- The coronavirus is spreading at an unprecedented rate across all corners of the U.S.
- Just as Dr. Fauci predicted, January is shaping up to be the worst month of the entire pandemic.
- Hawaii is currently the only state where coronavirus cases are still low.
The coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. keeps getting worse with each passing week. Over the last two weeks alone, coronavirus infections have jumped by 38% while COVID-related deaths have gone up by nearly 50%. And just last Thursday, the daily COVID death toll surpassed 4,000 for the first time since the pandemic began. The U.S. is currently averaging 3,249 COVID deaths per day, a figure which is more than two times higher than what the U.S. saw back in November.
While previous coronavirus outbreaks typically occurred in specific geographic regions, the current surge of infections is happening across almost every state in the country. In fact, there’s only one state where coronavirus cases are still relatively low: Hawaii.
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While COVID cases in Hawaii are increasing on a percentage basis, the cumulative number of new coronavirus infections in the state falls somewhere in the 100-200 range day-to-day. Hawaii’s ability to keep the coronavirus at bay isn’t terribly surprising given the state’s relatively small population and its geographic location.
Meanwhile, COVID cases are high and staying high in nearly every other state across the country. The situation is particularly bad in Arizona where the COVID-19 infection and death rate over the last two weeks jumped by 53% and 118%, respectively.
California is also in the midst of an unprecedented coronavirus surge. On Monday, the cumulative number of coronavirus-related deaths topped 30,000.
The AP reports:
Newly confirmed infections are rising at a dizzying rate of more than a quarter-million a week and during the weekend a record 1,163 deaths were reported. Los Angeles County is one of the epicenters and health officials there are telling residents to wear a mask even when at home if they go outside regularly and live with someone elderly or otherwise at high risk.
“The damaging impact to our families and local hospitals from this surge is the worst disaster our county has experienced for decades,” health director Barbara Ferrer said.
Even more worrisome is that the death rate in California is not only increasing but accelerating. Consider this: The number of COVID-related deaths in California reached 10,000 back in August, about six months after the pandemic began. The jump from 20,000 deaths to 30,000, meanwhile, only took about a month.
In light of the above, and given that we’re still a few months away from achieving herd immunity, it’s as important as ever for people to follow the CDC’s coronavirus safety guidelines:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Wear a mask when you go out in public.
- Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Amidst all of this discouraging news, it is somewhat encouraging that the rollout of coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna is finally starting to pick up steam after an embarrassingly slow start. If the vaccination rate continues to increase, Dr. Fauci is confident that life can return to normal sometime this fall.