- The month of January, as many health experts predicted, turned out to be the worst month of the entire pandemic.
- After a huge surge earlier in the month, the coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. is finally starting to drop drastically. Over the last two weeks, the COVID infection rate fell by 33%.
Despite warnings from Dr. Fauci and other health experts to avoid holiday travel over Thanksgiving and Christmas, millions of Americans threw caution to the wind and boarded planes, trains, and busses to visit family and friends over the last two months. The end result played out exactly how Dr. Fauci predicted, which is to say that January quickly became the worst month of the entire pandemic.
The COVID-19 infection rate started to rise significantly in mid-November and only accelerated from there. By early January, the U.S. was seeing more than 250,000 new coronavirus cases every single day. At the peak, the U.S. on January 8th reported more than 300,000 new coronavirus cases. Alongside that, the coronavirus death rate and hospitalization rate hit unprecedented highs.
The good news, though, is that the coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. finally started to drop on January 16. Over the last two weeks alone, the infection rate dropped by 33%, an encouraging sign that we’ve perhaps reached peak COVID and that the worst is now behind us.
All told, nearly every state has seen a considerable drop in coronavirus infections over the past few weeks. Even former hotspots like California and Arizona have seen a drop-off in new COVID cases. California in particular has seen its COVID-19 infection rate drop by a whopping 46% over the last two weeks.
As it stands now, there are only five states, according to The New York Times, where coronavirus cases aren’t on a significant decline: South Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, and North Dakota. Still, these states aren’t necessarily seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases. Rather, the infection rate in these states is either holding steady or dropping ever so slightly.
The drop in COVID-19 infections, coupled with an encouraging increase in the vaccination rate, has some health experts optimistic that we might achieve herd immunity sometime by summer. In fact, President Joe Biden recently said that any American who wants a coronavirus vaccine should be able to receive one in just a few months.
“I think it’ll be this spring. I think we’ll be able to do that this spring,” Biden articulated earlier this week.
“But it’s going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we’ve ever tried in this country,” Biden added. “But I think we can do that. I feel confident that by summer we’re going to be well on our way to heading toward herd immunity and increasing the access for people who aren’t on the first, on the list, all the way going down to children and how we deal with that. But I feel good about where we’re going and I think we can get it done.”