Will COVID-19 cancel Christmas and other holidays?
VICTORIA -- After a surge in COVID-19 cases apparently due to transmission during the Thanksgiving Day long weekend, experts say to brace for impact when it comes to upcoming celebrations like Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas.
In B.C and across Canada, indoor social gatherings are blamed for a massive spike in coronavirus cases. Canada's deputy health officer confirmed the last holiday was an issue.
"In some areas we are learning that gatherings during the Thanksgiving weekend contributed to the elevated case counts we are seeing today. Our actions matter," said Dr. Howard Njoo.
When it comes to Halloween, Dr. Bonnie Henry said house parties are a big "no."
She also issued a new order: gatherings in homes are limited to those who live there, plus their safe six. She insisted enforcement would also be stepped up.
Other holidays, like Diwali in mid-November and Hanukkah and Christmas in December, could be impacted, depending on case numbers.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease expert who works at Toronto General Hospital, said it's a good idea to start thinking about how to make those gatherings smaller now.
CTV News obtained a Snapchat video raising questions about whether people are ready to stick to smaller events. One video, posted Monday, shows a gathering of multiple people.
Dr. Bogoch said we don't know the circumstances of the video.
"If people live under the same roof and are in that same cohort, then why not? Have a great time," he said. "Obviously it's not appropriate to have a large house party."
He said if they weren't a household, the gathering likely contravened the spirit of nearly all health orders. He also said it may be time for officials to make sure their message is getting through in age, language and culturally appropriate ways.
"We know what physical distancing is, we know what masks are, we know what hand hygiene is we know not to get together in crowded indoor settings," added Bogoch.
He says personal responsibility also plays a big role in containing the disease.