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Due to public health concerns and instructions from authorities, many Americans are reconsidering their Thanksgiving celebrations amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Public health experts have advised against large gatherings, and some states have even mandated limits on the number of people who can convene.
Voices on both sides offered tips for celebrating responsibly, but opinions ranged from supporting the restrictions to defending holiday gatherings. Some voices from the left argued that limiting Thanksgiving celebrations is a no-brainer for protecting public health, advocating for distanced or virtual celebrations instead. Some on the right argued that Thanksgiving's significance to American history and culture make some sort of group gathering warranted, if not necessary.
On the Blog: We compiled a cornucopia of tools and resources to help you promote civility this Thanksgiving, including discussion guides, Balanced Search results, and the Angry Uncle Robot; and two AllSides team members wrote for USA TODAY about how people must seek out more effective — more human — ways to learn, communicate and share their points of view online.
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Snippets from the Left
"Over the past week, the U.S. has averaged 173,000 new cases of the coronavirus daily, putting the country on course to record more than 4.5 million cases in November alone. If that trajectory holds, November’s total cases would more than double the number of cases recorded in a month since the pandemic began."
"Getting tested after 5-7 days of low-risk activities and then isolating between the time you take the test and your Thanksgiving gathering is a good way to lower the risk of bringing an infection to the dinner table -- though this advice is perhaps more useful going forward to other gatherings, as the Thanksgiving holiday is nearly upon us."
Snippets from the Right
New York Post (Opinion)
"Vulnerable individuals should limit contact with others, including avoiding holiday events. But for most of the population, Thanksgiving dinners don’t pose a significant risk...These draconian holiday mandates are nothing new. They are a sad extension of a growing trend in American bureaucracy; regulators now feel empowered to go beyond informing the public to trying to dictate our most trivial decisions."
National Review (Opinion)
"This Thanksgiving, when the nation is battered by a pandemic and fractured by political strife, we can hope that statesmen will step forward to exemplify constitutional gratitude. But more important, we can rediscover the sources of our own gratitude, for those who wrote the Constitution and those who perpetuated it — not just for our own sake, but for the sake of posterity."
Snippets from the Center
AllSides Perspectives Blog (Opinion)
"Humans are deeply social, and this longing for social interaction undoubtedly cuts across political divides. People can differ on the correct balance between meeting social needs and staying healthy, but both are important goals that are shared widely regardless of political beliefs. So what are the long-term effects on us when our social and cultural outlets are restricted, increasing the likelihood of isolation across an entire population?"
USA TODAY (Opinion)
"Taking these steps to improve air quality in your home should help in the months ahead to limit risks of transmission of COVID-19...Wear masks always: If someone is in your home who does not live there, everyone should wear masks. Keep indoor exposures short....Add a filter: If your home has mechanical ventilation (a central heating and air conditioning system that moves air through ducts), install a higher efficiency filter."