WASHINGTON — Most Washingtonians plan to spend the Thanksgiving holiday celebrating within their own household only, as coronavirus cases spike in the state and across the country and public health officials urge Americans to keep their gatherings small and refrain from traveling, according to a Patch survey.
The survey, which Patch posted earlier this week as a questionnaire, is not meant to be a scientific poll but only give a broad idea of public sentiment.
While the vast majority of the more than 600 respondents said they planned to celebrate within their own household (64 percent) or plan on celebrating virtually (9.9 percent), some respondents (17 percent) still planned on celebrating with those outside their own household.
Many respondents also shared more details about why they were limiting their plans this year.
"Not enjoying this, but we have to get through this period where there is no vaccine. We can't let Thanksgiving ruin Christmas or cause someone we love to die," one Patch user wrote. "This will be a Zoom Thanksgiving for us and we'll be thankful we are all alive to celebrate, even virtually."
Another explained that they had to make a tough choice to cancel a special holiday gathering.
"This was going to be our first thanksgiving with my son, who's recently moved to WA," they wrote. "But both he, his girlfriend and another friend who all work at an assisted living community have contracted Covid 19! Now, my husband and I are praying we don't have to bury them, instead! WEAR A MASK!"
A few respondents said they were not changing their plans.
"I don't think the governor can prohibit my family from gathering during the holidays, period," wrote one.
Others expressed concern that the holiday would cause the recent surge in coronavirus transmissions to grow.
"I'm sure many people won't use common sense and there will be a major outbreak shortly after Thanksgiving," said one respondent.
"Come on America! We can do this," wrote another. "Everyone wear a mask, socially distance and this year, the holidays at home with your immediate family, so we can have a healthy and safe tomorrow."
A majority of those polled said that they were concerned the holiday could cause a rise in coronavirus cases.
Most also agreed that those who are visiting family for the holiday should wear face masks while doing so.
In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee has urged residents to stay home for the holidays. On November 12, he and his wife Trudy addressed the state in a rare televised address, asking residents to consider virtual holiday celebrations instead of gathering with others outside their household.
"Here's some good news: We're only going to have to do this once. This is a unique Thanksgiving and holiday season," Inslee said. "We're thankful that more therapeutics are on the way, as is the imminent arrival of a vaccine. There is a lot more at our disposal to fight this virus than there was when the pandemic began. We are optimistic that Thanksgiving 2021 will be the best ever."
The following weekend, Inslee announced a new suite of pandemic restrictions, limiting capacity at retailers and grocery stores, banning indoor dining and closing gyms, museums and other businesses. Nearly 3/4ths of those who responded to Patch's poll said they agreed with Inslee's restrictions.
See other results from the survey:
Patch staffer Feroze Dhanoa contributed to this report.