Despite the high levels of infection in the US – there are now 100,000 positive tests every day – millions of Americans celebrated Thanksgiving Day with friends or family yesterday. Dutch people in the USA also came up with ways to be together on the holiday.
For example, Eelco Keij was doing a pre-Thanksgiving quarantine in New York. In order to be able to look up his in-laws this year despite the coronavirus, he decided two weeks in advance not to see anyone, he said in News and Co. “In the event of no complaints, we will go to you with our own transport,” he promised his in-laws.
According to him, that went well. Because of the quarantine, it felt safe enough for his family to get together with six men. “Maybe people in the Netherlands can also implement such a plan to keep it safe.”
Wim Schalken from Texas spent hours in the car picking up his studying son in the state of Colorado. Schalken did not like the fact that his son would travel to the parental home by public transport, or catch the plane. This allowed the Schalken family to celebrate Thanksgiving with the three of us. “We have adhered to the rules.”
According to Schalken, it is striking how different the corona restrictions are in both states. “Colorado is a lot stricter, while Texas is getting worse.” He says the virus was a “far-from-my bed show” in the beginning. “But lately we hear more and more around us. People get infected, often through the children who go to school.”
Erna Morain, from the state of Iowa, decided with her partner not to see anyone at all this year on Thanksgiving. Her family members live all over the world, so getting together for this holiday never really works. “But we have good friends with whom we celebrate every year. This year we said we‘re staying at home,” she says.
Morain is at an age when “you need to be more careful”. According to her, people wear mouthcaps, but she’s afraid they‘ll be taken off if the carriers think they’re in a place where no one has the virus. “That‘s where the danger lies.”
The second wave chops in Iowa according to Morain. “The last three weeks it’s been incredible. I keep hearing: he‘s in the hospital, he’s had corona.”
Authorities warned prior to Thanksgiving that joint festivities could further fuel the pandemic. This also happened in Canada, for example, where Thanksgiving was celebrated in mid-October. There, the average number of daily infections has more than doubled afterwards.
Americans were therefore called upon to celebrate the holiday at home. “It is a personal sacrifice that any family can make to save a life,” said future President Biden.
Many Americans decided, despite the warnings, to catch the plane. More than a million people passed the security checks at airports the day before Thanksgiving, writes CNN. That would have been the highest number since mid-March. Starting from last week, almost 6 million passengers would have gone through the gates.
In total, over 263,000 people died in the US until Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed infections is approaching 13 million.