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Balloon from Thanksgiving Day Parade taken from the Night Before

COVID Impacts Yet Another Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a joyous holiday where people focus on who and what they are thankful for. During this holiday, many families and friends choose to spend meaningful time with one another. Unfortunately for many families, this could not happen last year due to COVID-19. 


Danielle Goode is a  Nutley High School student who sadly didn’t get the chance to spend Thanksgiving with her non-immediate family members last year due to the spread of Covid. This was very changeling, as for the past 14 years she has always spent this day with all of her family. “I felt very disheartened last year when I couldn’t celebrate the holiday with my family,” she stated. “It was like Thanksgiving didn’t even happen.” Danielle just spent Thanksgiving with her mom, brother, and grandparents whereas in past years aunts and uncles also join them on this day. For Danielle, it felt as if Thanksgiving was non-existent however for other families it was an a typical holiday. 


Some families participated in Zoom calls, some wore masks and had their meal outside while being socially distanced. Ava Costanzo, also a Nutley High School student shared her family's activities. Her family engaged in a Zoom call with family members who do not live in the state. They all sat around the table with the computer in the middle and ate dinner.  “It was an awful experience and it made me sad because I realized how important Thanksgiving actually is to me,” Ava said. But her family made the best of the situation and tried their hardest to have a regular holiday dinner. 


Compared to last year this year was definitely a brighter Thanksgiving for many. A lot of families had the chance to reconnect with each other once again. For some people, it seemed like a due-over Thanksgiving in comparison to last year. “This year was great! So much better than last year,!” Ava said. She got to spend the holiday with her siblings, parents, and grandparents. Different from 2020 Ava actually looked forward to thanksgiving because she was fortunate enough to spend quality time with her family. However, some questions arose regarding how different this year's celebration would be in contrast to last year’s. Danielle disregarded these concerns by saying, “Thanksgiving wasn’t any different from years before Covid. My family and I resumed right where we left off and conducted our normal traditions.” 


Some families play football, others watch movies, and some go into New York City to see the parade. Danielle went with her good friend and their family to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. “I actually went to the parade, it was cool seeing all the new floats and the old ones as well. This was my second time going so I was very excited. But I had to wake at 6 to get there!” she stated. Her favorite balloon this year was baby Yoda. “I just thought it was so cute.” When they got home from New York, she got ready for Thanksgiving dinner which consisted of turkey, mashed potatoes, seasoned vegetables, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.


At Thanksgiving, many relish being able to spend exclusive time with family and friends. Over the past years, Americans learned to view how important it is to have this holiday and what a toll it has on us when we don’t. “I’m so happy Thanksgiving is back to what it usually is. But I also hope we keep Covid-19 under control so that we never have to miss a celebration again,” Danielle said.