COVID in the U.S.: What is Happening?

After the dreadful winter holiday season just passed, reports from the U.S. states have only shown a steep increase in case numbers and death tolls, both which are of no surprise for experts. Within cities, big or small, infection rates have soared while people seem to become less cautious with looser restrictions.

As of January 17, in South Dakota, there are now at least 4,662 active cases with a new death toll of 1,656. Virginia showed a single-day record of nearly 10,000 new infections. The state of Wisconsin reported 128 deaths on January 16, setting a new record.

As vaccine distributions have fallen under less than planned, experts can only keep repeating the same the restrictions and health orders: issuing a stay-at-home order, wearing a mask and gloves, and practicing social distancing; simultaneously, experts are pushing for more vaccines quickly.

The public, citizens of the U.S., have shown mixed responses as the U.S. heads into the 11th month of quarantine, showing no signs of delay. Reports have surveyed that many children, teenagers included, are desperate to meet the friends they could’t in the past few months or have some semblance of normalcy. Between the balance of mental health stability and the novel coronavirus, parents face the struggle of distinguishing the vague order of priorities. The past few months have underscored the unfortunate correlation made between the notion of COVID-19 and U.S. political parties. With the Trump Administration taking the position as leader, many experts have expressed nothing but unfavorable responses. Thomas Whalen, politcial science professor at Boston University, said “He knew this was a threat and really did not do what was necessary to respond to it in a thoughtful and responsive way. He has, you could say, blood on his hands.”

Though initial vaccine distributions have been slower than planned, experts report how the easy–or easier–step is the first stage with healthcare workers. The challenge comes in reaching to less accessible corners of the community like those without health care.

Dr. John Swartzberg of UC Berkeley said “By any metric, anybody who believes in data and science would acknowledge we’ve done terribly with this pandemic, arguably the worst in the world.” The United States continues to take incontestable first place in the global count of infections and deaths: every day of January 2021 has reported to average more than 230,000 new infections with 3,000 fatalities per day. Dr. Swartzberg’s comments reflect on the inadequate administration saying that “I think we downplay the importance of what a good administration can do in managing this pandemic. We will do a lot better when we have an administration that follows science and follows public health, that gives consistent messaging, that doesn’t politicize key institutions like the CDC and the FDA.’’

President-elect Joe Biden, taking office after President Trump, has already issued a top-official COVID-19 health response team to counteract the damage already inflicted on our country in the past year. In the past days, Biden has introduced a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package containing $70 billion for testing and a national vaccine program.

Biden assures that the scientists “will ensure everything we do is grounded in science, facts, and the truth.”


Categories: Society