The holiday season is officially upon us, and it has arrived just in time for Americans’ plans to be snarled by the coronavirus pandemic.
What began as as “two week lockdown” back around Saint Patrick’s Day has become a way of life here in the United States. For nine months now we’ve been living in some strange version of isolation, complete with varying degrees of dread and precaution.
Now, as with Thanksgiving fast approaching, the CDC is offering new guidelines for how to best avoid spreading the illness…and it’s not going to go over too well with a lot of folks.
With the coronavirus surging out of control, the nation’s top public health agency pleaded with Americans on Thursday not to travel for Thanksgiving and not to spend the holiday with people from outside their household.
The Thanksgiving warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came as the White House coronavirus task force held a briefing for the first time in months and Vice President Mike Pence concluded it without responding to questions by reporters or urging Americans not to travel.
Other members of the task force — whose media briefings were a daily fixture during the early days of the outbreak — talked about the progress being made in the development of a vaccine.
And that’s not all…
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech will seek emergency government approval for their coronavirus vaccine on Friday. And infection disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci sought to reassure the public that the vaccine is safe while still encouraging Americans to wear masks.
The CDC’s Thanksgiving warning was some of the firmest guidance yet from the government on curtailing traditional gatherings to fight the outbreak.
The CDC issued the recommendations just one week before Thanksgiving, at a time when diagnosed infections, hospitalizations and deaths are skyrocketing across the country. In many areas, the health care system is being squeezed by a combination of sick patients filling up beds and medical workers falling ill themselves.
Of course, should Americans not heed these warnings for Thanksgiving, there’s no telling what the CDC will suggest come Christmas.