Immediate consequences predicted from loosening of restricted activity

In hig May 6th briefing, Governor Cuomo demonstrated that New York’s inclusion in national statistics are hiding the fact that both hospitalizations and deaths are increasing in almost every other state except Hawaii. Those who are eager to earn an income or simply to get out of the house are all to eager to believe there will be no consequences to changing conduct to the friendly, large group activities from before March 1st.

This excerpt from a New York Times summary points out that the human costs directly resulting from these changes will be high.

Daily death toll — 1750 now >> 3,000 on June 1st

New cases daily — 25,000 now >> 200,000 on June 1st

Admittedly there are those who seem to feel anyone over age 51 (where COVID-19 deaths begin to dramatically increase). I wonder how many of them will feel the same when it’s their family member or, possibly, even themselves. After fighting this hard to control this horror, can’t you wait another week or two?

See also https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/04/cdc-daily-deaths-coronavirus-234377?cid=apn

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths over the next several weeks. The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750.

The projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: The United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks to try slowing the spread of the virus, but reopening the economy will make matters worse.

“There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.

As the administration privately predicted a sharp increase in deaths, a public model that has been frequently cited by the White House revised its own estimates, doubling its projected death toll.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington is now estimating that there will be nearly 135,000 deaths in the United States through the beginning of August — more than double what it forecast on April 17, when it estimated 60,308 deaths by Aug. 4. (The country has already had more than 68,000 deaths.)

The institute wrote that the revisions reflected “rising mobility in most U.S. states as well as the easing of social distancing measures expected in 31 states by May 11, indicating that growing contacts among people will promote transmission of the coronavirus.”

The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways.DOCUMENTSSee the administration’s internal report.

On Sunday, Mr. Trump said deaths in the United States could reach 100,000, twice as many as he had forecast two weeks ago. But that new number still underestimates what his own administration is now predicting to be the total death toll by the end of May — much less in the months to come. It follows a pattern for Mr. Trump, who has frequently understated the impact of the disease.

“We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” he said in a virtual town hall on Fox News on Sunday. “That’s a horrible thing. We shouldn’t lose one person over this.”

The White House responded that the new federal government projections had not been vetted.

“This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

An antiques store in Charleston, S.C., was open on Friday.
An antiques store in Charleston, S.C., was open on Friday.Credit…Cameron Pollack for The New York Times

After a wave of new state orders easing restrictions over the weekend, at least half a dozen more states began allowing certain businesses to reopen on Monday, some even as cases continued to rise.

Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska were among the states that allowed the reopening of some businesses on Monday even though they were seeing increasing cases, according to a New York Times database. Other states that have partly reopened while cases have continued to rise include Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas, according to the data.

About half of all states have now begun reopening their economies in some significant way, which public health experts have warned could lead to a new wave of cases and deaths.

“The vast majority of Americans have not been exposed to the virus, there is not immunity, and the initial conditions that allowed this virus to spread really quickly across America haven’t really changed,” said Dr. Larry Chang, an infectious-diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University.

While the country has stabilized, it has not really improved, as shown by data collected by The Times. Case and death numbers remain on a numbing, tragic plateau that is tilting only slightly downward.

At least 1,000 people with the virus, and sometimes more than 2,000, have died every day for the last month. On a near daily basis, at least 25,000 new cases of the virus are being identified across the country.

And even as New York City, New Orleans and Detroit have shown improvement, other urban centers, including Chicago and Los Angeles, are reporting steady growth in the number of cases.

In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham invoked the state’s Riot Control Act to lock down the entire city of Gallup, on the edge of the Navajo Nation. As of Sunday, the Gallup area had the third-highest rate of infection of any metropolitan area in the United States.

“We’re scared to death, so this had to be done,” said Amber Nez, 27, a shoe store saleswoman and Navajo Nation citizen who lives in Gallup. “I only wonder why we didn’t do this sooner.”

Many other states are already entering their next chapters.

Restaurants, stores, museums and libraries in Florida are allowed to reopen with fewer customers, except in the most populous counties, which have seen a majority of the state’s cases. In Clearwater, some beachgoers used seaweed to mark a six-foot barrier around them.

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