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Student Reporting Labs
Student Reporting Labs
Ahead of the holiday season, the CDC is urging families not to travel for Thanksgiving or have multiple households meet for meals. Andrea Salazar Lopez with NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs explores the inherent dangers during this most challenging Thanksgiving. And if you do decide to gather, she shares some strategies that could lower your risks.
With Thanksgiving just days away, we turned to our partners from PBS Student Reporting Labs and Andrea Salazar Lopez to hear how they are safely distancing this holiday season.
One, two three…
I was eating soup.
Brandon Au Yeung:
That sounds so good.
Andrea Salazar Lopez:
This year my friends and I did our annual Friendsgiving meal over Zoom.
So my grandpa lives in a nursing home so we can't have Thanksgiving with him this year.
And I haven't been able to see people who are really important to me in months.
It's really hard having such a large family during this time. I just want all of us to be under one roof, but we can't because I'm scared for their health.
As the world experiences another wave of COVID cases, millions of families are considering skipping holiday get-togethers.
Scientists think the virus has spread largely indoors.
So how does the virus spread?
Dr. Christina Lancioni:
SARS-CoV2 is transmitted through droplets, which are those little beads of moisture — when you're coughing, sneezing, talking, singing.
Viral droplets are one thing. Aerosols also spread the virus.
Dr. Sudarshan Anand:
Aerosols are tiny particles that we cannot quite see with our naked eye. The larger droplets, they fall to the ground maybe you know, within about one or two feet, but the aerosols can be suspended and they can travel beyond six feet.
As aerosols, virus particles remain in the air for up to three hours. When you're outside, there's more air circulating so the chance of encountering the virus is much lower. Indoors, the same air generally recirculates, so there's more risk that a virus will infect a new person.
A review of more than 20,000 cases of COVID found that fewer than 500 were contracted through fully outdoor events. The vast majority were blamed on indoor transmission.
So how can we gather more safely for this thanksgiving?
We can never eliminate the risk, except to not have the gathering.
For family and friends who are elderly or vulnerable, the best option might be to include them on zoom.
We're not going to have Thanksgiving with, you know, 12 of us gathered around the table this year.
If you can, eat outside.
I'm really grateful for my big covered porch. I will turn the outdoors into a dining environment.
Even outdoors, space is still important and wearing a mask is still important. Indoors, we would recommend everything we could think of in terms of minimizing that risk of transmission.
Greet your family members with hand sanitizer.
Maybe we can try to center the gatherings not around a meal.
If you do decide to eat together, consider eating in shifts. Spread out in different parts of the house and crack windows open to increase ventilation.
Grandma, auntie, we can't you know, we can't do this dinner tonight. We love you too much.
This year we're still gonna try and see each other. We're gonna be socially distanced and eating outside…so.
That's gonna be so cold.
So we came up with the idea of making a Thanksgiving dinner plate and sending it to my grandpa. And then like calling him. He kinda struggles with technology but if that works out then we can eat thanksgiving dinner with him.
I'm thankful that we're all here and we get to hang out over Zoom and stuff. It's nice to see you guys.
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