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Is there such a thing as a safe Thanksgiving?

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Posted at 8:19 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 22:55:08-05

ABBOTT, TX — Doctors fear we could see another surge of COVID-19 cases after watching millions of Americans hit the road and sky for the holiday.

Svetlana Hensley and her family left Agua Dulce Wednesday, heading for Bartelesville, Oklahoma, and grandma's house.

Their one major source of protection?

"There are so many GermX bottles in this car. We're set. We're good," she explained.

No masks and no gloves. Doctors say that's almost no protection.

”That's less than half a solution. We know that the primary way that this is spreading is through the air, whether that's droplets or actual airborne transmission. And so not wearing masks and only using topical hand sanitizers is going to do little to nothing as far as prevention,” said Dr. John Myers, family physician With Baylor, Scott & White in Hewitt.

Of the people who showed up at the Abbott rest stop on I-35 Wednesday, about one third didn't mask up for the trip. It's a trend that has experts worried.

”The pump has been primed, and now we're putting our foot on the gas,” said Dr. Mark Cassanova of Baylor, Scott & White Dallas.

Not following health guidelines could possibly take the virus to points unknown or deliver people directly to the virus.

”So they could take it with them to a completely new spot where nobody's sick and they could make everybody sick, and then vice versa when you come back. You can easily bring that same virus back to your home, where you were not at risk in the first place. So you're really introducing a whole new method of transmission and putting yourself at unnecessary risk," said Dr. Myers.

So while sanitizer may not be the best solution, the Hensleys plan to use a lot of it.

”How often do I GermX the kids? Every time they touch each other. We're heavily armed with GermX and lots of prayers," said Svetlana.

They'll need them, says Dr. Myers, who describes the only safe, in-person Thanksving as one involving protective gowns, masks or face shields, sanitizers, and food we can look at but not eat.

It's not realistic, but very small groups, masks and sanitizers could work if we stay extra careful, he says.