Thanksgiving

Despite the repeated warnings of public health experts and officials, millions of people traveled for Thanksgiving.

Perhaps you're one of them.

Spectators watch Santa's sleigh roll down High Street in the Lazarus Holiday Parade.
Herb Topy / Columbus Metropolitan Library

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is celebrating its 94th year, and though pandemic precautions mean it will go forward in a slightly diminished capacity, it’s expected to garner as many as 50 million viewers on television and online.

More travelers are expected at John Glenn International Airport this week than in recent months. The airport has social distancing precautions in place.
John Glenn International Airport / Facebook

Fewer people are traveling this year for Thanksgiving, but even with that reduction, there will still be thousands on the move in Central Ohio.

WOSU's Letters from Home collects stories about our day-to-day lives during the era of COVID-19. This week, Ohioans share how they're planning to celebrate the holidays in light of the pandemic, which has officials and public health experts urging people to avoid travel and large gatherings.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio could see its first batch of coronavirus vaccines on December 15, Gov. Mike DeWine announced, bringing some welcome news as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations show no indications of slowing.

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Kasumi Loffler / Pexels

A new survey commissioned by Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center finds that 40% of Americans plan to defy medical advice and dine with 10 or more people on Thanksgiving.

Millions of Americans are ignoring the advice of public health experts and traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Transportation Security Administration reported that more than 1.04 million people went through airport security checkpoints Sunday, the most since mid-March, and about 1 million more went through TSA checkpoints each day on Friday and Saturday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is strongly recommending that people stay home for Thanksgiving to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. With the holiday one week away, the agency issued a statement that taking a trip to see loved ones is simply inadvisable right now.

Letters from Home wants to hear from Ohioans during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Ohio State University / Facebook

As Thanksgiving approaches, The Ohio State University is trying to accomplish two potentially conflicting goals: send students back home, but don't contribute to the spread of COVID-19. 

Public health experts are concerned the upcoming holiday season will inflame the already surging COVID-19 pandemic.

They’re encouraging people to rethink traditional holiday meals this year with smaller numbers and plenty of precautions, or forgo family gatherings altogether.

For Thanksgiving this year, Kurt Beard was planning to travel from Indianapolis to Ohio and meet family for an outdoor hike, but as he watched COVID-19 rates spike he decided even that was too risky. Instead, his family is ordering pizza, video chatting with relatives and playing games.

However, when weighing spending time with elderly family members versus the coronavirus threat, Beard is conflicted.

It's time to gather the family together for the talk. Not that talk — the talk about what to do for Thanksgiving this year as the pandemic rolls on.

It has been months since many of us have seen extended family — we're longing to check in on aging parents, to see old friends from back home, etc. But even though Thanksgiving often conjures up pictures of big happy reunions, how safe is it to make them a reality?

Peter Dutton / Columbus

Ohio's State Highway Patrol says early data shows 15 people were killed on the state's roadways over this year's Thanksgiving holiday period.  

Black Friday isn't what it used to be. Just ask Chris Ott.

He married into a family that never missed the occasion. And let's just say, he really got into it.

After Thanksgiving dinner, they'd peruse Black Friday ads, developing a "really fun strategic plan — pick the store that we were going to wait outside of, we would divide and conquer," says Ott, 42, a cybersecurity engineer and youth pastor in the Denver area.

Travel officials are predicting this to be one of the busiest Thanksgiving weekends on the roads, so the Ohio Department of Transportation will be suspending many construction projects.

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