Labor Day during a pandemic, how locals celebrated differently but safe

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Its the end of Summer and the holiday weekend is all wrapped up, but how different was it since Covid-19 took over our lives. From Jackson to the Reservoir people noticed less car and boat traffic than on your typical labor day weekend one of the signs to how Mississippi has seen 7-14 day average Coronavirus case numbers declining.

“We wanted to get out because we have to, we really have to,” Cathie Carden of Florence told us.

Clear skies and warm weather drove the Carden family to take their boat out on the water to get the kids active.

“We’ll actually go crazy if we sit inside 24/7 and it’s important for the kids to get out,” Carden continued. “And us to get out for our own sanity otherwise they’ll go crazy and we’re gonna go crazy.”

Easing their way through the holiday and a birthday celebration they and others have learned to balance going out while at a distance by staying with their own household.

“We actually had been keeping a tight-knit group so it was just us and the family and that was just it for that Corona mess,” Carden said. “Most presents weren’t bought, he wanted money and online gaming of course so we didn’t shop out much.”

“The family normally gets together on Labor Day and we have a large family but because of the pandemic and safety for everybody we couldn’t get together,” Asha Dixon said. “So no Labor Day today or barbecue.”

As for traveling the highways this long weekend, Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Troop C made 19 DUI arrests, responded to six accidents, and five deadly crashes as of Monday morning. Two more than last year’s entire holiday. And everyone we spoke to noticed fewer people out.

“It seemed less traffic than previous years,” Dixon explained. “I was thinking it was going to be a lot of traffic but it was not.”

“Not too much where it’s overwhelming, I was still able to get to my destination OK,” Justus Kinnward added. “So I think everything’s been pretty good.”

“There wasn’t a lot of people out, we live in Florence and probably got here in 20 minutes,” Brittney Overstreat said. “I mean normally it would take us 35.”

“We came on the Fourth of July and there were more boats on the Fourth of July than there was today,” Carden stated. “It was actually quite empty.”

Reservoir Police also reported less boat traffic than usual for Summer holiday weekends. When out shopping all families we spoke to also said they made sure to have masks on and to wash their hands afterward.

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