COVID-19 Restrictions Expand Ahead of Thanksgiving

COVID-19 Restrictions Expand Ahead of Thanksgiving

( – With a little more than a week before Thanksgiving, some governors and mayors across the country are placing restrictions on Americans. As one of the nation’s greatest traditions, governors are growing concerned that Thanksgiving weekend gatherings will act as super-spreaders for the highly contagious virus.

Some states and local governments are putting the brakes on opening their economies. They are ordering or urging people to stay at home or close businesses. Others are reducing business hours and operations. While some of the recommendations coming from public officials appear to be common sense, others are whimsical.

Where Are Restrictions Being Engaged?

COVID-19 is not impacting all states or communities equally. While one state or area is lower in infection rates, others are higher. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced new restrictions that impact 94% of the state’s population. Non-essential indoor businesses were ordered closed including restaurants, movie theaters, churches, museums, and gyms. Gatherings are allowed outdoors with a maximum of three households worth of individuals.

Similar orders were recently enacted in Michigan, New Mexico, and Washington state.

Cities are also getting in on the action. On Monday, November 16, Philadelphia closed restaurants and prohibited indoor gatherings of any size, period. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot advised people to restrict social gatherings to no more than 10 people and urged them to stay home.

Some of the more interesting restrictions are in California and New Jersey, where officials told citizens not to sing during the upcoming holiday season.

What’s Driving the Restrictions?

As colder air begins to settle in the northern plains and upper Midwest, COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations are rising rapidly as people head indoors. The west coast and east coast are also experiencing increases in infection rates. However, while testing has increased dramatically and significantly higher cases have been reported, death rates have remained low. As of November 15,

While the number of reported daily deaths ticked up slightly, the mortality rate remains very low compared to the number of cases. Last spring, the opposite was true – death rates were sky high, but infection rates were lower.

Why the flip?

It’s likely due to the significant increase in testing.

Will the Shutdowns Work?

The question is, will shutdowns work, and is there more harm than good to come from them? In March, the shutdowns were initially implemented to provide a few weeks for hospitals to prepare and flatten the curve. However, it expanded into early June.

Lockdowns can indeed lower the rate of infections. However, at what cost? Heavy restrictions and lockdowns in the spring caused an economic catastrophe, high unemployment, depression, and a host of other physical and mental health issues.

As a result, Americans are experiencing “COVID fatigue” and mental exhaustion.

On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence said the federal government is ready to help states where hospitals are near capacity. He reminded America that a vaccine is on the way and that “America has never been more prepared to combat this virus.”

Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst

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