Christmas and The New Year usually represent reasons to have a good time with family and friends, eat and go to the mall together. But such scenarios don’t represent good ideas in the pandemic year 2020, according to a new analysis by the Los Angeles Times of the public health data from Los Angeles County.
Americans are currently urged to cancel their travel plans and avoid celebrating the holidays in large groups, and there’s no wonder why. The US currently counts a total of over 338,000 deaths and more than 19 million infections caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of American people are dying every day because of the coronavirus. As for the worldwide situation, things are looking even worse: over 1.7 million deaths have been reported, and a total number of infections that exceeds 80 million people.
Public places are becoming hotbeds for infections with COVID-19
Based on the new research, medical experts are warning that it’s very risky to access public places such as the mall and other retail locations during the holidays. The logic is simple: such places become hotbeds as they become overcrowded with people eager to go shopping. Even despite the local health ordinances, the risk of infection still remains higher than usual. This statement from the Los Angeles Times says it all:
The vast majority of outbreaks reported at shopping malls during the pandemic were reported in the past four weeks,
Shira Shafir, PhD, who’s an epidemiology professor at UCLA, declared:
There’s been so much messaging in the pandemic that said, ‘It’s not safe for X to be open, so we’re going to close X,’
It’s totally reasonable for people to then interpret the inverse: ‘If it’s open, it must be safe.’
The Moderna vaccine was approved in the US
After the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was approved in the US by the Food and Drug Administration, the drug developed by Moderna also received authorization for emergency use.
Dr. Fauci declared:
This to me is a triumph of multiyear investment in biomedical research that culminated in something that was not only done in record time, in the sense of never before has anybody even imagined you would get vaccines to people in less than a year from the time that the sequence was made known.
One hundred million Americans are expected to be vaccinated in the upcoming months, meaning that the pandemic is slowly approaching its end. During the clinical trials made for tens of thousands of volunteers, both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines proved an efficiency of 94 to 95 percent.
More than 1 million vaccinated Americans
The US managed to vaccinate over 1 million citizens with the first shot. The big announcement comes from Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Two shots of the same COVID-19 vaccine are required for each person, with a span of several days between them.
Dr Moncef Slaoui, the chief advisor of Operation Warp Speed, reveals that the purpose is to immunize 100 million Americans in the first quarter of 2021. Furthermore, another 100 million people will be added by the second quarter of the next year.
The great news regarding the vaccine rollout in the US can only make us happy, although the basic guidelines for protection against COVID-19 remain the same: avoid crowds as much as possible, wear a facemask, as well as frequently wash the hands.
Oddly enough, the medical experts added that behaviours and the safety practices aren’t to blame when it comes to the higher risk of infections in public places during the holidays.