Thanksgiving With a Side of COVID


Eve Lazarski

Some Wauwatosa families plan to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday over Zoom due to safety concerns with COVID-19 cases surging.

Daisy Lehman and Lillian Kiracofe

Tupperware on doorsteps, zoom meetings, outdoor dinners, and COVID-19 tests are all new additions to Thanksgiving 2020. The recent surge in coronavirus cases has forced everyone to rethink how they are celebrating Thanksgiving. The holiday will look very different this year as people create new ways to balance the desire to connect with their family while keeping them safe.

“This year I am slowly recovering from the corona virus and my husband and daughters are in quarantine from exposure to me, so, it will just be the four of us. We will watch the Macy’s Day parade, decorate our Christmas tree, maybe play a board game or do puzzles, and still make a traditional meal–as long as we can get the items delivered to our door!“ said Wauwatosa West Art teacher, Selena Marris.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are advising people to take extra precautions this year for Thanksgiving to keep yourself as well as others safe.

With these precautions, many students and staff are getting creative in the ways they are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We are going to pack individual meals into Tupperware and deliver hot meals door to door to our family members that normally would have joined us for Thanksgiving dinner,” said Wauwatosa West Science teacher Thomas Schneider.

Thanksgiving is often the one time of the year when family members from different places come together. The potential of exposing family members to COVID-19 makes being in the same space much more complicated.

“Thanksgiving has always been a day I would know I would get to see my family since they don’t live close to me. This year my family and I are planning to not get together for Thanksgiving since the COVID cases are so bad in the state and I would never want to be responsible for giving anyone in my family COVID,” said West senior Claire Jacobson.

Many teachers and students will be doing Thanksgiving virtually by connecting with their families using zoom and other technologies.

“I honestly don’t enjoy zoom or facetime normally, but I’m starting to appreciate it as an option now that we are so isolated,” said Marris.

For many people, this year’s Thanksgiving, a lot of people’s plans have changed for safety reasons, whether it’s seeing loved ones outside or through a computer screen.

“We’re not going anywhere, because we don’t want to give COVID to anyone, and I’m especially scared of possibly giving the virus to my grandma who’s super old, but who I love dearly,” said freshman at West High School Lauren Noerenberg.

Thanksgiving brings many former students back home to their families for the first time in several months and raises concerns about exposure risk.

“We won’t be traveling. Two of my sons will be coming home from Madison- both will get Covid tested before they come and we will hopefully Zoom with my brother’s family for part of the holiday,” said Karin Awve, the Tosa West German Teacher.

One way to see family, but also try to be safe and prevent COVID-19 is by gathering outdoors.

“We might stay in a hotel near my relatives and eat outside,” said Wauwatosa West freshman Emily McCabe.

COVID-19 has made this year’s Thanksgiving even more stressful than what it usually is. However with the right precautions, this holiday could still bring the same joy to people, even if it is socially distanced or through a zoom.

“Even with the ongoing pandemic and all that’s happening in the world right now, I’m happy that Thanksgiving will still go on,” said Wauwatosa West Freshman Eli Baierl.