Canada: Possible post-Thanksgiving Outbreak

COVID-19 in Motion - a preamble to a Thanksgiving outbreak in the US?

Houston Haynes

3 minute read

History Repeats

Having taken a turn with the data following Israel’s increase in mask-wearing compliance, I decided to look at the data in Canada after someone warned me about their Thanksgiving showing an ominous trend. Again, here I’m using Our World In Data as a source. I decided to map cases and deaths per million on separate axes in order to see them scaled separately. And it’s just as scary as I thought. That lagging indicator is frightening on two levels:

  1. It’s hard to not see those April numbers as terrifying for Canada’s future, given that deaths lag cases, and
  2. thinking of how badly things will go in the US in December after its Thanksgiving holiday in November.

Super-spreader events more common than originally thought

MIT has just completed a range of studies of COVID-19 along with other SARS/MERS events and found that super-spreader events (where more than 6 people are infected by one person) are more common than original estimated.

“Super-spreading events are likely more important than most of us had initially realized. Even though they are extreme events, they are probable and thus are likely occurring at a higher frequency than we thought. If we can control the super-spreading events, we have a much greater chance of getting this pandemic under control,” says James Collins, the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering and Science in MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Department of Biological Engineering and the senior author of the new study.

There are many rural medical systems that are already on the brink in the US. To have a massive surge of cases after Thanksgiving would be a disaster. I hope people see this and realize they need to stay put and hunker down.

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