As travelers return from Thanksgiving trips, health experts warn of a potential COVID-19 surge


CHICAGO — While it was not as busy as it would typically be after Thanksgiving, O’Hare Airport still saw quite a few arrivals Sunday night as travelers returned home after leaving for the holiday despite warnings from health officials.

Many arriving at O’Hare didn’t want to speak on camera, saying they’re scared their employers would see them or they would be “travel shamed.”

Sean Crowder and his brother Marquis just flew back after visiting their mother, who is a traveling nurse, in Vermont.

“I haven’t seen her in three-and-a-half months, so when we saw her for the first time we gave her the biggest hug in the world; nothing like being around my mom again,” Sean Crowder said.

Despite warnings by the CDC and local officials not to travel this Thanksgiving, the TSA reports just over three million people were processed through the nation’s airports this holiday weekend, compared to more than seven million last year.

More than 50 million people also drove to their Thanksgiving destinations this year, according to AAA.

“We just sanitized after every place we went, made sure we had our mask above our nose at all times; just staying six feet apart,” Marquis Crowder said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the impact of Thanksgiving travel is now a “wait-and-see,” but with cases already soaring across the country and Christmas around the corner, he feels there is cause for concern.

“We may see a surge upon a surge; we don’t want to frighten people but that’s the reality,” Fauci said.

Fauci said anyone returning home should isolate themselves because of the risk they were exposed to COVID-19 while they were away.

There have been more than four million coronavirus cases and 35,000 deaths nationwide this month alone.

For the Crowder brothers, they hope to make it back home to Plainfield Covid-free, as they and the rest of the country brace for what could be to come.

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to come in waves… we know what to do, I guess we will quarantine and stay six feet apart and we’ll be fine,” Marquis Crowder said.


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