Mental health expert offers advice on navigating Thanksgiving in a pandemic

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) If you’re staying at home this Thanksgiving, you are not alone. A recent poll by Monmouth University shows nearly 75 percent of Americans will be doing just that. But in a holiday dominated by traditions, how do you break them without leaving behind hard feelings?

For those worried about telling family they’re bowing out, Life Strategies Counselor William Catus said one option is to delegate the responsibility.

“In most families, we have that one person in the family who doesn’t mind telling what’s on their mind. Get them to say it.”

Catus also advises families to take advantage of Zoom, Facetime, and the telephone. Of course, it’s not the same, he said, but it’s better than the alternative.

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“Appreciate them being here this Thanksgiving and do everything you can to make sure they’re here next Thanksgiving as well.


For those who are taking the chance, they are being advised by the CDC to also take precautions. Shannon Misiaszek is one of the many West Virginians who will be staying at home.

“(If you do go) keep your mask on. Wear goggles. If it’s a nice day, spend as much time outside as you can. Everybody says it’s safer outside than inside.”

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