Should I (and will you) visit parents/family for Thanksgiving?

I’m sure we’re all facing this dilemma, but what does everyone think about traveling and visiting family for Thanksgiving? My Mom lives in a state with spiking cases and told me she feels “vulnerable” but I haven’t seen her in 2 YEARS and would love to fly or drive out to visit. I told her we can always meet outside, social distance, etc, but as she is almost 80 she’s still worried. Thoughts?

If it were me, and I could drive to her house, I would go. Two years is a long time. She isn’t getting any younger.


If I am off work and there is good weather (no snow storm), we will travel (drive) for Thanksgiving.

I hesitate to say what I think of this COVID-19 lockdown–not sure what the CAF policy is. Just listen to several news outlets–listen hard and watch the graphs.

If she feels comfortable about it, I would too


Let it be your mother’s choice since she’s the most likely to suffer permanent consequences. My father is a similar age and we will all be getting together because as he put it “I’m 75, what’s the worst that happens? I die, gotta go sometime, might as well spend what time I have left with the people that matter or what’s the point”


Our family restarted interacting in April, and I had house painters and general contractors over my house finishing a project from March through mid-April.

So yeah, I’d see mom on thanksgiving.


My family’s mostly all dead, the few that are alive I never visited for Thanksgiving, and the elderly person I did used to visit is now in the nursing home with dementia and unable to eat turkey dinners.

So I reckon I won’t be visiting anyone.

If your mom is “worried” then do the kind thing and Facetime her. If she wanted to see you and said she didn’t care about the consequences, then I’d say go, but why would you want to inflict yourself on your mom in a manner that would cause her anxiety? Too bad you didn’t get around to seeing her before this all went down.


The OP could still visit and wear a mask and stay across the room if mom is comfortable with that.

My husband was Just a few days ago, allowed his first visit in person with his mom in a nursing home since March. Both wore masks and had to sit 6 feet away from each other. She is 89 years old, has Alzheimer’s and is not in the best of health. I know he would have been very upset if something happened to her and he had not seen her.

1 Like

I’m through with the lockdown. In Ireland we are closing businesses and restricting people’s movements. We have had high levels of cases but hospitals are not overwhelmed and people are not dying. It’s estimated that 200,000 people will lose their jobs in the next round of lockdown, starting tomorrow. The police are slowing and stopping traffic on the highways, despite not having power to do anything.

I’m sick of it at this point and I’m simply not doing this anymore. The government is totally inconsistent in its advice and is actively gaslighting the people. Unfortunately too many are too blind to see this.

Yeah I’ll visit my family, because I’m not going to live in fear of this.


We’re not going to visit the relatives this year. We had a nice visit last Christmas and we’ll see them again, God willing.


We’re not traveling for Thanksgiving this year as we’d have to fly and our college student is getting only a 4-day break. Our current plan is to go visit West Coast family in the late spring (probably late May/early June).

My grandma is 95 and frail and has trouble seeing and hearing and my mom is 70ish and has increasingly advanced cancer. So, on the one hand, in either case, I may not see either or both of them again in person in this life. But, on the other hand, I would feel very anxious about visiting, and in the case of my grandma, it would be difficult to communicate with her while observing social distancing. So it’s hard. I decided a while back that I would not travel for a funeral during the pandemic. I haven’t had to make that choice yet, but now that we’re 7+ months in, I might choose to travel for a funeral. But we’re definitely not traveling as a family of 5 under pandemic conditions.

I think a lot depends on the exact details. If we lived closer, I’d visit and try to see them outdoors from a distance, although given my grandma’s deafness, I suspect that would be unsatisfactory. It’s been very hard the last couple years trying to talk to her on the phone, given her hearing loss. I can hear her, but she can’t hear me, and it’s just sad. We manage pretty well in person, but it’s necessary to be very close for her to hear me.

A bunch of my older relatives have been taking a lot of risks that I have felt uncomfortable with, but now that we’re at the 7 month point, I’m feeling a lot more sympathetic, especially with regard to my relatives who (even without the pandemic) may be in the last year of their lives. But I still don’t feel comfortable about traveling to them at this point.


If we lived closer to them (1500 miles away) I certainly would be!

My FIL is 92 and various family members have visited him all summer and fall. At first, (when Covid was still pretty unknown and everyone was seriously thinking it was a pandemic) everyone hunkered down to wait and see. But once July arrived and everyone knew more about what it was (and wasn’t) the visits started.
The elderly being all alone for months on time with no visitors is mentally and emotionally unhealthy; while you can use masks and washing hands, and Lysol spray and hand sanitizer for germs, you can’t do the same for the emotional toll it takes on those who need our companionship. Germs for colds and flu spread the same as for Covid.
If SHE wants company and is comfortable with you visiting, I’d absolutely go! I’d ask HER though and see what her wishes are.


I agree with this. Old people have desires and wishes and many of them don’t want to live in absolute fear of this virus. It’s by no means a death sentence and life should not be all about avoiding death.
There must be a point where we can say: This is too much to sacrifice to avoid illness.


Is there a high risk of you carrying this virus? If so, get tested and if negative, I’d go. If positive, of course, quarantine yourself. My elderly neighbor is 97. She’s not afraid of getting COVID or of dying. I will be spending Thanksgiving with her and my father, age 90. Dad suffers from mild dementia, but he, too, has a clear conscience and doesn’t go about in terror. We all follow reasonable precautions as one would during any time that contagious disease is making the rounds.

1 Like

Dad is in his 80s, mom and dad have not left the house except for doctor’s appointments since March. Their groceries are delivered. Family from far away has come through town, they meet outside in the large 1 acre front yard, very separated.

We will not have a gathering on Thanksgiving or at Christmas, just not worth the risk for either of them!


If it was my mother and she was uncomfortable and “feeling vulnerable” with the situation, I would not force myself on her.

The point is that by being careful for a bit longer he increases his odds of being able to “spend some time with the people who matter” when he’s 85. That said, it’s his call. We all have our priorities.

I’m in my late 60s, very fit, and healthy as a horse. If I drew the short straw and caught the bug, chances are I’d survive. Even so, I’ve been severely limiting my contact with others since this whole mess began, and even though I’m really tired of it, the thought of dying from respiratory failure or spending weeks on a vent fighting it off is not my idea of a good time. I can stick it out until next summer if I have to. And I can limit my visits with my elderly relatives to Zoom for the same reasons.


My dads got Alzheimer’s. In his mind right now, a quick Covid death beats the long drawn out mess of forgetting who he is. He watched his father go through it too.

1 Like

Absolutely yes, I’ll be visiting family, like any other Thanksgiving. Socialist recommendations have no bearing on who I visit, where, how long I stay, and whether I choose to sing during my visit.


Sorry to hear that. That is, indeed, a game-changer. While Covid deaths aren’t all that quick, I agree that a month of Covid would be preferable to a decade of Alzheimer’s. Prayers and good thoughts for your dad.

1 Like

Thank you, it’s appreciated.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit