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It’s Thanksgiving week at Los Angeles International Airport, and you could almost forget a pandemic is raging, aside from the masks obscuring travelers’ faces.

On Monday morning, people shuffled through check-in lines less than six feet apart and clustered around luggage conveyors awaiting their bags. Their presence defied both logic and health guidelines: governors and public officials have been pleading for weeks for people to stay home amid a rapid surge of coronavirus cases.

But for some, the temptation to be with loved ones at the tail end of a trying year of fire, flood, politics and plague is too great.

“I weighed my options and felt that where I was going and who I would be with, I’d be safe,” said Kim Motz, who arrived on a Southwest flight from San Antonio to visit her daughter and 1-year-old grandson.

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