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Millions weigh risks of holiday travel, including in Acadiana, amid third wave of COVID-19 cases

Posted at 6:05 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 20:04:28-05

LAFAYETTE, La. — Despite CDC recommendations to the contrary, millions of Americans are traveling to visit loved ones for Thanksgiving. Amid a third wave of COVID-19 cases, why take the risk?

KATC spoke to several people to find out.

"We're going to take precautions, stay away, and make sure we're not breathing in each others faces," Emily Matthew, who is traveling from Houston to Covington, said as her husband fueled up the car.

All day Wednesday, cars were packed full of luggage, family pets, and other goodies. We caught up with families who were on the road ahead of Thanksgiving, despite recommendations from the CDC to stay home.

Those travelers say the decision to go see distant family was a hard one to make.

"Last week they said not to travel, so we had to stop and talk a little bit and weigh our options," Matthew added.

"I think everyone has a different level of comfort as far as the virus is concerned," Leigh Corvell commented.

Corvell stopped for gas in Lafayette with her kids and husband on their way to visit family in Shreveport.

"We're going to be outside as much as possible. None of us have symptoms. We had all of those conversations before making the decision to travel," explained Corvell.

Corvell says only seven people are gathering around their dinner table, a much different setting than the family is used to.

"My dad is one of ten siblings, and every year we all get together, it ends up being over 100 people," said Corvell. "This is the first year were not doing that."

Not everyone is jumping onto the highway, and those choosing not to travel out of town are also listening to the warnings.

"We thought about doing the big family. Then we toned it down to just the immediate family," Breaux Bridge resident James Gaines explained.

Gaines said they usually host a large dinner at his grandparents, but this year everyone will do their own thing.

"This year we're doing things different this year. Protecting grandma."

The CDC said traveling by car is less of a risk than flying, but it's the stops along the route to get gas or food that put you at risk.