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.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Image from Strut Safe's Instagram.

In March 2021, a woman named Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered in South London as she was walking home.

Simply walking home alone at night proved to be life-threatening. But this aspect of the story is no new news. Women have long shared their fears on the subject.

Constant glances over the shoulder and walking with keys between the fingers have become well-known protection rituals against potential violence. And these efforts, though necessary measures of self defense, can at times feel like small band-aids over a larger wound.

As Alice Jackson and Rachel Chung, two students in Edinburgh, attended one of Everard’s vigils, an idea struck them. And it’s helping women in the U.K. gain not only a sense of safety, but something else too. Something of equal immense value.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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