Thanksgiving Travel Suggests Surge in Covid Cases and Deaths: Fauci

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Thanksgiving Travel Suggests Surge in Covid Cases and Deaths: Fauci” – below is their description.

    Coronavirus infections are already reaching unprecedented levels throughout the U.S. Now with Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror and Christmas and New Year’s just around the curve, the question is: Just how much worse is the pandemic going to get?

    The latest travel data out Monday suggest that things are looking grim. Between 800,000 and 1.1 million people flew in the days leading up to and after the holiday, according to data released by the Transportation Safety Administration. Though those numbers are a fraction of typical Thanksgiving travel patterns, they are far higher than public health officials and epidemiologists hoped to see.

    Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that the U.S. may be about to see “a surge upon a surge.” On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that Americans who traveled this past week should “assume that you were exposed and you became infected.” She urged those that traveled to get tested within the next week.

    The number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. topped 200,000 for the first time Friday. There have been more than 265,000 deaths. Last Wednesday, as millions had already begun their holiday travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast as many as 21,400 new deaths due to the virus over the next four weeks.

    Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said he suspects those numbers are not high enough.

    “Everytime I look at the data, it’s worse,” he said.

    Jha says he expects the number of new deaths to be more in the range of 25,000 to 30,000 in the Thanksgiving aftermath.

    “Things are going to be so bad over the next month,” Jha said.

    Exactly how bad it will get is difficult to say. Americans not only flew, but also drove to Thanksgiving celebrations. Before the holiday, the American Automobile Association predicted significant declines in bus, train and cruise travel, but only a slight drop in car travel. AAA said it would not have travel figures for the holiday anytime soon.

    Car travel was projected to fall 4.3% from last year’s pre-pandemic level, to 47.8 million travelers. With less travel this year by public transportation, AAA estimates driving will account for 95% of all holiday travel. On Monday, AAA said travel may have been less than initially forecast because of climbing infection rates and public health warnings. U.S. gasoline demand decreased 7.3% in seven days ending Nov. 28, according to GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app.

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    In This Story: Allergy

    Allergies are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to typically harmless substances in the environment. These include hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma, and anaphylaxis. Symptoms may include red eyes, an itchy rash, sneezing, a runny nose, shortness of breath, or swelling.

    Common allergens include pollen and certain foods. Metals and other substances may also cause problems. Food, insect stings, and medications are common causes of severe reactions. Their development is due to both genetic and environmental factors.

    Treatments for allergies include the avoidance of known allergens and the use of medications such as steroids and antihistamines. In severe reactions injectable adrenaline (epinephrine) is recommended.

    Allergies are common. In the developed world, about 20% of people are affected by allergic rhinitis, about 6% of people have at least one food allergy, and about 20% have atopic dermatitis at some point in time. Depending on the country about 1–18% of people have asthma. Anaphylaxis occurs in between 0.05–2% of people.

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  • In This Story: Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving is best known as a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November every year, usually through feasting, parades and travel to see family and friends, though celebrations were scaled back during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

    The roots of the modern celebration lie in settlers celebrating their arrival in the Americas in the early 1600’s. It has been a public holiday since 1941 due to federal legislation, an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States.

    Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a celebration of the blessings of the year, including the harvest. What Americans call the “Holiday Season” generally begins with Thanksgiving. The first day after Thanksgiving Day—Black Friday—marks the start of the Christmas shopping season.

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