Twitter erupted into a firestorm of arguments after an MSNBC health columnist suggested that we “cancel Thanksgiving” and move winter holidays to prevent the spread of illness and disease.
The debates began on Wednesday when Dr. Esther Choo, a professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, gave suggestions on how to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19 and RSV, during the holiday season.
She tweeted that “for so many reasons” Thanksgiving should be canceled, winter holidays should be moved to the summer, and winter holidays should be “more about hygge, books, and netflix.” Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian term equating to a mood of coziness.
Additionally, Choo touted several benefits of such a move, including a lack of “bad holiday-themed sweaters,” the avoidance of snowed-in winter holiday travel, the fact that you simply don’t have to “endure” Thanksgiving, and the fun of summer parties.
It’s a bit unclear if Choo was joking about her proposals, as she later seemed to poke fun of the people who were taking her seriously. Some of the responses offered similar confusion.
“I can’t tell if you’re joking,” New York Times and NBC News contributor Benjamin Ryan said.
However, her proposals still prompted a flurry of heated responses and debates over the possible holiday shift.
Ryan later followed up with a response, saying, “Yeah, I think ‘Let’s cancel Christmas’ is a non-starter. Do these people really believe they won’t be pilloried for such nonsense?”
“May I suggest…no,” Heritage Foundation Director of Media and Public Relations John Cooper tweeted.
Christina Pushaw, rapid response director for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, offered up her own advice, suggesting “we cancel ‘public health’ tyrants instead.”
Others, such as DeSantis’ deputy press secretary Jeremy Redfern, simply poked fun at Choo for the suggestion, as well as Choo’s employer, MSNBC.
While COVID-19 measures have been largely rolled back, discussions about future mitigation strategies have continued to persist among government leaders, public health officials and media members.
The Public Health Departments of multiple major residential areas in the U.S., including Los Angeles County, strongly recommended that residents mask up indoors ahead of the holiday season.
The White House on Tuesday encouraged Americans to push COVID-19 vaccination at the Thanksgiving table and published a list of Biden Administration “accomplishments” on Wednesday for Democrats to compete with their Republican family members.
The Biden admin insists that widespread vaccination could prevent almost every coronavirus death in the country, despite vaccinated individuals surpassing unvaccinated people in COVID deaths as of August.