North American Observation : United States is ushering in the year-end holiday season. and pandemic prevention is in a dilemma.
Thanksgiving holiday in the United States this week marks the busiest stage of the year for Americans to travel and the most frequent gatherings, which poses a huge challenge to epidemic prevention.
One-day air passengers exceeded 1 million, and people queued up for testing.
Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explicitly recommends that people not travel during the holiday, the desire to reunite with relatives and friends has made many people determined to take risks. The number of people has increased significantly, the airports are crowded, and some cities have queued up and vehicles in and out.
On Sunday, the 22nd, more than one million people traveled by air in the United States, the highest since March. According to the Transportation Security Administration, this is also the second time in three days that the number of air passengers exceeded 1 million, although the number is nearly 60% lower than the same period last year.
The AAA forecasts that 45 to 50 million people will drive during the holiday season, only slightly down from 2019.
In order to avoid transmitting the virus to relatives and friends, people have carried out virus testing before and after traveling, and there are long queues everywhere. In Jacksonville, Florida, there has been a long line outside the testing site since last weekend. Many people have to wait in line for two hours, and some even have to wait for four hours. As shown in the figure ↓
In fact, the holiday is only an excuse for many people to “indulge”. After more than half a year of isolation from the epidemic, Americans who like lively and party-loving can’t help it for a long time. Ravina Narkhedi from Texas flew to New York to meet her friends and visit New York together. In an interview with our reporter, she said that after being “stuck” at home for eight months, New York seemed like a “fairyland” to her.
In addition to the holiday factors, the recent positive development of vaccines has also eased people’s vigilance.
Major manufacturers in the United States have announced that the vaccine is expected to be approved by regulators by the end of the year, and the most optimistic estimate is that the first batch of vaccinations will begin in mid-December. Nevertheless, health authorities urged Americans not to take it lightly, warning that it may take months to get enough vaccines.
Negative demonstration of the White House
Jerome Adams, the medical director of the U.S. Public Health Service, pleaded people to endure on the 23rd on Good Morning America: “By any standard, we are at a critical juncture in the fight against epidemic prevention… I ask the American people, and please hold on. Be small and smart when celebrating and celebrating.”
However, the U.S. government once again carried out a negative demonstration. Despite public health officials’ demands to avoid large crowds, the White House continued to push forward plans for holiday receptions. Invitations for indoor events scheduled for the White House to begin next week have been issued, and an invitation for a Dec. 1 reception obtained by USA Today shows that there are no mandatory requirements for wearing masks or social distancing.
Stephanie Grisham, spokesman for First Lady Melania, defended on the 23rd that the White House’s holiday celebrations are a long-standing tradition, and said that they would provide guests with masks to “provide the safest possible environment”.
Jerome Adams declined to comment on this, but warned that festival celebrations could become “super-spread” events. He said that holiday activities should not exceed 10 people, preferably outdoors: “These rules apply to the White House, to the American people, to everyone.”
How to spend the holiday is a difficult choice.
Although the number of confirmed cases is increasing at a rate of more than 100,000 a day, the pace of the epidemic in the United States has not slowed down. According to the projection model of the University of Washington St. Louis, the number of infected people in the United States may reach 20 million by January 20, nearly twice as many as it is currently. According to the data of the “Coronavirus Tracking Project”, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States has exceeded 85,800, setting a new record for 14 consecutive days.
The severe situation has also made many people give up their impulses. According to the Axios-Ipsos poll released on the 24th, 61% of Americans did change their holiday plans because of the increasing number of confirmed cases. However, most people only reduced the number of parties, and only 9% gave up the party plan.
who gave up the party was Governor Cuomo of New York. Cuomo’s 89-year-old mother originally planned to come to celebrate the holiday with their family, but the news aroused the dissatisfaction of some netizens, because Cuomo warned people to reduce the number of gatherings and just signed an executive order requiring up to 10 people to private indoor gatherings. New York State Councilman Stefanik denounced the governor as “hypocrisy”.
Under pressure, Cuomo gave up his plan to reunite his mother, but he also said helplessly, “I don’t want to disappoint my mother. My 89-year-old mother thought, ‘How many more Thanksgivings can I have?”