Researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have found that fewer Americans plan on taking precautions against coronavirus when hosting or attending holiday parties compared to last year.
The survey, which polled more than two thousand adults nationwide late last month, revealed that fifty-one percent of respondents would ask guests to wear face masks or coverings—down from sixty-seven percent from a year ago. Moreover, only half of those surveyed would ask for the vaccination status of their friends and family members.
“If everyone in attendance is vaccinated and are without major health risks, you can have a safe, small gathering without a lot of additional precautions,” Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, chief quality and patient safety officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and assistant professor of internal medicine, said in a statement.
“Unvaccinated individuals really pose the greatest threat, and that’s when it becomes necessary to put some rules and precautions in place, even though those conversations can be a little bit awkward. . . . Plain and simple, vaccines work,” Gonsenhauser said. “They’re highly effective. The vaccines that we’ve seen developed for COVID are some of the most effective vaccines that we've ever seen in the history of medicine, there’s no debate about that.”
Meanwhile, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged earlier this week at a Bipartisan Policy Center event that individuals who are vaccinated against the coronavirus can “feel good about enjoying a typical” holiday season this year.
“If you get vaccinated and your family’s vaccinated, you can feel good about enjoying a typical Thanksgiving, Christmas with your family and close friends,” Fauci said.
“When you go to indoor congregate settings, go the extra mile, be safe, wear a mask,” he said. “But when you are with your family at home, goodness, enjoy it with your parents, your children, your grandparents. There’s no reason not to do that.”
Reaching Endemic Level
“To me, if you want to get to endemic, you have got to get the level of infection so low that it does not have an impact on society, on your life, on your economy,” he said. “People will still get infected. People might still get hospitalized, but the level would be so low that we don’t think about it all the time and it doesn’t influence what we do.”
“Look what other countries are doing now about adopting a booster campaign virtually for everybody,” Fauci said. “I think if we do that … by the spring we can have pretty good control of this.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.