Editorial: Another COVID Thanksgiving — sigh

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Remember how disappointing it was at the end of November 2020? Even after six months of living with strict stay-at-home orders, COVID-19 is still unseen in every corner of the world.

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Some treatments for infections were unproven or ineffective, and the dreadful winter surge of infections was just beginning. Health officials urged Americans to eliminate the traditional Thanksgiving feast with friends and family — or at the very least, celebrate outside — and many did the same, hoping that doing so would be healthier. The future of the holidays will be sure.

The next year, we shivered through alfresco meals with our pandemic pods and said to ourselves, Thanksgiving would be back to normal. more time.

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It was a reasonable expectation. After all, Pfizer and BioNTech had have just submitted an application For the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency-use authorization for the first vaccine against COVID-19, and the second one from Moderna was not far behind. In a matter of weeks, healthcare workers will start getting the first of the two shots, and vaccine makers were ramping up production for a massive vaccination campaign that will begin in early 2021. At the time, it was not a stretch to imagine that by November 2021, most people in America would be gratefully vaccinated against this dreadful disease. (If only.)

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It’s understandable why so many Americans are treating this Thanksgiving as a return to normalcy—most of us have been vaccinated, and new cases are declining. According to the Transportation Security Administration, about two crore people are expected to travel by plane this week. This is not a record, but it is almost double compared to last year.

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But while 2021 is certainly an improvement over 2020, this pandemic is not over. We are heading towards a second COVID Thanksgiving.

COVID-19 is still infecting and killing people, and cases are rising Across the country, even though protection from vaccines received earlier this year is waning. Despite the best efforts of public health officials, less than 60% of the US population is fully vaccinated, leaving millions of people vulnerable. Children under the age of 5 cannot yet be vaccinated, and the millions of older children who are eligible for a shot have not received one. Although they are less likely to become seriously ill than other age groups, thousands of children have been hospitalized, and hundreds have died. Things may get worse.

What this means for California is unclear. More than 91% of eligible adults in the state have received at least one shot, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday, and perhaps this is one of the reasons why the case rate here is among the lowest in the country. But it’s not dispositive: Colorado has an overall vaccination rate similar to California, yet continues to see a surge in new COVID-19 cases.

Someday the epidemic will end; They all do. But this week it will not happen. This year, health officials are not asking people to stay at home. But they are saying we should be careful, wear masks around others and get tested before leaving with vulnerable friends and family. Looks like that’s the least we can do to avoid another dreadful winter.

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