Ensuring a COVID-19 free friendsgiving

Decoration for a friendsgiving party. Photo courtesy foodnetwork.com

It’s that time of the year again! The leaves are falling, the air is cooler and it’s the season of giving– thanksgiving.

Friendsgiving is a common trend amongst college students that celebrate Thanksgiving with their friends, opposed to their family. Groups of friends come together with prepared dishes and eat a thanksgiving dinner. Whether you are doing this in place of a traditional thanksgiving, or in addition to one, it is important to remember that we are still in a pandemic. Rules and guidelines are necessary to follow to ensure a safe, COVID free evening.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and luckily, there’s five ways to safely celebrate friendsgiving this year.

Keep it to a minimum

Usually it’s ‘the more the merrier’ when it comes to inviting friends over for a fun time, but this year, let’s try to keep it to a minimum.  After the quarantine was lifted, the CDC recommended only gathering in groups of no more than 10 people. This was set in place to limit the spread of the virus amongst groups of people. To limit the amount of people at your friendsgiving, tell your friends not to bring any extra guests, so you will know how many people will be in attendance.

Invite people you’ve been regularly seeing

Who are the people you go everywhere with, or live with? The first friends that come to mind are the people you should think about celebrating friendsgiving with this year. To limit the spread of COVID-19, get tested prior to seeing each other and anyone feeling ill can join via Zoom. COVID-19 is still easy to contract, therefore, do not risk spending time with those who have recently been to large gatherings, parties, or have not been following safety guidelines.

Limit the amount of people preparing food

Traditionally, a friendsgiving celebration requires each guest to bring a dish that they have prepared. This year, you may want to consider preparing the food yourself, or sharing the responsibility with 2-3 other people to limit the spread of germs. In their recently published guidelines, the CDC recommends one person serving all food when hosting a gathering. Calculate the estimated cost of groceries and divide the money among your friends, so you don’t have to spend your entire wallet on dinner.

Have dinner in your backyard or patio

Typically, you would think to hold your friendsgiving indoors, but have you ever thought to have a picnic-style dinner? Due to COVID-19, the CDC has recommended hosting your Thanksgiving party outdoors. Hosting an event indoors causes germs to circulate throughout the air in a confined space. The more people that are inside and germs that are spread creates a higher risk for the spread of COVID-19.  If the weather permits, set up some tables and a tent and enjoy your meal in the autumn weather.

Back to the basics

Although these ideas spark creativity, you can go the simple route and host a regular friendsgiving. If you are keeping it to a minimum, require masks during interactions with others and have a few extra ready for your guests in case they forget. You can also set out hand sanitizer for your friends to utilize throughout the evening. Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands regularly, since you are preparing and handling food. These tips are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so don’t forget to mask up, keep hand sanitizer handy and wash your hands.