Coronavirus Pandemic Doesn't Stop Holiday Travel Rush

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The countdown is on, traveling the day before Thanksgiving. The rush wasn’t supposed to happen, but it is. People are willing to mask up and fly even with all the uncertainty of COVID-19. 

Todd and Nicole Orlando embraced their daughter’s Thanksgiving homecoming from college in Chicago, a trip that is bitter sweet because of COVID.

“It’s a little scary for us, we’re just so happy she’s home,” said Todd.

“Everything was shut down there so just to get her back here and have us all together was worth it, it’s just a nerve racking time,” said Nicole.

At Oakland International Airport, there was a steady stream of passengers both coming and going Wednesday night, many admitting they’re apprehensive about traveling.

“We’re making sure we are taking all the precautions,” said Dierdre Green. “Keeping masks on the whole time, sanitizing your hands.”

Since Friday, the TSA has screened nearly 5 million people at the nation’s airports.

That’s half the number of travelers from last year, but the crowds have increased substantially since the pandemic arrived.

“With this increased travel with all this mixing of populations from one location to another, family to family, we are literally pouring gasoline on the fire that is already burning very hot,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research. 

While California health officials are concerned about the surge, some travelers say they are not letting that concern stop them.

“At the end of the day you have to live your life and you have to make decisions for yourself that you feel comfortable with,” said Janelle Green.

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