Experts plead with Americans to keep gatherings limited this Thanksgiving, while families devise new ways to celebrate the holidays.
The experts agree<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc5MDgyNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjU4MTI4OX0.3o3ULs3WhMned31DMmr-mvZdiFYvqo6NxcaxSAh9sjQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="3894b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="105be1aaba5ecf60fd69fa89486833f7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A graph showing confirmed coronavirus cases from Jan. 3 to Nov. 18, 2020. The third, current peak is the largest so far.
To grandmother's house we go?<p>Even while governors and experts pleaded with families to limit Thanksgiving gatherings to individual households, there has been no uniform, country-wide restrictions put in place. As such, every family must perform a risk calculation to decide how to spend Thanksgiving.</p><p>"[G]iven the fluid and dynamic nature of what's going on right now in the spread and the uptick of infections, I think people should be very careful and prudent about social gatherings, particularly when members of the family might be at a risk because of their age or their underlying condition," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said on <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fauci-thanksgiving-covid-different/" target="_blank">CBS Evening News</a>. </p><p>He added, "When you're talking about relatives that are getting on a plane, being exposed in an airport, being exposed in a plane, then walk in the door and say 'Happy Thanksgiving' — that you have to be careful about."</p><p>To help families make their decisions, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released Thanksgiving considerations</a> to supplement safety alongside local rules and regulations. The agency lists several factors to consider in any risk calculation. These include local levels of COVID-19, potential travel exposure, the number of people attending, the health risks of those attendees, and the duration of the gathering as well as its location.</p><p>If people from outside the household will attend, the CDC recommends the following actions to increase safety and limit viral transmission:</p><ul><li>Ensure everyone wears a mask when not eating or drinking;</li><li>Keep people who do not live together at least 6 feet apart;</li><li>Have people bring their own food, drinks, utensils, etc. No potluck-style dinners;</li><li>Host the gathering outdoors or increase indoor ventilation;</li><li>Keep music levels down to prevent shouting or speaking too loudly;</li><li>Encourage good handwashing; </li><li>Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces often.</li></ul><p>You can find more information on the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">CDC's Holidays website</a>. It's also worth noting that <a href="https://medical.mit.edu/covid-19-updates/2020/07/how-long-symptom-onset-person-contagious#:~:text=The%20CDC%20identifies%20a%20%E2%80%9Cclose,who%20has%20been%20positively%20diagnosed" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a negative result on a COVID-19 test</a> is no guarantee of safety. People can harbor the virus, become infectious to others, show no symptoms, and still render a false positive several days after their initial infection.</p>
Staying home for the holidays<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="caf5ae9303d7359a42a37cfc200d83b1"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yDuHtJCj_Og?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>For families staying physically distanced, there remains the question of how to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. 2020's standard answer has been the Skype or Zoom call. Certainly an option, but one that should be spiced up for the holiday meal.</p><p>You can, for example, integrate your preferred telecommunication app can into shared experiences. Family members can work meal prep together or teach each other their signature dishes. Activities like crafts, decorating, and thankfulness trees can be coordinated by the kids and shared with the family simultaneously. You can cook up the same meal, light the same scented candles, and listen to the same music to create a common sensual environment.</p><p>You can also find telecommunication apps designed to be used alongside specific activities. <a href="https://discord.com/" target="_blank">Discord</a> is a favorite among gamers for video games. Even if battle royales aren't your family's speed, it works perfectly well for <a href="https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/board-games-for-kids" target="_self">board games</a>, and your family's favorite likely has a digital version available. Similarly, <a href="https://www.netflixparty.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Netflix's Teleparty</a> provides an online space to watch and chat about movies together. If Black Friday was your family's bonding tradition, try scouring for the savings together online and share a cocktail afterward to toast a successful shop. There is also the platform <a href="https://gather.town/" target="_blank">Gather</a>, which allows for proximity video chatting in a customizable 2D world.</p><p>If your family wishes to disconnect from the binary realm, try beginning a new holiday tradition this Thanksgiving. You can write holiday letters to distant family members. We're talking physical letters, which <a href="https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/343131" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">preliminary research suggests</a> has the salubrious bonus of reducing stress and anxiety for the writer. You can create holiday care packages for friends. And this year especially, the holiday card and photobook traditions will be more appreciated than ever. If you're in a time crunch, emails or texts are also nice.</p><p>For most families, Thanksgiving in 2020 will be unlike any other and will be, for better or worse, one to remember. Thankfully, there are ways to stay safe and healthy—and help others do so, too—while still connecting with loved ones in a meaningful way.</p>
Having grown kids still at home is not likely to do you, or them, any permanent harm.
When the Pew Research Center recently reported that the proportion of 18-to-29-year-old Americans who live with their parents has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps you saw some of the breathless headlines hyping how it's higher than at any time since the Great Depression.
The color of toys has a much deeper effect on children than some parents may realize.
- The idea that blue is for boys and pink is for girls plays out in gender reveals and in the toy aisle, but where does it come from and what limits is it potentially placing on children?
- Lisa Selin Davis traces the gendering of toys and other objects back to the 1920s and explains how, over time, these marketing strategies were falsely conflated with biological traits.
- The "pink-blue divide" affects boys and girls on a psychological level. For example, psychologists discovered that when girls exit their intense 'pink princess' phase between ages 3-6 and move into a tomboy 'I hate pink' phase at age 6-8 "that is actually a moment of girls realizing that what's marked as feminine is devalued and so they're distancing themselves from it to prop themselves up higher on the ladder," says Selin Davis.
The ability to speak up and ask will give these future leaders a much needed boost.
- As the head of an all-girls school in Pennsylvania, Marisa Porges has dedicated her life to educating young women and preparing them for the future.
- Two things that parents can do at home to build confidence and nurture girls' ability to speak up according to Porges are to have them practice ordering for the family, and to encourage them to develop a pitch when making a request. Providing feedback on the pitch becomes more meaningful and memorable than simply saying yes or no.
- While this advice is great for parents of boys and girls, it is especially important for parents of young women. A recent study showed that 75 percent of high-performing women executives say they have felt imposter syndrome at some point in their careers. The ability to speak up, ask for what they want, and to use their voices confidently will be valuable skills for these future entrepreneurs and CEOs.
'Little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems.'