Insert TitleBy Muhammed Khan

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have had to change their holiday plans this year. This includes not being able to travel or have people visit them, which is a big disappointment for a lot of people. The CDC has made some recommendations for celebrating the holidays. They stated that travel would increase your risk of infection, so it is better to stay home. If you decide to travel, you should take precautions such as social distancing, checking travel restrictions, and getting your flu shot. Also, wear a mask during gatherings. More information can be found at these links: 

A survey was responded to by 142 people at Talawanda High School ( 38 teachers and 104 students). The survey asked about holiday plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The results are detailed below: 


As shown in the chart, the majority of people ( 58.5%) chose a rating of 4-5 and agree that the pandemic has had a big impact on their holiday plans. 


As shown in the chart, the percentage of people who are planning to have people over or visit others (43.7%) is almost equal to that of people who are not (42.3%). So, there really isn’t something that a significant majority of people agree on here. Basically, people are very divided regarding Thanksgivings plans. Nevertheless, there is still a large amount of people who changed their plans and can not have people over or visit others this year.


As shown in the chart, people are again very divided. Most people (42.3%) are still planning on having people over or visiting others on Christmas. However, a large number of people are still not having people over (25.4%) or are not sure about their plans (32.4%).


As shown in the chart, the majority of people (52.8%) agree that they do not feel safe traveling during the pandemic. However, this is by a very small margin.


As shown in the chart, most people (90.2%) are going to shop either only online or both online and in stores. 

Finally, I asked some of the teachers at THS what their holiday plans are. Here is how they are spending their holidays:

“For the holidays this year I will be staying in my bubble with the three people that I live with and my dog.  Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I will not get to see my sister who lives in Chicago or my father who lives in Knoxville (not only because of the orders to quarantine when traveling outside of the state, but also because it is a sacrifice that is required right now to stop the spread of Covid-19).  My plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas include watching ‘The Mandalorian,’ working on my novel, and catching up on some reading and chores around the house.  I’m also hoping to zoom and facetime with my best friend and my extended family members.  I’ll still be coaching Mock Trial too since we have some virtual practices over winter break!”  – Dr. Weatherwax

“We are doing a small family get together, no out of town relatives or cousins/uncles/etc.  We see each other regularly, so it isn’t a big risk.  All of our older relatives are staying away though – no grandparents or great grandparents.”  – Mr. Zimmerman

“Usually we go down to my in-laws in Kentucky and spend a few days with them over Thanksgiving.  This year, my wife, son, daughter, and I are having a cozy Thanksgiving at our house – just the four of us.  Each of us is picking two foods to include in our Thanksgiving Feast and we are all going to pitch in and cook.  I’m very excited because it’s a low stress event and I love to eat Thanksgiving Food.”  – Mr. Ruther

“My holiday plans have changed from what is normal or typical.  Usually my family and I attend a Thanksgiving in Oakwood, OH with 30 or so family members.  Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and even in-laws attend.  It is usually quite a festive occasion with a lot of food and fun and stories to share.  This year I plan to travel to Monongahela, PA.  My parents usually come here and attend the large family gathering.  But this year I am going to Monongahela and sharing Thanksgiving with only my parents and my family.  Just a gathering of six people.  My parents are elderly so I am worried about bringing something to them, but because of my father’s health, which is already poor, I am more afraid of not going.”  Mr. Caudill

“My holiday plans have not changed that much in spite of the pandemic.  We are hosting in a bigger space so that we can have more social distancing.  We have purchased individual plasticware and are trying to rethink how dinner will be served.  We are requesting everyone wears a mask and of course if you are not feeling well, please stay home.”  -Mrs. Henley

“We still plan on traveling to visit our families in Indiana for Thanksgiving and Christmas, unless we display any symptoms.”  Mrs. Claire

To summarize, holiday plans have changed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A solid number of people have changed their Thanksgiving plans, and some even their Christmas plans. The majority of people (although by a very small margin) do not feel safe traveling. Most people are shopping only online or both online and in stores. For many people, this will be a lot to adjust to. However, a lot of us are willing to make these sacrifices in order to ensure that we all stay safe and healthy.