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Consider Canceling Your Big Thanksgiving Dinner, Dr. Fauci Suggests

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As November looms large and the holiday season is nearly upon us amid an ongoing pandemic, you might want to consider canceling your big Thanksgiving dinner this year, as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious disease, has suggested.

After many months of spending time apart, many families across the country might have been looking forward to finally getting together for a big Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 26. But Fauci told CBS Evening News on Wednesday that this might not be a safe course of action with COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise across the country. Fauci explained to the news outlet that the annual holiday gathering could be too much of a "risk" this year.

"That is unfortunately a risk, when you have people coming from out of town, gathering together in an indoor setting," Fauci told CBS Evening News. "It is unfortunate, because that's such a sacred part of American tradition — the family gathering around Thanksgiving. But that is a risk ... You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you're pretty certain that the people that you're dealing with are not infected."

He went on to explain to that his own Thanksgiving celebration will look "very different" this year because his children would have to travel to come home for the holidays. "I would love to have it with my children, but my children are in three separate states throughout the country, and in order for them to get here, they would all have to go to an airport, get on a plane, travel with public transportation," Fauci said.

Fauci's suggestion to curtail big Thanksgiving celebrations is in line with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield, who told governors across the country during a phone call on Tuesday that "small household gatherings" are contributing to a spike in COVID-19, as CNN reported. "What we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings... Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting," Redfield said.

The thought of heading into the holiday season with so many question marks is difficult for families, of course. Trick-or-treating for kids this Halloween remains a concern across the country, and now getting together with loved ones for Thanksgiving might not be a good idea.

But if people continue to follow health experts' recommendation of frequent hand-washing, avoiding large gatherings in general but especially indoors, maintaining physical distancing, and wearing a face covering in public, you'll be doing your part to help prevent the spread of the virus. Besides, you can still cook a delicious turkey and enjoy a family Zoom dinner together, right?

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.