SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Wednesday before Thanksgiving tends to be one of the busiest travel days of the year, but in 2020 health officials have urged people to stay home. Though for many people, the decision of whether or not to put their travel on pause hasn’t come easily.
The Sacramento International Airport was much emptier than years’ past but still filled with some travelers like Shelby Woodring.
“I haven’t seen my mom in over 10 months,” Woodring said. She hopped on a plane from Sacramento to Denver to visit her mom and plans to play it safe once there by avoiding gatherings and choosing to hit up nature instead. Her decision to fly didn’t come easily, however.
“That hesitation has kind of subsided and turned into confidence in how I can handle myself,” she said.
Shawna Ihde agreed, after flying to Sacramento to visit for the first time. They made the choice to fly last week after deciding that it was worth the risk.
“I think we just made the decision that we were willing to take the precautions and it was worth it to us to be together,” Ihde said.
Millions of others across America chose to do the same, despite an uptick in COVID-19 cases nationwide. Health officials have urged people not to travel, to avoid bringing home more than what they packed this holiday season.
Emptier roads and airports proved AAA’s prediction of fewer travelers to be true. The company predicts a 10% drop in travelers this holiday season.
Sylvia Baumback’s son chose not to visit Sacramento for Thanksgiving because of the increase in cases. Baumback agreed with the decision.
“I think it’s very important we don’t get that sickness. I’d hope to God I can see my grandchildren grow older,” Baumback said. “We’re just afraid, it’s very serious.”
AAA said that 10% drop in travelers would be the greatest single-year drop since 2008, during the recession.