Survey: 38% of people say they’ll likely attend large Thanksgiving gatherings despite pandemic

BOSTON — With just a week until Thanksgiving, Bea Tyler said she is still trying to figure out who is making her guest list.

“It’s going to be kind of hard not to have everybody that you’re used to having so we have to cut the list down. It’s going to be quite a problem,” Tyler said.

Tyler, a grandmother from Roxbury, is not the only one who is uncertain about what to do this holiday season.

Dorchester grandmother Vivian Bigby said she had to put her foot down with her sisters.

“They all wanted to get together. They’re all elderly, too, all old,” Bigby said. “They wanted to get together and I said no, we just can’t. We just can’t do it this year.”

Health officials across the country are pleading with people to be smart and avoid gathering in large groups on Thanksgiving.

A new survey from the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University suggests some aren’t paying attention.

OSU researchers surveyed more than 2,000 people across the country and found 38 percent—nearly two in five people—admitted they will probably attend a gathering of more than ten people this Thanksgiving.

Twenty-one percent said they will spend the holiday with people outside their family. Seventy-three percent said they will practice social distancing before and after dinner.

A third of those surveyed said they are not going to ask their guests to wear a mask.

Krysta Champagne, a mother from West Roxbury, said her family is leaning towards their first “Zoom Thanksgiving.”

“Not disagreements [on getting together], but more so a debate of who would see each other if anybody, if virtual or together,” Champagne said.

With a possible vaccine on the horizon, there is hope this will be the only Thanksgiving families have to spend apart.

Sam Boardman of Dedham said we should all be willing to sacrifice one year for the greater good.

“By this time next year, probably we won’t have to do this, and I think just suck it up. Yeah, suck it up and take one for the team,” Boardman said.

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