California Quarantine

California Reinstates Covid-19 Restrictions As Cases Continue To Spike Throughout State

California was one of the many states that began to transition towards less restrictive measures for its residents as Covid-19 cases showed signs of slowing down some five months ago.

World with Mask

The World Has Now Experienced 40 Million Cases Of Covid-19 

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has now surpassed 40 million worldwide. According to Johns Hopkins University, which has been collecting data on the pandemic since it first started in March, global cases surpassed the 40 million mark this past Monday.

The reality is, however, that the actual worldwide total is likely much larger, as testing site access is a major variable and many individuals who contract the virus are asymptomatic and don’t even know that they have it. The same argument can be applied to the number of deaths associated with Covid-19; which currently stands at 1.1 million worldwide. 

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The United States, India, and Brazil have reported the highest number of cases globally. The US has encountered 8.1 million cases, India 7.5 million, and Brazil 5.2 million. Europe has also seen major new surges in cases within the past month, and has experienced more than 240,000 Covid-19 deaths. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed last week that Europe had reported a record breaking weekly high of 700,000 Covid-19 cases. The WHO also claimed that these cases in Europe are responsible for a third of the cases globally. Specifically, Britain, France, Russia, and Spain account for about 50% of the new cases appearing in the region of Europe. Many smaller countries are also seeing intense outbreaks when compared to the beginning of the pandemic. 

“The new measures being taken across Europe are absolutely essential in stopping COVID-19 from overwhelming its hospitals. Those include new requirements on mask-wearing in Italy and Switzerland, and closing schools in Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic.”

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The WHO also explained that Europe would be “closing restaurants and bars in Belgium, implementing a 9 p.m. curfew in France and having targeted limited lockdowns in parts of the U.K.” The agency also claimed that several cities in Europe need to prepare for an “overwhelming” amount of hospital patients who will require intensive care services. While it’s imperative that everyone work together to slow the spread of the virus, the possibility of a second-wave has already become a reality for some parts of the world, so the time to prepare is now. 

WHO estimates that 1 in 10 people worldwide have contracted the virus at this point; that’s around 780 million people. If those stats are accurate the actual number of Covid-19 cases is 20 times higher than the official number of cases being reported. 

Some researchers and experts have argues that if we allow Covid-19 to spread in populations that are not totally vulnerable it could help build a general herd immunity in the world, however, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus isn’t as convinced that herd immunity may help curb the spread of the virus, however, the world needs a vaccine, not deliberate exposure to this virus. 

“Allowing a dangerous virus that we don’t fully understand to run free is simply unethical.”

The United Nation’s health agency agreed with Ghebreyesus, and hopes within the coming weeks to collect enough data on Covid-19 to determine if any possible vaccines that are currently being tested are effective enough to be distributed by 2021.

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Labor Day Weekend Will Set The Standard For Coronavirus Cases In The Fall 

As fall approaches in the US, healthcare experts are gearing up for a new surge of coronavirus cases as dropping temperatures and the upcoming flu season will create a whole new level of risk for possible infection. Beyond that, Labor Day weekend will present its own set of challenges, as we saw with Memorial Day Weekend, many Americans blatantly disregarded health and safety procedures to celebrate the holiday weekend.

As of right now the United States is experiencing 40,000 new Covid-19 cases every day; which is twice the number of daily cases from the spring during Memorial Day weekend. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s coronavirus advisor, recently spoke with the media about the upcoming weekend and expressed his concerns. 

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“We don’t want to see a repeat of the surges that we have seen following other holiday weekends. We don’t want to see a surge under any circumstances, but particularly as we enter into the fall.” 

According to data collected from Johns Hopkins University, average daily new cases are up by at least 5% in over 20 states. This rate combined with the holiday weekend has experts referring to Labor Day as an “accelerator weekend” in terms of new Covid-19 cases that are likely to appear as a direct result of individual celebrations. 

Fauci believes that many states aren’t prepared at all for how much worse this pandemic can get in the fall. As we approach Halloween and Thanksgiving, Fauci claims that seasonal influenza will have officially taken over in our nation’s schools and other establishments that are reopening, which will create an even more dangerous environment for Covid-19 to easily spread; the virus thrives on weakened immune systems. “People can let their guard down, that will make behavior and all the other stuff so much harder to manage as we go into November and December.”

