Valencia Students Plan Thanksgiving During Pandemic

Vibu Parambhai, Reporter

Thanksgiving is a time for many Americans to meet with family and friends, rejoicing in fun times and shared memories. The usual run of Thanksgiving may be taking a slight turn this year due to COVID-19. With cases only rising, it is going to be difficult to meet with family and friends as some people usually would.

That is the case for 19-year-old student, Gretel Mir, who is a sophomore. During this time of year, like many people, Mir meets with relatives old and young alike. Mir said her plans for Thanksgiving are slightly changing this year. While she usually meets with family in large gatherings, they are cutting down their meeting to a smaller amount. “Around my grandparents, we always wear masks since they are older. We also plan to do the same at the gathering, except for when we’re eating,”  Mir said to protect themselves from the virus.

Like Mir, for many students, Thanksgiving is a time to meet with family who they haven’t seen in quite a while. A Hopper travel site survey says that 21% of people who usually would travel did not plan to this year.  This happened to 21 year old, Crystal Prendergast, a senior at Valencia. Prendergast tends to travel to New York to meet with family. She said, “On a normal basis, I usually travel for the holidays, however, due to the pandemic I am skipping out on it this year.” She will still be celebrating Thanksgiving, but only with her close family, who she sees often to avoid anything from happening.

As the year goes on, we have seen a lot of people do virtual events. The CDC recommends that people try to host virtual events over meeting in person. 19 year old Sonia Lopes-Ramos, a sophomore at Valencia, plans on doing this. Sonia is typically at home for Thanksgiving, but due to the pandemic, she will not be going anywhere outside anytime soon. She plans on celebrating with close family, just like Prendergast. Lopes-Ramos said, “I have used Zoom before, and have a couple of activities planned with my younger relatives for the holiday.” Even though Sonia is still celebrating, she is still taking precautions. “I am still around close family, but I am going to be careful when preparing meals and other dishes to avoid anything getting into the food.”

Amidst a pandemic, there is still a way for light to be found. Thanksgiving will go on, and Valencia students are doing all they can to keep them and their loved ones safe. This season, remember to wear your mask, wash your hands, and take precautions when associating with others.