Medical experts say the coronavirus spike is coming at the worst possible time -- the holidays when people are tempted to get together with friends and family.
The joy of the holiday season is replaced with dread for medical professionals, who are bracing for the impact of Thanksgiving travel, and that is just the beginning.
“Then there are going to be holiday parties even though there shouldn't be holiday parties, that's gonna cause another surge,” said Dr. John Swartzber. “Then the Christmas surge, then New Year’s Eve and New Years day on top of that.”
Swartzberg, of the UC Berkeley/UCSF Joint Medical Program, said California hospitals are just a few weeks away from being overwhelmed.
The only way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to make sure people don't gather and he expects a statewide shut down order.
“If things continue to go in the trajectory they're going, the answer is yes. It may need to be as draconian as March,” said Swartzber.
For many it will be an emotionally draining holiday season apart, and experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci say relief in the form of a vaccine is coming in 2021. People will need to stay in their household groups much of the year.
"If they get vaccinated in April, May and June, and really do a full court press to get everybody vaccinated. You can get back to normal or at least approaching close to normal as you get into the late summer and early fall,” said Fauci.