Thanksgiving Holiday traffic next week may not be quite as it was in this photo near Los Angeles in … [+] 2011. But something close to 50 million people will travel over the holidays this year, most all of them by car. That’ll be down 9%, at least, from last year’s total of 55 million Turkey Day Travelers. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Next week 50 million Americans – about 15% of the nation’s population – will travel to visit relatives or friends, or to otherwise celebrate Thanksgiving, accord to AAA’s annual holiday travel forecast.
Or, maybe, they won’t.
Amid a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases being reported in most states – along with increased Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths – making such a forecast has become a bit of a crap shoot. Like everything else, it seems, in pandemic-disrupted 2020 not only are Thanksgiving travel totals this year going to be way down from recent years’ totals, they’re also subject a potentially large last-minute swing in either direction. While it would seem most likely that the actual total of holiday travelers will fall well short of these “forecasted” numbers, it’s also possible, in theory, that the totals could jump should the spike in reported illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths plummet unexpectedly over the next seven days.