Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, has urged Americans to “think twice” about travelling or having indoor gatherings for the holidays. In recent guidelines, the CDC has encouraged the American public to avoid hosting large gatherings this holiday season. Those who are immunocompromised, elderly, or those that have been exposed to the virus recently should not attend gatherings at all.
If you still decide to host a gathering this year, your event must adhere to the number of attendees that have been outlined in NYS law. Gatherings statewide are limited to no more than ten people. Regardless, when hosting you must also consider exposure during travel, your community’s infection rates, location of your gathering, and the duration. A slight slip-up in any of these factors will create a life-threatening situation to both you and your loved ones.
Of course, guidelines suggest that the safest method to celebrate this year is virtually. Without the release of a vaccine, the only preventative measures we have to this virus is safely wearing masks and maintaining at least six feet of distance with others. Even with the retainment of a 98% survival rate, there is still a 2% death rate. That is still about 6.6 million individuals dead in the United States alone. 254,000 Americans have already died. Let us take a moment to remember those that will be absent at our tables this holiday season.
With the rising number of cases, it is imperative that you take the precautions necessary to protect yourselves and those around you. Let’s make sure that we are able to return to school after holiday break. Follow the facts. Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay home as much as you can until this is over.