Thanksgiving dinner, drive-thru fashion in Scranton

A Thanksgiving tradition looks very different this year. Instead of packing a ballroom, people on the street are fed a Thanksgiving dinner.

SCRANTON, Pennsylvania – For the 45th straight year, Friends of the Poor is cooking thousands of turkey meals for people in need on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but for the second straight year the pandemic is changing the way those meals are prepared and distributed.

Instead of family style, it was drive-through style for the Friends of the Poor’s annual Thanksgiving dinner with long lines of cars and lots of to-go boxes.

“I’m glad they still do it. I’m so glad they do because I have a steady income,” said James Sobol.

The pandemic changed how it worked, but not the mission behind it.

“It’s needed in this church. There are a lot of people who really need it. You know, they come through every year, ”said Beverly Lacoe.

And many said that while otherwise, they would never miss this Thanksgiving tradition for 45 straight years.

“Sister Adrian started with 25 people, that was something,” said Lacoe.

“Sister Adrian’s main goal when she started doing this in 1976 was that community feeling and making sure people had someone to vacation with. So that has always been our trademark. It’s what we miss most. We hope really to get it back next year. We’re just doing our best if we take the circumstances into account, “said Meghan Loftus of Friends of the Poor.

This year is the biggest so far. Friends of the Poor planned to hand out 3,500 dinners. More than 1,000 of these were delivered to low-income residential facilities and senior high-rises.

“We ran out of food last year so we’re trying to make sure we’re prepared for more. We’re worried we’ll run out of food because the need is still so great,” Loftus said.

“Scranton has always had a big heart, you know, that’s a lot,” said Jack Brennan.

The recipients told us they were grateful. Friends of the poor have still done this. Thanksgiving dinner for more than 3,000 is no easy task.

“There are so many people out there who have nothing,” said Al Aukscunas. “I think it’s great. I really do.”

Covid instances rise but once more in U.S. forward of Thanksgiving vacation

One resident sorts her free groceries while another works in the pantry of the Fourth Presbyterian Church amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Boston, Massachusetts, Jan.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Doctors urge caution to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks as cases surge across the country after a plateau lasting nearly three weeks and Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family next week.

According to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, the US reported a seven-day average of nearly 95,000 new Covid infections on Thursday, up 31% over the past two weeks. Cases across the country declined for weeks this fall before fluctuating between 70,000 and 75,000 a day from late October, more than 50% less than the peak of the delta surge that devastated the US this summer.

But as the holiday season approaches and the cold weather pushes more people to meet indoors, public health officials are hoping to mitigate another record-breaking wave of Covid this winter. Last Christmas preceded the country’s worst spike in covid ever, with cases peaking at more than 250,000 a day on Jan. 11. Deaths from the virus also hit a pandemic high of around 3,400 a day in early 2021.

The combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas and plummeting temperatures makes this time of year “the perfect storm” for Covid, said Dr. Bruce Farber, chief infectious disease at Northwell Health in New York, told CNBC.

Infectious Disease Specialists largely agree that it is safe to celebrate the holidays with friends and family as long as everyone is vaccinated against Covid. but a new study from Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center found that half of respondents at their gatherings would not ask about guests’ vaccination status, and about 54% said they would not require unvaccinated partygoers to test negative for the virus.

“I wouldn’t allow anyone to go to Thanksgiving if they weren’t vaccinated,” Farber said. “I think that should be the price you pay.”

As the effectiveness of Covid vaccine doses has been shown to wear off over time, Farber advised fully vaccinated individuals to get their booster vaccinations for extra protection during the holidays. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the Pfizer and Moderna booster vaccinations for all adults in the United States.

People vaccinated in the earliest stages of introduction are prone to breakthrough infections, said Dr. Reynold Panettieri, Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine and Science at Rutgers University.

“I expect we’ll see an upward trend in and around the holidays just because people get together with more exposures,” said Panettieri. He noted, however, that advances in vaccination and treatment options mean that an outbreak this winter “will now be far from what it was before”.

A downward trend in Covid hospital admissions and deaths, which typically delays reported case numbers for a few weeks or more as people contract the virus and then get sick enough to need urgent help, is showing signs of flattening. About 48,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with the virus, the same level as two weeks ago, based on a seven-day average from Health Department data. And the daily average of roughly 1,200 reported deaths tracked by Hopkins is showing signs of an increase after barely changing for two weeks.

Outbreaks in the Midwest and Northeast, where cases have increased 56% and 47% in the past two weeks, seem to be driving the national numbers. Hospital admissions there rose by 20% and 7%, respectively.

The very dense cities of the northeast and the colder temperatures in the Midwest – compared to the south, where the falls have collapsed due to the more pleasant weather – could help explain these regional differences, Panettieri noted.

“The weather is driving people indoors and interest in more indoor activity could certainly add to the experience,” said Panettieri.

