Local and state leaders have speculated the new coronavirus wave of infections began, in large part, with people having Halloween get-togethers. As such, both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz warned residents to limit their Thanksgiving gatherings.
Cuomo said, “Thanksgiving is coming up. Here's my next personal opinion and theory: You will see a tremendous spike after Thanksgiving. A tremendous spike after Thanksgiving. No scientific data, no health commissioner said that – that's my personal theory. Why? Because Thanksgiving is a holiday and people come together; and if you don't have a real fear about COVID, you're going to come together. And you see people saying, ‘Nobody's going to stop me from coming together. That's my family, you can't tell me don't socialize with my family.’
“It's going to happen. It is going to happen, and it's going to happen because it's human behavior.”
Poloncarz said, “Just like Gov. Cuomo said, and I posted earlier today on social media, we need to learn from what happened to our neighbors to the north and west – depending where you are – in Canada. They had their Thanksgiving in October. Their Thanksgiving is always in October. They saw a big spike in cases and hospitalizations as a result of people gathering for Thanksgiving. That is why we are recommending that you do not have the normal Thanksgiving, except with your immediate family members. …
“The Canadian experience showed that there was rapid spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 cases from individuals who went to family and friends’ house for Thanksgiving. Let's learn from their experience.
“This is not a war on Thanksgiving. We want people to have Thanksgiving. We also want people in 2021 to be around at the dinner table for that Thanksgiving. We hate to see the stories that come out of an individual catching COVID-19 from a family member who either didn't know they had it, because they were asymptomatic, or just had like what they thought were the sniffles. …
“Please, have Thanksgiving with your immediate family. Do not go to your other family members or friends that you normally would do, because there's a very good chance that you're going to be putting them at risk, or yourself at risk, and nobody wants to do that.”