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Families thankful for holiday traditions

Families are trying to celebrate Thanksgiving this year in as normal a way as possible even though it could be different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are going to be as careful as possible but still maintain … some normal activities,” said Lacey Leyman-Scarpa, a local resident.

Recently, Gov. Steve Sisolak encouraged Nevadans to stay home as much as possible in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which is at its highest level since spring. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommended people stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday because gathering with people from different households could contribute to higher infection rates.

Leyman-Scarpa said she and her husband and daughter are planning their usual trek to Henderson to visit her in-laws even though they are elderly. She said they’ve been preparing for the visit for a while.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” she said. “They’re older, but we don’t know how long they’ll be here, so we made the decision to do it.”

To prepare for the visit and to ultimately stay safe during the pandemic, Leyman-Scarpa said they have been “really careful.”

“We stay at home as much as we can,” she said. “We try to stay away from as many as possible.”

Should Sisolak tighten the social restrictions further, however, she said it could change their plans.

Susan Davis Huening said she and her family wanted to keep their tradition as normal as possible, but they made an “executive decision” to cancel their annual family get-together.

“I have an upcoming surgery in a week and with an abundance of caution we’ve decided to call off our Thanksgiving with the family,” she said. “Just my husband and I will have a quiet dinner at home. It’s sad but I don’t need to get sick prior and they don’t need to be traveling from Southern California.”

Huening said her family’s Thanksgiving tradition is to “skip the chaos of malls and shopping and replace it with a day on the lake.” She said they call it “Blue Friday instead of “Black Friday.”

Since they canceled their Thanksgiving plans, she said they are “holding out hope of a Christmas celebration together.”

To help people stay safe from COVID-19 this Thanksgiving holiday, the Red Cross has created a list of tips for recommended activities.

■ Avoid attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside your household. You can have a small dinner with family and maybe a virtual dinner with those friends and family who don’t live there.

■ To share your favorite food with others, you could prepare family recipes for loved ones and neighbors and then deliver them without making direct contact.

■ To avoid crowded stores during Thanksgiving week, shop online.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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