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Advice on how to enjoy Thanksgiving during coronavirus pandemic

Some consider using cardboard cutouts of family members
Posted at 2:31 PM, Nov 23, 2020

The holidays will look a little different this year for most families, but how can you tackle it head-on and make sure it’s one for the memory books.

"This year, we are staying at home just our nuclear family," said Dr. Cory Harow of West Boca Medical Center. “Limiting the length of the get together will go a long way towards limiting the risk."

Emergency room doctors warn you to be smart and careful.

"Location is huge, so if you are getting together with family, we are telling our patients to do it outdoors with social distancing, wearing masks," Harow said.

Dr. Cory Harow
Dr. Cory Harow at West Boca Medical Center recommends having an outdoor Thanksgiving and adhere to social distancing.

So how do you adapt with fewer guests?

Let's start with the food. You can go with a smaller turkey.

"You could actually buy a turkey breast depending on your guests," chef Erik Pettersen recommends.

Also, he advises tackling portion control.

"Three people per pound: that's stuffing, string beans, cranberry, all the dressings," Pettersen said.

Chef Erik Pettersen
Chef Erik Pettersen says you may want to think about not buying a whole turkey this year if the size of your gathering is going to be smaller.

If you're used to having your dining room table being at capacity, one creative idea is to use cutouts at the dining room table, just like many live professional sporting events.

It sends a message to your loved ones to let them know they always have a spot at your table.

"We are having a Zoom Thanksgiving this year and so what we have done to introduce an element of levity is we have created cutouts for our children who will not be with us this Thanksgiving," said Bonnie Heatzig.

And perhaps, most important of all, embrace the new.

"I think the way people can deal with it is to try and think outside the box," said Sharron Frederick, a clinical social worker.

She said it's all about coping and finding a different way to do things, much like we have all been doing this year.

"Each family has to do what they feel is right for them, and I know sometimes that’s going to cause tension, but I think all you can do as a family is to go by what you feel is the right thing to do," said Frederick.