Experts Suggest That Family Gatherings Are Responsible for COVID-19 Outbreaks Nationwide

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We’re so far into summer at this point that we’re already planning for back to school. This summer has looked like no other. We’ve had to cancel, change and modify so many plans. Family reunions became Zoom meetings. Vacations became staycations. We’ve never spent so much concentrated time in our home with just the family in our household until this year.

Not everyone has taken COVID-19 precautions strictly over the summer. It’s easy to think that it must be safe to get together with a few friends or family members. Many people have had backyard BBQs, birthday parties or other gatherings, and they’ve come to regret it.

One example is in Charlotte, North Carolina, where a single family gathering led to 40 new cases of COVID-19. Most likely, one or more people attending the gathering without knowing he or she was sick, and then the infected family members went back to work and daily life, interacting with even more people, before they found out that they too had contracted the virus.

Another example is in Dallas, Texas, where a man who was convinced that COVID-19 was a hoax convinced his family that it was safe to get together for a party. After the party, 14 people tested positive for COVID-19, and one family member died. This man later told NBC, “I cannot help but feel responsible for convincing our families it was safe to have a get-together. There’s a lot of things that I would have done differently.”

Yet another family in Dallas threw a surprise birthday party, and 18 people ended up getting sick. Ron Barbosa said that his 86-year-old mother, 88-year-old father, and his sister, who is undergoing chemotherapy, not only got COVID-19, but were also hospitalized because of it. Barbosa told BuzzFeed News, “Everybody says, ‘Oh, it’s my family. I’m going to go see my brother. I’m going to see my cousin,’ and they think that’s a safe word.”

If you are invited to a party or gathering, the best idea is to just say no. You don’t need to give an explanation. Simply say something like, “Thank you for the invitation, but I can’t go.”

If you absolutely must attend a party or gathering, it is vital to practice social distancing, wear a face covering and wash your hands. It is also a very good idea for the gathering to be held outside instead of inside since, due to the way air travels outside, it is much less likely for people to get COVID-19 outdoors, especially if you’re practicing social distancing and wearing a face mask.

The best idea is to stay home and enjoy what’s left of the summer with the members of your household. Watch the video below for some fun activities your whole family can do together without leaving home.

 

Have you attended any family gatherings this summer?