THE DAILY REFORMER (NEW YORK, UNITED STATES)
A recent survey by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that 2 in 5 Americans still plan to gather for Thanksgiving despite warnings from government and health officials.
The survey found that “the vast majority of Americans” plan to practice some form of precautions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. This includes plans to social distance, wear face masks, or request that any symptomatic family members or friends stay home.
But 2 in 5 Americans surveyed reported that they will be attending a gathering of more than 10 people.
Not only that, but a full third of Americans surveyed reported that they will not be asking their guests to wear masks.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, government and health officials are encouraging Americans to keep gatherings limited to only those in their immediate household, and to connect with anyone outside of their household virtually instead.
Much of the blame of virus transmission has been laid on private, indoor gatherings.
It’s for this reason that states have begun to ban private, indoor gatherings of large numbers of people ahead of the holiday season.
Washington State governor Jay Inslee (who praised mass gatherings of protesters in the spring), for instance, just banned indoor social gatherings with anyone outside one’s immediate household for four weeks.
Inslee told Washington residents that “it’s just too dangerous to gather indoors” this Thanksgiving.
Businesses, gyms, and churches are also facing extreme restrictions under Inslee’s orders.
Likewise, Michigan residents have been urged to stay home for Thanksgiving. Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun told the state that “If you are smart now, you may be able to have a safe holiday with your loved ones alive this time next year.”
Joe Biden’s COVID-19 team has said the same. Atul Gawande, a member of Biden’s COVID advisory board, told NPR on Friday indoor gatherings must be avoided because they are “exactly how the virus spreads”:
“One in 400 of us tested positive last week, just in the last week. It’s probably three times that many who actually have the virus. So that means in these gatherings, there’s a very high likelihood that someone is infected and doesn’t know it. We have to recognize that that is exactly how the virus spreads. And we have to take the steps, such as wearing a mask, being outdoors.”
According to OSU’s study, 38% of Americans will likely be gathering with more than 10 people for the Thanksgiving holiday, 33% will not be asking attendees to wear masks, and 27% won’t enforce social distancing practices.
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