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VIRUS TODAY: Americans celebrate Thanksgiving differently

— The coronavirus pandemic continues to encroach on traditions. Many Thanksgiving feasts on Thursday are sombre, being scaled back, not held at all, or held virtually as Americans cope with their losses and restrictions aimed at beating back the virus.

— Staffing shortages due to contact tracing and isolation protocols are forcing schools to move classes online. The staffing challenges result in shut schools, even in districts where officials say the health risks of in-person learning are manageable.

— With public health officials begging Americans not to travel, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was scaled back and aimed at a television audience instead of live crowds. The fact that the parade took place at all made it a rare festivity in New York, which has seen most of its major events cancelled over the last year because of the virus.

THE NUMBERS: More than 12.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, with deaths topping 262,000 since the start of the pandemic. The country is averaging more than 1,650 deaths per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

QUOTABLE: “The holidays make it a little harder,” said Harriet Krakowsky, an 85-year-old resident of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York who misses the big Thanksgiving celebrations of years past and has lost neighbours and friends to the virus. “I cry, but I get over it. We have to go on.”

ICYMI: The U.S. Supreme Court — in a 5-4 decision — has barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The decision could force the city to reevaluate restrictions on houses of worship.
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