What A Safe Thanksgiving 2020 For Your Family Can Look Like
Twenty-twenty has been a year of handwashing, social distancing, skyrocketing stress, and unavoidable sacrifice. Can we (if nothing else) enjoy Turkey Day?
The timing alone couldn’t be any worse.
Thanksgiving Day is coming at a time when the virus is raging across the globe again, setting new infection records daily. So far, over 19,000 Texas residents have died of COVID, and gatherings are said to be at the core of dispersing the virus.
Nonetheless, we cannot let the pandemic win by preventing us from enjoying Thanksgiving weekend with our loved ones.
A scaled-back dinner held virtually with adequate air circulation and tons of precautions,
For more in-depth tips, keep reading about how to celebrate Thanksgiving safely in times of COVID.
Small Gatherings, But that’s Not All
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease expert, says, “… this may not be the time to have a big family gathering. But that doesn’t mean no one should gather for Thanksgiving.”
Ideally, you should host a small gathering composed of just your closest loved ones in a home or venue large enough to ensure the 6ft of social distance between guests.
If indoors, the venue should have properly-working mechanical ventilation systems that push the stale air out and pull relatively-fresh air inside.
That eliminates any room that’s poorly ventilated, where the stale air is left to slowly leak outside through small gaps or cracks around doors and windows.
Because, while a sealed-up room will save on heating bills, it encourages a fast buildup of invisible viral particles when an infected individual laughs, coughs, talks, or juts breathes. Then, the small particles will linger in the air, while large particles fall on surfaces – putting each person in the room at risk.
If confused about your house ventilation, the WHO recommends a ventilation mechanism that changes the total volume of air in a room at least six times an hour.
To paint a picture, opening multiple windows (assuming they are wide enough and possibly in every room) has been shown to hike the air exchange rate up to three times an hour.
To achieve the recommended rate, open windows and doors, turn on exhaust fans, and yes, buy a portable air cleaner that’s large enough for the room.
Dr. Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech and expert on aerosols, advises: “Look for a cleaner with a high “clean air delivery rate,” or CADR. It’s going to bring down the levels of virus that might be in the air.”
Recently, the CDC updated its holiday celebrations guidelines, recommending that individuals limit contact with people outside their household for two weeks before attending a gathering.
Thus, if hosting a Thanksgiving family gathering, have your loved ones reduce contact and potential exposures for 14 days before attending the family dinner.
If testing is available in the area, have them get tested and obtain results before entering your place.
Julius Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist and associate professor in the department of population medicine at Harvard Medical School, says, “Everyone can try to reduce the number of contacts for at least the week before the event, and do the same after as well. Just trying, to the best of your ability, to be more conscious of the contacts you have before and after you gather can be a risk reduction strategy.”
On your end, determine whether you have vulnerable members in the family. Or whether cases are surging in your home area. Or family traveling from COVID hot spots. Or some of the guest thinking coronaviruses is just a scam – refusing to wear masks.
Cause if they are, you shouldn’t bring them to your home.
As Dr. Fauci puts it: “Thanksgiving is not going to be one size fits all. You’ve got to be careful. It depends on the vulnerability of the people you’re with and your need to protect them.”
As you serve all the precautions recommended by the health experts at the Thanksgiving family dinner (from wearing masks to shortening the duration of the gathering), don’t forget to clean your home at least twice a day.
Disinfect highly-touched surfaces daily.
Clean utensils thoroughly after use and, if possible, do not share utensils among the guests.
Do not let the guard down.
As Dr. Fauci puts it, “Most people feel when they’re in the house with friends, they almost subconsciously let their guard down. They don’t realize they’ve come in from multiple cities, spent time in airports. They come to a house where Grandma and Grandpa are or where someone with an underlying condition is, and they innocently and inadvertently bring infection into a home. It’s dangerous. You’ve got to be careful.”And for your painting needs, Houston Texas Painters got you covered.