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‘Pandemic fatigue’ does not mean relaxing precautions as Thanksgiving looms

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 2:36 PM CST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With the election on everyone’s mind, you might not have been thinking as heavily about COVID-19.

But unfortunately, the virus is still very much here with the U.S. surpassing 11 million cases over the weekend -- the last million of which came within the past week alone.

It’s been eight months since our world changed forever, but the end is still out of sight.

“The pandemic is far from over,” Dr. Phillip Coule from Augusta University Health said.

Coule describes the spread of the virus like a wildfire. Georgia burned the hardest in July, but it doesn’t mean that flame can’t rekindle.

“If there’s not as much fuel of vulnerable people or people that haven’t had it and people taking precautions, then it’s not as likely to start up as rapidly,” Coule said.

Numbers in Richmond and Columbia counties are on the rise, with the seven-day average nearly doubling over the past two weeks. But the rate of increase here is not nearly as bad as places like the Midwest.

“A place that hasn’t experienced this is more vulnerable to it and therefore the reason you’re seeing the spike there,” Coule said.

With that being said, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If there’s one thing we’ve learned through all this, it’s large gatherings of people can be superspreader events.

“Certainly any points of contact with loved ones or family members without appropriate precautions can present risk,” Coule said.

Canada celebrated its Thanksgiving on Oct. 12. Since then, they’ve seen a surge in new cases.

“We need to remain cautious, and now is not the time to get pandemic fatigue,” Coule said.

Thanksgiving is known a time to relax with loved ones, but this year, we can’t let our guard down.

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