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How Americans are approaching Thanksgiving differently this year

Public health officials remain concerned too many people are traveling this holiday week to be with loved ones, even though air travel is 60 percent below where it was at this time last year and with millions of Americans deciding to stay home. Before the holiday begins, we gathered voices from around the country to hear their thoughts about approaching Thanksgiving differently this year.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As we reported, public health officials are concerned too many people traveled this holiday week to be with loved ones.

    But air travel is still 60 percent below where it was at this time last year. Tens of millions have decided to stay home.

    Before the holiday begins, we gathered voices from around the country to hear their thoughts about approaching Thanksgiving differently this year.

  • Maria Treminio-Ramirez:

    Hello. I'm Maria Treminio-Ramirez.

  • Phil Wright:

    I'm Phil Wright.

  • Gerry Adams:

    My name is Gerry Adams.

  • Jacqui Falluca:

    I'm Jacqui Falluca.

  • Nick Falluca:

    I'm Nick Falluca.

  • Selena Pao:

    My name is Selena.

  • Deborah Potter:

    I'm Deborah Potter.

  • Jay Patel:

    My name is Dr. Jay Patel. I work in Southeastern Wisconsin, and I'm a critical care physician.

  • Phil Wright:

    Thanksgiving at our house ranges year to year, depending on how many family members are in town. And, of course, in the past we have had as many as 20, 25 people.

  • Selena Pao:

    Sometimes, we will do turkey. Sometimes, we will do other things that are special to us. We like to do hot pot.

  • Deborah Potter:

    I'm a widow, and, normally, I would be with my family and friends. And my husband was a great chef. I was sort of the sous-chef.

  • Gerry Adams:

    I'm usually the volunteer who kind of watches the kids, because while I'm OK with playing Monopoly with the kids or playing Risk with them, because, well, I always cheat.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Jacqui Falluca:

    My family gets together every year. There's probably about 40-45 people there, usually at my aunt's house.

  • Maria Treminio-Ramirez:

    This year, we will be eating at home and we will be talking with my family virtually, hopefully. And I will be cooking my own dishes for the first time. I'm planning to cook panes de pollo, which is a sandwich that we make in El Salvador.

  • Phil Wright:

    We're going to reach out to everybody that couldn't be with us, whether it's a FaceTime our just a phone call or whatever. It's just very important that everybody stays healthy, because we have made it this many months now.

    We certainly don't want to jeopardize it.

  • Selena Pao:

    I would hate to either be a vector or potentially get my grandparents sick. I don't think I could ever forgive myself for doing something like that.

    I also want to be extremely cautious myself, because I have a small baby, new baby here, about five months old. And if we get sick, who's going to take care of our son?

  • Gerry Adams:

    It is one of the things that in my personal situation in life becomes the most valuable thing I got.

    I'm on oxygen. I'm on dialysis. I have lots of health issues. I don't get to do much anymore. Living for these family moments are the best reasons why I want to stay alive. This year, we can't take that chance.

  • Jay Patel:

    I know it's around the corner, but I think many of us are just kind of buckling down and sort of doing our work right now, so much so that we haven't had a chance to really sort of think about the holiday season. At least — at least, I haven't.

  • Deborah Potter:

    I decided to get a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings from a local farm store. And it's locally owned.

    And then I thought, well, geez, this is going to be too much food for me. So, I thought about my friends that have been sick lately. And I thought, I'm going to pick up these orders and bring them to my friends on Thanks — the day before Thanksgiving.

  • Jacqui Falluca:

    My husband and I are very active in the community, so I work as a nurse and he has to travel for work. So we didn't think it would be safe to be around all of the extended family.

    So, we were actually going to announce that we're expecting our first child. I wanted to be there to tell my whole family at once. So, hopefully, they're watching this, and they will get to see.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Jay Patel:

    Thanksgiving and other holidays are there for us to just kind of reflect upon the year.

    And I wonder if that could be used — this can be used as an opportunity to reflect upon the impact of our actions this time of year.

  • Gerry Adams:

    It's better to sacrifice one Thanksgiving for many other future happier Thanksgivings.

  • Phil Wright:

    We're fortunate, in that everybody is healthy and taken care of. It's just that we won't be together, but that's not the end of the world.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Tough decisions.

    And congratulations on the baby announcement. You heard it here.

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