The fall-winter holiday season, including Christmas and New Year’s day, started with Thanksgiving. But on this, the 400th anniversary since the Pilgrims first gathered to celebrate the harvest and the fact that they had managed to survive in the New World, Thanksgiving day celebrations were placed under strict guidelines imposed by federal and state authorities due to the CCP virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Americans to avoid traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday. Officials and leaders implored people to stay away from large gatherings. If that was unavoidable, then they asked people to limit their gatherings to only a small number and to maintain social distance. Authorities also directed the usage of face masks at gatherings and the use of hand hygiene (soap) to control the spread of COVID-19 from person to person.
Even though these measures were requested by the CDC, the media portrayed the rising number of COVID-19 cases to be a direct result of inefficient action being taken at the federal level, creating a sense of confusion among people in general. Moreover, controversial actions of officials also created some resistance. For example, California Governor Gavin Newsom instructed Californians not to gather in large numbers for Thanksgiving but later on was caught dining with more than 10 other people, indoors, and that too, without a mask.
People also had doubts about the requirement and effectiveness of social distancing because of the way the mainstream media portrayed large-scale protests. Streets in cities across the United States were filled with “Black Lives Matter” protesters in May. Nearly a month later, COVID-19 diagnoses hit an all-time high in June, with the U.S. arguably in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic. Yet the media stated that it was not related to the protests at all.
Despite the confusion, people largely followed the instructions issued by public health officials. The number of travelers flying on Thanksgiving was half of what it was back in 2019, before COVID-19 hit. Last year, 2,602,631 people flew on Thanksgiving, while the number of passengers on flights this year was just 1,070,967. Many people opted out of seeing friends and family. Yet it was one of the busiest periods for air travel since the pandemic began in March.
Following a long-standing tradition, President Trump addressed the nation on Thanksgiving. He highlighted his administration’s achievements, including worldwide peace without any new wars and strengthening of the military. He thanked frontline workers fighting against the CCP virus and shared the hope of seeing a vaccine developed, as Moderna and Pfizer had recently announced that their test trials were successful with an efficacy rate of more than 90 percent. The Trump administration on Nov. 12 struck a deal with pharmacies across the United States to help distribute the vaccines as quickly as possible.
The willful negligence of Beijing led the world into the clutches of a horrific contagion which overturned the existing world order. As the virus is transmitted easily from person to person, here are some important tips to follow during this holiday season.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If water and soap are not readily available, make use of hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people outside your home.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask especially in crowded places.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Monitor your health daily. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.