After weeks of warnings, the ‘Thanksgiving Surge’ predicted by health experts who warned against traveling for the holiday is a no show.
The skies above North America at Noon ET on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) November 24, 2020
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci warned in October that Americans would have to make an “individual choice” when it came to traveling during the holiday season while speaking during a live Q&A with Yahoo News.
“Each individual family needs to make the decision based upon the risk situation in your own family,” Fauci said, noting Americans may need to “bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering.”
“My Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year,” he said, adding that the traveling required to have his family together was not worth the risk.
Just a few days before Thanksgiving, he again warned while speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that there would be “an increase” weeks after Thanksgiving.
He also warned after Thanksgiving that there would be a significant case surge after millions traveled for the holiday, according to POLITICO.
Roughly 22% of Americans were not home on Thanksgiving, according to data compiled by SafeGraph, according to Bloomberg.
NPR estimated that 42% of Americans stayed home this Thanksgiving, up roughly 6% from the previous year.
Data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) days prior to the holiday showed more than three million people traveled through airports despite guidance suggesting otherwise.
However, nearly three weeks later, there so far appears to be no post-holiday surge in numerous cities and states.
“We haven’t seen something significant to talk about now,” Illinois Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “We’ll see for sure in this coming week … We’ll keep our fingers crossed that maybe we’re not going to see a big bump.”
Ezike was one of many public health officials who cautioned Americans to skip out on family gatherings, noting that the celebrations could actually be super spreader events, according to the report. The average new detected infections was declining prior to Thanksgiving but rose a bit afterwards. However, it has since been on the decline, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The decline could be partially attributed to the fact that the state implemented Tier 3 designation on Nov. 20 which limited how many people could be in a business at one time and banned indoor dining, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday that the state was also not experiencing a post-Thanksgiving coronavirus spike, according to the Associated Press (AP).
“We are cautiously optimistic that there was not a post-Thanksgiving surge in cases,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive said, according to the AP. “That means many Michiganders did their part in keeping the spread of the virus down over the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Like Illinois, the state also prohibited indoor dining and shut down some businesses on Nov. 18 to slow the spread, according to the report.
Minnesota has also not seen a Thanksgiving related coronavirus case surge. Data reporter David Montgomery with MPR News said he feels confident that Thanksgiving didn’t seem to contribute to any new cases, according to KARE 11.
“There’s absolutely no sign of a direct trend-changing impact from Thanksgiving gatherings here in Minnesota,” Montgomery said, according to the report.
“This doesn’t mean that cases might not have fallen even more without Thanksgiving,” he added.
However, some health officials worry that an indirect surge could occur in which someone who was infected spread it to others and that data will show up far later, according to the report.
Story cited here.