The pandemic will have an impact on Thanksgiving this year (along with other winter holidays).

Getting together with family and friends will be off the table for many. Here’s a roundup of some of the many ways this Thanksgiving will be different:


Socially distant meals. The Chicago Tribune reports on one local family planning an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner.

They’ll set up plywood tables on sawhorses in a garage to allow people to sit 6 feet apart. They anticipate sitting in their coats and sweaters and liken the experience to camping, but they’re ready to do it regardless.

Other families, of course, will join together on Zoom.


College learning. Some colleges and universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, will suspend in-person classes after the Thanksgiving recess, thus avoiding the prospect of students rushing home to be with their family, then returning to possibly spread the virus.

This will also reduce end-of-year stress as students cram for final exams (according to the Inside Higher Ed website).


Shopping. Target and Walmart (along with its Sam’s Club locations) plan to close their doors for Thanksgiving, but Black Friday is still on — with some precautions.

Target will stretch out its holiday sales beginning in October and will make 20,000 more products available for pickup and delivery.

Similarly, Macy’s will shift its Black Friday sales more toward online shopping and will stagger events to prevent crowding in stores.

Walmart will give a special cash bonus to employees at its U.S. stores and distribution centers as a reward for serving customers during the coronavirus pandemic (according to the KARE website and the Wall Street Journal).


Travel. Getting home, or to relatives, will be trickier this year.

The CBS8 website suggests four tips: Travel by car if possible to avoid busy airports and bus/train stations; avoid traveling to and from viral hotspots; wear a mask indoors and sanitize your hands often; and spend as much time as possible outdoors.

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