Empty New York City Subway Train Above Ground during the Covid-19 Pandemic – January 4 2021 (Shutterstock)
The US is at a pivotal juncture in its fight against Covid-19. Though nearly 2.5 million Americans are being vaccinated every day, infection levels have now come to a plateau across the nation. And while some states have simply been unable to reduce the infection numbers, 21 states have once again begun reporting a rise in daily cases.
These recent trends in Covid numbers — the plateauing, the increase, and the simple failure to bring down cases — despite accelerating vaccinations, are a cause of concern for public health officials.
Now add to that mix, other progress-thwarting variables such as vaccine hesitancy, leniency in restrictions, and removal of mask mandates, and we are all facing a very real threat. Not to mention, all of this is happening in the presence of the quick-spreading, more contagious, and potentially dangerous new variants.
Anything can happen. Our nation’s progress — that still has a long way to go — can be reversed anytime.
This defining moment in the pandemic’s history is now coinciding with the super-spreader event of spring break. Florida’s bars and beaches are packed with college students partying away and that too without masks.
Crowded beaches, booked theme parks, and worse of all, abandonment of masks, is the current norm among Florida spring breakers. The state’s residents are sitting tight, fearing another surge while health authorities stand alert.
On top of all this, only last week, air travel in the US recorded the highest numbers since the start of the pandemic.
More than 1.4 million passengers were screened at TSA security checkpoints on Thursday and Friday alone last week.
Last week’s average of daily new cases plateaued at 54,666, after declining for several weeks. Health experts including CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, are now “pleading for the sake of the nation’s health”. She said,
“These should be warning signs for all of us. Cases climbed last spring. They climbed again in the summer. They will climb now if we stop taking precautions.”
As per data collected by Johns Hopkins, the US has recorded over 535,000 Covid-19 deaths and over 29 million cases.
The nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, expressed much concern about the current situation in the following words.
“It’s really quite risky to declare victory before you have the level of infection in the community to a much, much lower level than 53,000 cases per day.
So it is unfortunate, but not surprising, to me that you are seeing increases in the number of cases per day in areas — cities, states, or regions — even though vaccines are being distributed at a pretty good clip of 2 to 3 million per day.”