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Families differ on Thanksgiving plans amid pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This year’s Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy may taste the same as 2019’s, but for many families, it will feel very different.

“My mom is extremely high risk,” explains Traci Read, an Indianapolis mother of five. “She’ll Face Time us. We stick her on a step ladder next to our table so she can see everybody and we all eat.”

Family sitting around a dinner table. (WISH Photo)

Read says she began video chatting with her mother during meals around Easter.

“The thought of cooking for one and sitting down in front of the TV was really depressing to her,” Read said.

Now, Read says her children have a better relationship with Grandma Mary.

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“It’s now normal for them to walk through the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner and see their grandmother on the iPad on the counter, and they’ll stop and tell her what they were just doing,” said Read.

Camden Inman is going to grandmother’s house but by car to Tennessee. She says her husband’s grandmother is ailing and they want to see her as a family.

“We also know that mental health is very important and family relationships, and we want to make sure we get down there and have a good family relationship with them still,” said Inman.

She and her husband plan to get a COVID-19 test before they leave and stay in an Air BNB with their four children.

Family enjoys Thanksgiving dinner. (WISH Photo)

May Bo Hubbard and her family already celebrated the holiday. Her husband is a doctor and will work a 30-hour shift on Thanksgiving, so she and her children prepared a Thanksgiving feast early.

“It was actually our first Thanksgiving with just us and our kids where we had no friends and no family,” she said.

They did still include their friends by making extra meals.

“A few friends and missionaries came in masked, talked at the door and picked up the food,” Hubbard said.

News 8 also spoke with Emily Alexis, who planned to drive to Michigan with her husband and visit extended family but canceled her plans days in advance.

“I had a dry cough today,” said Emily Alexis, who is now waiting on COVID-19 test results.

They’ll likely join the Read’s and Hubbard’s in video chatting family Thursday.

“Food is always a good thing to gather around,” laughs Read.

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