“We all have a risk, the important thing is to recognize it”: the COVID-19 bubble and the difficulties of celebrating the holidays

Doing the exercise of investigating the COVID-19 bubble would work to make the decision of whether or not to travel to celebrate the December celebrations (Photo: Jason Szenes / EFE)

When it is believed that the close social circle of each one was small, and that due to that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is less, the American journalist Farhad ManjooFrom his personal experience, he revealed that this thought may be wrong.

This November 20 he published a column in the newspaper The New York Times titled “I tracked my COVID-19 bubble and it’s huge”, Where the possible decision to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day in person with his family.

The beginning of his text already warns about the consequences of holding these holidays as it takes up the statements of Jared Polis, governor of colorado, who pointed out that attending Grandma’s house to celebrate is like “bring a loaded gun to grandma’s home”.

Still, the hesitancy to travel a number of kilometers to celebrate the holidays is great. As did his own Manjoo to make a choice: the exercise of investigate all regular contacts to know who they met and what activities they carried out.

Jared Polis, governor of Colorado, pointed out that attending grandmother's house to celebrate is like “carrying a loaded gun to grandmother's home” (Photo: Michael Reynolds / EFE)

Jared Polis, governor of Colorado, pointed out that attending grandmother’s house to celebrate is like “carrying a loaded gun to grandmother’s home” (Photo: Michael Reynolds / EFE)

Manjoo I thought that he only kept in touch with his wife and two children, but this was not the case, since the minors carry out other activities that keep them in contact with various people from time to time.

He thought maybe there were a few left, however, the reality was very different. To continue creating your bubble, the journalist sent emails to the parents of his children’s friends and to his classmates and teachers, to whom he questioned his own closeness bubbles.

His surprise was enormous when he found out that his red, at this point, it was almost 40 people; He also learned that the mother of a classmate of his children was a doctor, so kept in contact with at least 10 patients each week.

As she counted, she realized that if she made the trip to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day to his parents’ house, “it would be like asking them to sit down for dinner with more than 100 people”.

Majoo realized that if he made the trip to celebrate Thanksgiving at his parents’ house, “it would be like asking them to sit down for dinner with more than 100 people” (Photo: Justin Lane / EFE)

This exercise not only led to questioning the way in which people have socialized during the coronavirus health emergency, the way of ask people about their habits and contacts.

“When I sat down a few weeks ago to email people in my network for details on their contacts, I was paralyzed by the task. I am a journalist who is used to meddling in people’s lives, But asking about people’s exposure to the virus crosses a line of familiarity that even reporters rarely cross.”, Indicated Manjoo.

Concern about how invasive asking such personal situations can be was mitigated knowing that contact tracing is a must to reduce contagions. Is a task that the health authorities of each country carry out, and that they recommend to use individually.

This search can also bring surprises, such as knowing that people who are contacted take sanitary measures seriously and, therefore, they do not present a greater risk. But the realities can be very different for everyone.

“Everything is a lot of work: worry, double control, uncertainty, the constant specter of death.  But for the family, it's worth it ”, said Manjoo (Photo: EFE)

“Everything is a lot of work: worry, double control, uncertainty, the constant specter of death. But for the family, it’s worth it ”, said Manjoo (Photo: EFE)

Manjoo He attributed his tranquility to the place where he lives and the people with whom he relates. Many of them are engineers Y scientists who are forced to wear a mask, keep distance from each other and use hand sanitizer, but not everyone has the same luck.

The interest in wanting to visit families in these times should not be questioned, since, according to Manjoo, are instinctive decisions, “governed more by emotion than empirical data”.

However, the doubt will always remain. Given this, in an interview that Manjoo performed to Emily Gurley, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, noted that during the pandemic, everyone has some level of risk, but the important thing is to recognize it and know if it is worth taking it.

Farhad Manjoo made a decision: go celebrate the Thanksgiving Day with his family, but did not put aside the concern that may lead.

It’s all a lot of work: worry, double checking, uncertainty, the constant specter of death. But for the family, it’s worth it”, He concluded.

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