It's totally okay to not visit your family for Thanksgiving this year
pastries on brown table

Putting a cross-generational large group of stressed out and maskless people in an indoor room during a pandemic sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. It also sounds a like Thanksgiving. An Ohio State University survey found that nearly two in five Americans are planning a Thanksgiving gathering with more than 10 people. Those two in five people should probably rethink their plans.

According to the director of the CDC, small gatherings in people's homes (which is exactly what Thanksgiving is) is a big source of COVID spread. They recently updated their guidelines for holiday celebrations. Virtual activities are the safest way to gather right now. The more people who show up to an event in person, the higher the risk is.

An analysis found that there's a near 100% chance of a COVID positive person showing up at a mid-sized gathering in the hardest-hit parts of the country, like the Dakotas. The odds are only slightly less for regions that have fared better in the COVID crisis, but it's still not great.


If you don't want to see your family this year, it's totally fine. This year, of all years, gives you the best excuse for not schlepping across the country for an extra-long weekend of tryptophan-fueled family fights. New Coronavirus infections are at an all-time high. Even though we're all sick of it, it's better to remain vigilant so we don't become actually sick.

We've had a chance to see what happened to our neighbors to the north. Canadian Thanksgiving, which took place in October, led to a spike in Canadian COVID cases. While numbers were on the rise before the holiday (and they're also on the rise here, by the way), the two weeks following Canadian Thanksgiving saw the highest number of COVID cases yet. Contract tracing also found a link between holiday gatherings and an increase in cases.

All of this doesn't necessarily mean you need to be fearful. But it does mean you should be cautious, considerate, and vigilant. "It's important for all of us to not let our guard down during Thanksgiving," Dr. Deborah Brix said during a media briefing. "This virus can spread among families and among friends if you take your mask off and are primarily indoors." Brix also warned that it's not wise to let your hair down just because you're not out and about. "When in private, we [need to take] the same precautions that we take in public."

Skipping a visit with your family this year can help ensure that they're around for you to visit next year. Plus, there's no shame in ordering take-out turkey then hopping on a zoom to argue about politics with grandma.

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Americans are more interested in politics than ever these days. More voted in the 2020 election than in any other in the past 100 years. Over 65% of the voting-eligible cast a ballot in the contentious fight between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

"People are very excited and paying attention even though there are all this bad news and high 'wrong track' numbers in the country," Nancy Zdunkewicz, managing editor at Democracy Corps, told The Hill.

It's wonderful to see that a greater number of Americans are standing up to be counted and demanding their voices be heard. But it's also the symptom of a deep level of discontent many people feel about their country.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
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While generational stereotypes don't apply to everyone, there are significant differences between how Baby Boomers (1944 to 1964), Gen X (1965 to 1980), and Millenials (1981 to 1996) were raised.

Baby Boomers tended to grow up in homes where one parent stayed home and the other worked outside of the house. Millennials are known for having over-involved "helicopter" parents.

Then, there's Gen X.

The smaller, cooler generation that, according to a 2004 marketing study "went through its all-important, formative years as one of the least parented, least nurtured generations in U.S. history."

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The U.S. Surgeon General credits the new surge in COVID cases to "pandemic fatigue," but it's nothing compared to what healthcare workers on the frontlines are going through. TIME recently reported that nurses are experiencing burnout, but it often goes unseen. A nurse recently employed a social media trend to draw attention to the behind the scenes fatigue.

An ICU nurse posted her own "how it started/how it's going" photo on Twitter, and long story short, it's not going that great. The before photo of Kathryn, an ICU nurse in Nashville, was taken in the middle of April right after she completed nursing school. The after photo revealed just how much literal sweat and tears healthcare workers put in while treating people during the pandemic.


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