Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and soon students will be let out of school for winter break. The upcoming holiday season must face new challenges because of COVID-19 and the regulations in Hawaii.
“I am so thankful that even during the pandemic, my family and friends are still managing,” Japanese teacher Eri Yamamoto said. “Dealing with the challenges but still staying healthy, and that’s something you can’t take for granted.”
COVID-19 has limited interactions with friends, family, and peers. Quarantine has been long, and the reopening strategy has been slow. However, many people still hope to enjoy the holiday season, to eat delicious food, and catch up with friends and family. Family gatherings won’t be as large as previous years since Oahu is still in Tier 2 of the reopening plan, which only allows gatherings of up to five people.
Sophomore Kyra Cabanero’s family plans to have a small gathering within the regulations of Hawaii’s COVID-19 mandates. Usually she goes to two parties, one for each side of her family. There she enjoys an evening of food, games for the younger children, and conversation.
Many people enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, ham, and all the works. Some people may also enjoy cooking with their families or getting into the holiday spirit early.
“Every year my parents and I wake up super early and start making Thanksgiving food,” said senior Leilani Herandez. “After we eat and have our meal together, we usually watch Christmas movies and start getting our Christmas decorations ready to be put up the next day.”
Officials are working on getting Oahu to Tier 3 of the reopening strategy. However, there are concerns that Oahu will return to Tier 1 because of a spike in cases from Thanksgiving gatherings. Tier 1 is the most restricted tier with very limited capacity in public places. Government officials urge the public to wear a mask and continue to follow the COVID-19 mandates. For updates or more details on the reopening plan, visit https://www.oneoahu.org/reopening-strategy