EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (NewsNation Now) — For many families, Mother’s Day 2021 is the first chance to be together in one place since the beginning of the pandemic.
At New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, United Airlines, Marriott, and Technology Company Clear partnered to fly in vaccinated family members from across the country for a special “day of families.”
“This COVID has really sort of devastated us. You don’t really realize it because you’re trying to survive. But it’s really great,” said Kipp Lyle.
With many states lifting limits on restaurant capacity, the pre-pandemic tradition of taking mom out to brunch was back on the menu for many.
“It’s just really great to be out of the house again as a family, and enjoying the weather, and to really start doing the things that we always used to do. And it starts to feel normal again,” said Alyssa Sabbatino.
Some took the opportunity to join the 58% of American adults who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I want to hug my mother. I still want to hug my mother and you know I feel like if I get this shot maybe I can go in and hug my mom,” said Ainsley Lewis following her vaccination.
The TSA says more than 1.7 million people were screened at security checkpoints Friday. That date is now the busiest day at U.S. airports since March 2020.
“[I] Hadn’t seen my parents in nine or 10 months and they’re almost 90. But I had to make it back to celebrate with my family,” said Liz Wolfson.
And while it was a big day of happy reunions for many, for some, this Mother’s Day was a somber reminder of those they have lost during the pandemic.
“I had done Christmas. I had done Thanksgiving, and I didn’t really expect Mother’s Day to be as hard as it was,” said Stephanie Hogan.
Because of the pandemic, there’s been a reported shortage of flowers this Mother’s Day. According to a National Retail Federation survey, Americans still plan to spend more than $200 on their Mother’s Day celebrations and gifts this year.