Etiquette experts offer tips for dealing with COVID-19 related conversations ahead of Thanksgiving

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – When it comes to COVID-19 some people have strong opinions, especially about vaccinations, masks, and social distancing. If you’re planning a Turkey Day feast, things can get awkward when it comes to discussing these topics.

Last year many people chose to skip large Thanksgiving get-togethers because of the risks of spreading COVID-19. This year, as things slowly get back to normal families may have to be prepared for some uncomfortable conversations with family members.

“We are really looking forward to it because we haven’t been able to be around each other like we’d want to,” said Madison Dean, Nitro, WV. Dean said when her family was making plans they tried to think about everyone on the guest list.

“A lot of my family members are older and they are more susceptible to being sick,” she said.

If your family is more divided on the topics of vaccinations, mask-wearing and other COVID-19 related topics etiquette expert and writer Lizzie Post said rather than asking each person’s status be clear on your stance as the host when you put out the dinner invitations.

“That is one way so people can understand where you as the host, where your boundaries are and how you are choosing to handle it. Then they can say ‘oh that works for me’ or ‘oh that doesn’t work for me’ and what is nice about this is it goes both ways,” Post said.

Even if people have different views, that doesn’t mean anyone has to be excluded the host can offer an alternative.

“If that doesn’t work for you can come over to the house pick up a share of the meal and we can all connect via Zoom or via a phone call at some point but still share the meal,” Post said.

When it comes to Thanksgiving Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says if you are sick or have symptoms don’t host or attend dinner, consider getting tested for the protection of others and play it safe by giving all of the guests a little space.

Another bit of advice from etiquette experts, don’t wait too long to have these conversations. Be upfront, so that people have a chance to make other plans.

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