Chair receives petition from Oregon Physicians for a Safe Thanksgiving: 774 doctors ask public to protect lives, hospital capacity

November 20, 2020

Today, Chair Deborah Kafoury received a petition from 774 physicians across Oregon asking families to avoid in-person gatherings for the holidays. “We have countless examples of how such gatherings endanger those who attend and also everyone they live with, work with, or who are part of their broader community," wrote Paul Lewis, MD, MPH, who organized the petition. "Oregon physicians urge small, safe celebrations for one more holiday season to prevent regret and grieving as 2021 approaches.”

Oregon Physicians for a Safe Thanksgiving
November 20, 2020 

The toll from COVID-19 in Oregon is rapidly accelerating as cold, rainy weather drives activities indoors and the holidays arrive. Our hospitals are close to capacity, our front-line colleagues are tired, and some of the supplies we need to care for you are limited. Until an effective vaccine is widely available, we can only control the pandemic with common-sense measures like masks, physical distancing, hand washing and reducing exposure to others outside of our immediate households.

If the spread of COVID-19 does not slow and reverse, we will not be able to provide the best care for anyone whether they need a ventilator for COVID-19, chemotherapy for cancer, or a safe place to deliver a baby. 

Any promotion of in-person social gatherings outside of our households or "bubbles" is dangerous and irresponsible - including Thanksgiving next week. We have countless examples of how such gatherings endanger those who attend and also everyone they live with, work with, or who are part of their broader community. Oregon physicians urge small, safe celebrations for one more holiday season to prevent regret and grieving as 2021 approaches.

Note: The views expressed here are solely our own, and not those of our employers.

Signed,
774 Oregon physicians

*Complete petition and list of doctors who signed onto the letter: Oregon Physicians for a Safe Thanksgiving (193.07 KB)