A Week Before Thanksgiving, CDC Warns Americans To Avoid Travel

by Madison Vanderberg

CDC urges Americans to cancel Thanksgiving travel plans

Because the state of our democracy is in shambles at the moment, there’s no cohesive message on what to do about Thanksgiving, leaving local and state officials to gently urge Americans to cancel Thanksgiving. There’s been a whole lotta hand-wringing as mayors and governors get on town hall livestreams and basically beg Americans to reconsider their holiday plans for fear that if they lay out mandates, the #FreeDumb crowds will cause a scene. However, the Centers For Disease Control has come out with guidance on the subject and it’s that you should not be traveling this Thanksgiving during this dangerous pandemic.

The CDC did not mandate that Americans refrain from traveling, but strongly encouraged that Americans cancel their travel plans this week and next, citing rising COVID cases. Case in point: 1,707 people died on Tuesday from COVID, the highest death toll for the U.S. in six months.

“It’s not a requirement. It’s a recommendation for the American public to consider,” Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, said on a call with reporters (via NBC News). “Right now, especially as we’re seeing this sort of exponential growth in cases, and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another, it leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time.”

Put more bluntly, Erin Sauber-Schatz, head of the CDC’s Community Interventions and Critical Populations Task Force, simply said, “In the last week, we’ve seen over a million new cases. Thanksgiving is a week away.”

That roughly translates to: We’re in a public health crisis, can you just chill, for like, one year?

The formal guidance on the CDC website simply states that “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19,” and that cancelling your plans is “the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”

Dr. Fauci, on the other hand, told USA Today that his “frustration” with those not taking the pandemic seriously “borders on pain.”

“Get rid of these ridiculous conspiracy theories and realize this is a public health crisis,” Fauci said. “We don’t want to shut down as a nation because of the psychological and economic consequences of that. But we at least have got to be consistent in doing some fundamental things, so that’s what concerns me. We’re in a vulnerable position.”

The good news (well, it’s bad news for the airlines) is that United Airlines just announced “an uptick in cancellations” and a freeze on new bookings for Thanksgiving, which means Americans might actually be listening to science.

Stay safe out there, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.