Coronavirus Alters Students’ Thanksgiving Plans

Celebrating with relatives? Setting up zoom calls? Or no Thanksgiving at all? These are all things students are thinking about as Thanksgiving quickly approaches and the coronavirus cases in the United States continue to rise. 

While Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel day of the year, many airports will remain quiet with Americans choosing to drive rather than fly to their Turkey Day destinations. (Photo courtesy of

According to Fox Business, “56% of Americans intend to leave home for the holiday amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19. Of those, 75% said they plan to drive to their destination, while a slim 11% said they’re flying to their Thanksgiving celebrations.” 

Ziva Garaj, a sixth-grade student, is one of those Americans who will be visiting relatives, but she and her family are taking precautions. 

“For Thanksgiving, I am going to my grandparent’s house in Admiral’s Cove. Because of COVID-19, we are going to be sitting outside in the open with my grandparents. I am not afraid to be in large groups for Thanksgiving, but I am happy to stay in small groups,” said Garaj. 

Some students, like eighth-grader Calvin Poncy, will simply be staying home. “I am going to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family at my home,” he said. “I was going to go on a trip with my family but it got canceled due to COVID-19. I am afraid of being in big crowds because I really don’t want to get the virus and spread it,” said Poncy. 

Others, like seventh-grade student Julian Luiz, are not letting the virus get in the way of their plans. “For Thanksgiving, I am going up to North Carolina to see my mom’s cousins,” said Luiz. “I am going to go to my mom’s cousin’s house, with my brother, mom, and my dad.”. 

Like Luiz, eighth-grader Maddie Fullerton will also celebrate with family. 

“I am going to celebrate Thanksgiving by helping my family cook and watching a movie,” she said. “My family is hosting Thanksgiving this year, and I am celebrating with most of my relatives. Although the coronavirus is in the picture, it doesn’t really change how I am celebrating Thanksgiving because I always celebrate at home. I am not really afraid of being in crowds as long as I am wearing a mask and being careful,” said Fullerton. 

While the pandemic has affected some students’ plans, many will still find a way to be with family, even if they have to do it virtually.

“This Thanksgiving I will probably Zoom with some family,” said seventh-grade student Elle Rosenwald. “If there was no COVID, I would definitely fly to New York City to celebrate with my family up there. I have always been afraid of large crowds because they mean no social distancing. Without social distancing, corona[virus] can still spread,” said Rosenwald.