How to stay connected from a distance this Thanksgiving

Traditionally, families gather during Thanksgiving to celebrate the holiday. College students come home, and multiple generations congregate to eat food and spend time together. However, with COVID-19, this years’ Thanksgiving will look different. On Nov 10, Governor Walz limited social gatherings to 10 people and under and limited them to people from only three households. College students coming home from college introduce a potential transmission source for the pandemic, and gathering with elderly family members who are more at risk is another hazard. So, here are some COVID-safe activities for Thanksgiving this year.

Lucia Granja

Video Call

With COVID-19, video calling, whether through Facetime, Zoom, Skype, or Google Meets is gaining popularity as a method to stay connected without in person contact. Their increased use has also created a lot of advancements in video call programs, making them better and easier to use. This can be a great way to stay connected with higher-risk members of the family at Thanksgiving this year.

Lucia Granja

Food Delivery

A big aspect of Thanksgiving celebrations is the food, and just because it isn’t safe to eat together, doesn’t mean families have to go without. Consider making Thanksgiving food and safely delivering it to their homes so that everyone can enjoy good food for the holiday.

Lucia Granja


As gratefulness is an important part of Thanksgiving, it’s good to give back to the community. Of course, those at higher risk for COVID-19 should stay home and forgo volunteering this year, but if you are comfortable taking the risk, volunteering is a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Meals on Wheels canceled their annual Thanksgiving meal deliveries due to the pandemic this year, which was a popular volunteering opportunity, but there are other options, and a lot of people in need this holiday. Find a local soup kitchen to help out at, or if you want to minimize risk, donate to a local food bank or volunteer to deliver groceries for at-risk members of your community. These are great ways to help out people during Thanksgiving.

Lucia Granja

Netflix Party

Netflix party is a browser extension that has rapidly gained popularity during quarantine, as it allows people to watch Netflix simultaneously from different locations, and includes a chat to talk to the others in the party. This may be a little complicated to set up, especially for older family members, but not impossible, and could be a great way to connect. The Netflix parties can invite many people, so whole families can stay safe and all watch a movie together this holiday.