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Enjoy Thanksgiving — safely

Thursday will be a Thanksgiving like no other.

And not necessarily in a good way in some aspects.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, it’s beyond a bad idea to host large gatherings for the holiday. We know this is painful; sometimes Thanksgiving is the only time of the year family members can meet in one place.

Yet even talking with loved ones and feasting on turkey and green bean casserole isn’t worth the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services advises people to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings beyond their own households.

The Marquette County Health Department also has tips for enjoying a safe Thanksgiving.

The department urges people to take precautions to ensure a safe Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic. It suggests people celebrate by combining no more than two households and dropping off home-cooked goodies to those with whom they have gathered ahead of time while maintaining social distancing.

It recommends not gathering if anyone has not socially distanced for 14 days before a gathering and is free of any illness symptoms. If people must gather, they should socially isolate for 14 days afterward and contact their primary care providers if they development symptoms.

How about holding a “Zoom-sgiving,” as the health department called it? This is a virtual dinner party using available online meeting platforms, including Zoom. Family members can exchange pleasantries — and avoid talking about politics if that is their wish — to get some semblance of a Thanksgiving holiday.

They still can watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, although that iconic event too will be different with no throngs of people lining the streets of New York City. Instead it is being produced on a smaller scale in a closed TV-set format over several days leading up to and on Thanksgiving.

However, perhaps the COVID-19 situation has given people a reason to look more closely at the true meaning of Thanksgiving — being thankful.

Just being alive is reason enough to be grateful, and with the probability of effective COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, that’s even more reason for gratitude — and hope.

So, with these thoughts, The Mining Journal wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

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