Local families trying to see bright side of not gathering for Thanksgiving this year

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While some are braving holiday travel, others are taking experts’ advice and staying home. Not only are they staying home, but they are limiting the number of people getting together. 

“Avoid large gatherings. That is going to be vitally important moving forward through the holidays, through this winter season,” said Dr. Dana Hawkinson with the University of Kansas Health System.

One Kansas City family is making that decision.

Normally the Fosters get together every year, but in 2020, Thanksgiving will be online. Ashley Foster said on a regular year, loved ones would travel from California and Colorado.

“I’d rather give up 20 holidays together to get 50. It’s just the price you’re paying right now,” she said.

Foster said this year is going to be incredibly different.

“We are going to be playing some Thanksgiving games on Thanksgiving via Zoom. So we’ve been researching how we can get everybody on zoom and play some games together,” Foster said.

“It sucks because I’m used to everybody being together and coming together as one, but hopefully it will be over soon,” said Taylor Foster, Ashley’s 17-year-old daughter.

Doctors say the Fosters are doing they best thing they can — limiting Thanksgiving to people who are normally in your home. 

“I think the safest would be maybe to do a Skype or a phone call, which is not at all what people want to hear right now, but I think there’s too much risk of exposing that many bubbles to one another,” said Amanda Gartner, director of quality and safety with KU Health System.

“Stay home so that we can go on vacation this summer when it’s nice outside. We’re trying to go on vacation,” Ashley said.

Doctors say gatherings are the biggest way COVID is being spread in our community, and cases are rising exponentially. 

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