Western New York residents react to adjusting Thanksgiving plans amid the pandemic

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BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – People across Western New York are readjusting their Thanksgiving plans to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Since the pandemic everyone can’t be together like we want. So that is a big change,” said shopper Christine Douglas.

“We usually all get together and do a big thing but you know my parents are getting up there in years so we’d rather be safe than sorry,” said shopper Russell Hulsing.

News 4 talked to last minute shoppers at Wegmans and Tops Friendly Markets to see how they’re spending the holiday. Many shoppers understand they can’t be with their families right now because of the pandemic.

“Thankful for what we have, everybody is safe and healthy, the most important thing this year, but we’re going to miss everybody who we can’t seem” said Dawn Smith.

With the country still dealing with the affects of COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo asked New Yorkers to limit their gatherings this year to 10 people.

“It’s just about kind of adapting and making the best out of what we got,” said John Starken who was picking up and delivering groceries to his parents.

People say they are finding other ways to include more family members to the dinner table.

“We’re gonna do face-time with other family members and friends and eat good and be happy, and be thankful for today,” said Christine Douglas.

“It’s just my immediate family, my two daughters and my wife. We’re just, everyone is sticking to home and our family,” Russell Hulsing said. “My parents are just staying at home and we’re going to have zoom stuff later where we’re going to stay hi to each other.”

Despite making slight tweaks to holiday traditions shoppers say there are still reasons to be thankful.

“My family, that every body is safe and everybody is doing good and if we’ve got to stay at home, so be it,” Hulsing said.

“I’m thankful for still being here and not having COVID-19 and my family not having COVID-19,” said Laurie Goodman.

“Enjoy what we can make out of this Thanksgiving but be thankful for all the blessings that we do have and just pray that 2021 brings us even more blessings,” Starken said.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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