Thanksgiving Day trips put US health authorities on alert

The image burns in the eyes of US health authorities: passengers crowding into airports, train and bus stations ready to travel hundreds, perhaps thousands of kilometers to reunite with their families. An individual wish that is more than legitimate on the eve of the celebration of Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 26), but which can have dire consequences at the collective level due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this reason, some States have imposed new restriction measures and others try to convince the population to celebrate this year at home:

“If we look back in time, just to see the trend we have, it took us nine and a half weeks to go from 35,000 cases to 70,000 cases, double that. Nine and a half weeks. And it took six and a half weeks to go from 70,000 to 140,000 cases. So, the infection rate is accelerating. We are not decreasing it, “Utah Governor Gary Herbert warned at a press conference.

According to the latest count from Johns Hopkins University, the pandemic has left more than 257,000 dead in the United States. With 34,339 deaths, New York tops the list of states with the most victims. They are followed by Texas, with 21,074, California, with 18,743, Florida, with 18,085, and New Jersey, with 16,772.

The map changes slightly if we talk about the states with the highest number of infections: Texas and California have registered more than a million cases since the pandemic began, and Florida is inexorably approaching that number. Illinois and New York close the list of the five most affected states.

El Paso, a Texan city of one million on the border with Mexico, has become the new epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Hospitals are saturated with COVID-19 patients and morgues no longer hold more corpses.

It remains to be seen the effect of the constant hammering of the authorities on the risk posed by internal displacement or the observance of rules such as social distancing or the use of masks. In New York, there has been a real scandal when it became public that 7,000 people attended a clandestine Jewish wedding without masks. The grandson of a rabbi was getting married.

When it comes to travel, it is estimated that more than 47.5 million people will travel this year by Thanksgiving by car alone, two million less than in 2019.