How the U.S. faced severe consequences following families that traveled over Thanksgiving break

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Sydney Kaul, Staff Writer

This previous Thanksgiving, on November 26, was our country’s first Thanksgiving dealing with COVID-19. Most, if not all, people will agree when I say this holiday was vastly different than any Thanksgiving we have had in the past. The atmosphere, the conversation topics, the size of the gatherings, the locations of dinners were all different and unusual. Many families gathered in smaller groups to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so they were unable to see the beloved family members that they only get to see once a year. However, this is a necessary step in preventing COVID-19 from spreading and shutting us down. Although it is not ideal and everyone wants to be with their family and friends during this time, we are living through a new and confusing pandemic that requires lifestyle changes. Despite staying home being the safest and smartest decision, thousands of Americans still traveled across the country to see their families for Thanksgiving. These actions are already seeing severe consequences, and as the weather continues to drop into the cold winter, it will only get worse. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently confirmed that more than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last 7 days. This drastic increase is a direct result of the holiday traveling. Mindlessly carrying germs and unknown sicknesses from one state to another simply to see distant family for Thanksgiving will put our country back into another lockdown. This is an inevitable phase that will occur if people continue to be so careless with this pandemic. These are not the conditions that anyone wants to be living with, but the only way to solve the problem and see better days is to follow CDC guidelines and adjust to this new life. The CDC admitted that “gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19.” Up to this point, many people have been very cautious with this unfamiliar virus by sanitizing, social distancing along with many other precautions. These concerns of spreading the virus should not be put on hold simply for a holiday.

 AP News states “the 3 million who went through U.S. airport checkpoints from Friday through Sunday marked the biggest crowds since mid-March”. This constant flow of traveling is a big step forward our country took that we were not prepared for. We do not have enough knowledge about COVID-19 and how to avoid it to travel across the country. As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with. Deaths have soared to over 1,500 a day, the highest level since the spring. As winter approaches the numbers will only increase, and we must acknowledge this change.