Old Normal: The Return of US Thanksgiving Traditions | Business and Economics News
Americans flocked to parades, packed soccer fields and gathered more freely to celebrate Family Day on Thursday, grateful to celebrate Thanksgiving traditions once again after the pandemic kept many at home last year.
The holiday dates back to the early 17th century when pilgrims from Europe and Native Americans gathered to share the fall bounty – a celebration of goodwill before the genocide was about to occur. Nowadays, the approach of the long weekend usually sparks a frenzy of travel as dispersed families gather for holiday meals.
With the number of deaths and infections of the Covid-19 virus on the rise last year, many people shared a turkey dinner on Zoom. Now that vaccines have made the pandemic more manageable, an estimated 53.4 million people are expected to travel for Thanksgiving, up 13 percent from 2020, according to the American Automobile Association.
Air traffic rebounded strongly, with US officers checking 2.31 million people at travel checkpoints on Wednesday, accounting for 88 percent of the volume checked on the same day in 2019. This was the largest checkpoint volume since the pandemic’s lowest level at 87534 Determined April 13th. 2020, Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein wrote on Twitter.
President Joe Biden declared the country “come back,” and phoned NBC’s coverage of Messi’s 95th Thanksgiving Day rally in New York City.
“My message is two years later, I’m back. America is back,” Biden said before visiting the Coast Guard station in Nantucket, Massachusetts, to thank military personnel stationed around the world. “There is nothing we can’t beat.”
However, COVID-19 still infects 95,000 people daily. More than 780,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States, according to a Reuters tally of official data. But deaths are now measured in the hundreds a day instead of in the thousands.
The midnight after Thanksgiving also marks the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season, providing a glimpse into the state of the American economy.
Retailers began promoting holiday “deals” online as early as September this year as the ongoing supply chain crisis threatens to delay imported goods. But the deals are modest, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.
An occasion to count blessings—usually over a turkey dinner with heaps of side dishes and desserts—Thanksgiving also stimulates an outpouring of donations for the poor and hungry.
Like many organizations, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank introduced an annual free food drive this year, allowing anyone in need to grab a free meal kit before the holidays.
The pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in Los Angeles County, said Victoria Lasavath, director of marketing for the Food Bank. She said the organization and its partners are now serving 900,000 people per day, three times the number before COVID-19.
Thanksgiving “can usually be a very interesting time of year for all of us. However, for our food-insecure neighbors, it can lead to a different kind of uncertainty,” Lasavath said.
With hospital intensive care units not overcrowded, restrictions on social gatherings have eased. Fans thronged Detroit’s Ford Field for the first of three National Football League games Thursday, replaying a spectacle that’s part of the Thanksgiving tradition. Last year there were no fans in the stands.
Likewise, spectators returned to the Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York after last year’s contest was scaled back and closed to the public.
The show featured giant helium balloons depicting characters like Grogu, aka Baby Yoda from the Star Wars Spinoff series The Mandalorian, and Ada, the young scientist from the Netflix series Ada Twist, a scientist.