Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is planning on having a socially distant Thanksgiving.
While the holidays are generally a time for family to celebrate together, the coronavirus pandemic is making it harder for people to reunite and enjoy each other’s company.
Though he would love to have everyone together during the holiday season, Fauci revealed that he will not be spending Thanksgiving with his daughters.
"I have three daughters in three disparate parts of the country ... who we don't see very often," Fauci said during a webinar hosted by American University's Kennedy Political Union Tuesday, per Business Insider.
"We would love for them to come home for Thanksgiving,” he said.
But the decision to remain apart was made by his daughters, ages 28 to 34, who voted against traveling and possibly putting their parents’ health at risk.
"Dad, you know you're a young, vigorous guy, but you're 79 years old,” Fauci recalled them saying.
Per the CDC, older people and those with underlying conditions are more vulnerable of having serious complications if they contract the novel virus.
Instead, the daughters encouraged their parents to “have a nice quiet dinner” with a neighbor or connecting virtually via Zoom.
"So we decided to make it a very, very closed family type of thing," Fauci explained.
"I'm not going to criticize people who do it differently," he added. "But look at the individual situation in your own family and make a decision that way."
Fauci also added his daughters would be traveling from cities that have high coronavirus infection rates.
On Tuesday, Fauci spoke to CNN and suggested that people in less-affected areas can celebrate with “mild precautions” and still have a “relatively normal holiday,” but those in high-positivity areas should seriously consider gathering with only the people in their household to prevent the spread of the virus.
"Make sure you do it in a way that people wear masks," Fauci said. "Don't have large crowds of people ... I’d like to say everything’s going to be great by Thanksgiving, but honestly I’m not so sure it is."
The CDC emphasized the importance of social distancing and staying outdoors following a report in which a 13-year-old infected a majority of her family across four states with COVID after staying in the same household for an extended period of time. Since the young girl tested negative and was asymptomatic, it also served as a reminder that “false positives” could provide a false sense of security during the holiday months.
Anyone who plans to travel to spend the holidays with family should consider going into quarantine two-weeks in advance, avoiding public places, and driving instead of flying.
"Maybe you want to come in and quarantine yourself for a couple of days or get tested a couple of times before you go in, but that's going to be kind of an inconvenience because Thanksgiving is generally a three- or four-day clip," Fauci explained.
His advice was to act as if you’re contagious throughout the whole stay to ensure everyone’s safety.