- The coronavirus is spreading incredibly fast across a number of southern US states.
- States like Texas and Florida are now reverting back to previous coronavirus restrictions in an effort to contain the virus.
In a development that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, states that were quick to implement and enforce strict lockdown measures in the face of the coronavirus have started seeing significant declines in the number of new COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, states that didn’t take the coronavirus pandemic seriously are now experiencing a massive spike in new coronavirus cases.
The end result is something akin to a nation divided, which is, unfortunately, an appropriate characterization given that response strategies to the coronavirus have inexplicably become a political issue. So while states like New York and Illinois are slowly but surely starting to reopen, states like Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona may have to revert back to previous restrictions.
In some states, the process has already begun. This past Friday, for example, Texas announced that all bars have to close and that restaurants can only operate at 50% capacity.
“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Texas Governor Greg Abbot said of the new restrictions. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”
California Governor Gavin Nesom, meanwhile, recently ordered bars in seven counties to close back up following a worrisome increase in coronavirus cases and coronavirus-related hospitalizations.
The sad reality is that all of the previous lockdown measures enacted over the previous few months may have been for nothing. With the number of coronavirus cases now reaching new daily highs on a consistent basis, it’s possible that even states with declining coronavirus growth rates may see an increase in the weeks and months ahead.
As CNN notes, the United States may not be able to move past the coronavirus until an effective vaccine is developed:
The pandemic has changed life everywhere, but no other country has seen as much illness and death as the United States. The US makes up about 4% of the world’s population yet accounts for a quarter of the world’s reported cases and deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
What happens next is unclear. Until a vaccine or treatment is widely available, public health experts have repeatedly pushed for mass efforts on behalf of the public good: social distancing, hand-washing, mask-wearing, testing, contact tracing and quarantining the sick.
To that end, Dr. Anthony Fauci believes a vaccine may arrive later this year, but there’s a good chance we won’t see a vaccine until early 2021. It’s also worth noting that a coronavirus vaccine isn’t a guarantee by any means. And even if one is developed, the first coronavirus vaccine may not be able to prevent infection but would rather be adept at limiting some of the coronavirus’s more severe symptoms.