We now are fully amidst the holiday season. Hanukkah is here and the Christmas and New Year’s holiday week is fast-approaching.
Public health officials at all levels of government have been warning us for months that we must change our usual manner for celebrating the holidays if we are to have any chance of stopping the deadly spread of the coronavirus.
Unfortunately however, far too many of us have been ignoring these warnings. Families and friends continue to gather for holiday celebrations as if they are completely oblivious to the existence of a pandemic.
But consider these somber and alarming statistics recently released by the state: The overwhelming numbers of active coronavirus clusters across Massachusetts between the period of Nov. 1-November 28 (coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday time frame) were traced to households, which accounted for 9393 of the state’s 9883 clusters and 23,756 of the 26,451 confirmed cases.
In other words, the coronavirus is being spread by family and household members to each other.
This transmission of the virus among household members is nothing new, but its prevalence is striking — about 90 percent of new coronavirus cases are now occurring within our homes.
The arrival of vaccines is wonderful news, but until each of us has a “jab” (that’s what the British call getting a shot) in our arms, none of us are safe and all of us have to assume that everyone we come into contact with is a carrier. We realize that staying apart from our family members and friends during the holidays is tough medicine — but it’s the only prescription that will work to suppress the spread of the virus.