- The coronavirus pandemic is surging across the country and experts are anticipating yet another massive spike in new infections following the Thanksgiving holiday.
- The next few months could prove to be the “darkest of the entire pandemic” according to a top infectious disease expert.
- Until the pandemic dies down, Americans are being advised to avoid bars, church events, and of course, indoor gatherings.
Thanksgiving this year is going to be a lot different for millions of families across the country. Not only are many Americans canceling traditional celebrations, families who are celebrating the holiday will likely be holding smaller gatherings while — we can only hope — adhering to basic coronavirus safety guidelines like mask-wearing and social distancing.
Underlying the bizarre situation, of course, is a coronavirus pandemic that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Over the past two weeks, new coronavirus cases have shot up by 43% while coronavirus-related deaths have increased by 61%. And with millions of people still opting to travel and visit family and friends this week, there’s a very real fear that an untold number of superspreader events will result in an absolutely massive spike in new coronavirus infections over the next two to three weeks.
Today’s Best Black Friday Deal
FDA-authorized Powecom KN95 masks certified by NIOSH to work even better than 3M N95 masks are discounted for Black Friday! List Price:$24.99 Price:$22.31 You Save:$2.68 (11%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Suffice it to say, we’re still in the midst of the pandemic because many people in recent months have refused to follow basic COVID-19 safety guidelines. With that said, infectious disease specialist Debra Goff from The Ohio State University recently relayed to EatThisNotThat a list of activities she’d steer clear of for the time being. The list is a bit obvious, but with coronavirus cases skyrocketing, a basic reminder of risky activities worth avoiding might be helpful.
Right off the top, Goff advises people to avoid large indoor gatherings. Hardly a surprise, indoor gatherings tend to be disproportionately responsible for coronavirus outbreaks because people tend to be more lenient about following coronavirus safety measures when indoors with friends and family. Additionally, many indoor spaces lack proper ventilation which makes it easier for the coronavirus to spread.
Indoor weddings, funerals, birthday parties, retirement bashes, and pretty much every possible large event thelp indoors has one thing in common—the potential to be a coronavirus superspreader event. Endless outbreaks have been tied to large gatherings of people across the country, and Dr. Goff won’t be a guest at one of these until the pandemic is under control. Even if people have the best intentions, and show up wearing a mask, chances are they will take it off at some point. “People need to remove their face-masks to eat and drink,” she points out. “The lack of face-masks plus confined closed space makes this risky.”
Going one step further, Goff said she wouldn’t even attend an indoor dinner with people she hasn’t been sheltering with. While eating outdoors does provide a level of protection, the reality is that such opportunities are becoming rarer in light of colder weather settling in across most parts of the country.
Other places Goff said she’s planning to avoid for the near future include cruise ships, movie theaters, and public transportation. While I can’t imagine anyone is really interested in going on a cruise ship or watching a movie in a theater these days, avoiding public transportation when other means of travel are available is something scores of health experts have been advocating over the past few weeks.
On a related note, Dr. Fauci recently said that church gatherings and other religious events should be avoided given that attendees tend to crowd close together without masks.
Fauci also added that the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday with respect to the pandemic will become clear in about two to three weeks.
“So what we’re seeing now is what happened two-plus weeks ago,” Fauci said. “What we’re doing now is going to be reflected two to three weeks from now. So what we want to make sure we don’t do, is as we enter into the most risky part of the year — the weather gets colder, more people stay indoors — that you don’t exactly exacerbate the problem that already exists.”
Fauci continued, “When you do the things that are increasing the risk, the travel, the congregate setting, not wearing masks, the chances are that you will see a surge superimposed upon a surge.”