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Dr. Syra Madad is a senior director of the system-wide special pathogens program at New York City Health and Hospitals, and recently claimed that the country is nowhere close to where it needs to be heading into the holiday weekend. She also expressed her concern over the intense hurricane season that the US is enduring, as these massive natural disasters are causing thousands of individuals to evacuate their homes, enter into public spaces, and try to find shelter while maintaining proper health and safety protocols. 

All healthcare experts have the same general opinion about celebrating the holiday weekend; don’t. However, if you are going to celebrate, they recommend you do it in a small group in an outdoor setting where proper social distancing can take place. Keep the gatherings relatively short as well, as after a few hours individuals will likely get more comfortable and closer to one another. 

“Keep it small. Keep it outside. And you don’t have to spend six hours together. Do it a few hours, have a couple of burgers, sit apart, and it’s probably reasonably safe. But have a plan for if it starts raining.”

Epidemiologists across the country are gearing up to closely watch the Covid-19 case data within the coming weeks. When it comes to a potential vaccine, Fauci says that right now the focus is on improving treatment options, and organizing strategies to ensure the US is receiving proper testing, tracing and isolation procedures.

Waving New Zealand Flag

New Zealand Prime Minister Praises Country For Covid Response After Trump Comments

Jacinda Ardern defended the country’s most recent outbreak after Trump attempted to undermine New Zealand’s immense success in containing the virus.

Covid Virus

Dr. Fauci Warns States That Are At Risk For Future Covid-19 Outbreaks 

One of the biggest conclusions that experts are gathering from the current coronavirus pandemic, is that human beings may be living in a world where Covid-19 continues to exist forever. The shift will be more about controlling the spread and managing outbreaks through vaccination efforts; much like the world did with the measles. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force recently spoke with the press about states at the most risk of new outbreaks currently, and what the future of America could look like in a post-pandemic world. He claimed that once the percentage of positive case numbers goes way down, that will signify a “win” over the virus for the US. 

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Currently New York, for example, has an infection rate of less than 1%, the lowest it’s ever been, which Fauci says he would like to see the rest of the country look like. However, many states aren’t even close to that number. In states such as Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, and Texas, infection rates are still between 15%-20%, which is “really high” according to Fauci. 

Fauci also believes that once a coronavirus vaccine is made available, the government may not enforce everyone to get it. The only exception will likely be for individuals working in the healthcare industry due to their heightened risk of exposure. A similar policy has already been in place for individuals working in hospitals in regards to being vaccinated for the flu. This procedure has always been in place for a lot of healthcare facilities, as it reduces the risk of transmission between all parties present at a given facility. 

One of the biggest concerns from citizens throughout the past month has been our potential break up with the World Health Organization (WHO)  after president Donald Trump claimed that the US would be leaving the organization. However, it’s not as simple as Trump has made it seem, and the US is still very much in communication with the WHO. 

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Fauci claims that he and his colleagues are on a weekly call list that is sponsored by the WHO, and brings together health authorities and scientists from every country in the world that’s battling Covid-19 currently. The purpose of this weekly call is to allow every country’s CDC to exchange information and containment efforts as a means of reducing infection rates. 

“We have scientific collaborations with our colleagues in Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico. We have clinical trial networks in South Africa, and Brazil. So there’s an awful lot of international activity going on, you don’t hear about that very much in the press, but it really is going on rather intensively.”

Fauci also claimed that when it comes to school reopening throughout the country, there is “no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether schooling should be all virtual.” He went on to explain that America is a much larger country than most, so one universal policy for every state that is differently populated just wouldn’t make sense. 

He concluded his address to the media by reinforcing the ways in which we all can reduce the spread of this virus until a vaccine is readily available. Continue to wear a face mask, get tested if you’re exhibiting any symptoms or think you may have been exposed to someone who’s positive. Practice social distancing every time you go out and only leave the house for essential errands. Wash your hands regularly, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Covid-19 Brazil

Brazil Reaches 2 Million Cases Of Covid-19, Death Toll Hits 76,000

Three months after the coronavirus pandemic reached Brazil the country is now reporting more than 1,000 Covid-19 related deaths every day. This past Thursday the federal health administration announced that Brazil has officially surpassed 2 million confirmed cases of the virus, and 76,000 citizens have died. 

