Thanksgiving traditions big and small face disruptions from COVID-19

Thanksgiving traditions big and small face disruptions from COVID-19

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The continued spread of COVID-19 is putting the future of family gatherings, both private and public, in doubt.

At the Norton drive-thru testing facility on Poplar Level Road, people getting checked Thursday for COVID-19 are already making plans for a different kind of Thanksgiving.

“We’re probably going to do individual meals,” Brandon Crum said. “In the past we’ve done the one bowl of mac & cheese. So now we’re going to split it up in little bowls and just see where that goes.”

“For the first time in so many years I’m not going to be with my family and my parents,” Kay Milam said. “Typically, I fly to Texas and so I’m trying to do the right thing this year and stay put.”

Neal Robertson, an organizer of the Thanksgiving Day Juice Bowl at Shawnee Park, said he is hearing from people who live out of out of town wondering if they should cancel their trips to Louisville for the annual tradition.

“Getting a lot of calls, people trying to figure out if we’re going to do it or not,” Robertson said, “and I don’t want to be the one to say come down here than somebody catch COVID-19 by not socially distancing themselves.”

Robertson said he did not know yet if the event will be cancelled, but it is an example of how COVID-19 is disrupting time honored traditions. Public health officials urge caution when seeking the comfort of friends and family. All it takes is one person making one bad decision.

“And they either don’t have symptoms yet or their symptoms are mild and they’ve not been tested yet and they unknowingly bring, bring the virus into a home,” Louisville Metro Public Health Interim Medical Director Dr. Sarah Beth Hartlage said describing one of the most common scenarios for family infections.

Finding a way to keep a safe distance will be a challenge for families during a time when everyone wants and needs to be close.

Dr. Hartlage said state officials will soon release recommendations for planning a safe and COVID-19 free Thanksgiving.

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