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Are you confused about whether to gather for Thanksgiving this year? You’re not alone

Posted in Canada, Featured

Published on October 08, 2020 with No Comments

Avalanche of information’ makes it harder to understand safest approach for family gatherings.

Christopher Ashby feels overwhelmed by the flood of messages every day from all levels of government. 

“Between nine o’clock in the morning and three o’clock in the afternoon, many decisions and many things have changed each and every day,” the Toronto hospitality worker told CBC News. 

“There’s so many messages coming through the course of the day between tweets and press conferences and what’s in printed press and what’s online — there’s just an avalanche of information.” 

With a member of his family who is immunocompromised, another who works in health care, a university student and an elementary school student, Ashby said he and his family struggled with what to do as Thanksgiving approached during the coronavirus pandemic.  

“Before the regulations had shifted and changed yet again, we as a family pretty much made the decision that Thanksgiving would be a pass this year,” he said.

“There were just way too many variables to feel comfortable.”

So instead of a large family gathering, he and his partner are opting for a quiet dinner together.

“We need to make what we feel is the right decision for us and we definitely err on the side of caution,” he said. “This is not something that people should be taking risks over because it affects too many people.” 

Depending where you live in Canada, it’s getting harder to navigate conflicting guidelines from various levels of government — because they can often seem completely out of sync.

“It’s up to Canadians throughout the country to do their part, to wear their mask, to maintain physical distancing,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday. 

“Unfortunately, to not get together with their families and friends for Thanksgiving so that we can take control of this second wave, so that we can all celebrate at Christmas.”

That advice is especially relevant to Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer said Monday. Daily case numbers and community transmission of COVID-19 in both provinces remain high, with strict public health restrictions on the number of people who can gather safely. 

“If you are in Ontario and Quebec, I think the most sensible thing to do is to keep to your immediate social circles,” Dr. Theresa Tam said. “Because you’ve seen the epidemic curve and this is not the time to be complacent about anything.” 


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