With restrictions on family gatherings, families may be faced with difficult conversations during Thanksgiving with family members who are not vaccinated.



With provincial health restrictions currently in place, prohibiting unvaccinated people from congregating in homes, some families may face difficult decisions and conversations about how to treat members who have not yet received their vaccines. .

Alice Potkins says she will play by the rules and have a little reunion with her brother’s family. They’re all vaccinated, so she wouldn’t have to shut anyone out, but says if a member wasn’t, she wouldn’t know how to do it.

“It’s difficult, isn’t it?” Said Potkins.

“It depends on how close I am to this family member, but I love them all, I love them all, so what do you do?” “

Thanksgiving stock photo


Larry Krause was coming out of the grocery store to pick up last minute items for Thanksgiving Day and said he would be strict with unvaccinated family members who wish to join them for dinner.

“I would give them a boot and tell them to go get them (a vaccination).”

Vardit Ravitsky, a bioethicist at the University of Montreal, says many families could be faced with this dilemma. However, she says having restrictions in place rather than not having them, like some jurisdictions in Canada, could be beneficial and encourage people to have important discussions. Ravitsky says the restrictions give family members a reason to speak with relatives and friends who are not vaccinated or provide an excuse not to invite unvaccinated people if they feel uncomfortable.

“I think we are all struggling not to deepen this social divide while keeping ourselves safe,” she said.

“We are dancing a very complex dance here and in a way we are judgmental, but try to always appear respectful of people’s choices.”


Current health measures only allow eligible vaccinated people to assemble in a household. Up to two households can be inside with a maximum of 10 people. There are no restrictions for children under 12 years old. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 20 people. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, told a press conference on Friday that the curve is bending but, especially in the Prairie provinces, precautions need to be taken.

“I think over this weekend before we’ve seen increases in cases after these holiday events. So this year with a vaccine on board, I think we should be on a better and more solid footing. But we can’t, you know, be too careful with this formidable enemy, ”she said.

Ravitsky offers some tips on how to deal with the problem of unvaccinated people wanting to come. She says it’s better to address the issue face-to-face than on social media to avoid more tension, remember the person you’re talking to is someone you care about and approach. the subject with empathy rather than passing judgment.

“Let’s try not to sacrifice family life and relationships and try as much as possible to be respectful that people have concerns,” she said.

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