The shorter day cycles aren’t the only thing casting a shadow on the holidays this winter. Following what has been a disastrous fall season for COVID-19 cases in the Northern Hemisphere, the winter is looking even worse. As families consider small meetups or virtual dinners, governments have had to impose tighter and tighter restrictions on businesses and social gatherings. With coronavirus mutations, thousands of new cases a day, and rising death tolls, households are going to be much emptier this holiday. But by using a digital health passport, families may be able to have safer interactions than they were expecting.
Cases Keep Climbing
The main reason why governments are being forced to evaluate their quarantine restrictions is due to the number of cases. Since about mid-September, the United States has had a record-breaking rise in cases and hospital visits. While September rates stayed above 39,000 new cases per day, those numbers now seem tiny when compared to the magnitude of recent infection statistics. Following the beginning of December, America has experienced daily case rates of over 200,000. This is an inconceivable figure. And if actions aren’t committed to reducing exposure and infection, the U.S. population and economy could be in serious jeopardy.
But this is not an America-only issue. Canada is now well over 500,000 cases nationwide. Ontario alone is experiencing new daily case rates of about 3,000 people. While these numbers pale in comparison to the United States, proportionally, they are quite dramatic. The United Kingdom is another country that has become completely devastated by coronavirus as of late. But this is largely due to its contraction of a coronavirus variant.
The mutated coronavirus is a huge concern for many nations and a massive contributor to recent vaccine approvals and lockdowns. At the moment, the U.K. is one of the few countries that has confirmed the presence of the COVID-19 variant, but that only means that it has yet to be detected in other nations. The scariest part about this mutated virus is its infection rate. This new coronavirus has been seen to be significantly more contagious than the previous strain. It is even starting to replace other versions of the virus. So, how do you protect your healthcare system and population from becoming completely incapacitated by this? The answer is an unpopular one.
Increasing Holiday Restrictions: A Necessary Evil
A rise in cases plus a new, increasingly threatening strain, equals grave consequences. The only way to combat the probability of these dangerous events is to increase the lockdown restrictions during the holidays. However, this is a time of the year where families are most likely to break the rules and host larger social gatherings. While restrictions are frowned upon, increasing the daily difficulty of your life slightly could save the lives of thousands of people.
This reality is finally starting to sink in for some of the U.S. states that have been hit worst by this second wave. California recently mandated a stay-at-home order that forces Los Angeles County residents to stay inside, forego organized sports (professional and amateur alike) and stop attending secondary and post-secondary schools. This a huge restriction, but one that is necessary to limit the interactions of its 10 million residents. New regulations like this are emerging all over the country following the post-Thanksgiving spike. In order to navigate these restrictions effectively, people have had to look once again to technology for a solution.
Technology as a Solution
The number of restrictions and regulations between states can be extremely difficult to monitor, let alone implement. As a result, many tech companies have developed apps to help their users track state protocols. But understanding restrictions solves only part of the problem. How do you safely interact with family members who need additional care?
Organizations like CovidPreCheck are developing apps that allow users to track their COVID and vaccine status through a digital health passport. This online health document should allow businesses and families to safely engage in the activities that are allowed. If you want to ensure the health and safety of employees, friends, or family members around you, you should sign up for the CovidPreCheck app today. Learn more by contacting us directly or visiting our website.