Thu. May 19th, 2022

Canada’s top doctors say you should ask your family members if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before inviting them to Thanksgiving dinner.

Depending on their response, they added that you might want to change your plans, move dinner outside, or add extra precautions to your event.

“Our advice really is to generally keep indoor gatherings safer by asking your guests … your family … whether they have been vaccinated or not,” said Public Health Chief Theresa Tam.

“It’s sometimes a difficult question.”


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Tam offers Thanksgiving advice as COVID-19 4th wave kicks off in Canada


Tam offers Thanksgiving advice as COVID-19 4th wave kicks off in Canada

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Tam said that if you or your guests are not fully vaccinated, then you should “limit the assembly to your household members” and “have things outdoors as much as possible.”

Her comments come on the heels of the news that the COVID-19 pandemic may be leveling off in Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Although progress has been uneven across the country, new modeling from PHAC on Friday suggests that if current transmission levels are maintained, the number of new daily cases could fall in the coming weeks.


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COVID-19 Guidelines for Ensuring a Safe Thanksgiving


COVID-19 Guidelines for Ensuring a Safe Thanksgiving

To keep things in the right direction, Tam said Canadians should continue to take precautions.

Asking about guests’ vaccination status ahead of the Thanksgiving dinner is just one step you can take, she said, adding that Canadians can “lay down some basic measures, such as improving indoor ventilation.”

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Tam added that masking and spacing are also useful tools you can use during the holidays, in addition to following your local public health guidelines.

Tam’s deputy, Dr. Howard Njoo, said Canadians should not shy away from talking to friends and family about their vaccination status and expressing any concerns they may have.

“If, let’s say … a family member has not been vaccinated, you should politely explain your situation and your discomfort. And if they choose not to be vaccinated, then it is their choice, ”said Njoo.

“But there are consequences in terms of even family dynamics and others who feel safe getting along.”

Read more:

4th wave of COVID-19 is no longer growing, cases may fall in the coming weeks: PHAC

Having that sometimes difficult conversation with unvaccinated relatives is actually the most ethical thing you can do, according to bioethicist Vardit Ravitsky, who teaches at the Université de Montréal and Harvard Medical School.

“It simply came to our notice then. I think it’s completely ethical, ”Ravitsky said in an earlier interview with Global News.


Click to play video: 'Tough conversations about your Thanksgiving guest list'



Tough conversations about your Thanksgiving guest list


Tough conversations about your Thanksgiving guest list

“I think the people who have to worry about the ethical aspects of their decisions are the ones who choose not to be vaccinated.”

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She said those who choose to be unvaccinated do not just take a risk similar to driving without a seat belt – they drive drunk.

“Not being vaccinated is driving drunk. You are actually risking others, ”said Ravitsky.

“And then I think that even in this very, very sensitive context of fam

ilies and friends, part of our ethical responsibility right now is still to educate, to advocate


Click to play video: 'Tough conversations about your Thanksgiving guest list'



Tough conversations about your Thanksgiving guest list


Tough conversations about your Thanksgiving guest list

vaccination and to try to convince our relatives and friends to do the right thing. ”


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COVID-19: Ontario Reveals Thanksgiving, Halloween Guidelines


COVID-19: Ontario Reveals Thanksgiving, Halloween Guidelines

Ravitsky said it’s best to have these conversations with vaccinated Canadians who hesitate with respect and empathy, and to make sure you don’t laugh at their concerns.

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“Come from a place of empathy. Say things like: ‘I understand that you feel pressured. I understand that you feel threatened. “Normally, our human rights and freedoms are the most important consideration in our society, but we live at a very specific time,” she said.

“It’s all temporary. We’re coming out of this. But to get out of it and return to respect for human rights and your freedom to choose what to do, we need the vaccine. ”

Read more:

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As for Tam and Njoo, they say they plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with the family this weekend. While Tam says she might want to keep things virtual, Njoo has immediate family for dinner – and they are all fully vaccinated.

“Both my wife and I are fully vaccinated, so it’s fine, and we’re actually planning to have personal meetings with some immediate family members that we’ve discussed with them, they’re also fully vaccinated,” Njoo said.

“I think we’m lucky.”

– With a file from Global News’ Leslie Young

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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