America celebrates scaled-back Thanksgiving as COVID-19 surges – Life-style

Individuals awoke on Thursday to have a good time a Thanksgiving Day remodeled by the coronavirus pandemic, with the Macy’s parade restricted to a television-only occasion and lots of households resigned to assembly on video for turkey dinner.

Thanksgiving, usually a day for household and buddies to assemble in huge numbers to feast and bear in mind life’s blessings, has been upended by the pandemic, with circumstances and deaths surging in latest weeks as cooler temperatures push folks indoors the place the virus spreads extra simply.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, a spectacle of big character balloons that has delighted kids for almost a century, has been scaled again considerably. The route is a block lengthy, somewhat than 2.5 miles; balloon handlers have been changed by specifically rigged automobiles; and spectators is not going to be allowed to line the streets as earlier than.

“And that is in order that we are able to maintain everyone at dwelling protected,” mentioned Susan Tercero, government producer of the parade, which NBC will air on Thursday from 9 a.m.-noon in all US time zones. “This 12 months, greater than ever, it is actually essential that we nonetheless have one thing for everyone to tune into on Thanksgiving morning.”

US hospitalizations for COVID-19 reached a report 88,000 on Wednesday, and specialists warn that Thanksgiving might considerably enhance a demise toll that has exceeded 260,000 nationwide.

Learn additionally: Thanksgiving: Meals and feuding

Regardless of recommendation from the Facilities for Illness Management to remain dwelling for the vacation, almost 5 million Individuals traveled by air from Friday to Tuesday, in line with the US Transportation Safety Administration, though that’s lower than half the determine throughout the identical interval final 12 months.

Many Individuals see the annual ritual get-together for turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie as essential sufficient to danger doable an infection. Practically 40 p.c plan to attend a “dangerous gathering” through the vacation season, both in extra of 10 folks or with folks from outdoors their family, and a 3rd is not going to require masks, in line with a nationwide survey by Ohio State College Wexner Medical Middle.

Many others have cancelled journey plans and can as an alternative join with family members over FaceTime or Zoom.

On Wedneday Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo implored her constituents to make Thanksgiving gatherings as small as doable, arguing it will save lives. With hospitalizations surging, the state will start a two-week “pause” on Monday, with bars, health gyms and different institutions shut down.

“In the event you had that robust telephone name with Mother and Dad and mentioned ‘I am not coming over for Thanksgiving this 12 months,’… thanks,” she instructed a information convention. “If you have not achieved that it isn’t too late.” 

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