Thanksgiving Travel in the COVID Era


January 2021

The question of whether to travel for Thanksgiving break or not never comes up as a question to my family. My family always traveled for Thanksgiving because Thanksgiving is meant to be spent with family, but this year, this simple question became a heavily debated question over dinner. This question not only came up in my family but also in families across the country: should we travel or stay at home?

The CDC advises people to not travel with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and updated the “Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings” article with low risk to high-risk Thanksgiving activities. Still, according to National Public Radio (NPR), 13% of Americans traveled significant distances over the Thanksgiving Break. Furthermore, according to NBC News, air travel peaked at more than 6.8 million Americans traveling a week before the holiday.

Why do people travel over Thanksgiving? One of the main reasons why people travel is because of family. A Sleepy Hollow High School student said, “I have been confined in my home for so long. Meeting someone is a break from the new normal.”

The biggest reason for not traveling over Thanksgiving this year is because of COVID-19. Another Sleepy Hollow High School student said, “Everyone wants to see their family, but the pandemic isn’t over. It’s reckless to put
your life, the lives of your loved ones, and every other member of our society at risk. We are all upset that we cannot see our family, but taking that risk is disrespectful to essential workers whose risk is increased with every person who thinks they are above this national crisis.”

Daily COVID-19 cases rose after Thanksgiving. In Westchester County, according to the Washington Post, there were 477 COVID-19 cases on Thanksgiving. In Westchester County, according to the Washington Post, there were 758 COVID-19 cases on December 6. In a week, about 200 more people were infected.

“I don’t have any symptoms. Should I still get tested?” Many people are asymptomatic for COVID-19. Common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, fever, chills, and fatigue. If these symptoms worsen, you should consider getting tested for the virus.

More families will travel over Christmas break. Those families who choose to travel over Christmas break should be proactive, meaning that they should book an appointment to get tested before traveling and again when they get home. Although a two-week self-quarantine is not mandatory, families should still consider quarantining themselves for two weeks. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested! You can help prevent increasing the spread of COVID-19 by wearing masks, social distancing, and washing your hands. These preventative measures will help reduce the amount of COVID-19 cases every day and reduce the risk of you getting COVID-19. Stay safe!