Like in America, many healthcare experts are blaming this massive and consistent rise in case/death numbers on the denial of the virus’ severity from individuals in political power, especially Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro has received major backlash throughout the past few months for undermining health experts’ warnings about the coronavirus, and not taking social distancing recommendations seriously; he also is currently battling Covid-19. 

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There’s also been a massive lack of coordination between healthcare industry workers and politicians throughout this pandemic in Brazil, which as we’ve seen from countries like New Zealand, is essential if they want to see a real decrease in case numbers. 

Many city and state governments within Brazil have also been called out multiple times for prematurely reopening businesses despite health experts recommendations to do the opposite. As of right now, an interim health minister, who according to media reports is untrained in the field, is now presiding over the pandemic response. 

Former health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta recently spoke with the Associated Press, where he compared the 7,000 Covid-19 related deaths that have occurred in Brazil throughout the past seven weeks to “several airplanes packed with Brazilians crashing every single day.” 

“People have become callous. When you say ‘yesterday there were 1,300 deaths’ people say ‘ok, then it didn’t go up. It was the same the day before too.’”

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Brazil’s case numbers make them the second most infected country in the world, right behind the US. Experts believe case numbers in both countries are likely a lot larger, but lack of testing facilities/results is skewing the data. Within the past two weeks alone 10 out of Brazil’s 26 states have seen massive increases in case numbers. 

Citizens have been struggling to balance working while protecting themselves, but continuing on in order to earn money, this is especially true for agriculture workers. 

“Until it knocks at your door, people are indifferent. Yesterday there were 1,300 deaths from COVID-19. Is that supposed to be few? People are saying that’s just the media. I hear that every day at work.”

Health experts predict that if Brazil continues to remain as open as it is now the death toll will reach 200,000 by November. Like in the US, the major difference that needs to happen is a complete overhaul of how the current administration has handled the virus. Healthcare experts need to have more control over the policies that are put into play, as they’re the ones seeing first hand how badly this virus is impacting different communities. 

In the meantime, it’s important that every citizen does their part as well by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing whenever in a public setting, and continuing to wash your hands/sanitize consistently.

Florida COVID-19

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez Discusses Record Breaking Covid-19 Numbers In Florida

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez claims the city is breaking record after record of Covid-19 reports as Florida passes 200,000 cases.

California Coronavirus

California Governor Prepares For Second Statewide Lockdown Amid Spikes In Covid-19 Cases

California Governor Gavin Newsom claims that the state is setting daily records this week for new cases of Covid-19.

Disneyland Sign

Disneyland Will Delay Reopening Amid Rising Covid-19 Numbers

Disneyland is among the many parks and establishments throughout the US that are shutting down again after making plans to reopen by the end of July. Initially Disneyland was projecting to reopen on July 17th, now, California, Florida, and countless other states are seeing major spikes in new Covid-19 cases which is prompting many state governments to reinstate lockdown procedures. 

In a statement posted to Disneyland’s social media platforms, the company announced that the state of California won’t issue any theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4th, however, their priorities lie more in getting the case numbers down before they think about opening up amusement parks or any other major businesses for that matter. 

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 “Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials.”

Disney continued to claim that they would be working with California officials closely in the coming weeks so that they can issue more concrete plans for a potential reopening this summer. Walt Disney World in Florida is still projecting to reopen by the end of July despite Florida being one of the many states with record-breaking single-day case numbers. Florida is especially under close observation, as the state is projected to be the next epicenter for the virus’ second-wave; much like New York City was during the initial wave of infections. 

The Downtown Disney District is still planning on reopening on July 9th, according to the statement. The reopening of this district follows the same guidelines as all other restaurants and retail openings in the state of California. For Disney World in Florida, the company is planning to reopen the first of several major theme park attractions on July 11th, however, they will need to continue to be in contact with Florida’s state government everyday in regards to new case numbers. 

