Illinois Tourism & Travel

Crazy About Travel

Peng Shuai, Thanksgiving travel, COVID-19 boosters: Weekend news

At least 5 dead, 40 injured after SUV slammed into Wisconsin Christmas parade

An SUV sped into a Christmas parade in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, leaving at least five people dead and over 40 injured, city officials said. The City of Waukesha confirmed the deaths in a statement late Sunday, but police said the numbers could change as authorities “collect additional information.” Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said the investigation was ongoing, but that a “suspect vehicle” was recovered and that there is a person of interest in custody at the moment. Some of the injured were taken by police to hospitals, and others were taken by family members, Thompson said, describing the incident as “very tragic” and “very chaotic.” The incident occurred during one of the city’s biggest and most cherished annual events as the red SUV barreled down the street, plowing into parade participants.

Forecasters dial back weather threat facing Thanksgiving holiday

Forecasts that warned of snow and high winds threatening to bring havoc to millions of Americans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday were dialed back a bit Sunday. The improving forecast comes as AAA predicts more than 53.4 million people will travel this week, up 13% from 2020. “A storm that was threatening to bring some tricky weather to parts of the Northeast looks like rain for most of the big cities,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert said. “It looks like things should be pretty good after Monday.” Still, AccuWeather said a “potent piece of energy” was dropping down from Canada as it moved east, developing into a winter storm over the Midwest. Travel conditions could go downhill as the storm gains strength, so keep a close eye on the forecast if you’re hitting the road. 

FILE - Travelers wear face coverings in the line for the south security checkpoint in the main terminal of Denver International Airport on Aug. 24, 2021, in Denver. The Biden administration is detailing its new international COVID-19 air travel polices, which will include exemptions for kids and new federal contact tracing requirements. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) ORG XMIT: WX125

Tennis player Peng Shuai, who went missing earlier this month, meets with IOC

The International Olympic Committee on Sunday met via video call with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who went missing earlier this month after accusing a former senior member of the Chinese government of sexual assault. Shuai has started to publicly reemerge under the watchful eye of China’s Communist ruling party, first with a cryptic tweet from Chinese state-run media Wednesday — which only raised the alarm for the Women’s Tennis Association, which has threatened to sever all ties with China as a result of Shuai’s disappearance and treatment. The call lasted 30 minutes. Shuai thanked the IOC for its concern about her well-being, explaining that she is safe and living at her home in Beijing, “but would like to have her privacy respected at this time,” according to the IOC. “That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now,” the IOC said. “Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much.”

This file photo taken on October 3, 2016 shows China's Peng Shuai reacting after beating Venus Williams at the China Open.

Here’s what you should know about COVID-19 vaccine boosters

COVID-19 booster shots are now available to all adults in the U.S. after a Food and Drug Administration panel and CDC signed off on the extra doses Friday. Boosters have been allowed for certain groups for about a month, though so far only about 17% of all adults and 37% of those 65 and older have gotten them. Vaccine experts say there’s little downside to getting a booster dose, and the side effects are comparable to the initial round of shots. Why bother to get a booster? Studies show that vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease begins to fade about six months after initial shots. A booster dose bumps protection levels back up to or even higher than initial vaccination. 

The U.S. booster campaign is getting a lot simpler now that regulators have opened extra vaccine shots to all adults. The Food and Drug Administration’s Dr. Peter Marks says the new approach will streamline booster decisions as COVID-19 cases begin rising again across the country (Nov. 19)

Real quick