Top public health officials are doubling down on their request for Americans to not travel during the holidays this 2020 to reduce the surge of new COVID-19 cases. Yes, it is not the first time, nor the last that we will be hearing this request from the health administrations.

This week, MSNBC and Andrea Mitchell interviewed the longtime National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who voiced out his concerns about people hosting gatherings with friends and extended family members or traveling for the Christmas holidays.

Mitchell addressed that according to CDC, the United States may encounter almost 20,000 COVID-19 deaths until Christmas comes. This is followed by Dr. Fauci, saying that although Americans need to decide based on their situations, they should still seriously consider reducing or cancelling their holiday travel plans entirely. He also said that people should avoid large gatherings and stop going out often in public places to minimize risks.

This may be a difficult task for most of us, especially during the holiday season because we’re used in celebrating it with our families and friends. However, if we want to prevent more deaths and hospitalizations caused by COVID-19, these celebrations and travels shouldn’t be done to the best of our capabilities for now.

Here are the things that we shouldn’t ignore as we go through this month’s pandemic situation:

  •  Practice social distancing, especially in public places.
  • No matter where you live, you should wear a mask and sanitize often.
  • Avoid public places and going on events with large crowds, especially if they are indoors or if most of the guests don’t have face masks.

Before Thanksgiving, public health officials are already seeing a great increase in new COVID-19 cases. And they predicted that these numbers will continue to rise even more after a couple of weeks because residents in different states ignore CDC guidelines on Thanksgiving. They also think that people have planned holiday dinners or packed their bags for Christmas travel already by the time they begin to see the post-Thanksgiving spike.

The state of California has requested their residents to stay at home after a record of 30,000 new positive cases occurred on Sunday. On the other hand, only less than 15% of intensive care hospital beds are empty in the south of the state.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told state officials that they really don’t have any choice in tightening travel restrictions around the country, as well as bans on private gatherings and restaurant dining. The lockdown in California may last for more than three weeks or until the ICU capacity goes above 15% again.

Andrew Cuomo, New York’s Governor, has asked retired nurses and doctors to return to work. He said that if the number of positive cases in hospitals won’t decrease in five days, restaurant and indoor dining will stop across the state.

However, some of the schools in New York have reopened on Monday, allowing a few in-person instruction for young students – a move guided by numbers showing lower positive rates in schools.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker explained that their state had discovered a post-Thanksgiving surge, saying that the coronavirus infection skyrocketed after a few days.

The states of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and New Jersey have also declared a one-day rise in new COVID-19 cases after Thanksgiving.