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

The coronavirus is a rapidly developing news story, so some of the content in this article might be out of date. Check out our most recent coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

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:

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate