A group of American scientists examined data from the Castlight Health platform on the health of 2.9 million families in the United States for ten months of 2020. The specialists focused on analyzing information about the birthdays of all family members and confirmed tests for COVID-19 within two weeks of the alleged celebration of this event. Scientists did not know exactly who and how celebrated children’s birthdays, so they were guided by a universal model of American behavior – in the United States, it is customary to arrange large parties with children.
The results showed a strong association between holidays and an increased risk of coronavirus transmission. In high-incidence areas, a household was 30% more likely to get tested positive within two weeks of a child’s birthday than other households. Neither the weather nor the restrictions imposed had any effect on these indicators.
It is noteworthy that the risk of infection in a household after the birthday of an adult family member was more than two times lower than after a child’s birthday. The authors of the study do not know the exact reason for this phenomenon, but suggested that an adult can refuse a noisy party, while many parents do not dare to deprive the child of the long-awaited holiday.
“If you are going informally with family and friends, you may lose your guard and don’t wear a mask. You probably feel that family members and friends are not as dangerous to you as the general public, ”the scientists say.
Earlier, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that most often children become infected with coronavirus infection from adults not in schools, but mainly at family parties, weddings and funerals. This may also be due to the fact that in educational institutions, children and teachers wear masks and keep their distance more carefully, the authors of the study believe.