“32,000 Americans who think they’re going to be alive to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s are wrong,” says expert; here’s how to stay safe on your holiday Disney trip

Credit: PositivelyOsceola

It’s an awful headline to read, I know, but no politics here; we’re going to talk about how to be safe on your trip to Disney World for the holidays! Let’s get to it!

Dr. Gregory Poland, an epidemiologist for Mayo Clinics, says that according to his calculations, approximately 32,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 before the end of the year. Poland is one of the top immunologists in the country.

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“32,000 Americans who think they’re going to be alive to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s are, no pun intended, dead wrong,” Dr. Poland told MailOnline. “Not one of them believes [it].”

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It comes as the United States approaches yet another bleak milestone: 800,000 American lives lost because of the coronavirus. As of the time of this publication, our country has lost 796,000 Americans to the virus, and there’s seemingly no end yet in sight. Now, says Poland, the general public is “comforting themselves” when it comes to the new Omicron variant of the disease.

“Everybody’s comforting themselves with the idea that Omicron is less severe,” Dr. Poland explained. “It may well be but that is very, very, preliminary information that comes from one specific area of the world where Delta has not been as deadly as it has here. It fascinates me that a tiny little preliminary report like that makes its way around the world. Everybody fixes on that belief. And yet, look at the last year of work trying to get people immunized and they ignore it.”

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We aren’t here to plug any stance: pro-vax, anti-vax, whatever-vax. But we do want you to have fun on your Disney Christmas trip, and we want you to stay safe.

Masks at Disney? You bet, but not everywhere. They'll have "Relaxation zones"

You can read the CDC’s guidelines for protecting yourself here. And you can read some of our Disney steps to keeping safe (based on CDC guidelines, of course) here:

  • Vaxxed or not, keep your distance from others in the parks. Obviously, during crowded seasons, like Christmas and New Year’s, the parks can be very full, making social distancing tricky at best. So, do your best. Hey, pandemic or not, no one wants a total stranger breathing down their necks.

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  • Vaxxed or not, Disney World has specific requirements when it comes to masks, and those requirements are not up for debate. Per Disney’s guidelines, “Face coverings are required for all Guests (ages 2 and up) in all indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status. This includes upon entering and throughout all indoor attractions and indoor queues and in Disney buses, monorail, and Disney Skyliner, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings are optional for Guests in outdoor areas.
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    All face coverings (whether disposable or reusable) should:

    • Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
    • Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
    • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free

    At this time, based on guidance from health authorities, neck gaiters, open-chin, triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings.”

  • Wash your hands like you mean it. It’s been said that it’s a sad thing that it took a global pandemic to teach people how to wash their hands, but, here we are. You know the drill: wash for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap (and longer if needed). Once you’ve washed your hands, don’t touch faucets, faucet handles or the handle on the paper towel dispenser. Use your elbow if you must touch something. Dry your hands well and use the paper towel to cover your hand as you reach for the door handle.

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  • Vaxxed or not, if you’re not feeling well, don’t go into the parks. Though it can be disheartening to miss part of your trip, we all have a moral responsibility to keep from spreading illness–COVID or otherwise–to others.

Stay safe out there and have a great time on your holiday trip to the parks! There’s nothing like a Disney World Christmas!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!