Editor’s note: This article is by Lou Varricchio, editor of the Vermont Eagle. It is republished here with permission.
Despite new COVID quarantine rules, the state of Vermont is still among the safest places to spend the Thanksgiving holiday, at least according to a report and study titled “The Safest States to Spend Thanksgiving,” compiled by the online personal finance website WalletHub.
Diana Polk, WalletHub’s communications manager, announced that the website’s new report gives Vermont among the highest safety rankings even with a new surge in COVID cases.
The report puts current COVID fears in Vermont in perspective.
The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) reported on Nov. 18 that a Rutland County senior died of COVID-19, bringing the death toll, so far, to 60. Altogether, the VDH reported 51 cases statewide; it is a decrease from the recent spike of record-breaking numbers, which have been close to or over 100. There are 17 people hospitalized with two people in the ICU.
No matter, the WalletHub report does not imply an “open door” to come to the Green Mountain State for your annual turkey and stuffing fix.
Polk noted, in a news announcement about the new report, with Thanksgiving approaching many people are changing the way they celebrate the November holiday in order to minimize COVID-19 transmission.
“WalletHub compared the 50 states across 10 key metrics to see which provide the safest conditions for the Thanksgiving holiday,” according to Polk. “Our data set includes metrics examining how the state is handling the COVID-19 pandemic, such as positive tests and deaths per capita in the past week, as well as other indicators of general safety like the crime rate and the average number of DUI-related fatalities in November.”
Here’s how Vermont ranked among the 50 states and District of Columbia when it comes to overall Thanksgiving safety (1 is the safest; 25 is average):
2nd – COVID-19 Positive Tests in the Past Week per Capita
1st – COVID-19 Hospitalization Rate This Week
4th – Share of Multigenerational Households
6th – Crime Rate
13th – DUI-fatalities in Motor Vehicle Crashes Around Thanksgiving
Given the economic fallout from COVID-19, some Vermonters won’t be traveling out of state to be with family. Can a virtual Thanksgiving meeting on Zoom replace the traditional meal? Probably not, but here’s some sage advice from Dr. Travis P. Mountain, an assistant professor, and well-being specialist, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Mountain was one of the experts involved with “The Safest States to Spend Thanksgiving” study.
“I do not think my advice this year would be much different than in years past,” Mountain said. “Research is fairly conclusive that people enjoy and remember experiences more favorably than material possessions. Following local safety guidelines, meet (either in-person or virtually) with family and friends. Celebrate together with a Thanksgiving meal but remember no one is going to remember what was served or if the meal was not perfect.”
For the full report click here.