The time of the year is coming near when we all look forward to eating together a perfect diner, in unison with family. However, things are going to be different this year due to COVID. The Centers for Disease Control has outlined recommendations for the US. They are: wear a face mask, remain 6 ft. in distance, limit group gatherings to 10 people or less, thoroughly wash hands, and preferably, gather outdoors. Talking about how to safely gather for diner and fellowship is especially important during this time. Let’s look at what we can control within these guidelines. For those that are immunocompromised it is definitely not worth the risk, but you may join for example, by sharing your favorite recipe with your loved ones. For those that can gather during this time, here are some suggestions:
These suggestions don’t remove the risks, but allow us to keep the spirit of gathering alive. It is risqué during COVID, but there are ways to manage. Humans’ best attribute is to be social and what distinguishes us from other species is that we have a need to belong. As of today, WE (humans) have mastered the art of helping others belong with empathy. And with over 40% of adults struggling with stress and dealing with suicide, “Gathering at the Table” can be an option when done safely. Let's continue the need of being a part of a greater picture.
Finally, I leave you with these tips:
Happy Thanksgiving and Gatherings. Enjoy your meals together.
USDA Basics for Handling Food Safely
CDC How to Protect Yourself during COVID-19
CDC Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic