With looting and rioting all over the streets of the United States, it would appear that there’s no pandemic. Even in the peaceful protests throughout the day, there’s hardly a mask in sight. Is the coronavirus still a concern?
The CDC still shows active cases occurring around the country. Florida just had one of its highest days of new infections.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, things are looking better.
At the beginning of June, there were approximately 34,000 people diagnosed or evaluated for the coronavirus in hospitals. This was down from 40,000 in the middle of May. Well, that’s a drop of 6,000 people across the United States, but is that enough to say that we’re in the clear? Probably not.
There’s a problem that too much of the media isn’t talking about – Seven states aren’t reporting the number of people hospitalized by COVID-19. They’ll disclose the number of tests and the number of diagnoses, but not those actually sick enough to be hospitalized.
Idaho, Nebraska, and some of the other states don’t have enough cases for it to be too concerning. However, with Florida being a state with one of the highest populations in the country, they’re lack of reporting this critical data point is a problem.
Why do we care about the hospitalizations? They show where the outbreaks have been the most severe. If there are too many people being hospitalized in one area, it’s showing that there’s cause for concern.
It’s not the only number that we should care about, though. The hospitalizations don’t consider the people who die before making it to the hospital, such as those in their home or a nursing home.
All that being said, hospitalizations continue to decrease in some of the COVID-19 hotspots such as New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Massachusetts.
What this means is that the hospitalizations aren’t as severe. It could be that those at greatest risk were hit early on. It could mean that people aren’t going to the hospital anymore. It could mean a lot of things. While it’s one piece of data that we should be looking at, it does not cause for celebration yet.
It can still take a solid two weeks to see what the real picture is. As the states open back up, it can take two weeks to see what kind of damage that has done – and that’s what we’re seeing now.
According to the CDC, there have been over 1.8 million cases since it all began. Each day, there are still new cases – around 14,000 more. There are also around 800 new deaths being reported as a result of the coronavirus.
Given the number of infected and the number dead, the death rate is hovering at around five percent. That’s cause for concern. Even as new cases are found, the death rate isn’t suddenly dropping. It’s staying strong – and that’s why the hospitalization numbers aren’t capable of telling us not to panic about the pandemic any longer.
We’re opening up the country…but is it wise?
On April 1, when we were in the height of being locked inside, limiting ourselves to essential businesses only, there were 27,043 cases reported as new by the CDC. On June 1, approximately two weeks after the country has started to reopen at least partially, there were 14,790 cases reported by the CDC. We’ve cut the numbers in half, but there are still people being infected.
Meanwhile, more people are complaining that they want the economy to open back up. There’s violence in the streets because people are bored. Sure, they’ve decided to get angry about racial injustice, but for many, it’s an excuse to break out of their homes. It’s also why spousal abuse is at an all-time high. People are getting claustrophobic. Their mental health is not in a good place.
The coronavirus is still a concern. Social distancing has to be more regimented, and the rioting and looting aren’t helping matters. Although the number of cases is dropping from eight weeks ago, they’re not good enough to rip off a mask in celebration as of yet.