SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — In-person holiday plans are getting scaled back or outright canceled due to coronavirus concerns, and for some, the pandemic is hitting closer to home than they ever expected.
“My brother has COVID, his whole family has COVID. I believe my brother in England has COVID,” said Jane Perko of Aliso Viejo.
Families are thinking twice about inviting older relatives for Thanksgiving, especially now on the heels of stern warnings from health officials about the spike in local cases, and other guests fearing COVID-19 could spread among their loved ones.
“I don’t think we’ll be spending as much time with my family — my extended family — like my grandma grandpa uncles older people. It’s probably going to be me my mom and my sisters and my dad. That’s how it’s affecting us and we can’t really go anywhere,” said Arriel Galden of Orange County.
College students who’ve gone away for school are returning home this week and next as coronavirus continues to spread among the younger population, and often without serious symptoms.
Orange County Health reports five deaths in people under 25 years old, compared to the 1,528 cumulative deaths countywide, but still, officials warn that there are some risks to younger people.
Dr. Daisy Dodd, who specializes in pediatric infectious diseases at Kaiser Permanente Orange County, said there’s been an uptick in coronavirus cases among kids and teens.
While she says children and young adults with coronavirus tend to do better than others in most cases, she’s concerned about young people with lingering symptoms.
“We’re seeing things like fatigue, mental lag, persistent cough, lack of appetite — one of the things that they seem to have for weeks is the loss of taste and smell,” Dr. Dodd said. “So, it’s not as benign as we think.”
California has reported 1.06 million coronavirus cases and more than 18,000 deaths, with the threat of a third wave looming and forcing businesses to take stricter actions against the virus.