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Kern County residents adjust their Thanksgiving plans

Posted at 5:19 PM, Nov 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-26 21:13:46-05

For weeks now, health officials have been urging people to be vigilant for Thanksgiving by taking steps to curb the spread of COVID-19. 23ABC’s Austin Westfall spoke to some Bakersfield residents to ask if those warnings have changed their plans.

A poll by Axios says 60-percent of Americans plan to dial back their Thanksgiving due to the pandemic. Many of the people 23ABC talked to said Thanksgiving is still mostly a go as usual.

“If my wife and I had woke up this morning, and any of us had felt bad, we would cancel immediately, and we hope our family does the same thing, and friends,” said Bakersfield resident David Scott. “Everyone that’s healthy and feels good, they’re welcome to come to the house. We’re not gonna say no to nobody."

But if the CDC had their way they’d be saying "no" to those who are traveling to a different household. The agency has been advising Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving, amid an extraordinary spike in COVID-19 cases across the country. Some Bakersfield residents, however, said that family time for them is a great escape.

“This day in age with the pandemic and the country feeling like it’s divided you know, I feel like having family close is important,” said Alberto Rodriguez.

The Axios poll showed that 6 in 10 Americans are dialing back this year's Thanksgiving plans because of the pandemic cutting guest lists, canceling travel, or scrapping turkey day altogether and 39-percent said their plans had not changed. Some, like Sacramento resident Matthew Alexander, came to town for Thanksgiving.

“I traveled here to see my family, and we are gonna sit around a table and enjoy each other's company.”

Many of the people 23ABC talked to Thursday acknowledged that the virus is real, and it’s important to be vigilant. But still, skipping a thanksgiving just wouldn’t feel right.

“Cause we don’t know who is gonna be around next year with people moving and stuff, but we’re gonna enjoy ourselves,” said Scott.

23ABC spoke with nearly a dozen people shopping out at Vons on Thursday, and only one couple said that they were not visiting anyone and were opting to stay in for a quiet Thanksgiving.