The Safest Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving, According to Science

“Nobody here is saying we should cancel Thanksgiving. What we’re saying is it needs to look very different from years past.”

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Zuma

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How are your Thanksgiving plans different this year? You may have heeded the urgent advice to put travel plans on ice, but you’re still trying your best to feel the holiday spirit, somehow? As the latest coronavirus surge continues unabated, and as various kinds of restrictions swing into effect across the country, the Mother Jones Podcast team is bringing you two chats with top infectious-disease experts on how to stop the spread and keep you and your family safe during a holiday season unlike any other.

Science communication expert Jessica Malaty Rivera, a microbiologist, has a few tips for you, and a couple for the incoming president, too. Rivera spoke to our senior editor Kiera Butler about Thanksgiving strategies—”a negative COVID-19 test is not an immunity passport,” she warns—as well as her work to document up-to-the-minute coronavirus data and trends at the COVID Tracking Project. “Nobody here is saying we should cancel Thanksgiving,” Rivera says. “What we’re saying is it needs to look very different from years past.” Some top-line tips: Stay at home, and if you are hosting a gatherings, keep it small, outdoors, and masked. Read more from Mother Jones’ interview with Rivera, and how the Biden administration must beat viral misinformation influencers at their own game to combat the coronavirus, here.

Also on the show, host Jamilah King spoke to Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist, pediatrician, and dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, about the state of vaccine development right now, including which segments of the population are expected to get it first, and when. He gives his Thanksgiving tips, too: “We are in a public health crisis,” he says. “Don’t do reckless, irresponsible things. Let’s just hang on a few more months and everyone can get vaccinated and live.”

Listen to the full episode, below:

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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