How coronavirus has impacted holiday plans in Brunswick County

Thanksgiving turkey. (Photo: WWAY)

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Some people are packing their bags for the holiday, but some are staying right here in the Cape Fear.

In typical holiday fashion, that means the grocery stores are a popular place to be this week leading up to Thanksgiving.

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Some grocery shoppers in Leland say their plans have changed, others say they’ve remained near the same.

Troy and Alisha Simmons say they’ll be staying home.

“Chilling, eating, at the house! We aren’t planning to go nowhere,” Simmons said.

They say they typically have a large family gathering with lots of hugs and laughter, but they’re playing it safe this year and sending love through Skype and Facetime.

“The COVID is real, okay? People sit here and talk this foolishness about it’s a hoax and all that, COVID is real,” Simmons said. “I’ve had several people in my family be affected by it and some have even passed so there ain’t no use to take any unnecessary risk.”

Maykayla Layne is used to having more than one gathering to make it to, but it’s just one this year.

“We’re supposed to have it at grandma’s house, but we switched it to daddy’s because I guess it’s less people,” Layne said. “Usually when we do it at grandma’s, there’s a bunch of people.”

Layne says they will be taking lots of precautions.

“The day that we leave we’re going to take our temperatures, me and my brother, just to make sure there’s nothing there. Check our throats, check everything, make sure vitals are all good,” Layne said. “We’ll probably hug just because we’re a very, very close family but probably with mouths away and probably with masks on just to be safe.”

Healthcare Worker Tiffany Lewis says she is used to a house full of family as well, but she’s only cooking for two on Thursday.

“Usually we have a big family gathering, large family 20 something people, and because of the coronavirus, it’s not happening this year,” Lewis said.

For those with altered plans, she says to make the most of the situation.

“Avoid contact with a lot of people, always wear your mask, just enjoy it. Enjoy what you can make of it,” Lewis said. “Just please wear your mask people. Make this thing go away, us healthcare workers are tired.”

The CDC has recommended people don’t travel at all for the holiday and doctors in the Cape Fear are echoing those guidelines.

If you are traveling though, doctors say wearing a mask, getting tested and social distancing can all make your trip much safer.