Spokane families changing Thanksgiving plans due to pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. — Thanksgiving is a day dedicated to saying thanks. Thanks to the people in our lives and the lives that we have. Though families are changing their holiday traditions, it doesn’t mean we can’t say thank you in a different way.

Emilee Bosh’s dinner table is usually surrounded by family from across the Pacific Northwest. She said they’re typically in town for about five days.

“Normal Thanksgiving the last few years we’ve hosted here and we have family coming from the Seattle area and the Portland area,” Bosh said.

Last year, the dinner table had great-grandparents, grandparents and kids. This year, Bosh said she’s going to celebrate with her husband and two kids. They’ll Zoom with other family members.

Bosh said she also chose to stay home because of her parents. They’re both elderly, automatically putting them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

“The choices that you make are going to impact my dad and so I try to view everybody as my dad,” she said.

She explained that her choice seemed like the right one.

“We know that this is what’s best for our community. We know that this is what’s best for our place of work,” Bosh said. “For our friends, for our families, for our state, four our country. For us, this hasn’t been a political decision, and we made this decision long before the governor asked people to stay home.”

Bosh said this is a sacrifice they’re willing to make to prevent another family from losing someone.

“We would like to teach our kids that people matter and that giving up one day, or honestly in this case, giving up the whole year is okay if that’s going to save lives,” she said.

The CDC said celebrating Thanksgiving and other holidays with people who don’t live with you increases your chance of catching or spreading COVID-19. If you’re going to celebrate with others, the CDC suggests to have the gathering outside, limit the number of people, wear a mask and stay socially distant.

However, the safest way to celebrate is with people who live with you or virtually.

Another Spokane family is also changing their plans. Sadie Piper, her husband Conan, and daughter Emry will still have a traditional dinner with a twist.

Piper is cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. With a little bit of practice, she said her family and others are going to deliver sides and turkey to each other in containers. After, they’ll come home and have a big Zoom dinner.

“Just try to connect as much as we can that way and have a few laughs hopefully,” Piper said.

Piper said she and her husband have been talking about changing their plans for months. While her family’s decision was also a tough one, she knew it was the right move.

This year, she wants everyone to know that there’s a lot to still be grateful for.

“We’ve got a roof over our head. Shoes on our feet. Food in our bellies,” she said.

In the meantime, Piper is looking past Thanksgiving.

“When this whole thing is over, I want to have a big whole party,” Piper described. “A big whole Thanksgiving and get together and have a good time. I don’t want anybody missing. I don’t want anybody missing around that table.”

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