Will it be a Thanksgiving like none other or the same as always?

Back view of a self-isolating young man arranging a festive Thanksgiving feast online via video call.

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Back view of a self-isolating young man arranging a festive Thanksgiving feast online via video call.

Many residents have canceled large Thanksgiving gatherings. Other families vow to go on as always, saying they will not let the coronavirus control their lives.

NOTE FROM COMMUNITY IMPACT EDITOR AMELIA ROBINSON: With COVID-19 spreading rapidly through the community, health officials urge people to celebrate the holidays only with those who live within their homes.

More than 350 people recently shared their plans for celebrating Thanksgiving as part of a Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal News online survey.

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Below is a sample of responses either provided anonymously through the survey or over the phone to our reporter in follow-up interviews.

“We have technology ... You can always call and keep in touch that way and that’s just the way it has to be. I love my family and my friends more than risking any of us getting sick and possibly dying … or spreading it. Even if you don’t get that sick, I don’t want to be the cause to spread it.” ― Nicole Davis, of Englewood. She plans to spend Thanksgiving this year with her mother who lives with her. Normally, Davis would also see her daughter and grandson.

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“I have a small family. I know some say, ‘Don’t gather this year, there’s always next year.’ But we don’t know if we’ll even have tomorrow. It will be a small gathering, so fairly low risk, I think.” ― Anonymous Greene County resident

“We’re all adults and if someone doesn’t feel safe because of the coronavirus, that’s their right to not come... I don’t think everybody should be living in fear. I think we should be able to make our own decisions whether or not we want to participate in anything.” ― Jason McNeal, of Springfield. He plans to spend the holiday with his family of more than 25 people as he always has “because the government has zero authority to tell me how many people are allowed in my own home.”

“(It’s) common sense. No giving or catching the virus. (We) want to be here when the virus is gone or at least controlled and be able to celebrate future holidays and life itself. People need more patience.” ― Anonymous Middletown resident

“COVID-19 cases are too high to even consider gathering. Much of my immediate family that I usually celebrate with is within an hour distance. They have all had multiple coworkers test positive for COVID-19.” ― Anonymous Dayton resident

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“We are expecting our first baby in early December. Now is not the time for any risks.” ― Anonymous West Chester resident

“I’m poor and can’t afford to get sick and miss work.” — Anonymous Riverside resident

“It is a time to celebrate with family and friends, and this year is no different. While we understand that some folks are concerned with COVID, we are not going to allow it to control our life. If people have concerns about gatherings, then they should (weigh) the risk of attending and not feel like they are judged.” Anonymous Troy resident.

“It’s so much different talking to somebody on the phone versus seeing them in person ... We did a family Zoom at Easter. So we’ll probably do a family zoom for Thanksgiving … Hopefully (COVID-19 is) gone so we can celebrate even more next year.”— Kristi Leeth, of Springfield, who said it’s been difficult not being able to see her elderly mother during the pandemic.

Letters to the Editor are submitted reflections from readers typically of 200 words or less. Letters to the editor should be sent to edletter@Coxinc.com. Include a daytime phone number, your full name and the city in which you reside. Letters can also be submitted through our online form.