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Commentaries and Opinions

Commentary: Why My Family Decided To Stay Home For The Holidays

A group of four people huddled together pose for a photo, consisting of two middle-age adults and two older children. There is a blurry dog at the bottom of the image.
Avery Thunder
KUNR Youth Media
KUNR Youth Media reporter Avery Thunder (second from right) and her immediate family in Reno, Nev., on April 21, 2019. Thunder and her family made the decision to not spend Thanksgiving with extended family members this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washoe County health officials are imploring residents to avoid celebrating Thanksgiving with people outside of their household, as the region sees a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. In this commentary, KUNR Youth Media reporter Avery Thunder paints a grim picture of why she and her family have decided to stay home this year. Frankly, she doesn’t want to lose her grandparents.

For Thanksgiving, I’m not doing anything because I don’t want to kill my grandparents. I have four grandparents. They want to do things for Thanksgiving, and so do some of my other relatives, and we’re not going to do anything because it’s extremely unsafe for them. I want to see them and I want to celebrate with them, but I don’t think we can do that safely in any way, so I’m not going to do it. 

I think the plan right now for Thanksgiving is just [to] hang out with immediate family: just me, my brother, my dad, and my mom. We make a turkey and eat, and we just do what we do on Thanksgiving without the rest of our family, because we don’t want them to get sick.

The [COVID-19] cases are really skyrocketing in Washoe County right now, and I understand the desire to be close to your family during the holiday season, but if we ever want to be able to have a holiday season again where we don’t feel terrified that we’re going to get our family members sick, I think the best thing to do right now is to not do anything for Thanksgiving.

I just don’t really understand what your mentality is, of deciding to celebrate Thanksgiving of all things, and decide that that’s the time where you want to just give up on everything safety-related and just, like, go for it. So, for the holidays, I am not doing anything. I’m just spending it with my family in our house, not affecting anyone else.

KUNR’s Youth Media program is a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists.

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