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'Doing Thanksgiving at a distance, it's important for those people at high risk': Doctor

Dr. Gustavo Ferrer, Aventura Pulmonary Institute CEO & Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Disease Specialist joins Yahoo Finance's Kristin Myers to break down the latest coronavirus developments as cases continue to spike across the country.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Well, keeping this conversation on the topic of coronavirus, we're joined now by Dr. Gustavo Ferrer, CEO of the Aventura Pulmonary Institute. The doctor is a cardiovascular and pulmonary disease specialist. So doctor, I saw one tweet, I'm hoping you can react to it, from a Dr. Daniel Barkhuff that said, quote, "COVID is about to explode."

And then he said in caps, "COVID is about to explode everywhere. Where is the plan to transfer health resources using our strategic lift capability? Where is the plan to move patients to hospitals with capacity? People are going to die by the truckload. Government, do something."

I would love for some of your reactions on that tweet, pretty explosive stuff there. Do you see COVID about to explode? Are people going to be dying by the truckload? I know it's hyperbolic, but, I mean, it's painting a pretty dire picture.

GUSTAVO FERRER: We're expecting the number of cases are going to continue to rise. The writing is in the wall. We can see the number of cases rising all across the country. One thing is that mortality has gone down. And that is a test to what you mention, the hospitals and critical care units are doing a better job in handling these patients.

But nonetheless, we are expecting that when, you know, the Thanksgiving break comes along-- comes along, we're going to see an increase in the number of cases, no doubt about it.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, so speaking about, you know, the surges that we are seeing, and we're now approaching the holidays, Thanksgiving just around the corner. We also saw cases spike over the summer around holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day, July 4 weekend. So what are you expecting now that we have Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holiday events that people want to get together with their families?

GUSTAVO FERRER: Unfortunately, we have the evidence, and everybody knows that around Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, weeks after, two or three weeks after, the number of cases went up. Obviously, we are very concerned-- very concerned about it that Thanksgiving is coming along. Not only Thanksgiving, we are heading toward December gatherings.

And those are places and times when we get together, we get close together, and we're not following the rules. And when we don't follow the rules, the number of cases will go up. And unfortunately, we're going to see number of hospitalizations going up, and we're going to see cases of increasing the mortality, the number of people dying out of it.

KRISTIN MYERS: So then should people just stay at home for Thanksgiving? Not visit grandma and grandpa, visit their aunts and uncles. Dr. Fauci even saying and warning that folks could go out there and get their relatives sick, which, of course, considering the age and possible comorbidities, could lead to a rise in deaths around the holiday.

So everyone should just stick at home, stay at home, and choose not to celebrate together this year, or perhaps do so virtually? Is that the recommendation?

GUSTAVO FERRER: I think, you know, the entire year has turned out to be a year that we are testing ideas and creating ways to get family and people together. The idea of doing Thanksgiving at a distance, it's important for those people that are at high risk. We don't want to take the virus to our elderly parents or elderly grandparents. And then they're going to be suffering in our critical care units in December.

I think it is a critical time in the history of our nation and in the planet, and we all need to work together and find solutions for this pandemic. And that means not only resting on the idea that a vaccine is going to come, it's resting on the idea of a social responsibility. We need our young people to work with us, we need the middle aged people also to participate in all of this, I'm following the rules, following the rules of social distancing, using masks, and limiting the gathering.

Unfortunately, you know, we tend to have big families. My family, we do the same thing. But Thanksgiving this year, we're cutting down to a number of people just in my household because we want to try to limit the spread of the virus, and we want to try to put our part into this situation.