Feb. 5, 2021 — Although Tremendous Bowl Sunday will not be a nationwide vacation, it’s typically handled as one — a daylong celebration filled with buddies, household, and meals. However this yr will probably be totally different. At the least, that’s what docs 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 could possibly be renewed spikes in COVID-19 instances — a very alarming prospect given the brand new strains which have cropped up.

“We’re anxious 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 Ailments on the College of Michigan. “We don’t need Tremendous Bowl Sunday to develop into ‘Superspreader Sunday.’”

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

“This Sunday, bear in mind whichever workforce you are rooting for and whichever business is your favourite, please watch the Tremendous Bowl safely, gathering solely nearly or with the individuals you reside with,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, stated Wednesday at a White Home COVID-19 Response Workforce information convention.

Anthony Fauci, MD, the White Home COVID-19 Response Workforce’s chief medical adviser, has issued warnings much like ones he supplied throughout the vacation season. In an interview with NBC’s As we speak present Wednesday, he stated “there all the time is a spike” of latest infections following historically social occasions.

“Benefit from the sport, watch it on tv, however do it with the instant members of your loved ones, the individuals in your family,” he stated.

Fortunately, surveys present that many individuals might heed these warnings. The Nationwide Retail Federation reports that simply 28% off individuals 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% stated they’d host a Tremendous Bowl social gathering, and 28% stated they’d attend one. 5 p.c stated they’d go to a bar or restaurant.