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The old normal: Thanksgiving traditions return to the US | Economic and business news

Americans flocked to parades, filled soccer stadiums, and gathered more freely for family celebrations on Thursday, grateful to be celebrating the traditions of Thanksgiving again after the pandemic kept many at home last year.

The holiday dates back to the early 17th century when pilgrims from Europe and Indians came together to share the fall award – a celebration of goodwill ahead of the impending genocide. Today, the approach of the long holiday weekend typically ignites a travel frenzy as dispersed families gather for holiday dinner.

With COVID-19 deaths and infections skyrocketing last year, many people shared turkey food via Zoom. Now that vaccines have made the pandemic more manageable, an estimated 53.4 million people will travel for Thanksgiving, 13 percent more than in 2020, according to the American Automobile Association.

Air traffic rebounded sharply, with U.S. officials screening 2.31 million people at travel checkpoints on Wednesday, up 88 percent of the volume checked on the same day in 2019. It was the highest checkpoint volume since the April 13 pandemic low of 87,534. 2020, the Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein wrote on Twitter.

President Joe Biden said the country was “back” and called NBC television coverage of the 95th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

“My message is after two years, you are back. America is back, “said Biden before visiting a Coast Guard station in Nantucket, Massachusetts to thank military personnel stationed around the world. “There is nothing that we cannot overcome.”

Nonetheless, COVID-19 still infects 95,000 people every day. According to official figures from Reuters, more than 780,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States. But deaths are now measured in hundreds a day instead of thousands.

Midnight after Thanksgiving also marks the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season and provides a snapshot of the state of the American economy.

Retailers began promoting online holiday deals back in September this year as the ongoing congestion in the supply chain threatened to delay imported goods. However, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, the bargains are modest.

An opportunity to count your blessings – usually over a turkey dinner with lots of side dishes and desserts – Thanksgiving also leads to a flurry of donations to the poor and hungry.

Like many other organizations, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank held an annual free grocery promotion this year, where anyone in need can pick up a free meal package before the holidays.

Food bank marketing manager Victoria Lasavath said the pandemic had exacerbated food insecurity in Los Angeles County. The organization and its partners now serve 900,000 people a day, three times the number before COVID-19, she said.

Thanksgiving “can usually be a very joyful time of year for all of us. For our food insecure neighbors, however, this can create a different kind of insecurity, ”said Lasavath.

With the intensive care units in the hospital no longer crowded, restrictions on social gatherings have eased. Fans filled Detroit’s Ford Field Stadium on Thursday for the first of three National Football League games, recreating a spectacle that’s part of the Thanksgiving tradition. There were no fans in the stands last year.

Likewise, viewers returned to the New York Thanksgiving Day Parade after the pageant was downsized and closed to the public last year.

The parade featured giant helium balloons portraying characters such as Grogu, also known as Baby Yoda from the Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian, and Ada, the young scientist from the Netflix series Ada Twist, Scientist.

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