Locals travel home amid pandemic after Thanksgiving week

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Thanksgiving has come and gone. And on Sunday, many relatives will make their way back home, wherever that may be.

This week typically marks the busiest travel week of the year in the U.S. About 50.6 million people braved the miles and pandemic to join together with loved ones this year, abut a ten percent drop from years past.

Ginette and Don Whiteside dropped their daughter off at the Wilmington International Airport (ILM) this afternoon. They say they limited their Thanksgiving to three people this year.

“Because we believe in Covid. Especially with the way Covid has been on the ramp up at this point,” explains Don.
Ginette agrees, saying, “I mean, we’re over 60, we don’t have any health issue, but regardless, we want to remain safe.”

But for those like Hank Feith, a local still recovering from surgery with his family in Atlanta, short plane rides are a lot more bearable than long car trips:

“I can’t take a long ride anymore. So I told my wife, I said we have to start flying. I said I can’t take the drive anymore. I’d do it all over again.”

Many said the risk was worth it, if you take the proper precautions and if it means being with those you love.

One local marine says he’s about to be deployed. He wore a mask from the time he left home, to the moment he saw his family, getting tested ahead of time, quarantining until receiving a negative result, and constantly washing his hands.

“But this will be the last time, until in the future I will not be able to see them for awhile. So I’m taking this time and really cherishing the moments that I have.”

Home for the holidays has never looked more different.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News, Top Stories

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