Weekly COVID Update – Dec. 23, 2020

I hesitated to post this update. This is supposed to be a cheery time of year. But then I realize that if I could persuade even a handful of people to cancel their plans to have a holiday gathering with people outside their household, it would be worth it.

First, I’d like you to read this story, written by Dr. Robin Schoenthaler, a radiation oncologist in Boston. She meticulously planned a “safe” Thanksgiving, with all the windows open, everyone separated by 6 feet, and under 2 hours. Two days later, she got the news she dreaded: one of her sons tested positive. She and her husband didn’t, mainly because of all the precautions she took.

I’d venture to say that most of the 85 million people traveling in the next few days aren’t going to be as careful as she was. They think, very mistakenly, it’s possible to be safe sitting inside for more than a few minutes with people outside your immediate household. In fact, with so many people infected, you have no idea how many times your loved ones may have been exposed, and you’re very likely to underestimate the risk of asymptomatic infection from one of them.

The vaccine is coming. You really can’t afford to miss one holiday gathering? Please, rethink this. It’s not to late to move your celebration online. If you’re young, think how bad you’ll feel the rest of your life if you infect your parents or grandparents. If you’re older, like me, think about your kids and grandkids, and how you want to be alive at this time next year to hug and kiss them.

Do you support BLM? Do you care about people of color? Then think about how COVID is affecting their communities so disproportionately.

And if you’re an anti-masker, or one of those people who thinks “liberty” is the same as COVID denial, then please, think again. What if you have a heart attack? How will that play out when there are no ICU’s left? This is not about “owning the libs.” It’s about keeping you and your family alive.

If all that isn’t enough to dissuade you, then maybe these charts will.


This may be my last post of the year on Reddit. I want to thank all the people who have given me awards, messaged me, and challenged me. I’m a bit of a social media curmudgeon, having deleted my Facebook account 2 years ago, kicked out of NextDoor.com for being political, absent from Twitter, and barely visible on Instagram. Reddit has been a social media experience unlike any of those other platforms, and I appreciate it.

I’m looking forward to 2021. I know January will be hard, but I’m hopeful that we can turn this country around. Happy holidays to you all and hopes for a very different new year!

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