Travelers Willing to Take a Calculated Risk to Visit Friends and Family This Thanksgiving

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Anyone flying over this Thanksgiving holiday is likely to find plenty of room for social distancing inside airport terminals.

For example, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, managers are expecting about 68,000 travelers per day from Wednesday through Sunday. That’s 40% less than last year. The difference, of course, is being caused by the pandemic.

Those who are flying have heard the warnings from the CDC, but they’re taking calculated risks to see their families and friends.

“I just don’t like being afraid to travel to see my family because especially around this time that’s super important to me, you never know the next time you’ll see them especially since they live in Chicago and I live here,” said Andrea Mitrofski, who was on her way to Chicago.

She described the lure of holiday travel, and judging by what we saw at the airport today, travelers are willing to fly as long as they gear up for it.

Dominic Pernell was wearing a face shield and a mask.

“My job, I’m a personal trainer so I want to make sure I keep myself as safe as possible so I can come back and not have anything wrong with me,” Pernell said.

“I’m wearing face shield and an N95 and a mask over that, too, so it’s hard to breathe,” said Naama Forman with a laugh before she boarded her flight to Boston.

Dr. Frantz Chery is a surgeon. He was heading to New York and certainly understands the risk of flying during a pandemic.

“You have to observe the rules, if everybody takes the necessary precautions, you know, wearing masks, everything will be well-controlled,” Dr. Chery said.

As you would expect, almost everyone we spoke to was on the way to a gathering of family or friends.

Tony Bauer told us his family in Milwaukee was keeping things small this year.

“Got a lot of older family members that it’s just not worth putting them in harm’s way,” Bauer said.

Eunice Puga said she was keeping up a tradition of visiting close friends for Thanksgiving in a small town in Tennessee.

“I know they’ve been taking care of themselves, I’ve been taking care of myself, we’ll wear our masks and you know I think it’s an important time of the year to be thankful and if we’re not careful, fear will keep us home and we’ll forget all the things we need to be thankful about,” Puga said.


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