SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — With the pandemic grinding on, Thanksgiving was always going to be the holiday where the realities of social distancing and safety collided with cherished family traditions.

For those used to big family gatherings, like Oakland city councilmember Sheng Thao, it can mean making a new tradition, like handing out meals to those in need outside a Planet Fitness in Oakland’s Laurel District.

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“There is still community out here,” Thao said. “This has been uplifting for not only the people who are picking up the hot food but our volunteers as well.”

“It hurts — not being able to give hugs,” said Oakland city councilmember-elect Treva Reid.

For the Dykstra family of Berkeley, an annual trip to visit family in Santa Barbara was supplanted by a wagon filled with food for their unhoused neighbors.

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“I feel like it’s this silver lining opportunity for us to create our own little tradition,” Sue Dykstra told KPIX.

In San Jose, the annual Flamingo Bowl football game was replaced by low-contact lawn bowling and lots of disinfectant.

“It’s great to do activities outdoors, enjoy the sun — it’s beautiful weather and we’re still making the most of Thanksgiving,” said Ray Solnick. “Even in Covid, there’s lots of silver linings and this is one of them!”

For a group of friends at the Berkeley Marina, Thanksgiving — like so much else this year — was moved outdoors. There was still whipped cream and pumpkin pie but, also, Thai food and puppies and space to breathe safely.

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“The sun is shining, there’s a lot of fresh air. This is an easy compromise,” said Lindsay Hatfield.