When the Centers for Disease Control announced last week that Americans could not celebrate Thanksgiving with people outside their households, federal government officials working in response to COVID-19 had already begun planning for the inevitability that family and friends would do just that. two senior officials are aware of the situation.
The CDC’s November 19 announcement was seen internally by health officials as the agency’s last attempt to persuade Americans to stay home for the holiday and advise travelers on how to reduce the rate of transfer. And there is some evidence that the legal basis worked. Another New York Times survey found that only 27 percent of those surveyed spent their vacation with people outside their household. However, officials said the CDC announcement came too late – people were already planning their travel plans and those who had previously refused to comply with public health guidelines in the pandemic would not suddenly change their habits.
With hospitalizations and new cases occurring in more than a dozen states across the country, doctors say Thanksgiving could exacerbate the already dire crisis. Last week alone, 1.1 million Americans were infected with the virus. According to the data collected, an average of about 1,200 people died every day The New York Times.
“Obviously, there is the possibility, perhaps even the likelihood, of large-scale gatherings in large groups, bringing together 18-25 people, from all places, passing through train stations and airports,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s main infectious. disease expert in an interview with The Daily Beast. “If people ignore the CDC’s recommendations to really reduce the number of trips and people at these events, and they do … it could lead to another wave of current surges.”
Officials from local health departments in places like Wisconsin, Texas, California, Kansas and New Jersey say they are already flooded with a third wave of the virus in their hospitals and nursing homes and are preparing for an attack on new patients. In El Paso, detainees work in temporary morgues, which are essentially trucks and burial institutes filled with wood-paneled panels are already booking accommodation by December, with calls planned to flood in the next few weeks. At the Wisconsin Hospital, nurses are preparing for their already overdue hospital to begin sending patients to temporary facilities. And in Kansas, a rural county has already called on the state to help investigate the spread of the virus, which has spread uncontrollably in recent weeks.
For New Jersey officials, where the number of new positive cases in recent days has exceeded the number since the spring, at least one official believes there is little that needs to be done to persuade people to stay home for Thanksgiving.
– We are realistic that people will not listen to state or federal policies. You won’t get them to change their plans. People will make decisions with short-term interests, and that’s exactly what people do. We don’t tell them we shouldn’t be people at Thanksgiving. It’s not working, ”said Steven Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City. “Our goal is to test as many people as possible between now and the holiday.”
“We are realistic that people will not listen to state or federal policies. He won’t get them to change their plans. People will make decisions with short-term interests, and that’s exactly what people do.“
– Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City.
One of the main problems for celebratory communities, according to one senior federal health official, is that many states have either failed to launch an effective contact program or have stopped contacting altogether. Local officials in these neighborhoods instead rely on infected individuals to track down their own connections.
In Madison, Wisconsin, officials stopped monitoring contacts because the number of residents was positive on a daily basis. According to one nurse, an average of about 10 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the hospital that day. More than 85 patients were treated at the hospital last week.
Still, one of the nurses at UW Medical University Hospital in Madison said he expects residents across Wisconsin to gather in large groups for the celebration. He said dozens of patients arrived at the hospital, convinced that his symptoms were the consequences of anything but COVID-19.
“I live in a state where so many don’t believe that,” she said. “I had a 13-year-old child who came in with diabetes and had all the signs of COVID. The parents said, “She doesn’t have one.” The test was positive and they asked, “Oh, is that bad if you have diabetes?” There is so little education here. This patient is still intubated.
The nurse, who said she had to wear the same N95 mask for almost three months over the summer due to a shortage, spoke anonymously to The Daily Beast because she was not authorized to talk about her hospital. He said he had seen plenty of children in recent weeks who were present at COVID-19, many of whom were college students complaining of chest pain long after the infection. He also said he was treating a dozen babies under 60 days old who were positive for the virus.
“I think the rate of infections and hospitalizations is at its highest level since the start of the pandemic. We do not see a decrease. , ”Said Dr. Nasia Sadfar, medical director of infection treatment at UW Health. – We are worried about further growth after the holiday. We can assume if you are meeting someone outside your household who has COVID and doesn’t know.
In Modoc County, California, a rural community of just 10,000, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the northwestern part of the state. The county, once known as the only county in California without coronavirus infection, executed a mask assignment in mid-summer after an initial public response to the idea. Since then, residents say members of the community have refused to comply with public health guidelines. One resident, Leigh, who did not want to offer his last name for fear of retaliation, said he did not expect his neighbors to practice social distance during the holiday.
In one of the two Facebook groups of residents in the county, Leigh said residents continue to make public theories about the virus that feed on a local understanding of the spread of COVID-19.
“I remember people in one group said we originally didn’t have a COVID-19 case because people in the community thought they had already caught it … even before the pandemic started … and that they had immunity.” said Leigh, who keeps a diary of all the new cases and deaths in the county.
Perhaps nowhere has he suffered as severe a coronavirus in recent months as in Texas, especially in the Rio Grande Valley, where local officials have been inundated with the number of deaths due to COVID-19. While in states like South Dakota, the death toll is currently rising, the situation in El Paso – a municipality that already wants to stay financially – has become so appalling that officials are paying detainees $ 2 an hour to turn their bodies into temporary growls. The city’s funeral homes struggle to meet the needs and prepare for the busy winter. One funeral director said his business is expecting a number of deaths by Christmas that are linked to the spread of the virus during Thanksgiving, so he is preparing to order additional crates and make staff available.
“We’ve seen a lot of cases in the last few weeks, we’ve been very busy,” said a spokesman for the Hillcrest Funeral Home in Paso, who said that despite the outbreak of COVID-19, small services are still being held. “But people are only as safe as they make themselves safe.”
One of the main concerns of health officials is that Americans who plan a holiday trip and celebrate with their family and friends outside their household are not listening to the CDC’s recently issued guide advising people to wear an indoor mask. Part of the population is already so resistant to practicing social distance and wearing masks outdoors that health officials say there is little chance of reversing when they are at home.
“It’s going to be the perfect storm,” said one senior health official who worked with the White House coronavirus task force. “Next time, we expect everyone to listen to the plea to stay home and celebrate with members of their households. And I think we’re going to get a lot worse.