We are not here to preach or condescend. This is what helped the country reach the state of COVID-19 that we are now.
We’re just going to tell you where things stand with COVID-19 and what we need to do if we have a chance to get back to sort of “normal” anytime soon.
Our children return to class in herds.
Our workplaces will start to reopen.
Airports are crowded again. Restaurants, cinemas, music festivals and tourist attractions are all back.
If we don’t get strict about how this plays out, 2020 could make a deadly comeback. It’s ours. So let’s get started.
5 truths about the state of COVID
It is on the rise.
For the first time in more than three months, cases are averaging around 90,000 per day, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is an increase of about 30% from the seven-day moving average a week earlier, which had around 70,000 new cases daily. Daily hospitalizations increased by 40% and since last week, the deaths of about 33%, on average nearly 300 each day.
This is the worst pandemic has been in the United States since february.
According to disease trackers, the country could see 140,000 to 300,000 cases per day this month, The Washington Post reported.
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Former Food and Drug Administration chief Dr Scott Gottlieb says the data may only capture a fraction of those infected with the virus.
âI wouldn’t be surprised if, overall, we are infecting up to a million people a day right now, and we’re only scooping up maybe a tenth,â he said. told CNBC. “There must be a lot more infections below the small numerator that appears in the hospital.”
It’s easier to get infected with the delta variant
The resurgence of the virus in the United States is largely due to the presence of the delta variant, which makes up the vast majority of infections. The CDC believes that the delta variant represents about 82% of them.
We don’t know if the delta is more lethal, but it is certainly more transmissible. Delta is significantly more contagious than previous variants and as contagious as chickenpox, according to an internal presentation of the CDC circulating last week.
A person infected with the delta variant or chickenpox infects, on average, eight or nine others. The original COVID strain was about as transmissible as the common cold, with each infected person transmitting the virus, on average, to two other people. Of the common infectious diseases, only measles is more contagious than the delta variant.
A CDC study of an outbreak in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, found no significant difference between the viral loads of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, suggesting that vaccinated people should always wear masks and limit contact with others to avoid spreading the virus.
Vaccine is less potent against delta, but still saves lives
According to a Analysis of the Kaiser Family Foundation state data.
The CDC only tracks breakthrough infections that result in hospitalization or death, reporting even lower figures: as of July 26, only 6,587 vaccinated people were hospitalized or died from an epidemic infection, out of more than 163 million fully vaccinated people. It is 0.004%.
The CDC’s internal presentation that circulated last week shows that the vaccinated are about three times less likely to catch COVID-19 and about 10 times less likely to die from it than unvaccinated people.
Even in an epidemic like that of Massachusetts, vaccinations prevented hospitalizations. About three-quarters of those infected during the outbreak have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, none of whom have died, and only a few have been hospitalized.
“The vaccines are working. Of the 900 cases linked to the Provincetown cluster, there have been no deaths, 7 hospitalizations and the symptoms are largely mild,” tweeted Alex Morse, the general manager of Provincetown.
Vaccines will go to waste
States administered approximately 54 million fewer vaccines than they received, according to CDC data.
Delays, breakages, and storage and transportation issues are only a very small part of the vaccine shortage. According to The New York Times, wasted or unusable doses represent less than 2% of the vaccine supply in many states.
Health officials:We are asking US companies to create #COVIDSafeZones.
Demand, however, has increased in states with the highest number of coronavirus cases. In the past three weeks, the White House said, the states with the highest number of cases have also were the states with the highest vaccination rates.
Other variants are on the horizon
According to the CDC, the coronavirus is “just a few mutations potentially far awayâNot to resist the protection of current COVID-19 vaccines.
âThe amount of virus that circulates in this country largely among unvaccinated people – the biggest concern that concerns us in public health and science – is this virus and the potential mutations that separate us from a very which has the potential to escape our vaccines in terms of protection against serious illness and death â, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.
5 truths about how we’ll beat this
These five points are shocking and probably surprising to people who thought that the pandemic was finished. Those of us who wore masks religiously and got vaccinated and those who weren’t wearing either are in the same boat, and this boat is taking water again.
What is happening now? What do we need to accomplish as a nation to better control COVID-19 and whatever variants are to come?
Going beyond COVID-19 policy
Before we do anything else, we’ll have to get over all the political gossip on both sides. It doesn’t matter what politicians say. This is generally true and truer when we are faced with a non-political pandemic that will not go away until we stand together.
To get vaccinated
As we said above, vaccines do not make people resistant to transmission, but they remain powerful and safe shields against serious illness and death.
“We know that (there are) more people with this delta variant who have been vaccinated who are probably spreading the infection,” Dr Gottlieb told CBS News’ Confront the nation Monday. “But it’s still a very small percentage of people who get infected after vaccination and who will then spread the infection to others.”
USA TODAY EDITORIAL TIP:We tried to ask nicely. It’s time to impose COVID vaccines on some.
With the delta variant being more transmissible to both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, it’s time to mask yourself again, at least for now.
The CDC said last week that those vaccinated should wear masks indoors in areas of “high or high transmission“, adding to their pre-existing recommendation that unvaccinated people keep their faces covered.
Some states have followed suit. Local governments, such as Los Angeles County and St. Louis, began requiring people vaccinated to wear masks again, citing concerns about the delta variant.
Other governments, like the one in New York, have strongly advised their residents to mask themselves, but do not require it. New York City’s Five Boroughs Meet “Substantial or High Transmission” Criteria, According to CDC COVID data tracker.
This places a responsibility on individuals to protect themselves, their families and their communities – wearing masks until the number of cases drops again is just the way to do it.
Sometimes that can’t be helped – people moving or returning to school don’t have too many alternatives for travel during the pandemic.
In the event of a summer vacation to or from a COVID-19 hot spot, however, it may be best to suspend travel for now. Airlines said there had been no slowdown in ticket sales as the cases have increased.
If you must travel, follow the guidelines above: Get vaccinated and remain masked on planes and in public places. Before and after the trip, monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19, then isolate yourself and get tested if you develop them.
Avoid crowds when possible
Lollapalooza. Pitchfork Music Festival. Governor’s Ball. For many of us, this summer has long been a promised return to concert halls and live music, but it just isn’t wise to witness it amid the upsurge in cases.
Public health experts have warned that Lollapalooza, for example, which took place in Chicago last weekend, was in danger of turning into a major event, even with precautions. Dutch officials were shocked after a much smaller music festival – where security protocols were similar to Lollapalooza – that 20,000 people attended for two days this month resulted in nearly a thousand cases of COVID-19, CNBC reported.
Our favorite artists and bands are not going anywhere. We should get back to the big crowds when the Delta variant isn’t likely to become a surprise headliner.
Contribution: The Associated Press
Louie Villalobos (@louievillalobos) is the Audience Development Editor for USA TODAY’s Editorial board. Jason Lalljee (@ jasonlall9) is a summer intern for the Opinion section.