- The coronavirus continues to surge across the country. The U.S. on Thursday recorded more than 160,000 new COVID-19 cases.
- The growing pandemic has prompted several cities and states to implement tighter coronavirus restrictions.
- A nationwide lockdown, however, is not likely according to recent remarks from Dr. Fauci.
With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. continues to spread at an alarming rate. Just yesterday, for example, the U.S. reported more than 160,000 new coronavirus cases. To help contextualize this figure, consider this: new coronavirus cases increased by a whopping 300% over the last month alone.
With coronavirus cases and deaths surging across the country, many people have raised the question of whether or not the U.S. might need to implement a nationwide lockdown. Tackling this issue during a recent appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America, Dr. Anthony Fauci explained why he believes the U.S. can conquer the coronavirus without resorting to a nationwide lockdown. Fauci’s answer is certainly encouraging given that a nationwide lockdown would likely decimate the economy and cause yet another spike in unemployment.
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“We would like to stay away from [a nationwide lockdown] because there is no appetite for locking down on the American public,” Fauci explained.
Instead, Fauci said that the best alternative to a nationwide lockdown is to “intensify public health measures” and ensure that people are actually adhering to basic coronavirus safety guidelines such as proper hygiene, mask-wearing, and social distancing.
“So if you can do that well,” Fauci explained, “you don’t have to take that step that people are trying to avoid, which has so many implications both psychologically and economically. We’d like not to do that.”
Of course, the counterargument to Fauci’s stance is obvious: if “intensifying public health measures” was an effective strategy, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re currently in.
More to the point, following coronavirus safety guidelines would be a great strategy if everyone across the country actually got on board. The sad reality, though, is that the coronavirus is spreading like wildfire precisely because many people don’t take the safety precautions as seriously as they should. As a prime example, a karaoke party at a Florida social club this past September — where attendees were not wearing masks — turned into a superspreader event responsible for 50 coronavirus cases, multiple hospitalizations, and a handful of deaths.
With a national lockdown seemingly unlikely, many cities and states have recently started taking matters into their own hands. Newark, New Jersey, for example, recently instituted tighter lockdown measures which state that non-essential businesses need to close by 8 PM. And Just a few days ago, Massachusetts rolled out a new stay-at-home order which demands that people stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The order does make exceptions for people going to work, buying groceries, visiting the doctor, and going on short socially distanced walks.
Looking ahead, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to get worse before it gets better now that colder weather is driving most of the country indoors. And if the coronavirus infection and death rate keeps trending upwards, more lockdowns across the country are likely inevitable.