The United States surpassed 11 million cases of the coronavirus in total on Sunday and its caseload has now exceeded 12 million. New daily cases are approaching 200,000: Friday, the country recorded more than 198,500, a record.
As the country reconsiders the usual winter vacation travel and comfortable indoor gatherings, new cases are being reported at an incessant rate. The seven-day average has exceeded 100,000 cases per day every day for the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database.
The country’s death toll from the virus stood at 254,320 as of noon Saturday. And an analysis from The Times shows the United States has higher than normal death rates in all 50 states, as the pandemic is causing unusual death patterns.
The latest wave of the virus began to accelerate across much of the country in mid-October. It took the nation a little over two weeks to go from eight million cases to nine million on October 30; going from 9 to 10 million took only 10 days. From 10 million to 11 million took just under seven days.
Despite almost daily registrations for new cases and hospitalizations, there remains a bipartisan reluctance to issue the kind of sweeping stay-at-home orders seen in the early days of the pandemic. In their place, officials are instituting 10 p.m. curfews, closing schools and announcing long-standing mask warrants.
Residents in Illinois received what could once have been seen as an apocalyptic warning on their phones on Friday night: Effective today, all of Illinois is entering Level 3 mitigation. Work from home when possible, avoid unnecessary travel and celebrate the holidays practically with the extended family. The state has averaged more than 12,000 cases per day over the past week, and some areas of the state have only a few dozen ICU beds left.
Yet citizens’ resolve is running out.
And as families consider whether to come together for Thanksgiving, hour-long test lines, overwhelmed hospital systems, and demand for additional refrigerated mortuary trucks are making headlines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to avoid traveling on Thanksgiving and only celebrate with members of their immediate household. It’s still unclear whether many families in the United States will change their vacation plans, despite calls from government officials and public health experts.
It won’t be long before we can hug, eat together and let this year become a distant memory, wrote Dr. Elisabeth Poorman, intern physician for NPR. I beg you, don’t let Thanksgiving be your last.
The records fall at a time of great political tension. President Trump has refused to concede his loss while largely ceding the fight against the virus to state and local governments that continue to go their own way, and President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is arguing in vain for the start of the transition. , warning that failure to do so will cost lives.
Dr Deborah L. Birx, the Trump administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, has released dire assessments, urging Americans to increase their vigilance while awaiting vaccine approval.
She pleaded with Americans on Thursday to practice social distancing and wear masks.
National rhetoric slows change. Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa, a Republican, announced a statewide mask mandate this week after insisting for months that it was a measure of well- be unenforceable. Iowa has the sixth highest rate of new cases in the country.
If the Iowans don’t buy into this, we lose, Ms Reynolds said, warning that the hospital system could collapse. The cost in human life will be high.
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