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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

COVID-19, invited to all nearby holiday gatherings

    By Brian Ly | Staff Writer

    NBC News

       While celebrations, held as both outdoor and indoor gatherings, are a traditional way for people to spend quality time together, this has to change. With another wave of the coronavirus sweeping across the nation, lives are at stake and there is no excuse to risk them. 

       According to the New York Times, there were at least 1,616 new coronavirus deaths and an average of 91,878 new cases reported in the United States on Nov. 4, which is a 51 percent increase of cases from two weeks prior.

       Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has hit its highest number of daily reported coronavirus cases. One of the biggest contributions to the spike in cases has been large gatherings. People have gotten tired of staying in isolation for months, and their reckless celebrations continue to jeopardize lives.

       Although there is varying risk to attending gatherings, safety is never guaranteed. During events that host large groups and last for extended periods of time, the risk of spreading COVID-19 rises. 

       On Oct. 9, the California Department of Public Health announced that provate gatherings of up to three households are allowed. While this announcement loosens the tight social restrictions from the past few months, it still imposes the general consensus on gatherings during a pandemic: that they should be limited. 

       Reasonably, the holiday season seems like a light at the end of the tunnel to all of the chaos, opening up time to enjoy the year’s conclusion with friends and loved ones. However, large gatherings have proved catastrophic, and they are far from the thing that should be on people’s minds.

       Avoiding gatherings should be a priority for many, a choice that people should commit to to ensure that the holiday season doesn’t invite another wave of the coronavirus. Putting others at risk for a celebration undermines the harrowing months spent in quarantine, prolonging the very thing that has tired the nation.

       In addition to this, holiday shopping has also proved to harbour risk. The shopping scene has had to adapt to safety guidelines to help minimize infections within stores. Along with mandatory mask-wearing, stores have emphasized their online options, along with curb-side pickup, both being effective choices when circumventing crowds and preventing the risk of disease transmission.

    Retailers have adapted to using online platforms to entice buyers that may be on the fence about shopping during quarantine. Sites such as Amazon have dominated the industry in terms of online shopping, and still stands as a reliable alternative to shopping without leaving home.

    And, because of the pandemic, seasonal sales haves started earlier than ever, with retailers such as Target and Walmart having initiated their deals at the beginning of November to reduce crowds in stores close to the holidays.    

       Health officials across the world have cited the protocols that help stifle transmission, including wearing masks in public, maintaining distance from others, and regular handwashing. Above all, they recommend avoiding gatherings, for both celebrations and shopping.

       The best way to connect with friends and family members carries virtually no risk: meeting completely online. While the experience will be different, being able to use apps such as FaceTime or Zoom allows for gatherings with loved ones without putting anyone at risk.

       The tired nation has been gripped by COVID-19 for over eight months, and the holiday season is a crucial reminder of what is at stake. With the looming threat of a continuous pandemic, this year’s holiday celebrations and shopping sprees will be best spent at home. The pandemic has been relentless, and it is far from over.

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    COVID-19, invited to all nearby holiday gatherings