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Conditions are continuing to deteriorate in America’s hospitals and long-term-care facilities. Still the holidays loom. What’s usually a happy countdown ’til the end of the year is plagued by fears that they’ll prove accelerants for this already-deadly surge.
What should you weigh as you consider your holiday plans? Leadership vacuums remain, and no one has succeeded in offering clear safety guidance that Americans will actually follow. Here’s what our writers are thinking about:
+ It’s time to hunker down. “Everything that we may have done somewhat cautiously—and gotten away with—in summer may carry a higher risk now,” Zeynep Tufekci, a columnist with a track record of proving unusually prescient, warned before Thanksgiving.
+ Public health is taking an abstinence-only stance toward social contact. That isn’t realistic. “Just like safer-sex education, guidance for this holiday season must also include nuanced information about how people can protect themselves if they travel to that Christmas dinner anyway,” Julia Marcus, an epidemiologist and professor at Harvard Medical School, argues.