Over the last few weeks, cases of COVID-19 throughout the United States have skyrocketed. The unfortunate truth is that this pandemic has been much harsher on Americans than most experts expected. Scientists expected that winter would bring a second wave of cases, but many experts admit that they didn’t think things would look as bad as they currently do.
One of the main reasons for this is that the United States didn’t really get much respite in between the first wave and the second. Many believe that the country was a little too optimistic when it came to reopening. While it’s understandable that most people wanted to return to their jobs and regular routines, it’s possible that the summer reopenings were a little too fast and resulted in increased numbers of COVID-19 cases. The result is that for many people, the pandemic has felt like one continuous wave rather than two separate ones.
The summer was supposed to provide Americans with a break in pandemic cases, but unfortunately, this wasn’t the reality in many states. If this had happened, it would have reduced the community spread of the coronavirus, making it easier to keep the pandemic under control during the winter. However, because cases did not decrease significantly during the summer, Americans are in a worse position now.
All of this means that we are headed into the winter in rough shape. Many states are turning to intense restrictions or lockdowns, which is a particularly tough pill to swallow for many Americans as the holiday season approaches. However, these restrictions are clearly necessary because we have recently seen multiple days with over 2,800 deaths. These numbers surpass the previous highest number of daily deaths by hundreds and is significantly worse than most experts expected back in March.
Hospitalizations are also increasing, with over 100,000 patients currently in US hospitals. This is becoming an increasing concern for healthcare workers as they try to keep up with the influx of patients. During the spring and summer months, hospitalizations never exceeded 60,000, meaning that the number of people in hospitals has almost doubled.
One of the biggest challenges presented by the pandemic has been a lack of understanding of the virus and how to treat it. This difficulty has only been exacerbated by misinformation about COVID-19 that has been widely circulated over the past nine months. Scientists have been working tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic to gather more information on the coronavirus, including major breakthroughs in understanding airborne transmission and asymptomatic cases. However, sometimes this information was not used to update the latest guidance for individuals.
While the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are certainly frustrating, the good news is that we know the most effective ways to prevent it. Social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and mask wearing remain the best strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, many individuals have developed a sense of pandemic fatigue and are finding it difficult to maintain these measures after so many months. This is certainly understandable because everyone is missing being able to gather with friends and family and participate in their regular routines, especially around the holidays. However, the most effective way to reduce the spread of the pandemic is to be consistent about these preventative practices.
Another positive aspect of the current situation is that promising vaccines have now been developed and will likely start to be distributed before the end of the year. Additionally, treatments for COVID-19 have significantly improved since the spring, including antiviral, convalescent plasma, and antibody therapies. It is very likely that the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States will significantly improve soon. In the meantime, Americans will have to be patient for a little longer and continue to stay safe. The COVID PreCheck App is a great tool to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This App allows users to perform a self-screening test as well as obtain official test results from a medical professional quickly and easily. The COVID PreCheck App makes safety in both the workplace and the community easier to achieve while we weather the latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.