It might be time to rethink your quarantine bubble

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Thanksgiving and other fall shenanigans usually yield family and friends gathering in concert around a selection of high-carb dishes and mediocre red wine. And usually, all that good-good is happening under one roof, but unfortunately, COVID-19 has put a germy damper on social gatherings of all sorts. While some people are trying to soothe their social souls by hanging out in small, “safe” groups — a.k.a their quarantine pods or bubbles — health officials are reporting that these small gatherings are driving a spike in coronavirus cases.

According to CDC director Robert Redfield, while people are being better about social distancing, wearing masks, and other safety precautions in public, it’s a completely different story behind closed doors. “What we're seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings," he said during a call on Tuesday with all of the nation's governors, according to CNN. "Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it's really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting," he says.

This emphasis on social distancing comes at what appears to be the stink of a second coronavirus wave. The U.S.’s seven-day average of new daily cases surpassed 51,000 people in the past week, and that figure hasn’t been that high in two months according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Thanks to a few irresponsible party throwers in our midsts, and one very irresponsible wedding in Maine, I will not be able to gorge on my cousin’s sausage cornbread stuffing next month.

The average of coronavirus figures are now more than 48% higher than a month ago, when they were trending downward, getting as low as 34,354 according to CNN. Being blase enough to hold a corporate meeting, for example, has made ordinarily level-headed people look real silly. The meeting I’m shading in Boston has been linked to Over 20,000 infections from one meeting. With 36 states seeing their COVID-19 cases rise by more than 10% in the past week, health care workers are overwhelmed and horrified by superspreader events such as this. Hospitalizations increased to more than 36,000 patients across the U.S. this week, according to the Atlantic’s Covid Tracking Project.

Frustration is at an all time high this year, and will only get higher since the uptick in cases will likely to worsen as the winter comes and we all huddle inside. So please, rethink hanging with your pod indoors unless you’re socially distancing for real. And for the sake of the country, teach your grandmother how to use Zoom for supper this year.