The CDC Just Issued This Serious Warning About COVID
The infectious disease agency is concerned this behavior could cause a major spike in cases.
It's supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but the pandemic is still taking its toll on an already difficult 2020, effectively upending Christmas as we know it. Now, many of us are struggling to figure out a safe, festive way to spend the holidays. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just issued another warning to Americans on Dec. 23, the day before Christmas Eve, urging everyone to avoid the temptation to travel or host large in-person gatherings. Read on to see what this could mean for your Christmas plans, and for more on how to stay safe, check out This Is Who Is Most Likely to Give You COVID Right Now.
In a tweet posted on Dec. 23, the CDC sent out a last-minute plea for citizens to stay safe by not taking to the roads or sky this year, and to limit exposure by only celebrating with people from their own household. "Stay home to best protect yourself and others from #COVID19 this holiday season," the CDC stressed.
The social media post is the latest effort by the agency to promote the updated advisory they posted earlier this month, imploring Americans to cancel their travel and celebration plans to avoid creating a surge of new cases at a time when hospitals in many areas of the country are already overwhelmed and at maximum capacity. "The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel," Henry Walke, COVID-19 incident manager for the CDC, told reporters in early December. "Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are increasing, deaths are increasing. We need to try to bend the curve, stop this exponential increase."
Unfortunately, the advisory also comes just days after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that the weekend before Christmas saw its highest recorded number of travelers since the pandemic began, surpassing a million people each day for a three-day total of 3.2 million passengers, The Washington Post reports.
Still, the CDC recommends a few activities that could help keep celebrations festive and safe this year. Read on to see what they suggest, and for more on how to lower your risk of infection, check out If You're Not Doing This, Your Mask Won't Protect You, Study Says.
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Host a virtual holiday meal with friends and family.
In their tweet, the CDC points out that planning to enjoy your holiday meal with loved ones over Zoom or FaceTime can help make the day feel more special. "Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread," the CDC's holiday celebration advisory reads.
Still, the agency is careful to point out that a household is "anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment)," including roommates and non-relatives. If family members who do not usually live at home will be in attendance, such as college students visiting home from living in a dorm, then proper safety measures still need to be taken. And for more on how the pandemic is evolving, check out Dr. Fauci Just Gave a Warning About the New COVID Strain in the U.S.
Gather for a virtual gift exchange.
Being able to see the look of surprise on someone's face when they open the perfect gift doesn't have to go away just because of the pandemic. The agency suggests turning on your webcam while opening gifts and organizing an exchange to make things feel more like a traditional celebration. And for more on places that are struggling with the pandemic, check out This State Now Has the Worst COVID Outbreak in the U.S.
Decorate your home.
So far, 2020 has been the year of working from home, cooking at home, and perfecting your home. Why not take the holidays as the perfect excuse to brighten things up? Get in the spirit by literally decking the halls, putting up decorations, hanging lights, decorating a tree, or putting together an outdoor display. And for more COVID updates, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Make festive crafts.
Finding constructive ways to spend time at home has become a pastime in itself this year. The CDC recommends capturing the holiday spirit by making some festive crafts, which can be made even more fun by virtually joining friends and family over video chat. This can include everything from stringing popcorn and garland to baking a fresh batch of delicious cookies, all of which you can show off on Instagram. And for more on how the coronavirus has suddenly changed, check out A White House Official Just Gave This Warning About the New COVID Mutation.