Friday, June 26, 2020

The Country Goes Viral, Con't

As I've been warning for months now, "re-opening the economy" in states and the effective end of social distancing, especially in red states, has led directly to a massive spike in COVID-19 cases, which will translate very soon into a massive spike in COVID-19 deaths.

The coronavirus pandemic is getting dramatically worse in almost every corner of the U.S.

The big picture: The U.S. today is getting closer to the worst-case scenario envisioned in the spring — a nationwide crisis, made worse by a vacuum of political leadership, threatening to overwhelm hospitals and spread out of control. 
Nationwide, cases are up 30% compared to the beginning of this month, and dramatically worsening outbreaks in several states are beginning to strain hospital capacity — the same concern that prompted the nationwide lockdown in the first place. 
This is the grimmest map in the eight weeks since Axios began tracking the change in new cases in every state.

By the numbers: Over half the country — 26 states — have seen their coronavirus caseloads increase over the past week. 
New cases are up 77% in Arizona, 75% in Michigan, 70% in Texas and 66% in Florida. 
California, which has seen steady increases for weeks, recorded a 47% jump in new infections over the past week. 
These steep increases come after weeks of steadily climbing cases or back-and-forth results across the South, Midwest and West Coast. Only the New York region and parts of New England — the earliest hotspots — have consistently managed to get their caseloads down throughout May and June.

Increased testing does not explain away these numbers. Other data points make clear that we’re seeing a worsening outbreak, not simply getting better data. 
Seven states, including Arizona, have set records for the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus, and the percentage of all tests that come back positive is also increasing. 
The whole point of the national lockdown was to buy time to improve testing and give infection levels a chance to level off without overwhelming hospitals. That worked in New York, but as other parts of the country begin to see their outbreaks intensify later, the same risks are back at the forefront.

Again, we're now approaching the worst-case scenario, where hospitals in multiple states, in multiple areas of the country, are inundated with COVID-19 ICU patients, and the death rate skyrockets because there are no additional resources to treat people.

We're literally coming up on instances where treatable patients will instead die on gurneys in hospital hallways, and it will happen all across the country.

States are scrambling to try to stave off a preventable apocalypse.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott paused any further phases to reopen the state on Thursday and issued an order to ensure hospital beds be available for Covid-19 patients. 
Abbott's moves came as his state, California and Florida -- the three-most populous -- set records for new coronavirus cases daily amid fears of "apocalyptic" surges in major Texas cities if the trend continues.  
California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a budget emergency to free up $16 billion to fight the pandemic, according to a release from his office. 
And the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the US has only counted about 10% of coronavirus infections. That might mean as many as 20 million Americans have been infected. 
Officially, coronavirus has killed at least 122,238 people and infected almost 2.4 million nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins.

 July is going to be horrific.  August and September may be even worse.

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