First the CDC released guidelines for Halloween. They broke activities into high risk, moderate risk and low risk as regards the spread of COVID-19. They strongly recommended no one do traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween. Boo of a different sort. Hey, at least we could look forward to Thanksgiving, right?


Now the CDC is giving advice about Thanksgiving designed to keep the virus at bay. Among the high risk activities?

  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people outside of your immediate household
  • Shopping in crowds
  • Using alcohol

Okay let's think about this. If you don't already live with grandma, or your uncles or aunts, or your cousins, or any other loved one, then the CDC is saying do not sit down for Thanksgiving dinner indoors with them. With those words we're already at the point of why bother having Thanksgiving at all? Seeing your loved ones is what this holiday is all about. Next we have the advice to not go shopping in crowded stores. Well, we're all wearing masks, right? And stores should be controlling capacity, so how is it that different than any other day? Retailers historically rely on day after Thanksgiving shopping to start balancing their books. Businesses haven't been through enough with the shutdowns? Then there's the advice to not have a drink of alcohol. You know why? Because it "might" cause you to make poor choices regarding safety and social distancing. So you are advised on your long weekend to not have a beer.

Now I understand the role of the CDC is to protect public health and that is their tunnelvision. As I've said before staying alive is important, but the reasons we stay alive are important too, like seeing loved ones.

What does the CDC offer for moderate or low risk activities for Thanksgiving?

If you want to see friends or loved ones that don't live in the same house, have the dinner outdoors. Normal daytime highs in Central Jersey in late November are 49 to 53 degrees. Anyone see an issue there? Or have a 'virtual' dinner is another CDC suggestion. A Zoom Thanksgiving. If you want to have an indoor dinner, have it only with those you already live with. Watch parades and sports on television only. Don't drink.

Yes they have a job to do. But we know on Thanksgiving very few will stay away from their loved ones. They've stayed away so much already and Thanksgiving is a special time for the human heart. Does the virus care? No. Are they scientifically correct? Yes. But when human nature suggests this kind of guidance is for the most part going right into the trashcan wouldn't the CDC be better off stressing elbow bumps and more handwashing for the indoor gathering folks will inevitably have? Whatever this Thanksgiving brings, hopefully it's the only one we'll have to share with this unwelcome guest named COVID.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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