The Mall of America will close on Thanksgiving. With 15,000 workers, that’s huge.

As the largest shopping center in the U.S., the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, certainly lives up to its name.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Liaison/Getty Images.

Boasting more than 520 stores — not to mention actual roller coasters! — the mall supports roughly 15,000 jobs.

Photo by Mark Erickson/Getty Images.


This year, many of those 15,000 workers will have an extra bounce in their step when the holiday season arrives.

Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images.

The Mall of America announced on Oct. 6, 2016, that it will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

While individual stores in the mall have the option to remain open, officials expect the vast majority to close up shop. That means thousands of Mall of America workers will have the day to sit back, relax, and enjoy some much-deserved time with loved ones (and a few helpings of sweet potato pie).

"We think Thanksgiving is a day for families and for people we care about," Jill Renslow, senior vice president of marketing at the mall, told The Associated Press. "We want to give this day back."

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images.

Renslow explained to the Star Tribune that mall executives had been discussing Thanksgiving hours for months but ultimately decided to give employees a rest from the holiday hustle and bustle. The Mall of America will reopen early Friday morning.

Most major retailers haven't announced their plans for Thanksgiving yet. But signs suggest the Mall of America won't be alone in giving workers that time off with their families.

In recent years, the pressure's been on giant retailers like Macy's and Target to compete for eager holiday shoppers. As a result, Black Friday sales have sneakily crept further and further into Thanksgiving Day.

That has meant more and more workers have been forced to work while their families are nestled around the dinner table.

"Once you miss Thanksgiving with the family, I can never be put back in those pictures if I'm not there and I'm at work," one employee said in a video by Change.org.

Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images.

Fortunately, though, the tide seems to be turning back. With mounting outrage from labor groups and popular petitions demanding change — not to mention disgruntled husbands going viral over asking their wives be off the clock for the holiday — the pushback to save Thanksgiving has truly taken off.

Last year, big-name stores like DSW, T.J. Maxx, and Staples all agreed: Staying open on Thanksgiving is not the way to go.

This year, a handful of retailers have already confirmed they're keeping their doors locked on Nov. 24.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

The odd thing is, staying open on Thanksgiving doesn't just hurt families — it's not really all that great for business either.

Instead of doubling the hype around holiday shopping, retailers have discovered that opening their doors on Thanksgiving actually does more to take away the excitement surrounding Black Friday than it does to double the revenue. What's more, with the rise of online shopping, displeased employees forced to work, and the many customers who don't want to support stores that are open on a family holiday, the cons have begun to outweigh the pros.

Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images.

Sure, staying open on Thanksgiving may mean employees who work that day get more hours and make more money. After all, most workers forced into working retail jobs over the holidays are low-wage; many of them are just trying to make ends meet.

That's why if retailers truly care about their workers' well-being, they should do their part to make sure to pay them an actual living wage so that no one is stressed out over a slightly smaller paycheck.

To the folks at the Mall of America, an extra day off is nothing to fret over when it comes to their bottom line.

The mall still expects a mind-boggling 400,000 shoppers (give or take) to pass through its doors that last weekend in November.

"We’re confident we’ll still get those strong numbers throughout the Black Friday weekend,” Renslow told the Star Tribune.

If it benefits workers, doesn't hurt business, and helps keep one of America's most beloved holidays intact, what do stores have to lose?

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Jimivr / Flickr and Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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