The coronavirus pandemic could put a damper on barbecue plans this holiday weekend as more Americans prioritize social distancing, a new study suggests.
Bank of America surveyed 1,072 Americans about their holiday weekend plans and found that just 45% planned to host or attend a barbecue. During more normal times, 56% of Americans typically plan to have a cookout or barbecue annually, according to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association.
Still, of the 45% who plan to celebrate, 35% will do so socially distanced, with crowds of 10 to 25 people.
Fewer Americans are comfortable attending large gatherings, by multiple accounts. A separate survey of 2,000 Americans from Evite, as reported by AARP, found that 6 in 10 people only feel comfortable attending virtual parties for the rest of the year.
It might not be a bad idea, either. COVID-19-related cases are hitting closer and closer to home with individuals contracting the deadly virus often at family gatherings or reunions. Earlier this summer many as 71% of COVID-19 patients in San Bernardino County, Calif., between mid-June to mid-July, said they were at a family event two weeks prior to their diagnosis, ABC7 reported.
And it’s not shocking that Americans may want to downplay holiday festivities amid a global pandemic, considering previous holidays like Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July have led to spikes in COVID-19 cases. Past instances prompted White House coronavirus adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to urge Americans to take caution this weekend in public.
The immunologist said on MSNBC Wednesday that if cases of the virus spike this weekend, people will continue to be more at risk leading into the winter months, coinciding with the flu season.
Fauci said there are around 40,000 new cases per day in the U.S., and the number must drop under 10,000 daily.
And while Labor Day parties may be looking a bit boring, Americans may still be indulging in hot dogs and hamburgers — 25% of Bank of America survey respondents have bought a grill in the last two months. (By Jeanette Settembre | Fox News)