Normally as we reach Thanksgiving time, many of us consider traveling to be with family and friends.

As the pandemic continues, most of us are sticking close to home this year, anxiously awaiting the call a vaccine is ready. Signs are encouraging and hopefully we’ll get back to a new sense of normal very soon.

I did want to include a few safety tips this week, just in case you are heading out. Of course, most importantly, remember to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask, washing hands, maintaining social distance, and keeping hand sanitizer near.

It’s difficult to be apart from loved ones during the holiday season but everyone has a role in fighting the battle against COVID-19.

Before leaving for your trip, safeguard your home by locking doors, asking someone to check the property, and have the post office hold on to your mail. Timers are excellent for lighting, especially with an early sunset, and activate an alarm system if you have one.

Although we reside in a very safe area, with few home burglaries, you must still be cautious today.

To say commercial travel is a bit different today would be an understatement; planes, trains and automobiles not only carry people but can carry COVID, too.

Please follow the guidelines when using public or commercial transportation for your safety and others. Be respectful to the rules and understand why they are in place as the world copes. Be patient, too; the travel season can be hectic without the added restrictions and we all know how weather can factor into the mix.

Always keep track of your luggage and belongings, a lost or stolen bag can derail the happiest of plans. Guard against pickpockets or thieves looking to grab your wallet or purse.

Carry only what you really need and be careful when using electronic devices, PINs and passwords in public places. Although most of us carry a cell phone, few people carry a telephone book anymore.

It’s tough enough for me to remember my number, let alone others, so be sure everyone in your party carries a copy of telephone numbers in case you become separated.

Remember to guard against thieves who may target your motor vehicle, lock the doors when unattended, keep valuables out of sight, and never leave it running. When staying at a hotel or resort, always lock the door and keep track of the key.

In closing, on behalf of Chief Bill Scholtz and the staff at APD, I would like to wish readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.

If you are traveling, please remember to buckle up, avoid distractions and have a safe trip.

The holiday season has arrived and while it is going to be a bit different than holidays past, we must be thankful for the blessings we do have.

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