Life in the Time of COVID-19: The Never-Ending Spread Goes On…and On
This is how things look on the planet Earth on the morning of October 19, 2020 vis a vis the COVID-19 pandemic.
40,118,314 officially confirmed cases worldwide.
1,114,765 officially confirmed deaths worldwide.
In the United States of America, the nation that prides itself on having the world’s (allegedly) best health care system, yet ranks as the one that is hardest hit by the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus commonly known as COVID-19, the numbers (as of 8:24 AM Eastern) are as follows:
Confirmed Cases: 8,156,970
Confirmed Deaths: 219,680
As the Northern Hemisphere – which is where all 50 states and many of the U.S. territories are located – goes further into the cooler months of fall, it seems that despite some improvement in the daily death rates, the pandemic is nowhere near the two goals of “stopping the spread” or “flattening the curve.”
According to a story on the ABC News website, there were over 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed yesterday, per the the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).
Per ABC News:
There were 48,210 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Sunday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The latest daily tally is down by nearly 10,000 from the previous day and also falls under the country’s record set on July 16, when there were 77,255 new cases in a 24-hour-reporting period.
An additional 389 coronavirus-related fatalities were also recorded Sunday, almost half the previous day’s death toll and down from a peak of 2,666 new fatalities reported on April 17.
The Good News…and Bad News
The statistics – which this writer believes are somewhat of an undercount because states like Florida (a Republican-controlled Southern state led by a governor who is loyal to President Donald J. Trump) make it difficult to get timely COVID-19 reports – show two trends in the pandemic’s effect on the nation.
There has been some improvement since July: three months ago, we were nearing the 80,000 daily cases mark, with a peak number of 77,255 cases reported on July 16 alone. Yesterday’s figure of 48,210 is an improvement, of course; that figure is 29,045 less cases in a single 24-hour period.
However, as the article by ABC News points out, this improvement eclipses a harsh reality: despite all of the known methods that people can use to “slow the spread” and “flatten the curve,” the U.S. is seeing spikes of new COVID-19 cases eight months into the worst pandemic to affect the nation since the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic.
Per ABC News:
By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July. The daily tally of new cases has gradually come down since then but has started to climb again in recent weeks.
The number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in the United States continued to increase by double digits in week-over-week comparisons, while the number of new deaths from the disease ticked upward slightly, according to an internal memo from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that was obtained by ABC News on Friday night.
The ‘Trump Pandemic’
As I have often stated in previous Life in the Time of COVID-19 columns, much of the blame for the woeful response to the pandemic can be laid at the feet of one person: President Donald Trump.
Not only did he fail miserably to prevent the entry of the virus into the U.S. by allowing U.S. citizens and residents to re-enter the country from overseas vacations and business trips via planes and cruise ships while banning Chinese nationals from crossing our borders earlier this year, but he deliberately downplayed the seriousness – and lethality – of the COVID-19 virus and its detrimental effects on people for political reasons in an election year.
Now, with only 15 days left until Election Day, Trump continues to attack Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden for his reliance on science regarding the COVID-19 crisis.
Per a story on the NBC News website:
President Donald Trump mocked Joe Biden on Sunday for trusting scientists about Covid-19 shortly after Biden lambasted the president for continuing to “lie” about the state of the pandemic.
Speaking at a rally in Carson City, Nevada, Trump imitated the former vice president, saying he would “listen to the scientists.”
“If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression,” Trump said. “We’re like a rocket ship.”
He then attacked the Democratic governors of several states who have put in place measures to stop a likely second wave of Covid-19.
“Get the places open, let’s go,” he said.
Where does Trump live? In an alternate dimension?
His ardent supporters may think that he is the “BEST President ever” and flood Facebook and other social media outlets with memes, ridiculous propaganda images, and ridiculous comments along the lines of “HELL NO! NO SOCIALISM OR COMMUNISM IN THE UNITED STATES! TRUMP PENCE 2020!” But memes, GIFs, Nazi-like propaganda imagery, and overheated rhetoric about “socialism” will not “flatten the curve” or “slow the spread.”
Far from it.
As long as Trump continues to scoff at science and bamboozle his base, the number of COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths will continue to rise.