It's totally okay to not visit your family for Thanksgiving this year
pastries on brown table

Putting a cross-generational large group of stressed out and maskless people in an indoor room during a pandemic sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. It also sounds a like Thanksgiving. An Ohio State University survey found that nearly two in five Americans are planning a Thanksgiving gathering with more than 10 people. Those two in five people should probably rethink their plans.

According to the director of the CDC, small gatherings in people's homes (which is exactly what Thanksgiving is) is a big source of COVID spread. They recently updated their guidelines for holiday celebrations. Virtual activities are the safest way to gather right now. The more people who show up to an event in person, the higher the risk is.

An analysis found that there's a near 100% chance of a COVID positive person showing up at a mid-sized gathering in the hardest-hit parts of the country, like the Dakotas. The odds are only slightly less for regions that have fared better in the COVID crisis, but it's still not great.


If you don't want to see your family this year, it's totally fine. This year, of all years, gives you the best excuse for not schlepping across the country for an extra-long weekend of tryptophan-fueled family fights. New Coronavirus infections are at an all-time high. Even though we're all sick of it, it's better to remain vigilant so we don't become actually sick.

We've had a chance to see what happened to our neighbors to the north. Canadian Thanksgiving, which took place in October, led to a spike in Canadian COVID cases. While numbers were on the rise before the holiday (and they're also on the rise here, by the way), the two weeks following Canadian Thanksgiving saw the highest number of COVID cases yet. Contract tracing also found a link between holiday gatherings and an increase in cases.

All of this doesn't necessarily mean you need to be fearful. But it does mean you should be cautious, considerate, and vigilant. "It's important for all of us to not let our guard down during Thanksgiving," Dr. Deborah Brix said during a media briefing. "This virus can spread among families and among friends if you take your mask off and are primarily indoors." Brix also warned that it's not wise to let your hair down just because you're not out and about. "When in private, we [need to take] the same precautions that we take in public."

Skipping a visit with your family this year can help ensure that they're around for you to visit next year. Plus, there's no shame in ordering take-out turkey then hopping on a zoom to argue about politics with grandma.

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

via Brittany Kinley / Facebook

Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

When Kinley filled out the order form for her son Mason's kindergarten class pictures, there was an option to have his name engraved into the photos. But Kinley wasn't interested in having her son's name on the photos so she wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" on the box.

Well, it appears as though she should have left the box blank because the computer or incredibly literal human that designed the photographs wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" where mason's name should be.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
via Richard Desmick / TikTok

Over the weekend, an estimated thousands of people ran 2.23 miles to show their support for Ahmaud Arbery, a former high school football player and avid jogger. Arbery was shot and killed in February near Brunswick, Georgia after being pursued in a truck by a former policeman and his son who claimed he resembled someone responsible for break-ins in the neighborhood.

Keep Reading Show less
via UDOT / Facebook

In December 2018, The Utah Department of Transportation opened the largest wildlife overpass in the state, spanning 320 by 50 feet across all six lanes of Interstate 80.

Its construction was intended to make traveling through the I-80 corridor in Summit County safer for motorists and the local wildlife.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there were over 100 animal incidents on the interstate since 2016, giving the stretch of highway the unfortunate nickname of "Slaughter Row."

Keep Reading Show less