Millions ignoring CDC warnings to travel for Thanksgiving

Posted Nov 23, 2020 by Karen Graham
Airports across the U.S. were jam-packed with travelers over the weekend as more than 2 million people passed through TSA checkpoints on Friday and Saturday — the busiest two-day period since March.
People line up outside a Covid-19 testing site in New York on November 11  2020
People line up outside a Covid-19 testing site in New York on November 11, 2020
Kena Betancur, AFP
Millions of people purchased airline tickets to somewhere for Thanksgiving before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pleaded with them not to travel for the holiday, according to the Associated Press.
Despite very lenient cancellation policies that major airlines put in place when the coronavirus pandemic started earlier this year, people are still crowding airports. "Consumers should feel comfortable changing their plans and canceling their flights if they need to for health reasons," said John Breyault of the National Consumers League.
Breyault explained that while not giving cash refunds, airlines are waiving fees and offering vouchers. He adds that you should "familiarize yourself with the policies" because voucher details can vary between airlines.
Those millions of travelers will be hit with numerous restrictions, closures, and even some lockdowns when they reach their destinations. Nevada announced a “statewide pause,” with restrictions on businesses and gatherings, while Los Angeles County banned outdoor dining at restaurants, reports the Washington Post.
Staying home for Thanksgiving is OK
Celia Viggo Wexler, the author of “Catholic Women Confront Their Church" wrote an opinion piece for NBC News on Sunday, saying opting to stay home for Thanksgiving should not earn you a guilt-trip.
Wexler writes: "No one can lay on guilt better than close friends and family members. So the season synonymous with spending time with loved ones will now be replete with arguments, recriminations, and manipulation. It takes a lot of stamina to stick to one’s guns and not give in."
The risks of infecting a loved one or even a friend should be paramount in our thoughts, especially with the coronavirus raging across the nation. As the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put it, “A Zoom Thanksgiving is a lot better than an ICU Christmas.”
As of Monday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. stands at 12,254,135, while deaths total 256,803, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
As for staying home this week? Wexler writes: "This comes down to one value: genuine concern for the physical and emotional well-being of the person you presumably love."