Turkey shortage and shorter parades: US celebrates austere Thanksgiving in pandemic

Americans celebrate a sober Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, a day that was always typified by parades and family dinners. The United States is lacking in its best-known Thanksgiving dish, the turkey, and annual parades have been cut short and have no audience.

At least five million people ignore the call not to travel

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, an annual parade with giant balloons, is considerably smaller. The route is shorter and spectators are not welcome. The American broadcaster NBC broadcasts the parade so that all Americans can follow it “safely from home”.

To ensure a safe holiday at home, authorities have urged the population not to travel to family members.

Since many Americans are meeting the call, there is also a need for appropriate meals. Traditionally, a party shares a turkey on Thanksgiving.

With the corona measures there is a need for smaller turkeys for smaller groups, but turkey farmers have too few of these birds. “As for the rest of the country, it is a challenging year for turkey producers,” said the National Turkey Federation.

However, US President Donald Trump was able to continue the annual tradition in which the president ‘pardons’ a turkey so that it does not end up on the dinner table.

At least five million people have decided to visit their families by plane in recent days. Nearly 40 percent of Americans plan to meet with 10 people or other households, according to Ohio State University, which is considered a “high-risk meeting.”

This could lead to a significant rise in the death toll from COVID-19, experts say. On the eve of the holiday, Wednesday evening, the United States reported a record number of new deaths, namely 2,400.

The pandemic is also putting pressure on food banks and homeless centers. Traditionally, those in need of America are offered a meal on Thanksgiving, but the number of those in need has increased sharply due to the pandemic. The corona outbreak has led to a lot of unemployment and poverty.

Thanksgiving takes place in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November, in Canada it is celebrated a month earlier. On this holiday, Americans express their gratitude for good harvests (traditionally they thank God) and other good things for which they are grateful.

The day is associated with the early settlers, who had poor harvests shortly after their arrival from Europe in the 17th century. The story goes that these settlers were helped by Native Americans, so there was ultimately enough food to get through the winter. A successful harvest followed this winter.

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