The holiday season is among us and unfortunately, so is COVID-19. I know that it’s hard to imagine the holidays without all of the traditions we hold dear. Some of my most treasured memories were spent around the dinner table passing around turkey and pie. But it’s the people around that table I treasure most of all, and that is why this holiday season is going to look different for my family.
Even if we have never met, your family means a lot to me as well. I have seen too many of our fellow Louisianans lose their lives because of this terrible disease. COVID-19 is surging across the country to a degree that dwarfs the spring and summer surges. Test positivity, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all increasing at alarming rates, both nationally and here in Louisiana. It will take all of us to slow the spread. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.
This has been a tough year, and I know we desperately want to be together, but gatherings with anyone outside of our everyday households create environments that are conducive to catching and spreading COVID-19.
Consider that 40% to 50% of individuals with the virus never show symptoms but can and do spread the disease.
We can still celebrate Thanksgiving, but remember: Outside is safer than inside, always wear your mask if you are around people not part of your immediate household, wash your hands frequently, and stay home when you are sick.
I want to thank everyone for their hard work and diligence this year, especially our front-line workers who have kept us going and our health care heroes who have put their own health at risk in order to deliver care. Now, more than ever, we must work together to keep our families and neighbors safe. If we continue to take the necessary precautions now, I am confident that we will be able to gather around the table together again.
JOHN BEL EDWARDS