Families Struggling To Hold Thanksgiving Gatherings

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : November 27, 2021

After painful months of seclusion due to the pandemic, Pauline and her cousins, back in the spring, talked about reuniting For Thanksgiving at her home in Detroit.

The virus had a different plan. The nation’s hotspot is now Michigan. These hospitals are filled with patients. In-person learning is being scaled back by schools.

Families Struggling To Hold Thanksgiving Gatherings

In the US, the resurgent virus has pushed new infections to 95,000 daily. Hospitals in Minnesota, Arizona, and Colorado are also under pressure. Unvaccinated people are being begged by officials to refrain from traveling.

Struggling To Hold Thanksgiving Gatherings

Pauline had to put her big family feast on hold. The roasted turkey is only being prepared for her, her husband, and her two grown boys.

She said that no one is going to care even if she wears her stretchy pants and eats too much.

The Thanksgiving dilemma that families across America are facing has been reflected by her story. The same political and Covid debates that have engulfed other areas are now burdening family gatherings too.

These families are confronted by a list of questions as they gather for stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie: Can they hold big gatherings? Can they gather at all? Should an unvaccinated person be allowed inside?

She said that it may just be overkill that they are not sharing Thanksgiving with their cousins, but it is better to be safe than sorry. She works as a 58-year-old data administrator.

A different approach has been taken by Jocelyn, who is an accountant from Colorado. She has prioritized family time over Covid concerns. She chose to do this even though the number of cases is increasing and new mask mandates have been triggered in the Denver area.

Her husband contracted the virus in Oct 2020 and spent 4 days in the intensive care unit. She said that she was willing to risk certain things to have a sense of community back.

She said that 7 or 8 members of the family would be gathering for the holiday. They did not choose to discuss the vaccination status because they already knew in part.

She said that getting the vaccination is worth it along with getting together and sharing meals.

She said that they cannot just be made to live in isolation.

In San Francisco, the desire to bring family and friends back together was evident.

Mari was in a line at the grocery store to buy ingredients for tamales. This includes salsa, ham, gravy, and mashed potatoes. She said that things were getting better as she is able to see the gathering of 12 family members.

She spent Thanksgiving only with her husband, mother, and daughter just 1 year ago.

She said that they felt very disconnected and that it looked like an apocalypse scene every time they stepped out as everybody was living in fear.

She said that it used to be very scary, but not anymore.

Nadia, who is a professor at Georgetown University said that Thanksgiving has always been a trying time for her, even during better times. She thinks that Covid has only made the holiday worse as she loathes the awkward and divisive conversations about politics, race, and other issues.

The start of a winter surge and lingering concerns about breakthrough cases threw a wrench in her plans to have a big family gathering for Thanksgiving. She told her family members that they must be tested even if they are vaccinated if they are to be together for Thanksgiving.

She did not want to take any chances as 2 of her daughters have not been able to get vaccinated at the time.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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