Infectious disease expert: Use caution this Thanksgiving holiday to keep safe from Covid-19

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Local experts urge residents to use caution when celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In this year of Covid, there’s things that we’d like to do, that we just shouldn’t do,” said Thomas A. Russo, Professor and Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases Department of Medicine Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences University at Buffalo.

“The most dangerous time to get infected with the coronavirus is when you’re indoors and when people can not wear masks at all times, and obviously with the upcoming thanksgiving holiday, and the other upcoming Christmas and religious holidays, food and drink is often the centerpiece of these gatherings,” Russo said.

Because of the pandemic, many Western New Yorkers are rethinking how they celebrate the holiday.

“I’m going to be with my momma,” said Tanya Williams of Buffalo.

Tanya Williams, whose mother Hattie is 86, says they’re going to have supper together, but they’re all going to be sitting at different tables.

“She’s going to be at the snack table at the dining room table, I’m going to be at the corner, and my son is going to be in the kitchen. We’ll have our masks on, because she’s 86 and you never know. But that’s how we’re going to do it,” said Williams.

Incorporating social distancing, like the Williams’ family, are some ways families are modifying their holiday celebrations. Dr. Russo says, families should also keep their celebrations small.

“Obviously, within your own social bubble that’s fine, but people outside of that bubble you should connect with on facetime, zoom, or whatever platform works for you,” Russo said. “And that’s unquestionably the safest way to go particularly if there’s vulnerable individuals in the household.”

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