Officials expecting millions to travel over Thanksgiving holiday


AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- The day before Thanksgiving is known for being one of the busiest travel days of the year. Law enforcement agencies are cautioning people to be safe on the roads.

Officials say roads will be much more congested than usual and people travel for Thanksgiving. They say it is important to watch your speed, wear your seatbelt, pay attention to the road, and not drive under the influence to keep everyone safe.

Tempers may be high, and road rage could be a problem.

Robert Hydrick with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has tips on what to do if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

“If you are threatened on the highway, number one, call 911 immediately. Call 911, let them know where you are. Keep in touch with your surroundings. If you can give the street name, if you’re on an interstate highway where there’s a mile marker, anything like that in terms of location, that can get law enforcement to you as quick as possible,” he advised.

And a reminder that the nationwide “Click it or Ticket” campaign is still going on through Sunday. Law enforcement will be issuing citations for not wearing your seatbelt and speeding among other violations.

While millions will travel by car over the long holiday weekend, many others will fly to their Thanksgiving destinations.

Medical experts say you may be taking a risk due to high numbers of flu, COVID and other respiratory viruses.

AAA is expecting as many as 4.5 million people to travel by air between now and Sunday. That means a lot of people in airports with lots of germs.

There are some steps you can take to try to avoid getting sick while you travel.

Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face if possible. This will help slow the spread of viruses.

Get plenty of sleep, especially if you are traveling to a different time zone. Lack of sleep can negatively impact your immune system.

“There are some data that if you are sleep deprived you may be more susceptible to certain illnesses. So get a good night’s sleep, drink the water, if you want to take the supplements and vitamins, go ahead,” said Dr. Rodger MacArthur, a infectious disease expert, at Augusta University.

Medical experts advise people keep doing the same things we were all asked to do during the height of COVID.

Socially distance as much as possible when you are in a crowded airport.

Doctors also say that taking supplements like Vitamins D and C, and echinacea can help to boost your immune system.

And wear a mask especially if you have a compromised immune system. It can reduce the risk of getting sick.

“Believe it or not, old technology, wearing a mask, at least for influenza and it seems for RSV is probably the best thing we can do. And I’m starting to see more mask usage, especially amongst the elderly, especially in airports than I would have thought,” explained Dr. MacArthur.

Dr. MacArthur said he understands that people don’t like to wear masks, but doing that combined with getting plenty of sleep will help people stay well, so they can enjoy the holidays with their family.

Photojournalist: Will Baker.

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