Business & Investment

“It’s not a holiday. It’s a horrific disaster!” Should I go to a New Year’s Eve party?Ask an infectious disease specialist

A new Omicron variant of COVID-19, a disease caused by the new virus SARS-CoV-2, has complicated the outlook for the New Year’s announcement, even for vaccinated friends. After all, it’s only one night. A bottle of champagne and some dance. It didn’t hurt. Or can it be done?

Everyone is afraid of post-party contact tracing emails or group texts that say someone has tested positive for the virus. They look like this: “Thank you for making New Year’s Eve special. I’m sorry, Mildred showed symptoms of COVID-19 and was positive the next morning.”

Cases continue to grow as the second Christmas of the coronavirus pandemic approaches in a nervous and optimistic atmosphere. COVID-19 is Killed 787,064 people American. As of December 6, the average daily number of cases in the United States was 119,751, an increase of 28% in two weeks. New York Times tracker.

The Christmas party for employees of the Norwegian renewable energy company was accused of being a “superspreader event” for the highly contagious Omicron variant. The market, and the amount of serious illness it causes.

“Our working hypothesis is that at least half of the 120 participants were infected with the Omicron mutant during the party, which is currently the largest outbreak of Omicron outside South Africa. “Preben Aavitsland, senior doctor at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, said. Told reuters..

Like the Delta variant, Omicron has spread rapidly around the world, but public health officials have re-infected people who already have COVID-19 and / or have a vaccine due to the structure of this variant. It says it has become more powerful. However, so far, it has not reached a rapid increase. hospitalization..

“”“Decision making is becoming more complex.”

— Dr. Andrew Pavia, President of the University of Utah, George and Esther Gross

Still, you need to ask a few questions before confirming your attendance on the year-end invitation. How many people are there? Is ventilation good? Is the party held indoors or outdoors? This is an important point if you live in a cold climate. How many households do you have? Will they all be vaccinated?

“Decision-making is becoming more complex. There is no absolute answer,” said Andrew, Professor of President George and Esther Gross of the University of Utah and Head of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Unit at the University Hospital. Dr. Pavia said.

How many people are there and who are there? Is this their first party of the season or their tenth party? “You may think about the behavior of the party,” he added. “A crowded, drunk, chaotic party like the prototype of an office party is different from a more modest gathering.”

If invited, will he personally attend the New Year’s Eve party? “If you can rest assured that the answers to the above questions are safe, then it would be nice to be able to attend a gathering of three or four households,” Pavia told MarketWatch. “It may be a little boring, but it’s safe to be with friends and family.”

Other factors: “Did everyone get boosted? Booster doses significantly reduce the risk of breakthrough infections and thus make the party safer. How careful are attendees when not attending the party? Are you? “He said. “If others wear masks in a crowded indoor space and are known to be conscientious, the risk is reduced.”

About those boosters. Approximately 60% of the US population is vaccinated, but so far only 23% have received booster shots. According to research, Pfizer-BioNTech
+ 0.47%

+ 8.17%

And moderna
+ 6.41%

Boosters provide more antibodies, but Johnson & Johnson
+ 0.26%

booster Still improve your immunity.

Party-like virus

Other medical professionals advise not to attend parties that threaten the coronavirus to be an uninvited guest. “Are you and I going into a building where you can see smoke and hear fire alarms? That’s Omicron,” said Dr. Gregory Poland, who is studying the immunogenetics of vaccine reactions at the Mayo Clinic.

There is no good answer to the question checklist, he said. “Are there any holiday parties that don’t sing, dance or stand nearby? If I were a virus, I would have been happy to rub my hands,” Poland said. “It’s not a holiday. It’s a horrific disaster! Of course, America doesn’t want to hear it.”

Some people are paying attention. Earlier this month, Rio canceled the famous New Year’s Eve celebration for the second year in a row. Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Brazil, I have written On twitter

Saturday: “We respect science.” Poland said Americans should also respect science.

“In the face of the Delta, one in 405 people in the Americas died of a virus that can be prevented with a quarter mask, a short distance, and a free vaccine. This is immeasurable,” Poland told Market Watch. Told. “The virus is learning how to immunize with vaccines and avoid immunity with viruses.”

He added that the Norwegian holiday party should be a warning to all party attendees. “It’s the same way we got the Delta. People are infected with multiple variants. How can we prevent people from getting infected with Omicron or another coronavirus? Infectious and deadly like Delta. “

COVID-19 killed more people in the United States Estimated 675,000 deaths Here from the 1918 flu. “They didn’t even understand the nature of the virus yet,” Poland said. “We allowed scientific and economic issues to become political and even religious issues and used them as a tool to divide us.”

“”“The virus is learning how to avoid vaccine-induced immunity.”

— Dr. Gregory Poland studying immunogenetics of vaccine response at Mayo Clinic

Luis Ostroski, director and professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas at Houston, said he was discussing party issues with his wife when MarketWatch called. “I think it’s okay for a small gathering or a couple of families,” said Ostroski.

But he added some important warnings. Alcohol gel. Outdoor space is a plus. “

Treat each party’s invitation individually and advise Preeti Malani, Chief Health Officer, Infectious Diseases and Geriatrics Department, University of Michigan, and Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “Yes, I’m considering going to a party with multiple households,” she told MarketWatch.

She said it’s safer to say no, but staying at home adds to the feeling of isolation. “If party attendees travel on Christmas holidays, I may consider that risk. This can be managed with additional testing. If younger children are coming (still eligible for vaccination) If you don’t have one), you can also consider testing depending on your risk. “

Don’t be afraid to ask if everyone is vaccinated. “The better we know our fellow party participants, the easier it is to know that everyone is fully vaccinated,” Marani said. “Requesting documentation can be a bit tricky, but it makes sense to set this as a way to help expect and reassure everyone.”

Depending on the location of the party, Poland may be persuaded to confirm attendance. “Last year, the goal was relatively stable,” he said. “Currently, the target is much less stable. It’s such a moving target. If I were in New York City, I couldn’t help it. If I was in Podunk, Kansas, I might consider going. Hmm.”

“It’s not a holiday. It’s a horrific disaster!” Should I go to a New Year’s Eve party?Ask an infectious disease specialist “It’s not a holiday. It’s a horrific disaster!” Should I go to a New Year’s Eve party?Ask an infectious disease specialist

Back to top button