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Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

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We asked families to share how they’re adapting their Thanksgiving traditions this year. We included some of their responses in our newsletter last week, but the responses kept coming in. Here are some we particularly liked.

All year I look forward to Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, where we honor traditions we’ve built over the years. We make a delicious cornbread stuffing that tastes even better as leftovers. We spend all day cooking, drinking lattes, then switching to wine midway through the afternoon. This year, of course, those plans have changed. My sister-in-law, her husband, and our niece will be staying at their home in Denver, while we make the short drive to my husband’s parents’ house in San Jose, where we will eat outside, sit 6 feet apart, and wear masks when not eating. It wouldn’t be our family Thanksgiving without that cornbread stuffing, and I will making it with as much love as always.

— Karsyn Bailey, Foster City, Calif.

When we moved back to Vermont, we made a local community Thanksgiving feast our holiday tradition. Volunteers gather before Thanksgiving to prep vegetables, cook and organize the day. On the day itself tables are set in a church school cafeteria with volunteers to serve, wait tables and wash dishes. Musicians sign up to perform, so local performers entertain the diners: the elderly, the unhoused, the food-insecure, and townspeople who want to join the community at table. Not this year, though. Folks are cooking the food at home and then taking it to crews who will dish it up into deliverable containers and take it to the elderly and food-insecure sheltering at home. And all of us will celebrate community — masked, distanced, and nevertheless together in spirit. The music? In our hearts.

— Joyce Vining Morgan, Vt.

Our family of three usually spends the day with immediate family, and the day after with extended family. The holiday is marked with amazing food (and lots of it), games, and little kid antics. It all adds up to a lot of laughter and love. This year, we’re planning on a day at home with the three of us, cooking our own meal, relaxing, watching movies and most likely napping. It will be much quieter and more low-key than our usual holiday, and not without a measure of wistfulness for what could have been. But we’d rather have the quiet now, knowing that we are doing our part to protect each other, than planning funerals and memorials down the line.

— Stephanie Davis-Kahl, Bloomington, Ill.

Let us know how you’re dealing with the pandemic. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.

Carole Landry contributed to today’s newsletter.

The Coronavirus Briefing will be off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. Before we go, we’d like to say that we’re thankful for the time you spend with us every day. Have a safe holiday, and we’ll see you again on Monday.


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