Despite warnings from health officials who have been pleading with the public not to travel this Thanksgiving, over 2 million people have already taken flights across the US for the holiday weekend. Experts are predicting holiday travel will become a coronavirus super-spreader, adding to the acceleration of positive cases nationally as people cross-contaminate, further spreading the virus from one state to another. COVID-19 cases increased by over 170,000 with 2,100 recorded deaths and 88,000 new hospitalizations on Tuesday, according to data released by Johns Hopkins University, making it the largest single-day increase since May.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is strongly encouraging people to spend Thanksgiving with those in their immediate household, rather than travel to visit friends and family this year. Their website guidance recommends staying home and postponing travel is the best way people can protect themselves from becoming infected with the coronavirus. They further recommend getting tested for the virus, getting a flu shot and carrying extra personal protection supplies if travel is necessary, as well as wearing a mask and maintaining a distance of 6-feet; although that may not be possible at an airport or on a plane.
Airline officials reportedly are not encouraging flying over the holidays, but are not discouraging it either. For the first time since the outbreak began airline carriers in the US have seen an increase in passenger travel, after being financially devastated by the pandemic which caused massive industry lay-offs.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.