2020-10-14 08:02

Is There a Safe Way to Be Home for the Holidays? pkM世界播



One of American culture’s most cherished traditions is for a mix of young and old people from different households to sit close together and share food in a poorly ventilated space without masks on for an extended period of time. It’s called Thanksgiving. pkM世界播


This year, the holiday season is laced with danger. Individually, Americans have been tempted over and over during the pandemic to violate public-health experts’ recommendations, whether by the celebration of a family milestone or just a drink at a bar. But the holiday season represents a different, more collective sort of temptation that’s likely stronger than any of the ones that came before it. pkM世界播


The dangers of the holidays will keep some people from traveling home. Xochitl Segura, a 30-year-old in San Francisco who works for a marijuana dispensary, most likely won’t be at her parents’ house, in Napa Valley, for Thanksgiving or Christmas, because her mom is worried about the health risks. This has been hard for her to accept. “My parents are getting older, and I think about how they’re not going to be around forever,” Segura told me. “Who knows how many more Christmases we’re going to get, how many more Thanksgivings we’re going to get.” pkM世界播

假期的危险会使一些人不能回家旅行。在旧金山一家大麻药房工作的30岁的Xochitl Segura很可能不会在她父母位于纳帕谷的家里过感恩节或圣诞节,因为她的母亲担心健康风险。这让她很难接受。塞古拉告诉我:“我的父母越来越老了,我想他们不会永远在我身边了。”“谁知道我们还会有多少圣诞节,我们还会有多少感恩节。”pkM世界播

These are the powerful and entirely valid feelings that public-health guidance will run up against when Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas arrive. Many people will, unlike Segura, act on those feelings, and it could be dangerous when they do so during the same roughly monthlong stretch of time. pkM世界播


How many people will leave home is an important question. In a typical year, about 50 million Americans travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving, according to AAA. In this atypical year, it’s not yet clear how large that number will be. On one hand, a survey from Morning Consult in early September found that just under half of Americans are scrapping their usual plans for holiday gatherings. And Gary Leff, a blogger who follows the airline industry closely, told me that based on airport foot traffic this year, he expects the number of flyers during Thanksgiving and Christmas to be no more than half of what it was last year. However, he notes that this year’s uncertainty makes it difficult to predict travel patterns accurately this far in advance. pkM世界播

有多少人将离开家是一个重要的问题。根据美国汽车协会(AAA)的数据,在典型的一年中,大约有5000万美国人离家至少50英里来过感恩节。在这个非典型的年份,还不清楚这个数字会有多大。一方面,晨间咨询(Morning Consulting)9月初的一项调查发现,略低于一半的美国人正在放弃他们通常的假日聚会计划。密切关注航空业的博客作者加里·莱夫(Gary Leff)告诉我,根据今年机场的客流量,他预计感恩节和圣诞节期间的飞行人数不会超过去年的一半。然而,他指出,今年的不确定性使得提前这么长时间准确预测旅行模式变得困难。pkM世界播

But on the other hand, air travel usually accounts for just a small fraction—about 8 percent—of Thanksgiving trips overall. The overwhelming majority of Thanksgiving travel is by car, and drivers have hardly been deterred by the coronavirus this year, according to AAA. That is consistent with data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics showing that around the Fourth of July and Labor Day, the number of trips covering 100 to 500 miles rose significantly compared with last year, while the number of trips covering more than 500 miles fell significantly. pkM世界播


Whether or not those patterns hold for the upcoming holiday season, it seems safe to say that tens of millions of people will be spending extended periods of time indoors with friends and family who live outside their household. “Thanksgiving makes me nervous,” says Andrew Noymer, a public-health professor at UC Irvine. pkM世界播

不管这些模式是否适用于即将到来的假日季节,似乎可以肯定地说,数千万人将在室内与住在外面的朋友和家人一起度过更长的一段时间。“感恩节让我紧张,”加州大学欧文分校的公共卫生学教授安德鲁·诺默(Andrew Nomer)说。pkM世界播

He expects lots of Americans to go home for the holidays, even if it’d be much safer if they didn’t. The main threat, in his view, isn’t the traveling or the gathering, but rather the combination of the two. “The actual three and a half hours you spend inside the [plane] is not what I worry about … but bringing people together in the [airport] gate area worries me—we’ve all seen people with their noses sticking out above their mask,” he told me. “But even just driving 45 minutes to someone’s house and sitting around the table at Thanksgiving with people who you don’t normally mix with” is worrying too. pkM世界播


An additional danger is that the coronavirus could spread more easily in the colder months, as other respiratory viruses do. “It’s not just that people are gathering. It’s that they’re gathering amidst the backdrop of this winter-seasonality effect,” Noymer said. “I just don’t see any scenarios, barring a vaccine, in which we don’t have lots of COVID-19 this winter, and Thanksgiving is going to play a role in that,” Noymer told me. (Black Friday, he noted, might play a role as well; aware of this threat (and of would-be shoppers’ fears), many stores are moving away from having a big, single-day sale, instead spreading their deals out over a longer period of time.) pkM世界播


On top of increasing infections, holiday travel and gatherings might have a consolidating effect on what my colleague Ed Yong has called a “patchwork pandemic,” a set of regional outbreaks that flare up and subside at different times. “I worry that interstate travel for Thanksgiving has the potential to synchronize the pandemic, so that we all have a winter wave at the same time,” Noymer said. This simultaneity could put a strain on medical supply chains. pkM世界播

