๐“๐ก๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ

“๐Ž๐ง ๐…๐ซ๐ข๐๐š๐ฒ, ๐”.๐’. ๐œ๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ ๐ก๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ฒ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐‰๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฒ, ๐ก๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ง๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ•๐ŸŽ,๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ ๐ข๐ง ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐๐š๐ฒ. ๐๐ž๐ฐ ๐œ๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐›๐ฒ ๐Ÿ‘๐ŸŽ% ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐ญ๐ฐ๐จ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ž๐ค๐ฌ ๐š๐ ๐จ.” – ๐–๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐’๐ญ๐จ๐ง๐ž (๐๐๐‘ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ)

These records in daily cases are occurring all over the US – but, 43% are concentrated in the Midwest. Here’s a snapshot of where we are right now as quoted by Will Stone’s NPR story:

1. A COVID-19 field hospital is being set up at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. (Hospitalizations more than doubled in Wisconsin. I still do not understand why field hospitals are acceptable to any of us – especially with a virus that we know how to prevent and that daily cases precede hospitalizations.)

2. Cases in North and South Dakota per capita are higher than what ๐‘ค๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘Ž๐‘ค ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ด๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘ง๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘Ž ๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘š๐‘š๐‘’๐‘Ÿ ๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘”๐‘’.

3. Montana, Wyoming and Utah have high per capita rates of new infections on par with the Midwest.

4. In New Mexico, daily new infections more than doubled over the past two weeks and are now at the highest levels since the pandemic began.

5. The South, which includes Florida and Texas, accounts for close to 40% of total cases in the past week, with cases rising quickly in some states like Tennessee and Mississippi. While the Northeast has a much smaller share of cases compared to other regions, the average case count doubled over the past month.

6. Want to see what your state/county looks like? Go here (you don’t want the color to be red or orange): https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/

๐–๐ก๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ? -“The pandemic was predicted to gain traction in the fall…. But the steep rise has come even sooner than some public health experts anticipated.”

-Cases precede hospitalizations by 2 weeks and deaths by another 2-3 weeks. Daily cases are a strong warning flag to us of what is to come.

-The next 6-12 weeks will likely be bleak unless we follow the plan originally laid out by Dr. Fauci’s team (which was not a lockdown, but rather solid public-health measures like testing, tracing).

-COVID deaths are expected to rise to nearly 400,000 by February 2021 (that’s the projection with our current response).

-Things are going to get worse, friends. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to start posting on what we can do to prepare for that – physically and mentally. Pandemic fatigue is real for all of us. Mental health struggles around the pandemic are real. Hunkering down with a plan to get us through this next wave will be key. Let’s talk about that.

-What we don’t need to talk about is the pseudo-science around COVID-19. It’s distracting and harmful on physical and emotional levels to people. So, rule of thumb – if Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, or Dr. Michael Osterholm doesn’t say it, I don’t believe it.

-There will be an end to this, web-friends. Vaccines are coming (trusted ones that have gone through the correct scientific process) and treatments are being refined. Let’s live our life well over these next few months. Learning to live with the virus responsibly will get us through the winter.

-Stay safe everyone. Wear your mask and keep your distance. I promise if any legit science comes out saying masks are bad, I will be the first to tell you (well, probably behind lots of other scientists who will be yelling it too). Until then, just wear the mask. =)

-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist

***To see all the previous posts on masks, the economic impact of COVID-19, why cases matter, how faith informs our response, myth-busters, and lots of info in-between – go to the pinned post Table of Contents.***

SOURCES:

NPR story by Will Stone – https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/19/924972322/coronavirus-cases-rise-to-highest-level-since-late-july (Direct quotes from Will Stone for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.)

COVID death projections: https://covid19.healthdata.org/global?view=total-deaths&tab=trend

State and county specific data: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/

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