday guidance. Photo: Pixabay

As for travelling, the CDC advises to take as many precautions as possible as being in public transportation like on a plane would increase the risk of contracting coronavirus. Staying at home is still the best way to protect oneself.