ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – No packed parking lots or long store lines, not turkey trots or big family football games at parks. It is certainly not your average Thanksgiving as New Mexicans spend the holiday in lock-down and are encouraged to avoid travel and to only celebrate with people they live with.
People say they either had to change or completely cancel their holiday traditions this year and for one woman, that meant no early holiday shopping. “It would be nice to go shopping but you know, it’s not safe right now, so we’re just staying home, doing some online shopping if anything,” said Albuquerque local Shahana Maji.
Big box stores typically open on Thanksgiving, like Target and Walmart but are closed for the holiday. Big department stores that usually have people lined up outside waiting for the major Black Friday sales to start, are completely empty. They’re shut down for at least a few more days due to the state’s current public health order.
With people discouraged from traveling this year, many people like Emmanuel Catanzariti’s are doing Zoom Thanksgivings by talk and eating together, virtually. He says, typically, his family would all meet in New England to spend Thanksgiving together but not this year. “We’re all going to meet up in different spots and try and you know, maybe cut some pie and eat it and pretend like we’re all sitting at the same table or something like that,” Catanzariti said.
He says they’re not traveling to avoid catching and spreading the virus, especially since his parents are getting older and are more vulnerable. While this is not the Thanksgiving anyone imagined, the people say they are still thankful for technology and being able to connect with family even if they’re not physically together.
While New Mexico’s two-week reset is set to end on Monday, restrictions on travel have been in place since March. It’s not clear when retail stores may reopen.
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