In the context of a human-borne illness, a superspreader is an individual who is more likely to infect others, compared with a typical infected person. Such superspreaders are of particular concern in epidemiology.
Thousands upon thousands of official public celebrations have been canceled in an effort to prevent mass gatherings. Two notable exceptions to this are the fireworks planned by the Trump administration in the center of Washington, and an event on Friday night at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota where the president will attend a fireworks display.
This event has managed to upset Native American leaders who, rightfully, consider the location stolen tribal land and to simultaneously irritate those worried about wildfires in the parched landscape, where fireworks have been banned in recent drought years and further divide views on health precautions, with the Republican governor of South Dakota, in true Trumpian science denying form, saying social distancing will not be enforced and anyone who doesn’t like that idea can “stay home”.
Despite the cancellation of most municipal celebration, large groups are still expected in backyards, homes and streets, as Americans strain to celebrate their liberation from British rule in 1776.
Officials are of a mind that the impact of the Independence Day celebrations could be catastrophic considering the record number of new coronavirus cases.
“It’s set up a perfect storm,” Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center, said during a briefing by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
“The combination of travel, the combination of reopening – perhaps in some cases too early – and the combination of people not necessarily following some of these preventive guidelines.”