Tweaking Thanksgiving: Celebrating During The Pandemic

As families scale down or skip traditional gatherings, many are mixing up the main meal and taking extra safety precautions. NBC's Liz McLaughlin reports.

(NBC News) — This year’s Thanksgiving meal may not be all about the bird.

As families scale down or skip traditional gatherings, many are mixing up the main meal.

Food and dining website Eater says comfort dishes like macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes will get more of the spotlight this year, and they’re seeing a surge in searches for Thanksgiving takeout.

“Thanksgiving is a great time to support restaurants that really need your help,” says Eater’s Amanda Kludt.

Restaurants that have been struggling to make ends meet through pandemic restrictions are hoping to bring in business with offerings like individual holiday plates, meal kits and even creative dishes like Thanksgiving pizza.

If you’re not cooking, you’ll want to get your pre-order in as soon as possible.

Whatever you decide to eat, medical experts stress safety in doing so.

If you are seeing family in-person, now is the time to start quarantining.

Keeping the celebrations outdoors can also make a gathering safer, or skip the in-person meal and share dinner virtually over a video call.

“What we need to do is just buckle in, make the hard decision which admittedly is not what anybody wants to hear right now, and not go home for Thanksgiving,” says Dr. David Rosman, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.

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