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How are people celebrating Thanksgiving amid the pandemic?

FOX43 went to Karns Foods to see if people have changed course due to COVID-19. Turns out, many are having smaller feasts. For some, it will be just their household.

LEMOYNE, Pa. — Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine has encouraged people to stay at home and to celebrate only with members of their own household.

"We want people to stay at home, within their household, and to visit with loved ones, neighbors, and friends, remotely. I understand that is a tremendous sacrifice... But this is the biggest health public crisis in 102 years," explained Dr. Levine.

Are people listening to Dr. Levine's message?

FOX43 went to Karns Foods in Lemoyne, Cumberland County to see what safety measures people are taking ahead of the holiday. 

Since 1959, Karns Foods has been the Harrisburg area's place for meats and savings. A locally owned family business, Karns Foods invests in the community as well as offering produce from local central Pennsylvania farms - and that means fresher meats and produce than anyone else in the area.

Scott Karns, owner, says turkeys, big and small, are flying off the shelves.

"We have ordered many more small turkeys in the 10-14 pound class, but I will tell you we are surprised with how many 20-25 pound turkeys we have sold this year. I talked to a woman the other day, whenever she was getting this big turkey. I said, 'how many people are you having over because we're supposed to be very much limiting it,'" explained Karns. "I was thinking this is not a good plan."

Turns out, President Scott Karns was wrong. The woman plans to deliver turkey meals to her loved ones.

"She was doing the right thing. She was taking care of he aunts and uncles, who are a little bit older, and she wanted to make sure they have a turkey dinner," he added. "It's going to be my wife and me at home, just enjoying Thanksgiving. I was willing to switch it up and not have turkey, but I was told, 'it's Thanksgiving. We're going to have turkey, mash potatoes.'"

"Eating food, I guess. My aunts are coming down. I haven't seen them in a few years. My grandparents," said Chase Aderhold of Cumberland County.

"Eating at home, having close family over, and that's it," said Rick Staub of Gettysburg.

The Staubs are thinking of the people they can't see this year.

"I have a mom in a nursing home. I just communicate with her by phone. It's horrible," said Rick.

"I am dropping food off for my brother; he's out in a nursing home in Chambersburg," said Rondi Staub.

Will people follow the new order issued by Dr. Levine and wear masks indoors?

"My grandparents are really on top of it. Every time I see them, I have to wear a mask so I don't know how it's going to go with Thanksgiving," added Aderhold.

When it comes to the food this year, Karns says people are buying the Thanksgiving basics: Potatoes, stuffing, the sweet potatoes with the marshmallows sprinkled on top, green beans, corn, etc.

His logic as to why makes a lot of sense.

"People want traditional food items that make them feel good," said Karns.

Karns says there is one item being hoarded like toilet paper was in the spring: Pumpkin. However, suppliers have enough, and just as quickly as it's being bought, Karns says pumpkin is being restocked. 

If you haven't gotten all of your Thanksgiving necessities, Karns recommends making a list, getting to the store earlier than usual, and shopping alone to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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