How to think about risk and travel this Thanksgiving : The Indicator from Planet Money The CDC recommends we all stay home for Thanksgiving to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. But tens of millions of Americans are expected to travel anyway. If you're one of them, here's how you can think about the risk you're taking.

Should I Travel For Thanksgiving This Year?

Should I Travel For Thanksgiving This Year?

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images
NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 24: People walk through New York&#039;s LaGuardia Airport on November 24, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention advises that we all stay where we are this Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But Americans are traveling anyway.

The Associated Press reports that while flight bookings are down as much as 60 percent this year, U.S. airports are still processing as many as a million passengers a day. The decision about whether or not to travel this Thanksgiving is essentially a risk assessment.

As an economist at the Manhattan Institute, Allison Schrager studies risk for a living. She says that the risk of traveling during a pandemic is what's called a Bayesian calculation. It takes into account a variety of factors, including the neighborhood you live in, whether you've tested negative for the virus and how you plan to travel.

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