The Year-Ending Holiday Trifecta of Pandemic Spreading

The Year-Ending Holiday Trifecta of Pandemic Spreading

While we are soon to get through the openings of schools at the end of a shorted out summer, the holidays in the fall and winter will easily restart another wave of the Coronavirus. 

Today, we have passed 5 million Coronavirus cases nationally, which is 1.5% of the US population.  Year to date, there have been 162,000 nationwide Coronavirus deaths, or 10% of all deaths to date.

California has just passed 10,000 deaths, with 7,000 hospitalized, and over a half million cases, at 556,000.  The cases are 1.4% of the California population.

The season begins with Labor Day on September 7, still celebrating the summer.  But the real Trifecta will begin with Halloween on Saturday, October 31st.  What parent can deny their kids the fun of Halloween?  The real scary kids will be the ones not wearing masks.   I would let the candy sit for a few days before you even touch the wrappers.  The worst neighborhoods will be ones where the kids have been in school and passing around colds, the flu, and the Coronavirus. 

The next superinfection date is Thanksgiving on Nov. 26.  This is twenty-three days after the election, so we may well know who the winner is, to give great thanks for.  Hopefully we can celebrate that we have finally reduced the virus, but since Virus Stupidity still reigns freely, it is not guaranteed.  While Trump is pardoning the Thanksgiving Turkey, he might throw in pardons for a number of his mob accomplices as well.

That is followed by Christmas on Dec. 25th, which is preceded by weeks of shopping, probably largely on-line.  Then there is New Year’s day, without the Rose Parade, but hopefully with some college football games.  If not, maybe they will throw in some NFL games if college football is discontinued.  This period with close family visits and vacations is the most effective for passing on the virus.  It also involves people moving around the country, further spreading hot spots.  Kids are at home, and college students return home. This involves a lot of packed airplane flights.  We still have no data on the safety of flights and carriers.

All of this still takes place during the Trump regime, with still ambiguous guidance.  Republican Governors who are Trump loyalists will still be serving their roles and blocking effective local urban actions.  Movie theaters will undoubtedly be open during Thanksgiving and the holidays.  Again, there is the germ trifecta of colds, seasonal flu, and the Coronavirus. 

Hopefully, some of the vaccines will start becoming available.  Advances in therapeutics and epidemiological knowledge should help prevent and treat cases.  We have to keep pushing for people to take the flu vaccine, in order not to mix up hospital treatments between the flu and the Coronavirus.  The flu vaccine is already available, but not yet the high dosage shots.  In an effective society, virtual learning, social distancing, and masking could also give us the most cold and influenza free season ever.

If Trump is voted out of office, we can expect little attention to combatting the Coronavirus by the administration, but a great rush to continue dismantling government regulations by executive orders, and filling any vacant judgeships and long term non-partisan boards.  A massive burning of records and erasure of emails will also ensue, for sure violating the government records act.  Book deals for exposes and self-justifications will also proliferate.  I doubt if the Trump Administration will leave any advice for managing their programs, or any aid in the transition.  We expect Trump principals to hasten to be richly rewarded in returning to positions with industries that they managed while in the government.  This was another massive infection which we have suffered from for the past four years.

Of course, neither we nor anybody else discusses the very real possibility that Trump becomes infected by the Coronavirus with his unmasked and closely packed audiences, despite the most sincere efforts of the secret service.  If you notice the tall guys who are the only ones wearing masks at Trump gatherings, and who seem more interested in the audience than Trump himself, draw your own conclusions.

In short, we have a long time with massive hurdles to finish out the year and Trump term of office in combatting the Coronavirus. 

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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