The shadow looming over the holidays

Coronavirus Daily

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The shadow looming over the holidays

This holiday season, hosts and attendees of seasonal events have to be mindful of more than just gifts, menus and travel: The novel coronavirus is also likely to cast a shadow over the most festive period of the year.

New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance urges taking steps to avoid or mitigate the risk of virus exposure and spread, including moving celebrations online. In-person gatherings, if they do occur, should be outdoors, kept small and feature mask-wearing and social distancing, the agency said.

For many Americans that would mark a radical departure from what is normally one of the most festive times of the year. A seemingly endless series of events and celebrations typically take place in the fall and winter months ahead, from Halloween and Día de los Muertos to Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Kwanzaa, Christmas and the New Year.

It's a time that's not exactly known for keeping people apart: Many head out to the malls, pack into holiday parties, and get on crowded flights to visit family members they haven't seen in months.

The CDC isn't telling anyone not to observe their favorite holidays. It is proposing some safer alternatives to time-honored traditions, and ways to cut down the risk of passing on the ruthless pathogen that's already found so many other ways to alter the fabric of our lives. 

But with Covid cases still rising, and the U.S. just having eclipsed 200,000 virus deaths, traditional celebrations like trick-or-treating, crowded Thanksgiving parades and Black Friday shopping sprees may be off limits this year.—Emma Court

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What you should read

Many of Covid's Retail Winners Don't Sell Online
Global recession triggered by virus has accelerated shift to discount chains.
'Death on the High Seas Act' Protects Carnival
The century-old maritime law limits monetary damages for shipping industry.
Scotland Restricts Visiting Other People's Homes
Aim is for schools, businesses to remain open and avoid another lockdown.
Philippines Reopens Tourism Hotspot Boracay
The country wants more locals to revive its pandemic-hit tourism sector.
Harvard's Undergraduate Enrollment Drops 20% 
Pandemic spurs some students to begin in the next academic year instead. 

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