The U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has given multiple warnings against arranging and attending large gatherings and events since the lift of the lockdown in summer. However, this has not stopped weddings during the pandemic from taking place all over the country.
In addition, a new report on the wedding bookings and ceremonies scheduled till the January of 2021 actually showed that the majority of the couples wanted to continue and have the event despite the high levels of transmission and coronavirus mortality rates.
While some people are not taking the ongoing health crisis and suggested guidelines seriously, others have still tried to make their wedding ceremonies less risky for themselves as well as the attendees.
For instance, many couples have provided hand sanitizers and made wearing a mask compulsory for attending. However, weddings generally have remained to be linked to a high number of new infections in comparison with other events.
On the other hand, people attending other types of gatherings are also at risk of contracting the virus but it seems to be much lower than the conventional marriage ceremonies.
Why is this so? The association of weddings during the pandemic to high numbers of new cases is due to the traditions and the way of celebration. For most, it is the most important event of their lives where all loved ones including both family and friends should be invited.
Therefore, many tend to travel inter-state or even from other countries to attend weddings. Secondly, activities during the celebration make the majority forget about the guidelines for prevention and the existence of an ongoing global health crisis for a brief period.
Taking off masks and forgetting social distancing rules even for a few hours significantly raises the chances of catching and spreading the infection.
To top it all off, the change in weather is going to further contribute to the transmission levels of the virus. In the summers and warmer weather, outdoor wedding venues are mostly chosen and used for the ceremony.
In colder seasons, indoor weddings are much more popular as people need to protect themselves from the harsh cold weather and need heating systems.
According to the current research on coronavirus spread, airborne transmission is much more likely to happen in indoor, crowded spaces rather than outdoor spaces due to a general lack of airflow and poor ventilation.
This can only be avoided by choosing a venue with better ventilation or ideally high-efficiency particulate air filters. HEPA filters can remove up to ninety-nine percent of all pathogens in the air and reduce the risk of spread of any infections.
However, only very few buildings and even fewer wedding venues would have such ventilation systems.
Therefore, health agencies generally suggest people to avoid attending weddings during the pandemic whenever they can and for couples to delay their plans for the time being.
If turning down an invite is hard or wedding dates have been finalized, make sure to take all preventive measures suggested by the CDC to minimize the risk of the ceremony turning into a superspreader event.