Millions of Americans are expected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, and hospitals and health care providers are gearing up for an influx of COVID-19 patients after only having had a few weeks to recover from the summer surge, according to The Guardian.
Public health officials are predicting that Thanksgiving will exacerbate an already severe outbreak of Covid-19 in the United States, which has already claimed the lives of 775,000 people. According to CNBC, despite public health officials’ warnings, Americans are making holiday travel plans to visit family. Approximately 1 million Americans boarded planes over the weekend, the highest number recorded by the industry since the spring.
Americans decided to stay in for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year when the coronavirus was sweeping the country. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, things have changed dramatically. Because so many people have been immunized, this year’s travel and social gatherings are much safer than they would have been in 2020. Despite being vaccinated, there are still risks to traveling during an outbreak of COVID-19.
An infectious disease expert in the United States, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, says the current pandemic has positive and negative aspects. Complications such as low vaccination rates, rapidly spreading virus variants, and waning immunity must be addressed, according to the New York Times. While traveling, it is still essential to know where you might encounter problems. Fauci says that currently, the greatest threat to one’s health is traveling and interacting with others.
Every day, over 92,000 Americans test positive for Covid-19, and over 1,000 people die from it, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases are rising across the country, with peaks in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southwest. Even so, the TSA expects around 20 million passengers to fly this Thanksgiving.
Elective procedures, which were postponed across large swaths of the country this spring due to the initial surge of Covid-19 patients, are still available at most hospitals. Combining standard hospital patients with coronavirus patients could rapidly overwhelm hospitals, said the President of the Society for Critical Care Medicine and a surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. Lewis Kaplan, to CNBC News.
The risk of contracting a disease while traveling or congregating increases dramatically without the proper vaccinations. The CDC made COVID-19 booster injections available to all American adults on Friday to combat the rapidly spreading delta variant.