AAA predicts Thanksgiving holiday travel slump

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — AAA predicts all travel across America to be down 5% this Thanksgiving compared to a year ago and air travel to slump by 50%.

At the Indianapolis International Airport, college students lounged in the main terminal awaiting flights to take them home until January, while other flyers hustled to board planes that would soon be headed for warm weather holiday reunions with families in Florida.

“We just thought we’d spend the holiday down there,” said William Farra, a pharmacy technician on the way to meet his parents. “My dad had tested positive for COVID back a couple weeks ago, and I had to isolate, and I got myself a test, and it was negative, but I was more just worried about possibly having gone somewhere, picked it up, and we might spread it among family members and anybody down there, but we’ve all pretty much been staying at home and playing it safe, and I think we’ll all be okay.

“We’re all gonna eat outside. We’ve got a little outdoor area to sit in so I think that will help as well.”

Sherman Winski was delivering his wife and cat to Florida to wait out the winter.

“I’m very cautious knowing that at my age, I don’t want COVID,” he said, “but we’ve taken every precaution, and we’re reasonably intelligent people, and we know what we can do and cannot do safely.”

Experts have warned that if you invite grandma over for Thanksgiving, you might visit her in the hospital by Christmas.

“You have to assess the risk because you’ve seen this message, ‘Let’s stay physically distant this holiday so we can have more holidays in the future,’” said Tom Duszynski, epidemiology education director at the Fairbanks School of Public Health. “When large groups of people get together, we have transmissions going on, and you may look and feel fine, but we know there is a large percentage of the population that has asymptomatic infection, but they’re still infectious, so they’re able to transmit. So it just doesn’t make sense at this time to put grandma and grandpa at risk.”

Sunday afternoon, the Indiana State Department of Health reported Indiana was at record setting highs for new COIVD-19 infections, deaths and hospitalizations.

Still, other holiday travelers insist on flying this Thanksgiving week, citing God as their co-pilot.

“You gotta trust the man upstairs, we make moves by him,” said Chris Spivey as he stepped off his flight from Texas. “I think we’re gonna be okay by making this choice.”

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