Watch: Black Friday Crowds Slim in Era of Coronavirus

KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images
KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

Retailers advertising big Black Friday sales do not appear to be drawing quite the same crowds traditionally seen in past years as the coronavirus continues to affect the holiday season, including the busiest shopping day of the year.

While the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has not completely disappeared, it is demonstratively lower this year due to fears, protocols, and limitations caused by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. Several photos and videos on social media show relatively mild crowds compared to recent years, as many retailers moved to offer their deals online.

“An entirely different look to Black Friday in the age of COVID-19,” KTAR Phoenix reporter Jim Cross said early Friday morning alongside a photo of an empty parking lot.

“Several places I checked out that usually have big crowds with long lines are quiet this morning,” he added:

“I can count the shoppers on one hand at the Hollywood Fred Meyer in NE Portland this morning!” Portland’s KATU News’s Dan McCarthy said, providing a photo of a handful of people standing in line in the early hours of the morning:

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Jessica Christian reported a lack of crowds at the Bay Area’s Great Mall:

Others offered similar reports:

Political figures have urged Americans to stay home and away from crowds, and in some cases loved ones, as the holiday season approaches.

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently told USA Today that he is looking forward to “Christmas in 2021” while warning Americans to “be careful” as the holidays continue to approach:

If the surge takes a turn of continuing to go up and you have the sustained greater than 100,000 infections a day and 1,300 deaths per day and the count keeps going up and up … I don’t see it being any different during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays than during Thanksgiving.

“Let’s now make the best of the situation and show our love and affection for people by keeping them safe,” he added.

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