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by Dr. Brittney Schrick - November 20, 2020
This year is weird. There, I said it. Nothing has been normal, and as the numbers
of COVID cases continue to climb, normal doesn’t seem to be coming back in the near
future. Many of us had hoped the pandemic would be under control by the fall and winter
holidays so we could see family and friends in a normal-ish way. Unfortunately, that’s
simply not the case. All recommendations from the CDC and the Arkansas Department
of Health have been clear: Just stay home.
Although this is disappointing, it doesn’t change the nature of the holidays. We have
adjusted and readjusted our work, home, school, family, and social lives all year
long, and we can do it again to insure our own safety and the safety of those we love
(and those we don’t even know).
Recent statistics have highlighted the lag time between exposures, hospitalizations,
and deaths related to COVID-19. Based on how the time frames work on average, those
who are exposed on Thanksgiving could greatly increase death tolls around Christmas
time. At the very least, those exposed and sickened would likely be sick at Christmas.
The CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health are STRONGLY urging people not to travel for Thanksgiving to avoid spreading COVID-19 across the
country. With this in mind, it is important to consider that staying home and away
from those you love this Thanksgiving could be the kindest thing you ever do for them,
and they for you.
The following people SHOULD NOT participate in any in-person holiday events to avoid the risk of exposing others:
There are lots of ways to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving this year like:
Even though it can be difficult to think about doing the holidays differently this
year, it only takes one sick person at a gathering where precautions are not taken
or are lax to spread the virus among your entire family, friend group, church, neighborhood,
or whomever is present. It may help to think about it this way: It’s not just about
this one Thanksgiving, it’s about all the Thanksgivings, Christmases, and birthdays
to come. If even one person dies or their quality of life is severely impacted by
this year’s gathering, you will be reminded of it every year to come.
Stay safe. Stay home.
The next covid-19 superspreader event: Thanksgiving - VOX