How to scale back your Thanksgiving celebrations because of COVID-19

Like many of us, doctors are struggling with how to spend Thanksgiving during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke to several of them about how they are scaling back their celebrations in the name of safety.

Dr. Patricia Cuoto, an OrlandoHealth Infectious Disease Specialist, said that "it's not easy for anyone. This gathering and feeling of being with one another. It's so embedded in our behavior and is such a big part of our happiness."

Dr. Cuoto has worked with COVID-19 patients every day since March and explained that "everyone in my family is kind of afraid of me. They don't want to be close to me."

MORE NEWS: Thanksgiving crowds spotted at Orlando International Airport but travel is still down

She has a huge family and usually, they do a potluck Thanksgiving with them. However, this year, she is doing most of the cooking and while her parents are coming into town, she will have lots of sanitizer and they will be wearing masks unless they are eating.

"My mother was not particularly happy but she agreed that it was better to have some separation," Dr. Cuoto explained. 

Alan Harris, the Seminole County Emergency Manager, told FOX 35 that "we're doing a small family gathering. Not the extended family."

He and his family have stayed away from large crowds before the holiday to minimize their exposure risk.

MORE NEWS: CDC considering shortening quarantine time after COVID-19 exposure

Orlando Pediatrician Dr. Candice Jones said that she will be doing a virtual Thanksgiving with her extended family.

She said that "we may warm up the pool and swim. We were going to try to make the day full of family activities. Have fun so that it does not seem like it's a downer. And that we're missing out on anything."

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.