By: Zoe Jones
As we all know, Covid-19 has changed many things in our day to day lives. As the holidays began to approach, most of us were hoping that our family celebrations would be as close to normal as possible. Unfortunately, that was not the case all across the country. Families were given many different restrictions and guidelines as to how their celebrations could be run. Some adhered to these new rules and some did not. Family gatherings were made smaller and some were even held virtually to keep families completely separate. While this is not how anyone expected to be celebrating the holidays this year, it is important that everyone does their part in stopping the spread of the virus. Covid cases went up in many places across the country bringing fear to many just as they had regained hope. These new surges have made the thought of another lockdown much more real to many.
The CDC put out many recommendations before thanksgiving arrived. They recommended precautions such as smaller gatherings, wearing masks whenever you are not eating, having your meal outside, staying 6 feet away from family members (who you do not live with), and even to “schedule a time to share a meal together virtually” instead of seeing each other in person at all. These guidelines feel weird for many to even consider; Thanksgiving is normally a time that brings families together. This year it seemed to keep them apart, but it is what is necessary to keep everyone safe and healthy. Many families ended up breaking down into smaller groups and had several separate celebrations to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to even more people. Many people quarantined and got tested before the celebrations to reduce the risk even more. However, for many families with at risk relatives, even these precautions were not enough to bring everyone together.
The question is, did these precautions really work? Even though everyone was strongly urged to stay home, not everyone did. Many states are experiencing surges which experts believe are just the beginning of the Thanksgiving spikes. Dr. Mike Ghaly, California’s top health official made a statement saying that, “[he] believe[s] that the levels of transmission that [he has] seen so far are likely to continue going up some because of those activities around Thanksgiving.” In the coming days, states should have more knowledge about how many new cases really came out of celebrations. It typically takes around 12 days after exposure for symptoms to start showing, according to the CDC. It is very likely that these numbers will affect future celebrations including Christmas. Many health officials agree that seeing these spikes in case numbers may be what is necessary to get everyone to follow their guidelines until they figure out the next step.
While Covid is at its peak in many places, the cases in Caldwell and nearby towns have also begun to spike again. As more data has come in, it has become clear that there is a “troubling prelude of what may become the deadliest month of the pandemic so far” (Thehill.com). Things seemed to have calmed down during the summer but cases have slowly gone back up as time has passed. Cases are spreading in schools and on sports teams and Thanksgiving is a likely cause for the sudden surge. Not far away, in Glen Ridge, 14 sports players tested positive for covid-19 as well as “over 20 people in total… in the past two weeks” according to nj.com. These spikes are happening just around two weeks after Thanksgiving which is a telling sign of how the spread started. If cases continue to go up like they are now, more restrictions will continue to be put in place. Although this is not something we all may want, it may be what is necessary to put an end to the Covid spread all together.