By any measure, the United States has lost control of the coronavirus: cases and hospitalizations are surging and the upcoming holiday season will lead to more travel—and more spread. "As we're seeing exponential growth in cases, and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another, leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time," Henry Walke, COVID-19 incident manager at the CDC, said Thursday. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with the Washington Post during a live event, saying one activity in particular could put you and your family in danger. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Family Gatherings Can Put You in Danger
The moderator asked Dr. Fauci if he had "any last minute messages for Americans who are still undecided on traveling."
"Obviously each individual family has to make, as I've said it recently over the past few days, a risk benefit assessment about the risk you're willing to take in traveling and in congregating in the usual warm atmosphere of 10, 15, 20 people at a home dinner," said Fauci. "Although those are wonderful parts of our tradition. I just would like to have each family to kind of make that risk assessment and know and understand that we're in a very difficult situation where the rate of infection, the slope of infections are really very, very steep. So you might want to reconsider travel plans and certainly try as best as you can to keep congregate meetings indoors as innocent and wonderful as they sound to a minimal number of people, preferably just members of a household. I know this is a difficult thing to do, but we're in a very difficult situation."
The travel advisory is recommended for a few reasons. If your grandma is over 65, she's at high risk; don't travel to see grandma. And even if you're visiting someone who's not at risk, you're putting others at risk. You may have COVID right now and not know it. "So better be careful now, and look forward to many, many more in the future. Then either endangering yourself or a vulnerable member of your family or friends, or what have you to the situation that we're in right now, which is unprecedented, but it will end. So this is a very fixed period of time. I know it's a very, very precious period of time, the holiday season when we get together, but please don't do something that in fact would put you or your family in danger, such as getting a crowded group of people coming from different places and airports."
How to Survive the Pandemic
Follow Dr. Fauci's fundamentals to protect yourself, your loved one and your fellow humans:
Universal wearing of masks.
Maintaining physical distance.
Avoiding congregate settings or crowds.
Doing more outdoors, as opposed to indoors.
Washing hands frequently.
Avoiding travel during this Thanksgiving holiday, as recommended by the CDC, or doing a risk assessment, per Fauci: Ask yourself who am I putting in danger of death and is it worth it?
And to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.