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Empty seats, delivered feasts as virus changes Thanksgiving

Empty seats, delivered feasts as virus changes Thanksgiving

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Americans are marking the Thanksgiving holiday weekend amid an unrelenting pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than a quarter of a million people in the United States.

Turkey and pies still came out of ovens, with football on TV. Families gave thanks. But this holiday has been altered after months filled with sorrows and hardships: Many feasts are weighed down by the loss of loved ones; others have been canceled or scaled back with the virus surging.

"It's a painful Thanksgiving. You don't even know, should you celebrate?" said Vivian Zayas of Deer Park, N.Y. "It's a lonely time."

Millions of Americans bought tickets to fly somewhere for the holiday, crowding airports despite pleas from officials to avoid travel and gatherings. But more often, Zoom and FaceTime were a fixture at dinner tables, the best way to connect with family members who don't want to travel.

Here's a look at the changed Thanksgiving rituals this week for families around the country.


Associated Press journalists Tamara Lush, Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Sophia Eppolito, Amy Taxin and John Minchillo contributed to this report.

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