Over 2,100 deaths were reported in the US this past Tuesday, marking the highest one-day coronavirus death toll the nation has reported since May. The highest Covid-19 death tally in a single day for the US was 2,603 back in April, however, the country hasn’t come close to that number since, until now.
Cases and hospitalizations have been surging for a couple of weeks now, and officials are preparing for the worst in terms of new deaths. It’s been three weeks since the US has had less than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases appear in a single day. For the 15th consecutive day this week the US also beat its own record of Covid-19 hospitalizations; with over 88,000 patients in hospitals nationwide currently.
Holiday celebrations have the nation’s leading healthcare experts even more worried. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even released an official recommendation not to travel for Thanksgiving this year, and after a recent poll taken by Axios-Ipsos, about 61% of Americans have changed their Thanksgiving plans, and 1 in 10 Americans say they no longer plan to celebrate the holiday at all.
On the opposite, more concerning, end, more than 1 million travelers have already passed through airport security this past Sunday alone, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, recently spoke with the press about how everyone needs to make adjustments for the holidays this year unless we want to continue to see this devastation occur.
“People shouldn’t rely on a negative test to give them confidence to mingle with other households for Thanksgiving, because tests can miss the virus in the newly infected. Instead, people should have quarantined 14 days beforehand.”
America’s average daily death toll for a given week is 1,601; for comparison in the summer it was around 1,130. As daunting as these stats may seem healthcare experts are really more concerned with the coming weeks after Thanksgiving when even more cases start appearing. As a result, many states are implementing more restrictions to hopefully combat the surge that’s likely to come after the holidays.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that all public schools would be closing and more restrictions would be on the way. In Nashville, Tennessee, the mayor limited restaurant and bar capacity to 50% with a 10 p.m. curfew. In El Paso, Texas, which has been hit particularly hard within the past month, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego announced a partial curfew for 10 p.m.
The reality is, unless the country shuts down completely again, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths will continue to rise, and while multiple vaccine options are showing great promise for the spring, we still have a decent amount of time to go before Americans can expect to be vaccinated.
Whenever a vaccine is officially approved by the FDA and CDC for distribution, health care workers and individuals at a higher risk of infection will receive the injections first, and then states with major Covid-19 hot spots will likely receive the next rounds. Dr. Anthony Fauci projects that the general public can expect to be vaccinated by spring/summer of 2021. In the meantime, however, we all need to do our part to curb the excess spreading we’re witnessing of this virus throughout the country. Wear a mask, stay home unless necessary, practice proper hand washing/hygiene, and social distance.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.