Harvard University students take courses online, even if they live on campus.
As it turns out, the great reopening of the pandemic summer in the United States has gone far off course.
“Basically, we see what happened in New York in March, except in several metropolitan areas in the country,” said Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician and professor of public health at George Washington University.
“And we don’t have the political will and public willingness to impose the shutdowns that we did in March.”
The early reopening had ramifications
Wen said most of the country now lives the consequences of reopening too soon – and failing to have an adequate national coronavirus strategy.
“The American people have made tremendous sacrifices to get us where we are,” said Wen, Baltimore’s former health commissioner.
“Dozens of millions of people have lost their jobs. Children have not been to school and have lost valuable time. Unfortunately, we are in a position where we seem to have wasted the time these victims should buy us.”
33 states trend upwards on average in daily cases
Many states are stopping or postponing plans to reopen. Those that make up over 40% of the U.S. population have put their reopening on hold, Goldman Sachs reported Thursday. States with another 30% of the population have already canceled part of their plans.
Washington has largely left the reopening plans to the states.
At least 33 countries saw an upward trend on average in daily cases – an increase of at least 10% compared to the previous week.
The CNN medical analyst, Dr. Celine Gounder, an internist, infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist, said most states had taken “half-hearted” steps to combat the spread of the virus, noting, for example, that stricter safeguards could have been implemented earlier than March and April.
“If we had all locked at the same time and it had taken these two months to do what we need to prepare and meet the gating criteria (for reopening) and then slowly lifted everyone up, we would actually be at a completely different level Place, right now, “she said.
“A Step-by-Step Approach” and “Mix Messaging”
“Other countries were able to fight this because they had a nationally coordinated strategy instead of a step-by-step approach combined with mixed news and even a science and public health scorn that some of our officials showed,” said Wen. “We really didn’t have to be in this position.”
In Florida, health officials reported 8,935 new Covid-19 cases and at least 120 deaths on Thursday.
Florida, California, Arizona and Texas make up about 50% of new infections.
Texas set its highest death rate increase in a day on Tuesday at 98 – the second highest daily number of new cases reported on the same day, at 9,979.
Despite advances in the past few weeks, Louisiana has seen an increasing spread in the community, forcing New Orleans to limit bars and restaurants to 25 guests and to ban bar seating.
For more than a month, Arizona has led the nation with the highest 7-day average of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
Even in California, once praised for introducing early restrictions, infection rates in Los Angeles have risen to levels never seen since April.
“If the goal is to have schools open in the fall, maybe we shouldn’t open bars in the summer,” Wen said.
A possible “double whammy” in autumn
Nationwide spikes in cases occur less than three months before the flu season begins, warning health professionals that they may coincide with a new wave of Covid-19.
“We could face the double blow in the fall,” said Wen.
“So you will have a lot of patients with the same symptoms as fever, shortness of breath and cough, and that will really exhaust our range of PSA because the patients who come in don’t know what they have. So you have to treat them as they would have Covid. And it will be an enormous burden on our health systems – on beds, on respirators and above all on our healthcare workers. “
This is not the year to skip a flu shot.
“The health system will be overwhelmed with Covid in most parts of the country in the fall and winter,” said Gounder.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and others say there is still time to turn the tide of the pandemic in parts of the south and southwest.
However, states need to start by reopening, expanding testing and follow-up, and promoting physical distancing and wearing masks.
“I would hope that we don’t have to resort to shutting down,” said Fauci at a The Hill event Thursday.
“I think that would be something that is obviously extreme. I think it would not be seen very, very positively … So instead of thinking that we will go back to a complete shutdown, I would think we have to get States who pause in their opening process. “