CDC Recommends Unvaccinated People Avoid Holiday Weekend Travel

by Valerie Williams
Mario Tama/Getty

The CDC is recommending that unvaccinated people not travel this weekend — and that vaccinated folks use caution

Welcome to America where hospitals in states like Florida are absolutely full to the brim with COVID-19 patients but also, Disney World is somehow still open? That must be one of the reasons why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is asking unvaccinated people to try to stay the hell home this weekend. Well. They didn’t word it that way exactly, but I’m gonna go ahead and guess there are some frustrated CDC employees who, after almost two years, are truly done with our shit. Could anyone blame them?

“First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” says CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing yesterday. Walensky also cautions vaccinated people to use caution while traveling and to consider current transmission rates when making their plans.

We’ve now been living pandemic life for over 1.5 years and of course, this isn’t the first time public health professionals have asked us to use our heads in order to avoid further spread of COVID. Sadly, it seems that America doesn’t learn from pain as we battle our way through the rampant spread of the delta variant, which is already causing schools to shut down as cases quickly spread among students and staff. Labor Day weekend is particularly concerning knowing that families will travel and gather, spreading COVID, and then sending their kids to school immediately afterward.

As reports spread of some schools in states that prohibit mask mandates already shutting down for virtual learning after just days due to COVID spread, parents have every right to be nervous that Labor Day weekend gatherings will mean another spike in cases resulting in more weeks of virtual learning to come. Can people just have some chill so our kids can go to school in person? Please?

The rise in COVID cases in children as school starts again is particularly concerning as kids under age 12 are still not eligible to be vaccinated against the virus. Labor Day weekend travel could mean a lot more unvaccinated kids becoming infected. The AAP reports that 200,000 children have tested positive for COVID in the last week and with those huge numbers comes more hospitalizations too. In fact, the CDC reports that between August 20 and 26, an average of 330 COVID-positive children were admitted to hospitals every day.

Is that big Labor Day cookout or beach trip worth a big rise in cases that will inevitably shut down more schools, make more people sick, and send even more to our already overstretched hospitals? Is it worth our kids possibly not being able to go to school? Is it worth someone’s life? These are questions every individual must ask themselves and as we close in on two years of dealing with this virus and the umpteen ways its upended life as we know it, I’m going to hope we can start doing the right thing so we aren’t hearing this message for Labor Day weekend 2022.