- Coronavirus infections last week surpassed the 85,000 threshold for the first time since the pandemic began.
- Health experts are warning that the next three months will see a record number of coronavirus cases and coronavirus-related deaths.
- The coronavirus spreads readily in indoor settings, and as a result, Dr. Fauci is urging families this year to scale back on Thanksgiving celebrations.
To help illustrate just how dire the current coronavirus pandemic has become, it’s helpful to look back at statements Dr. Anthony Fauci made back in August when the U.S. was seeing about 40,000 new coronavirus cases a day. At the time, Fauci said that the U.S. would be in a lot of trouble if the rate didn’t drop down below 10,000 by fall.
“You look at our numbers now,” Fauci explained, “we’re right in the middle of the first wave here. We’re having a surging of cases. The last ones with 50-60,000 per day with 1,000 deaths per day. We’ve got to get those numbers down. And if we don’t get them down, then we’re going to have a really bad situation in the fall. Because as you get indoors and you get the complication of influenza, that’s something we’re going to have to deal with.”
Well, fall is already in full swing and the reality is that we’re not anywhere close to seeing 10,000 new coronavirus infections per day. On the contrary, the rate of new infections is surging across many parts of the country. Last week, the U.S. reported more than 85,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time since the pandemic began.
Compounding matters is that the trend of coronavirus infections and associated deaths is trending in a worrisome direction. Over the last two weeks, coronavirus infections are up by 32% while coronavirus-related deaths are up by nearly 10%. And with colder weather already here and flu season just around the corner, one of the nation’s top epidemiologists recently said that the “next 6 to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.”
All told, the U.S. to date has seen around 8.5 million coronavirus cases and an estimated 220,000 coronavirus-related deaths.
While coronavirus testing is certainly up and can partially account for the rise in new cases, the reality is that hospitalizations are on the rise as well. To this point, Axios reports that more than a dozen states are currently experiencing a record number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations:
Coronavirus hospitalizations are increasing in 39 states, and are at or near their all-time peak in 16.
No state is anywhere near the worst-case situation of not having enough capacity to handle its COVID-19 outbreak. But rising hospitalization rates are a sign that things are getting worse, at a dangerous time, and a reminder that this virus can do serious harm.
And recall, the situation in Wisconsin recently got so bad that the state was forced to build a 530-bed field hospital just outside of Milwaukee to help ease the strain on hospitals who have been struggling to keep up with new admissions.
In light of all this, some cities have started tightening restrictions. Chicago, for example, is reverting back to old safety guidelines and is now forbidding bars from operating in any capacity. Previously, bars in the state were allowed to operate at 25% capacity.
As it stands now, the coronavirus is spreading most rapidly in rural areas. The states currently experiencing a surge in new cases include North Dakota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, Iowa, Illinois, Wyoming, and Tennessee.
It should go without saying at this point, but it’s important to remind people that mask-wearing and adhering to social distancing guidelines is as crucial now as it was back in March and April.