Nix those plans for a big Thanksgiving dinner

Or it may be the last one for some of your family:

Hunt said the county will continue ramping up COVID-19 testing and educating residents on best practices. A large part of that is avoiding small gatherings with friends or extended family, he said, because many people forget to wear a mask and social distance while among people they knew well.

"Our contact tracing in Wilson County is showing that our current uptick is definitely from small family gatherings and small group gatherings," Hunt said. "We see no links to schools, churches, large venues, none of that. It's all small gatherings."

Your extended family is not a quarantine pod, and there is no magical formula that will protect you from the least responsible members. The virus has spread to the point where your exposure to it is not just possible, but likely. That's under normal circumstances of going grocery (or other essentials) shopping a couple times a week. Bring in 16-18 people, from 5-7 different pods (that's assuming they all actually tried to quarantine properly, which is a stretch), and your exposure becomes very likely. Just a quick detour while the dinner rolls are baking: It looks like the rats were falsely accused of spreading the Black Death:

To understand the historic outbreak, scientists from the University of Oslo modeled the three transmission routes for the disease -- rats, airborne and human fleas and lice -- using mortality data for nine outbreaks that spanned the time period of the second pandemic. Their analysis found that human ectoparasites, such as fleas, reflected the death trends most accurately.

The model outcomes therefore suggest the spread of the plague back then was mainly attributable to human fleas and body lice, according to the study published Monday.

"Our results support that human ectoparasites were primary vectors for plague during the Second Pandemic, including the Black Death," the authors write. This challenges "the assumption that plague in Europe was predominantly spread by rats," they added.

Granted, personal hygiene pretty much didn't exist back then, and Joseph Lister wasn't born until 1827. But it's all relative. Everybody thinks they're fine until they're not, and even then there's about 40% of our population who are walking idiots. You may not have any family members who fall into that category, but they surely know some who do.

The following is a case study where a 13 year-old girl infected almost her entire extended family earlier this year:

There is increasing evidence that children and adolescents can efficiently transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1–3). During July–August 2020, four state health departments and CDC investigated a COVID-19 outbreak that occurred during a 3-week family gathering of five households in which an adolescent aged 13 years was the index and suspected primary patient; 11 subsequent cases occurred.

Both heads of each household were interviewed to assess demographic characteristics, exposures, symptoms, close contacts, and outcomes. Parents provided data for all children, adolescents, and young adults. Thirteen of the index patient’s relatives sought viral testing; test results were reported by respondents, and all test results that were reported to be positive were verified in state reporting systems. For three children and adolescents who were not tested while symptomatic, a chemiluminescent immunoassay* detecting total antibody to SARS-CoV-2 was performed 28–46 days after symptom onset; results were positive for all three children and adolescents, including the index patient and her two brothers, indicating earlier infection. Likely exposure periods† and infectious periods§ were estimated from symptom onset dates. This activity was reviewed by CDC and was conducted consistent with applicable federal law and CDC policy.¶

While away from home, the index patient was exposed during a large COVID-19 outbreak in June 2020. Because of her exposure, she sought testing for SARS-CoV-2 after returning home. A rapid antigen test performed 4 days after exposure, when she was asymptomatic, was negative (Table) (Figure). She experienced nasal congestion 2 days later, her only symptom. That same day, she, her parents, and two brothers traveled to a gathering with 15 other relatives, which began the following day. Attendees belonged to five households in four states and ranged in age from 9 to 72 years. Fourteen relatives, including the index patient, stayed in a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house for 8–25 days. These relatives did not wear face masks or practice physical distancing. An additional six relatives (an aunt, an uncle, and four cousins) visited for 10 hours on day 3 and 3 hours on day 10, when six overnight attendees were potentially infectious, but maintained physical distance and remained outdoors; none wore face masks.

Among the 14 persons who stayed in the same house, 12 experienced symptoms** and were subsequently found to have COVID-19 based on Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists definitions.†† Six cases were confirmed by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, four persons were classified as having probable COVID-19 based on positive antigen testing or clinical and epidemiologic criteria, and two persons were classified as having suspected COVID-19 based on positive antibody testing, including the index patient (Table). The other two overnight attendees never experienced symptoms, including one who received a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test result 4 days after the last exposure. One person with COVID-19 was hospitalized and another sought emergency department care for respiratory symptoms; both recovered. None of the six relatives who remained outdoors and maintained physical distance developed symptoms; four had negative RT-PCR test results 4 days after the last exposure, and two were not tested. Relatives with COVID-19 were advised by state investigators to self-isolate, and contacts were advised to self-quarantine.

That happened during a period where Coronavirus infections were trending down.



This sucks pretty hard.

I had actually planned to go to my sister's on Thanksgiving (wearing a mask). There are several Grand Nieces & Nephews I haven't seen since last Christmas, and they are growing way too fast.

But it's not worth the risk. To me or to others. *sigh*