PHILADELPHIA – If you invite friends to hang out in Pennsylvania, then both you and your friends should be wearing masks.
This is the rule, but Barb Chestnut is not going to follow it on Thanksgiving.
“No one will tell me what I can and cannot do in my home,” says Chestnut, 60, from Shippensberg.
In an effort to cope with the out of control pandemic, governors and mayors are tightening the mask regime and imposing restrictions on indoor gatherings, which they see as the reason for the acceleration of the spread of coronavirus.
But although these measures have the force of law, it is impossible to track their implementation in practice.
While many, of course, listen to the recommendations on health issues, some part of the population will inevitably ignore the new restrictions of states and municipalities and will socialize anyway.
According to experts, this could increase the burden on hospitals and lead to an even larger surge in morbidity and mortality after the holidays.
“I think there is a lot of resistance here,” said Dr. David Rubin, director of research at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has an average of 172,000 cases of coronavirus per day, which is almost double the number at the end of October. The number of hospitalizations, deaths and positive test results also rose sharply.
In response, the authorities are imposing restrictions.
In Utah and Vermont, any informal meeting is prohibited. Similar decisions were made by local authorities in Philadelphia and Dane County in Wisconsin.
In Kentucky, no more than eight people from two households can get together; in Oregon, no more than six.
California has a night curfew.
Top health officials are urging Americans to stop traveling for Thanksgiving.
Still, more than a million people traveled to US airports on Sunday, according to the Transportation Safety Administration, the highest since the pandemic began.
Dr. Debra Bogen, director of public health for Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, which includes Pittsburgh, said too many people ignore health authorities’ advice, resulting in the virus spreading out of control.
“I asked people to follow the rules, not to have meetings and parties, to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, and to wear masks. I don’t ask for that anymore, ”Bogen said.
She said her recommendation to stay at home could turn into an order if people don’t listen.
But even some police departments are not ready to cooperate.
Some sheriffs in upstate New York have said they have no intention of enforcing a ban on private gatherings of more than ten people recently issued by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“You don’t have to hide cars and sneak around to get together with your family. We do not intend to drain our limited resources to obtain search warrants and count how many people eat turkey in your home, “Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood wrote on Facebook.