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Let's Find Out How Many Of You Are Actually Being Safe In Your Thanksgiving Celebrations This Year

Be honest — but also be smart, please.

Tomorrow, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving — hopefully at home.

Thanksgiving dinner featuring a turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and glasses of wine
Maren Caruso / Getty Images

The CDC has outlined some recommendations to keep people as safe as possible throughout the holidays, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country. Precautions like staying home, celebrating virtually, or gathering outdoors can save lives.

A person making the shape of a heart to people on a video call
Filippobacci / Getty Images

And let's be real clear here: It is so, so important for all of us to take these precautions seriously. Americans are getting infected at record numbers, over 250,000 people have died, and hospitals are being pushed to their absolute limits. If your Thanksgiving doesn't look very different this year, there's a good chance you're putting your loved ones in danger.

Are you curious to see how others are planning for the holiday this year? Your answers to these questions are 100% anonymous, so I hope you'll answer honestly — but I also hope these questions can serve as a launching point to make sure you're keeping your family safe this year.

  1. Let's start with the most basic question: Are you doing anything differently this year to protect your friends and family from COVID-19?

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Let's start with the most basic question: Are you doing anything differently this year to protect your friends and family from COVID-19?
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What the experts say: Yes, you should be doing things differently this year. Here's a list of guidelines for the holiday.

  1. Will you see anyone outside your daily quarantine "bubble" (aka "pod") this Thanksgiving?

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Will you see anyone outside your daily quarantine "bubble" (aka "pod") this Thanksgiving?
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What the experts say: Limit your celebration to the people in your daily bubble — your immediate family, your roommates, whoever you live with.

  1. Where will you celebrate?

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Where will you celebrate?
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What the experts say: If you're staying home with your bubble, being indoors is fine! But if you're traveling and/or seeing people outside your bubble, outdoor gatherings are safest. If you absolutely must be indoors with people who aren't in your pod, open windows and turn on fans to maximize airflow.

  1. How many people will physically be at your gathering?

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How many people will physically be at your gathering?
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What the experts say: The smaller the group, the safer your celebration will be.

  1. If you're traveling for the holiday this year, how are you doing it?

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If you're traveling for the holiday this year, how are you doing it?
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What the experts say: Avoid traveling if you can. According to the CDC, "staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

  1. If you're doing anything risky — traveling, seeing people outside your bubble, etc. — are you planning to get tested before the event?

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If you're doing anything risky — traveling, seeing people outside your bubble, etc. — are you planning to get tested before the event?
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What the experts say: Testing before your gathering may keep your family safer, but it's far from foolproof. False negatives can happen, and if you are infected on a flight, you likely won't test positive immediately. Tests can be a good extra layer of protection, but you should still use masks and practice social distancing at all times. And staying home with your pod would always be safer.

  1. What about testing for the rest of your party?

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What about testing for the rest of your party?
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What the experts say: Again, testing alone cannot protect you, but if you're traveling and/or seeing people outside your bubble, it should probably be part of your precautions.

  1. Will you practice social distancing at all times?

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Will you practice social distancing at all times?
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What the experts say: You should keep 6 feet of distance from anyone who doesn't live in your household.

  1. Will you be seeing anyone who is considered high-risk? (For example, people over 60 or people with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer, etc.)

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Will you be seeing anyone who is considered high-risk? (For example, people over 60 or people with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer, etc.)
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What the experts say: Some people are at much higher risk of dying if they contract COVID-19. Your grandparents and older relatives are certainly on that list. Same with any loved ones who have certain medical conditions. The CDC offers a guide for who is at higher risk here.

  1. Will masks be required for the non-eating portions of the event?

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Will masks be required for the non-eating portions of the event?
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What the experts say: The more you can wear a mask, the safer your family will be.

  1. And finally, have any of your in-person celebrations been replaced with virtual ones this year?

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And finally, have any of your in-person celebrations been replaced with virtual ones this year?
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What the experts say: Virtual celebrations are absolutely the safest! Stay home, stay with those you live with, and set up a Zoom chat with anyone outside your bubble.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Please be smart, and remember that these precautions don't just protect you — they protect your family, your friends, and millions of others, too.

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