Thanksgiving anything but normal as coronavirus cases surge

Kate Parent simply did not have the heart to cancel Thanksgiving this year.

For this Fontana resident, Thanksgiving typically means a whole week with her five siblings and their families, the aroma of homemade rolls, going on long hikes and watching movies together.

“It’s the most important holiday for my family because it’s the one time of the year we all get together and really spend time with each other,” she said.

This year, the coronavirus pandemic, which is ripping through Southern California, spurring a nighttime curfew order from Gov. Gavin Newsom and strict guidelines for the holiday from the Centers for Disease Control, put Parent’s favorite holiday in jeopardy.

So instead of having her family over in Fontana, Parent, her two children and boyfriend, will pack a propane fryer, coolers, kayaks and tents into their pickup truck and set out to Lake Pleasant in Arizona where they will meet up with family members for a “camping Thanksgiving,” a concept that makes perfect sense in 2020.

“It’ll be scaled down,” she said. “We won’t have 20 different sides and appetizers or those homemade rolls. But, we’ll still fry the turkey. We’ll go kayaking. And we’ll get the family together, and make some more memories.”

Heightened risks

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the CDC reported more than 1 million COVID-19 cases nationwide just over the past seven days. As cases continue to rapidly increase and shatter records, the CDC says the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is at home with immediate family members — those who live in the same residence. Getting together with other relatives or friends can increase the risk of getting or spreading the coronavirus, health officials say.

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Just how big is the risk?

Georgia Tech released an interactive risk-assessment planning tool just in time for Thanksgiving, which tells people the level of risk they face in their county depending on the number of people in their group.

For example, those in San Bernardino County, where Parent lives, who wish to gather with 15 people, have a 28% chance of coming in contact with at least one person who is COVID-19 positive, according to the latest data available Friday, Nov. 20.

The risk level for those who gather with 25 people in Orange County was 16% on Friday. A gathering with 50 people in Los Angeles County posed a 49% risk and a get-together with just 10 people posed an 11% risk in Riverside County.

In places with lower testing capabilities, the risks may be even higher.

The Russell family, from left, Jerry, 57, Alex, 15, Sareerat Roosakul, 53, and Jathan, 15, at their home in Garden Grove on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. This Thanksgiving, Jerry Russell and his wife, Sareerat Roosakul, will make the holiday meal at home then the family will deliver it to his parents home in Riverside County. Russell hasn’t seen his parents, who are in their 80s, in a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG) 

While younger people can get the virus, but recover well, the holidays …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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