除了不断增加的感染之外,度假旅行和聚会可能会对我的同事埃德·杨(Ed Yong)所说的“拼凑而成的大流行”产生巩固效应,即一系列在不同时间爆发和消退的地区性疫情。诺默说:“我担心感恩节的州际旅行有可能使大流行同步,因此我们所有人都会在同一时间遭遇冬潮。”同时,这可能会给医疗供应链带来压力。pkM世界播

When I asked Noymer if people will be home for the holidays, and if they should be home for the holidays, he replied, “Yes,” and then, “No.” pkM世界播


That said, when I asked Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, whether it’s safe to travel, he said that although the collective risks of holiday travel are large—it could make the pandemic worse overall—the risks for any given individual traveler can be reduced. “With caution, it can be done,” he advised, but if you’re unsure, err on the side of not going. pkM世界播

也就是说,当我问哥伦比亚大学流行病学家斯蒂芬·莫尔斯(Stephen Morse)旅行是否安全时,他说,尽管假日旅行的集体风险很大-它可能会使流行病总体上变得更糟-但任何给定的个人旅行者的风险都可以降低。“谨慎的话,这是可以做到的,”他建议说,但如果你不确定,那就错在不去了。pkM世界播

If you do decide to go somewhere, Morse told me, there are a number of precautions you can take that, combined, could reduce the risks of getting or spreading the virus. (But ramping up the caution or just skipping the trip would be a good idea if you or your loved ones are particularly vulnerable to the disease.) pkM世界播


Personally, I would also suggest establishing some safety ground rules with your loved ones before the trip—not just so everyone is comfortable with the level of caution, but so that you avoid tension over figuring out protocols in the moment once you’ve already arrived. (For some additional recommendations on making holiday plans, the economist Emily Oster recently published a useful guide.) pkM世界播

就我个人而言,我还建议在旅行前与你所爱的人建立一些安全基础规则-不仅这样每个人都会对谨慎程度感到满意,而且一旦你已经到达,你就不会因为制定协议而感到紧张。(有关制定度假计划的其他建议,经济学家艾米丽·奥斯特(Emily Oster)最近发布了一份有用的指南。)。pkM世界播

Adhering to guidelines like these will likely make holiday travel even more stressful than it is in non-pandemic years. Michael Miraflor, a 38-year-old marketing consultant in Brooklyn, is planning to quarantine himself for a week before and after a trip to visit his family in Los Angeles; he’ll get tested once he’s on the West Coast and then isolate until he gets a result. “That means planning to visit for a week can take up to three to four weeks of actual time,” given the quarantines, he told me. “I’m okay with that if it ensures the safety of those I come in contact with. … I’ll do what I have to do.” (For the record, Noymer said that quarantining doesn’t seem necessary for people who traveled cautiously, but if you wanted to be extremely careful, a 14-day quarantine would be ideal. Quarantining for half as long would be less effective, but still better than nothing.) pkM世界播

遵守这样的指导方针可能会使假日旅行比在非大流行年份更有压力。38岁的迈克尔·米拉弗罗(Michael Miraflor)是布鲁克林的一名营销顾问,他计划在前往洛杉矶看望家人之前和之后对自己进行一周的隔离;一旦他到了西海岸,他就会接受检测,然后进行隔离,直到得到结果。“这意味着计划访问一周可能需要长达三到四周的实际时间,”他告诉我,考虑到隔离情况。“如果能确保我接触过的人的安全,我对此没有意见。…。我会做我必须做的事。“。(根据记录,Nomer说,对于谨慎旅行的人来说,隔离似乎不是必要的,但如果你想非常小心,14天的隔离将是理想的。隔离时间减半会效果较差,但仍比什么都没有好。)。pkM世界播

For others, even such elaborate arrangements can’t rescue the holidays. Keisha Brown, a 24-year-old retail-store manager in Rochester, New York, won’t be able to drive home to Rhode Island for Thanksgiving or Christmas because of her work schedule and because New York’s quarantine rules would mandate that she isolate herself for 14 days upon returning. “I guess I’ll just have to FaceTime my friends and family and make my own Christmas dinner,” she told me. She’s planning to try cooking a green-bean casserole like her mom does, but the celebrants will be just her and her cat. pkM世界播

对于其他人来说,即使是如此精心的安排也无法挽救假期。纽约罗切斯特24岁的零售店经理凯莎·布朗(Keisha Brown)将无法开车回罗德岛的家中过感恩节或圣诞节,因为她的工作日程安排,而且纽约的检疫规定要求她回国后必须将自己隔离14天。她告诉我:“我想我只能和我的朋友和家人面对面聊天,自己做圣诞晚餐了。”她正计划尝试像她妈妈那样做一道绿豆砂锅菜,但庆祝活动将只有她和她的猫参加。pkM世界播

Segura is also planning an alternative Christmas, given that she won’t be spending the holiday with her parents. Instead, she might drive down to Southern California with a friend who is also not going home for Christmas. “It would mostly just be relaxing in a little beach town, probably not a whole lot of celebrating, but a lot of chilling and hanging out and indulging—lots of good cannabis, some wine, some beer,” she told me, “just trying to forget about the fact that 2020 is on fire and we can’t do all of the things that we want to do.” Perhaps we need a new national holiday to acknowledge just that. pkM世界播


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