This is two weeks less than what we have to do now, and it needs to start today.
CNN talked with Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst, to understand the implications. The doctor is an emergency physician and visiting professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. This is her guide.
Dr. Wen Wenana: The United States is experiencing the worst pandemic we have ever seen. We added 1 million new infections in just 10 days. As state emergency rooms and intensive care units are too full, hospitals in many states are already transferring patients.
Remember, our loved ones are as likely to carry this virus as strangers. When the virus level in the community is high, it is not safe to have close contact with anyone who is not in your home indoors.
If you want to get together with other families for indoor Thanksgiving, you need to be isolated for 14 days and then tested.
CNN: Why does the quarantine take 14 days?
Wen: The maximum incubation period of the virus that causes Covid-19 is 14 days. If you stay in isolation for less than 14 days, you may be infected and don’t know. I’m sure that none of us will inadvertently spread Covid-19 to our favorite people. Testing prematurely before the 14-day quarantine period may not be infected.
CNN: What can we do during quarantine?
Wen: In this case, isolation means staying away from others and minimizing your risk. This does not mean to be locked at home. Breathing fresh air is very important for physical and mental health. Therefore, it is okay to walk and exercise outdoors. Do your best to keep your distance from other people, and keep a distance of at least 6 feet when outdoors.
We know that Thanksgiving can involve a lot of cooking, so it also involves grocery shopping. Going to the grocery store may also be low risk, although you should try to go during off hours and only go once in a 14-day period. You can also try to order groceries or a whole meal before delivering it to your home.
CNN: What should we not do?
Wen: This is a high risk and should be avoided during this period. Don’t go to indoor bars or restaurants. Avoid the gym. The most important thing is: do not gather with anyone outside the family when doing any activities indoors-it is forbidden to hold banquets, celebrate birthdays or hold any other gatherings indoors. If you are going to socialize outdoors, make sure you always keep 6 feet away from others.
If you are going on vacation with other families, you should discuss other activities you can do. Many doctors’ offices have taken preventive measures, and the risk of seeing a doctor may be low. Many workplaces have established many procedures to reduce risk. If you can maintain a distance of at least 10 feet from others and wear a mask at all times, the risk of going to work is even small.
CNN: Does everyone have to be isolated?
Wen:Yes. The key is that every member of every family wants to get together and must be isolated for 14 days. If one person violates the quarantine rules, that person puts everyone else at risk. This requires a lot of trust, so please set expectations in advance.
CNN: How about daycare and school?
Wen: This is the difficult one. For childcare services for working parents, many families may need nurseries and schools. Their transmission risk is relatively low, especially for young children. However, there is a risk of infection, especially considering the high level of coronavirus nationwide. I don’t think the risk of families still sending their children to daycare or school is low enough to participate in indoor celebrations. However, if children stop daycare or school now, and then undergo examinations within 14 days, they may see other relatives indoors.
CNN: If we don’t isolate for 14 days, can we still see each other?
Wen: Yes, but you can only see them outdoors, and the spacing between each household is at least six feet. You can still safely host and have fun! But don’t gather indoors.
CNN: If we cannot reunite with our family, are there other ways to celebrate?
Wen: Yes! Security does not mean that we should remain isolated. Maybe we can’t meet with the family. You can plan an outdoor “Friendship Day”. Tie up and bring a warm blanket. If it turns out that we cannot celebrate Thanksgiving on that day due to the weather, please stay flexible.
CNN: What if we have to visit our family on Thanksgiving Day?
Wen: Compared with the activities before the trip, I don’t care much about the trip itself. The 14-day quarantine period should be carried out before travel. Then do everything possible to minimize the risk when traveling.
CNN: Is driving better than flying?
Wen: Driving is safer than flying because you can control who is in the car. Minimize rest. If you want to use a public toilet, please wear a mask and disinfect your hands after leaving. Even when flying, the risk is relatively low. According to reports, there are only a few infections on flights where everyone wears a mask. Make sure to wear a mask during the entire flight, preferably N95 or at least 3 layers of surgical mask.
Nevertheless, I still urge everyone to reduce unnecessary travel. Even if the travel itself is low-risk, I am worried about people from all over the country, because almost every part of it is a hot spot for coronavirus at this time.
CNN: What should college students do when they go home on holiday?
Wen: Many universities have broken out epidemics. Young people are often asymptomatic communicators, and returning college students should be considered extremely dangerous.
It may be impractical to quarantine students for 14 days before returning. In this case, they must be isolated once they return home. This means living in a housing area completely separated from other people. They cannot be in any indoor area with others within 14 days. They can only socialize outdoors during this period.
CNN: A lot. Is it really necessary?
Wen: Yes. I know a lot. But we must survive this winter. There is hope, and there may be vaccines and therapeutic drugs next year. We need to achieve this. This means that we must comply with all these precautions. wear mask. Physical distance. handwashing. Avoid indoor gatherings.
We have endured many sacrifices. We can spend this winter together.