Panettieri said those who gather for Thanksgiving should know if their fellow attendees have been careful to avoid exposure to Covid, in addition to getting vaccinations and refreshments. But even with the risk of another outbreak this winter, advances in immunizations and natural immunity in those infected with Covid during the delta surge have made the US “much better” this Thanksgiving than it did last, Dr. Arturo Casadevall, Chair of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNBC in an email.

“Of course, if people have any respiratory symptoms like colds or flu-like illnesses, they need to rule out COVID-19 by getting tested before meeting with loved ones,” Casadevall wrote. “Common sense, caution, and vaccinations are great recipes for a safer vacation.”

Macy’s says public can return to look at Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC

The Charlie Brown balloon floats on 6th Avenue during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

Macys said Wednesday that the public will again be able to line the streets of New York City to see their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade live.

This year’s event will mark the 95th edition of Macy’s iconic balloon parade. Live musical performances will also resume, including the marching bands originally expected for last year’s parade.

The event was drastically reduced in the past year due to the Covid pandemic. It did not use the usual 2.5 mile parade route and just switched to a TV show instead.

“We are very excited to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in its full form again,” said the Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “We applaud Macy’s work in creatively continuing this beloved tradition over the past year.”

Macy’s said it adopted best practices from its recent July 4th fireworks show, which this year attracted a public audience after being reduced in 2020.

For its Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy’s said that all volunteer participants and staff must be vaccinated against Covid-19. To implement social distancing along the parade route, Macy’s will reduce attendance by up to 20%, or around 800 to 1,600 attendees.

The department store chain also said it is still considering how to deal with the balloon inflation public viewing that takes place the night before the parade.

Macy’s added that it continues to monitor evolving health trends and stands ready to implement contingency plans if necessary.

Find the full Macy’s press release here here.

Disclosure: Comcasts NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com. NBC has televised the event since 1953.

San Diego Comedian-Con faces backlash over Thanksgiving weekend dates

The coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed the live events business, especially the lucrative comic convention industry. To raise much-needed funding, San Diego Comic-Con will host a smaller version of its annual summer event this fall.

Called the “Comic-Con Special Edition,” this event will take place November 26-28 at the San Diego Convention Center.

The organization’s decision to hold this in-person event over Thanksgiving weekend, an announcement made late Saturday night, has been heavily criticized by fans, talent and the press.

“So they planned #SDCC for the same weekend as the first chance most families can (hopefully) celebrate Thanksgiving in two years. See you in 2022!” wrote Charles Soule, Author of the comics “Light of the Jedi” and Daredevil, on Twitter after the announcement.

As with Soule, the majority of the votes against asked why the organization would host this event during a major US holiday. Especially one that many people couldn’t celebrate with their families over the past year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

These voices range from fans who travel a lot to attend the show to talent who perform on panels or at signings. Not to mention journalists and other industry professionals hired to cover the event.

While past conventions coincided with holidays – WonderCon was held on the Easter weekend and Anime Expo usually takes place on July 4th – hosting San Diego Comic-Con raised eyebrows during this special Thanksgiving holiday.

“My family missed Thanksgiving last year because of the pandemic.” wrote Dan Slott, an Eisner award-winning comic book writer on Twitter. “This year we will all be vaccinated. There is no way I would go to an event instead of spending that time with them. Even if everything were magically back to normal. I can’t imagine anyone else feeling any different.”

It appears that much of the organization’s decision to hold a face-to-face meeting in 2021 was due to the cancellation of previous events, which resulted in significant financial success.

“While we have been able to move from face-to-face meetings to limited online events, like many small businesses, the loss of revenue has had an acute impact on the company, including shorter hours and lower wages for employees.” other issues, “said David Glanzer, spokesman for the nonprofit, in a statement on Saturday.” Hopefully this event will sustain our financial reserves and mark a slow return to larger face-to-face gatherings in 2022. “

San Diego Comic-Con officials did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

San Diego Comic-Con has become a huge event for the entertainment industry. It’s a place where the studios add excitement for upcoming blockbuster projects and serve as a platform for disseminating new details to the most passionate fans.

It is also a major sales driver, not only for the organization that operates it, but also for the local economy. San Diego Tourism Group estimates That $ 88 million will be spent directly by attendees during the convention and $ 149 million will flow into the region’s economy.

Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world come to this event every year, and that does not apply to the on-site staff, security guards and supervisory staff who walk through the halls over the four-day weekend.

The November conference only lasts three days and takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The number of participants is likely to be limited due to local guidelines. The organization plans to offer more information on ticket prices, capacity constraints and other details closer to the show date.

“Of course, I can see the #SDCC telling thousands of fans to skip the first post-pandemic Thanksgiving Day in order to stand in line in Hall H, but they are also asking great Hollywood actors and directors to do the same to do.” “” wrote Rus McLaughlin, Senior Content Strategist for Oculus on Twitter. “I suspect there might be a pushback there.”