• Coronavirus cases are expected to continue surging over the coming weeks, as the COVID-19 pandemic gets worse than ever this winter in the US.
  • States like Wyoming and Montana have begun setting new coronavirus-related records, underscoring White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci’s prediction that the US is in store for a “whole lot of pain.”
  • Here’s a look at some of the specific parts of the US that may be hit harder than others this winter amid the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ve known for a while now what the conventional wisdom says the US is in store for this winter regarding the COVID-19 pandemic — specifically, that coronavirus cases and death counts are set to rise precipitously and make this what some experts fear may be the worst stretch of the pandemic yet.

Indeed, in multiple state reports dated November 1 and sent out by the White House coronavirus task force, experts who are part of the group warned that “there is a continued increase in cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities nationally, spreading southward from the coldest climates as the population moves indoors and cases increase exponentially.” That’s according to a summary of the reports obtained by CNN, which goes on to point to “significant deterioration in the Sunbelt as mitigation efforts were decreased over the past five weeks.” The latest data from Johns Hopkins University, meanwhile, puts into stark relief just how worse the pandemic continues to get, with almost 9.5 million COVID-19 cases having been reported to date in the US as of the time of this writing (as well as almost 234,000 deaths — or, to put that into a bit of perspective, the equivalent of a 78-fold increase in the casualties from the 9-11 terror attacks).

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is already on record as promising a “whole lot of pain” in the coming months as a result of how poorly the US is situated going into the winter months of the pandemic — a prediction for which he’s drawn fire from inside the Trump administration. How about specific locales, though? Do we have an idea yet if experts like Dr. Fauci think certain parts of the US will be in store for much more trouble in the coming weeks from the coronavirus?

Turns out, we kind of do. There’s a bit of a big city, small city divide right now in terms of how unevenly Dr. Fauci thinks coronavirus will hammer the country this winter. For example, the outlook seems to be ominous in areas in the northwest and central parts of the US seem to. “They never had the kind of hospital and intensive care facility and flexibility that some of the larger hospitals in larger cities have,” Dr. Fauci, who also works as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNBC in an interview.

Other points of concern: While big cities like New York and Philadelphia have the resources and have had plenty of time to fine-tune their COVID-19 response, which they seem to have a handle on now even with a rise in new cases, there are worrisome surges elsewhere in pockets of the country. Like in El Paso, Texas, where hospitalizations from coronavirus have reportedly tripled in a little over two weeks.

In Wyoming, per CNN, the latest data shows that coronavirus-related hospitalizations are at an all-time high as of Wednesday. Likewise, Montana earlier this week reported its third-highest day of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 909 reported on Tuesday.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.