Feb. 5, 2021 — Although Tremendous Bowl Sunday is just not a nationwide vacation, it’s typically handled as one — a daylong celebration stuffed with mates, household, and meals. However this yr can be completely different. A minimum of, that’s what medical doctors are hoping.

Medical professionals are pleading with the general public to remain bodily distanced and maintain gatherings digital this Sunday. In any other case, there might be renewed spikes in COVID-19 instances — a very alarming prospect given the brand new strains which have cropped up.

“We’re frightened as a result of there are new variants of COVID, so there’s even much less room for error,” says Preeti Malani, MD, chief well being officer and professor of medication within the Division of Infectious Illnesses on the College of Michigan. “We don’t need Tremendous Bowl Sunday to change into ‘Superspreader Sunday.’”

There are three specific variants which have brought on concern to this point — originating in the UK, South Africa, and Brazil — all of which have been detected in the US. They appear to be extra contagious than the unique pressure, and it’s unclear how nicely the out there vaccines defend in opposition to them.

“This Sunday, keep in mind whichever crew you are rooting for and whichever industrial is your favourite, please watch the Tremendous Bowl safely, gathering solely just about or with the folks you reside with,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, mentioned Wednesday at a White Home COVID-19 Response Group information convention.

Anthony Fauci, MD, the White Home COVID-19 Response Group’s chief medical adviser, has issued warnings just like ones he supplied in the course of the vacation season. In an interview with NBC’s At this time present Wednesday, he mentioned “there at all times is a spike” of latest infections following historically social instances.

“Benefit from the recreation, watch it on tv, however do it with the rapid members of your loved ones, the folks in your family,” he mentioned.

Fortunately, surveys present that many individuals might heed these warnings. The Nationwide Retail Federation reports that simply 28% off folks say they are going to be throwing or attending a celebration or watching the sport at a bar — the bottom within the survey’s historical past. In 2018, survey outcomes confirmed 18% mentioned they might host a Tremendous Bowl celebration, and 28% mentioned they’d attend one. 5 % mentioned they might go to a bar or restaurant.