Expert suggests skipping holidays this year as COVID-19 looms over Thanksgiving dinner

TORONTO (NEWS 1130) – Amidst a second wave of the COVID-19 virus in B.C., one expert says this Thanksgiving holiday is ripe for further spread of the virus.

Dionne Aleman, associate professor of industrial engineering and pandemic growth expert at the University of Toronto, recommends Canadians skip holiday dinners altogether this year.

“B.C., Ontario, Quebec. We’re all in a very severe second wave. Certainly looking like it’s going to be worse than the first wave. We all need to take all the precautions we can to prevent things from getting worse. To hopefully try to stave off trying to return to a full lockdown,” she said.

But Aleman adds if you must attend a family dinner, try to make it outside.

“Something as intimate as family gathering that will most likely be happening indoors, with lots of people, sitting very closely around the table, mouths open – it’s just a situation that’s ripe for COVID spread.”

Aleman also recommends wearing a mask when not eating. She says people should try to monitor how much they drink, to remain mindful of health protocols.


Meanwhile, BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) says that if you decide to have a family dinner, choose a larger space where guests can spread out in their household.

The BCCDC also recommends minimizing sharing during meals and is encouraging people to serve themselves with their own clean cutlery if the dinner is being served “family style.”

“There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread from eating food prepared by others. However, you should avoid making food for others if you feel sick or are positive for COVID-19 or are self-isolating. Use good hygiene practices when cooking and remember to wash your hands,” said Aleman.


Health officials throughout Canada and the prime minister are all urging Canadians to do everything they can to prevent the virus’ spread in the coming weeks.

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