In L.A., nothing signifies the start of the holiday season like those twinkling red and white lights.

No, not the Christmas tree kind: the freeway kind.

Every year, the 405 Freeway’s bumper-to-bumper traffic on Thanksgiving eve becomes a symbol of America’s holiday travel mayhem. Headlights and taillights snake across the asphalt and disappear beyond the horizon. News helicopters hover overhead and photographers perch on overpasses to capture the familiar glow of city folks en route to Grandma’s house, or returning from whence they came.

This year, the freeway may look a little different: State officials are pleading with people to stay home and avoid holiday travel amid an alarming surge of cases of COVID-19.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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