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Most families will experience a Thanksgiving like none other this year due to a resurgence of COVID-19 influencing travel plans and gathering sizes. Auburn University Assistant Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work Anthony Campbell believes there are ample opportunities for people to enjoy the holiday, focus on what makes them thankful and avoid any negativity that may be looming as we conclude what has been a long year for everyone. He offers insight below about everything from positivity, enjoying family, putting differences aside, maintaining mental health and focusing on relationships that create happiness.


Food safety should be practiced every day, but the proper handling, cooking and storage of foods gains even more attention on Thanksgiving Day. Jean Weese, formerly of the Auburn University Food Systems Institute, or AUFSI, explains how to be safe this holiday. Weese is long-time head of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Systems food safety and quality team, in addition to her role with AUFSI.


Although politically comforting and expedient, science does not support the principle of "herd immunity" for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Herd immunity is the term used when a sufficient number of individuals within a population become infected and immune, so the virus will no longer be able to circulate. Herd immunity has never been achieved with any disease without an effective vaccine stimulating durable immunity. Currently, there is insufficient knowledge concerning the antibody status of those recovering from COVID-19 irrespective of whether they were asymptomatic or required supportive treatment. Besides the increasing mortality due to the virus, the proponents of herd-immunity ignore the long-term consequences of infection. The virus can cause both cardiac and neural changes in addition to fatigue in the so-called “long haulers.” Therefore, the pandemic cannot be controlled until there is a safe and effective vaccine developed and administered to a significant number of people worldwide. This article will discuss the science behind the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates and when can we expect commercially available vaccine(s).


As the holiday shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us, what can brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers expect this season? Dora Bock, associate professor of marketing in Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business, comments on Nov. 27 Black Friday and Nov. 30 Cyber Monday sales predictions and trends.


In a recent Wall Street Journal article, “COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Will Challenge Cargo Airlines,” Doug Cameron, the WSJ’s deputy bureau chief in Chicago, lays out what pharmaceutical makers, cargo shipper and the entire medical services industry will face in delivering yet-to-be-approved vaccines to hospitals, medical offices and pharmacies across the United States and around the globe. Cameron’s article focuses on the air cargo segment of this specialized supply chain, which is already suffering from a shortage of planes equipped with the carefully controlled refrigeration transport and storage these vaccines will require. His findings in that segment of the vaccine supply chain raise real concerns and beg the question of what else needs to be done to ensure virtually every step in this critical health care delivery process succeeds.


Like many industries, aviation is undergoing changes due to the pandemic. Three leaders from Auburn’s Department of Aviation—James Witte, department chair, James Birdsong, aviation program coordinator and recent winner of the 2020 Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, and Bill Hutto, past acting chair and Airport and Aviation Center director—discuss below the changing landscape of the aviation industry and how Auburn’s program is responding. They talked about how the Auburn Department of Aviation is rising to meet the needs of the aviation industry during the pandemic and discussed their outlook on the future of aviation.


With the 2020 U.S. presidential election coming down to a razor-thin margin and votes still being counted in some key states, Auburn University Political Science Professor Mitchell Brown—co-director of the Election Administration Initiative—gives her thoughts on this week’s developments, how the uncertain outcome may play out and what procedures and policies may ultimately determine the winner. Brown is an expert on election administration (general and changes in process), counting and certification, audits and recounts, mail ballots and election security.