TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- It's normally one of the busiest weeks of the year for traveling. Flights are booked to head home and cars are packed.
This year some made a hard choice for Thanksgiving.
"Unfortunately I won't be going home because of COVID," said Indiana State Graduate student Shawn Whitaker. Home for him is all the way in North Carolina.
Whitaker hasn't tested positive for the virus. But the fear lingers in his mind about contracting it in an airport or a plane.
"That's my family. I feel like I can't bring anything down on my family because I care about them so much. They understand I'm up here working, doing what I got to do, but they also know how I have to keep my distance if I need to," said Whitaker.
Dr. Darren Brucken believes many should consider that option.
"There's no choice but to do it differently because this year is not like any other year, ever. In anyone's lifetime that is alive today," said Dr. Brucken.
He said the virus can spread rapidly in small gatherings and in tight, compact places like a kitchen.
"The longer that you're exposed the higher you put yourself at risk. The closer you're exposed the higher you put yourself at risk. You know, we have to stay spread out. There's nothing wrong with wearing a mask you know, be creative stay out on porches, keep people separated, and keep things limited," said Dr. Brucken.
Zoom is how Whitaker will be spending time with loved ones on Thanksgiving.
It's going to be weird, and tough, but deep down, he knows he's doing the right thing.
"My family is who I grew up with and, honestly my closest people. So, it's a hard decision but I know it's got to be made."
For those who do plan to travel home, health experts suggest getting tested ahead of time and not leaving until you get those results back.