The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted considerable misery in the United States, from more than 141,100 COVID-19-related deaths (according to Johns Hopkins University researchers) to double-digit unemployment and thousands of small businesses closing permanently. But according to medical expert Michael Osterholm, CNN reports, a lot more pain is forthcoming.
Christina Maxouris and Jay Croft report that Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warns that the pandemic is only in its early stages. And a lot more social distancing, Osterholm stresses, will be needed in the months to come.
“It’s all about distancing, and that’s what actually drove down the numbers last spring,” Osterholm told CNN. “We really did create a lot of distancing, and until we do that, we’re going to have an impossible time driving this virus down to a level which then, we can test and trace on a routine basis like other countries and open up our economy again safely.”
But even though Osterholm warns that the pandemic has only reached its early stages, Maxouris and Croft report that recent weeks have given Americans a lot to worry about.
“People are testing positive for coronavirus in record-breaking numbers across the U.S., and the surge in cases is slowing down the time tests take,” the CNN journalists report. “Labs across the country are now facing what seems like an almost infinite demand.”
On top of that, coronavirus-related deaths have been on the rise in Sun Belt states such as Florida and Texas. And Dr. Peter Hotez of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston told CNN, “South Texas is just getting hit incredibly hard. The hospitals are overwhelmed.”
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.
It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.