The Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching and our thoughts turn to good food and family gatherings. In the pandemic world, it is necessary for us to think twice about who and how many we should be sharing thanks with. 

Alberta's top doctor, Dr. Deena Hinshaw spoke to the topic last week and provided some guidelines and tips that may help with your planning. Essentially, her tips are nothing new and are what we have been hearing for the past six months:

  • proper social distancing when that is not possible wear a mask
  • proper hygiene with vigilant hand washing and sanitizing
  • surface cleaning and sanitizing
  • outdoors is better than indoors
  • stay home if you are feeling sick

Specific to Thanskgiving, Dr. Hinshaw is recommending virutal get-togethers, but if you are gathering in a group "smaller is safer, this is not the time for large gatherings". She recommends limiting a gathering to an established15 person cohort. Hinshaw recoginzes that, "Food plays a big part in many holiday get togethers, please have one person plate everyone's meal so people are not sharing serving utensils. Or even better, consider having pre-portioned servings or ordering take-out or perhaps having guests bring their own food." 

Dr. Hinshaw also reminds people that if they are visiting loved one's in care facilities, "Do so by appointment only and follow all facility protocols. A few common sense precautions will help keep everyone safe."

It is also recommended to enjoy the outdoors even as the weather grows cooler. Hinshaw says, "We can embrace the outdoor weather, dress appropriately and find a wealth of things to do throughout the fall and winter."

Finally, Dr. Hinshaw says, "We are all protecting each other. The spread of the virus and the safety of the holidays we cherish is on each one of us. We are all in this together."

Alberta Health Services has posted holiday tips and can be seen here.