“Cancel gatherings, large and small, unless you’re with your household,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said Tuesday. “We’re in a war against this virus. This is not the time to lament that we didn’t get a gathering this time around.”
Eight months into the pandemic, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rapidly rising again in Texas and across the country. Experts say the latest surge in cases is linked to pandemic fatigue. In just eight days, the U.S. recorded 1 million new coronavirus cases, bringing the nation’s total to over 11 million. Texas exceeded a million cases Friday, according to state data.
Health experts worry that an influx in traveling and mingling over Thanksgiving and into the December holidays could exacerbate an already dangerous situation.
“The worst thing I could think of is to take people from all over the country, put them in planes and mix them up,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs at the Baylor College of Medicine. “That’s almost like you designed something to spread the virus aggressively.”
Anaiya Davis said when her family gathers this Thanksgiving, there will be temperature checks at the door. Everyone attending is being asked to quarantine before the celebration. When Davis heads from her home in Austin to the Fort Worth area, she’s expecting to see about 15 people in her family. Usually there are about 50 there. Davis said two family members died this year who were immunocompromised, which has put the rest of the family on high alert.
“I think we’re going to have to get a lot more creative this year around what the holidays look like, and I think coming to terms with [how] they may not look like how they looked in the past and mentally preparing for that,” Dowd said.