The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Having a happy (and healthy) Thanksgiving

Photo by Kaylee Cogbill
Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving this year will look a little different with students taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to loved ones.
The global pandemic has created a moral dilemma regarding the simple tradition of Thanksgiving dinner. Students are asking themselves if the risks of participating outweigh the rewards and how these risks can be minimized. During these times of enforced social distancing and mask usage, some families are choosing to gather in smaller groups, while others are choosing to bypass the event entirely. An additional option to reduce the risk of infecting others is to get tested before visiting family and friends, even if no symptoms are present.
One Aggie that will be getting tested in preparation of Thanksgiving is financial management graduate student Mikyle Christian.
“This year, our Thanksgiving will be just me, my mom, dad and sister,” Christian said. “Right now, my sister is isolating as a precaution before flying down from Minnesota next week, and I’m getting tested before heading home.”
Though he does not usually celebrate with extended family because they live out of state, Christian said it will be strange not having family friends in attendance.
“I think it will be a little weird doing it relatively alone this year, but any measures that keep my parents safe are measures worth taking,” Christian said.
Public health senior Laisa Hinojosa said she will be celebrating with only immediate family as well.
“My immediate family is having a small dinner and will be celebrating my two beagles’ birthdays because they also turn one,” Hinojosa said. “We all have followed the protocol of wearing masks, washing hands, sanitizing and disinfecting everything when we go out for necessities.”
Some students, like sociology and human resources sophomore George Crump, are choosing to stay in College Station and mark the occasion in the comfort of their own residences.
“I’m doing a mini Friendsgiving and calling the rest of my family via Zoom because some of them are in quarantine,” Crump said. “I will be getting groceries delivered to my apartment and only go out for work.”
Health officials are also weighing in on ways the public can reduce the spread of the coronavirus during the holidays. Professor of mechanical engineering and ventilation expert at the University of Colorado-Boulder Shelby Miller said in an interview with The New York Times that aerosols can build up if someone in a home without proper ventilation is infected, which can increase the risk of infection for everyone in the home.
She said turning on exhaust fans and opening windows can help reduce the spread of particles, but it will not eliminate the risk entirely.
“Exhaust fans were put in homes specifically to take out contaminants that are a problem,” Miller said. “You are creating a negative pressure inside the space, sucking air out at a higher rate.”
Local health experts suggest families move Thanksgiving dinner outside, reduce time spent together, wear masks during downtime and avoid passing around serving dishes or utensils.

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