The COVID-19 Coronavirus that president Donald Trump, in the final debate with Democratic challenger Joe Biden, said was “under control,” hit its highest number of infections Friday since the pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans began.
“The rising numbers put the nation on the precipice of what could be its worst stretch to date in the pandemic with some hospitals in the West and Midwest already overwhelmed and death counts beginning to rise,” writes William Wan and Jacqueline Dupree in Saturday’s Washington Post. “The current surge is considerably more widespread than the waves from last summer and spring. The unprecedented geographic spread of the current surge makes it more dangerous, with experts warning it could lead to dire shortages of medical staff and supplies.”
“One key way we got through previous waves was by moving health-care workers around. That’s just not possible when the virus is surging everywhere,” Eleanor J. Murray, an epidemiologist at Boston University, tells the Post.
How high will this latest surge go? Who knows.
“We are starting this wave much higher than either of the previous waves,” Murray said. “And it will simply keep going up until people and officials decide to do something about it.”
With more than 8.3 million infected and latest predictions saying the death toll in the United States could top 400,000 before the end of the year, disease experts predict the approaching holidays and cooler weather will soar with winter cold keeping the virus stable longer.
Virginia had 172.372 cases in Friday’s daily report by the Virginia Department of Health with 3,578 deaths. Floyd County has 240 infections with 15 deaths.
Rising numbers and deaths could bring more lockdowns and business closures but officials like Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot says that may not be enough.
“It won’t be as simple as closing public spaces,” Birx sya. “What has happened in the last three to four weeks is that people have moved their social gatherings indoors.”
With hospitals filling, especially in the central portions of the nation, officials say resources are running thin.
“You know, I just, I don’t know what to do anymore,” Utah state epidemiologist Angela Dunn said at a Thursday news conference. “I’m really not trying to scare anyone. I’m just trying to inform you of what’s going on.”
“Creating beds is relatively easy, but what do you do when you outstrip ICU nurses, doctors, and teams?” Michael T. Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, told the Post.