AP reporters and photographers around the U.S. teamed up on Thanksgiving Day to deliver a standout package that showed the various ways Americans observed the holiday in the year that COVID-19 upended tradition.
Matt Sedensky, John Minchillo, Charlie Riedel, Heather Hollingsworth, Tamara Lush, Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Rick Bowmer, Jae Hong, Eduardo Munoz Alvarez and Chris O'Meara fanned out to deliver intimate, heartbreaking and heartwarming tales from dinner tables around America. Regina Garcia Cano then pulled the narrative together with a top-notch edit from top stories editor Sarah DiLorenzo.
Among the highlights: From New York, an elderly nursing home resident marking the holiday alone, and a family with an empty spot at the table to commemorate a mother lost to the virus. In Kansas City, a nurse who recently lost her mother and marked the holiday after completing an overnight shift at the hospital. A Florida woman who skipped the family gathering to write Thanksgiving notes to her loved ones. A Utah family of three, all of whom tested positive for COVID-19, who found boxes outside their home overflowing with canned goods, desserts and a turkey. And in Southern California, a man who spent $1,000 on rapid virus tests so he could share Thanksgiving Day with family.