ST. LOUIS — Nearly 1.2 million travelers passed through TSA airport checkpoints Wednesday. For some, this Christmas is best spent right where they are, but that doesn't mean the miles of distance are keeping people apart.
Checking in with Brittney McIntyre's Christmas Eve, she's cozy in her St. Louis home with her partner Gene Elder, the two of them here instead of Ohio this Christmas because of a common concern.
"COVID, of course," Elder said. "It's really difficult. My father hasn't been in the best health this year anyway. It just seems like it would be a risk to him as well as to anyone I encounter there... my friends, my friends here, my coworkers here. It just seemed irresponsible."
With a new baby in McIntyre's family — her nephew Wyatt — the decision to stay home is hard, but they connected Christmas Eve over Zoom.
"I got to see him for a little while, and he's so big now. He's almost walking and almost talking, and it's really hard to know that I am not going to get to see him probably still for a little while yet."
Garrett Webb will also connect with loved ones over video
"I think we're all going to do some type of a toast or something," he said.
He decided not to spend the holiday with his mom in Chicago.
Though Webb said there is hope on the horizon.
"We've lived through what has been a terrible year, and hopefully this vaccination comes around to enough people that we never have to go through the types of things that we experience this year again," he said.
That vaccine is on the top of Gene's and Brittney's wish list too, a Christmas present for the betterment of Christmas Future.
"I have hope for Christmas Future. I don't know how long it's going to take for vaccines to reach lay people like myself. But hopefully, by next year we can all get back together," Elder said.
"I think someday this will all be behind us and once that happens it will be safe to come together, and it will be a lovely Christmas indeed," McIntyre said.