COVID instances could surge after Thanksgiving, Christmas gatherings

Dr. Eric Cioe-Peña and his wife come from a large family and often share their holiday celebrations, meeting with one group of brothers on Thanksgiving and another at Christmas.

This year, steadily moving away from them all.

“We have to be committed,” said Cioe-Peña, medical doctor and chief of Global Health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York. “My wife and I have chosen this year to be a family of nuclear weapons, and we are not inviting anyone.”

As the holiday season draws to a close and the number of cases of coronavirus infection increases, millions of Americans are facing the choice to avoid social gatherings with family or friends or the risk of transmitting the virus among loved ones.

Anthony Fauci, the country’s director of infectious diseases, and Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned of the possibility of HIV infection at holiday parties, even in small groups and among relatives.

Memorial Day rallies were said to be an extension of the COVID-19 cases that the USA faced earlier this summer. Events such as the 16th party at the end of last month in Long Island, New York – linked to 37 good tests – and a wedding in August in Maine – which led to her contracting more than 175 cases – confirm the low risk of a small number of transformed groups.

Last week, Washington state health officials said small meetings had been helping the region hit a two-month strike over coronavirus.

“Throughout the ages, there have been problems with attending weddings, funerals, religious services, and other events that are part of our normal routine,” said Drs. Steven Woolf, executive director of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. “It brings people together and can be a protection against the virus. As many health experts point out, the virus is present at these meetings and can spread from person to person.”

Don’t let the problem get to Grandpa

The CDC, which prohibits fraudulent practices on Halloween, changed its policy on Monday regarding holiday celebrations and anti-retroviral measures.

Instructions for in-house meetings include specific procedures such as outdoor activities, size reduction, participation in wearing masks and staying away. The CDC encourages visitors to request that visitors avoid contact with outsiders for two weeks prior to the event.

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The failure of other safety measures – it is difficult to get everyone to a 6-foot table or to eat out at the end of November in the cold – combined with the rude American culture will probably help many disregard the advice.

“I know there will be a lot of families who disregard the advice and say, ‘It’s ridiculous. We get together and enjoy Thanksgiving as it should be, and no one tells us anything else,'” Woolf said. he goes to the hospital with a ventilator, and you feel guilty. “

Woolf and other experts recommend that families from different families sit at their thank-you table immediately and connect via a platform like Zoom, which can provide an opportunity to share food. If members of different households gather inside, opening the windows helps keep the air fresh and helps spread the virus, reducing the chances of transmission.

For Cioe-Peña who works as a health professional and sees the impact of COVID-19 on the frequency, the idea of ​​finding other ways to celebrate the holiday, even though it was painful, was pretty straightforward.

“I would like to see my parents. This is a thank you note. I would love to spend time with the brothers. This year is not on the cards,” said Cioe-Peña, who, along with his wife, is planning to hunt for Halloween candles on the days behind their two young children. ‘a place to take them for a walk with friends.

Some who do not know much about the virus may be tempted to take advantage of the situation, especially those who have avoided visiting their relatives if the epidemic has lasted several months.

Measurement of risk versus isolation pain

Craig Smith, associate professor of psychology and social development at Vanderbilt University, said the isolation of people living in remote areas can lead to loneliness and self-esteem, especially for those with young children and trying to balance family planning and employment. Missing a wedding reception reinforces that sentiment.

“Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays are very difficult because, in addition to the basic necessities of spending time with friends and relatives, it is a regular tradition for people sharing those days with food,” Smith said. “As a result for many people, there will be a clear sense of loss when they fail to bring their entire family together, but the risks, the obvious, are huge.”

Studies conducted in the Department of Defense show that the risk of infection in aircraft is not reduced by airborne aircraft and the use of HEPA filters. This week, the CDC urged all passengers on public transport – including flights – and passengers to wear masks on their faces to prevent the spread of the virus. The council agreed to remove, if possible, anyone who refused to comply.

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This can lead travelers who want their family to join in to register for a Thanksgiving or Christmas trip. Medical professionals also urge caution, saying that the virus can spread to multiple travel groups, and they insist that it is best not to associate with people from different families, especially those from high-risk areas.

“People need to think carefully about travel and the dangers of disease before they decide to go,” said Drs. Jeff Goad, who teaches infectious diseases, public health and travel medicine at Chapman University. “Obviously, the elderly and those with pre-existing diseases should just move around if necessary.”

Holidays are usually at meetings, but many meetings are difficult or restricted because of COVID-19.

Some go for antigen testing

One of the newest routes for travelers and others who want to visit loved ones is to be tested for coronavirus in advance, as testing is more common.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California-San Francisco who has studied the effects of small meetings on the spread of the virus, said the method is well known, especially using low-cost antigen tests.

Chin-Hong also said the test is relatively simple compared to expensive PCRs, which are rated as gold standard, and it is better to identify those who are infected than to identify those who do not have complete certainty.

He advised on reducing the size of the holiday meetings and provided a list of things students should not do, such as “hugging together at the end of the night as one big group to sing Christmas carols” or “playing your French horn for guests” because wind turbines can produce aerosols .

For those who decided to travel to see friends and / or relatives, Chin-Hong advised them to get tested for three or four days before the trip and follow the safety plan.

He echoed that warning: “Negative testing is only one way, and COVID’s self-defense measures should remain the only way to protect ourselves during this difficult time.”

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