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COVID-19’s Status in the US

As cases across the globe passes 27.6 million and over 6.5 million cases in the US, the death rate is not staying on pace, as many would expect. This phenomenon has yet to be fully understood by scientists and doctors. Some say this occurrence is because interventions are becoming more successful at treating complications; while others point to the clear trend that the COVID-19 is now becoming a “young person” disease. Where young adults are less likely to die or suffer from severe complications, more can be infected while keeping death rates relatively low. This comes after the disease ravaged nursing homes and the elderly population. Doctors are still adjusting to the seemingly changing affected demographic.

Schools across the nation are scrambling to manage how to keep students, faculty, and staff in the absence of a vaccine. Already, more than 37,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported at colleges and universities. K-12 schools vary from in-person, virtual, and hybrid classrooms, a scattered approach that represents the lack of uniformity and varying opinions on the safest and best approach for education amid a global pandemic. Combatting a widespread misconception, researchers have stated that adolescents are equally capable of transmitting the virus as adult and age should not be considered an impervious shield to the virus. It is unclear how the rest of the school year will go as in-person learning communities experience massive outbreaks and parents are starting to go back to work.

COVID-19’s Status Internationally

Researchers in Hong Kong have documented the first case of virus reinfection. A 33-year-old patient was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Aug 15th, over four months after their first bout with the disease on March 26th. With this being the first case, there is an understanding that there could be more, researchers are now on high alert for more cases.

African nations have not gone untouched by the virus, but few nations are experiencing the peaks in both cases and deaths, that other nations have gone through. Some have attributed this to the relative youth of the continent, comparing it to Europe where more EU citizens are more likely to reach 80 years of age, and therefore more susceptible to COVID complications and deaths. Additionally, COVID-19 is known to have a higher mortality rate amongst those with health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes, which are less common in the African nations. More populous nations like South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria COVID rates have slowed but increases have been present in Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia.

After the first week in September, UK officials tallied the highest daily number of cases, 2,988, since May, and have had four days with over 2,000 new cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions to curb the spread and prevent a second lockdown.

New cases send India sprinting to third in world ranking of cases. Even with the new increasing deaths, 72,775, researchers suggest that all cases are not being reported and the numbers could be much higher. All cases are not being reported to the World Health Organization, in addition to states attributing deaths to underlying conditions instead of COVID-19, and discrepancies are being found in deaths reported and counts from crematoria and burial grounds, thus prompting uncertainty in the accuracy of India’s reported numbers.

Mexico, fourth in line for most COVID deaths, reported nearly 3,500 new cases of COVID-19 on last Monday. President Nicolas Maduro has announced the mysterious and locally licensed Russia vaccine will be distributed to Venezuela in late September for clinical trials and “other vaccines” come October.

Analysis:

The emergence of a virus reinfection case prompts concern regarding immunity. While experts suggested previously infected individuals likely carried antibodies and therefore had some level of immunity against the coronavirus, new findings suggest that immunity may only last for a few months.

The previously mentioned phenomenon of an increase in cases, but not in deaths is contributing to the misconception that this disease and virus are not deadly. Such an idea is spreading throughout the US and as a result people are no longer taking the disease seriously, prompting anti-mask protests, young people gathering for parties, and other practices that are incompatible with CDC recommendations.

Engagement Resources:

For concerns about COVID-19, please seek assistance with the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, or local health officials.

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Number of COVID-19 cases and deaths as of September 13, 2020 – Consult the CDC or Johns Hopkins for an update in numbers.

Nation Confirmed Cases Deaths
Globally 28,892,810 922,525
United States 6,519,249 194,069
India 4,754,356 78,586
Brazil 4,330,455 131,625
Russia 1,059,024 18,517
Peru 722,832 30,526
Colombia 708,964 22,734
Mexico 668,381 70,821
South Africa 649,793 15,447
Spain 566,326 29,747
Argentina 555,537 11,352

 

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