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Both parks have lost millions of dollars in revenue since initially closing back in March, however, as a multi-billion dollar corporation, this hasn’t made a major economic impact for Disney. When the parks reopen, whenever that may be, visitors will also have to be prepared to abide by very strict health and safety/social distancing procedures while in the park. These measures will include wearing a mask at all times, remaining six feet apart from everyone by following markers on the ground, and character meet and greets will likely not be happening. Visitors will also be required to get their temperature checked prior to entering. 

Some attractions and events will remain shut down indefinitely until this pandemic comes to a more concrete close. Most parades and playgrounds will likely remain shutdown for the time being, and visitors will not be able to travel among multiple parks per day. 

Despite all of these health and safety measures, thousands of American citizens have signed a petition urging Disney to remain fully closed until “COVID-19 cases are no longer rising and no longer posing risk of spreading this disease to our working cast/team members, their families, and our theme park guests.” 

Florida is one of the most infected states in America currently with over 103,000 cases total. Union leaders representing around 17,000 Disneyland employees have also written a letter to the Governor arguing that it is unsafe and irresponsible to reopen the park, and more than 40,000 individuals signed a petition that came from them as well which called the companies plan to reopen “greedy.”

Another major point of contention has been the argument that even if Disney does fully reopen with every single health and safety procedure imaginable, are families really going to be willing to spend the money on a Disney ticket if they have to wear a mask and likely wait even longer for the limited rides that are available? Only time will tell if Disney will even be able to follow through with any of these plans, as we know, this virus is unpredictable, so anything can happen between now and July.

Florida State Coronavirus

Florida Continues To Report Massive Spikes In Covid-19 Case Numbers

Florida was one of the states that recently lifted its coronavirus lockdown, it’s also one of the states that’s seeing a massive surge in new Covid-19 cases due to that premature reopening. The Florida Department of Health reported an additional 3,286 cases of coronavirus this past Tuesday, bringing the entire state total to 103,503 cases. 

Medical experts in the state are attributing the rising numbers to younger Floridians participating in summer vacation activities, an increase in testing facilities which led to an increase in knowledge of case numbers, more social contact brought on by multiple businesses reopening to the public, and potentially the multiple large protests that have been occurring throughout the past month, however, the protests may have nothing to do with the rise in numbers according to experts

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Carlos Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade Count

Data compiled by researchers at Florida International University within the past two weeks has shown that in the Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populated county (2.7 million residents), citizens are experiencing about 35 new cases of Covid-19 every day. A rise in hospitalizations, ICU visits, and ventilation use has also paralleled this increase in case numbers. 

“Municipalities received guidelines on reopening but they do not have guidelines on when to pull back, which is why it is so critical to monitor the cases closely before the hospitals and ICUs start to have capacity issues — which is something we have avoided so far in Miami-Dade County,” said Dr. Mary Jo Trepka.

While there isn’t a direct reason behind this increase in case numbers, health experts are attributing most of it to the reopening of Florida in general. Children are also now on summer vacation and were previously in quarantine for an extended amount of time, so it makes sense that they would want to be outside as much as possible, however, as the numbers show, the country just isn’t there yet. 

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Health experts have continued to urge Floridians, even with all the reopenings, to continue to wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and stay home if you feel sick or symptomatic in any way. Florida as a state, however, does not legally require masks to be worn in public places, despite the state’s health department strongly recommending it. 

Florida is one of many states that are now reporting record-breaking single-day highs for new Covid-19 cases. One ICU unit in Miami-Dade county has already reported they’re at maximum capacity. 

“A week ago we had eight patients, none on a ventilator, and within 10 days we’re now at over 40-plus patients, four on ventilators. We’ve had to find a second Covid unit and are looking for a third Covid unit right now,” said Dr. Andrew Pastewski.

The biggest concern in Florida, and the rest of the country, is a second-wave of the virus occurring in the fall, as experts have warned that a second-wave would likely be much worse than what we’ve endured throughout the past few months; over 2 million cases of Covid-19 and over 120 million deaths. The reopenings of multiple states and the almost automatic spikes in case numbers two weeks after those reopenings is evidence enough that the US is nowhere close to ready to return to a life of normalcy, and this virus will continue to be a problem for the nation until a vaccine or proper drug treatment is discovered.