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Christmas Should Be ‘postponed’ To Avoid The Record Number Of Americans Who Die

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Americans will have to reckon with the tragedy of people dying from COVID due to Thanksgiving celebrations that went against official advice, weeks before vaccines may start being rolled out. Experts have now urged people to postpone regular Christmas parties to prevent record numbers of infections and deaths.

At a press telebriefing on Wednesday Cindy Friedman of the CDC’s travel branch said the safest option was to postpone winter travel during the upcoming holidays and stay home, much like over Thanksgiving.

She said that the volume of travel over Thanksgiving was high, and even if a small percentage of those individuals were sick it would translate into hundreds of thousands of infections.

Jennifer Dowd, associate professor of demography and population Health at the University of Oxford, U.K., told Newsweek: “All deaths are tragic, but taking the risk to gather [during the holiday season] and then losing a family member who is possibly within weeks of a vaccination would be especially heartbreaking. No one wants to be shot in the trenches while the peace treaty is being signed.”

Manisha Juthani, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine, told Newsweek: “As an infectious disease physician, it is extremely tragic to know that there are preventable deaths on the horizon from public health interventions we can do now while waiting for vaccine uptake in the months to come. I won’t be surprised if we have over 3,000 deaths per day in a month.

“I anticipate that we will be marking our holiday season and the new year with record high hospitalizations and deaths while, ironically, administering vaccines at the same time.”

The U.S. is in the jarring position of smashing records for COVID deaths and hospitalizations amid promises that vaccines are weeks away from being gradually rolled out to those most at risk, and potentially to the general public by spring.

After months of clinical trials, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies Pfizer and Moderna recently asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to roll out their vaccines, hoping for emergency authorisation later in December.

As their applications are considered, over 100,000 people are in hospital with COVID on Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project—almost double the toll seen in the first peak in spring that was followed by a dip to around 29,000 in September. 2,760 deaths were recorded Wednesday, The New York Times reported, breaking the record of 2,752 set in the spring.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the soaring rate of current COVID-related hospitalisations in the U.S.

A stock image shows a woman in hospital. The U.S. has broke records for deaths and hospitalizations on Wednesday.
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