A week ago, the world reached 2.5 million cases of COVID-19. Today, that number is well over 3 million, an increase of 564,000 in the past week and 63,000 in the past 24 hours. That’s an increase of just over 2 percent overnight and 22 percent over the past week.
The U.S. will likely hit the 1 million mark today, as the total reported case count is 987,691. New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. dropped to 22,477 in the past 24 hours, a new low. The 2.3 percent growth rate is also the lowest we’ve seen this month.
Deaths attribute to the coronavirus in the U.S. surpassed 50,000, increasing by 1,354 to 50,819, a growth rate of 2.7 percent. Globally, the number exceeded 212,000.
In New York, tests, cases, deaths, hospitalizations and intubations were all down. We’ll review state data in greater detail tomorrow, but New York, Louisiana and Washington continue to lead the way in controlling the spread.
The Next Step
Whether you choose to look at these numbers and think they are dangerously high or look at them and think that they are dropping quickly, one thing is clear: COVID-19 is not going to disappear any time soon. Even if the case load drops to negligible levels over the summer, it may come back in the fall like the seasonal flu.
The big question is: will we treat it like the flu or will we repeat the shutdowns and stay-home orders.
It may all depend on if there’s an uptick in Georgia and the other early-reopening states. We learned from New York when the virus was spreading, now we can learn from Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennesee and other states that are letting their stay-home orders expire.
At some point, we need to bite the bullet and reopen the country 100 percent and get back to business as usual instead of reopening in dribs and drabs. Yes, we need to protect the elderly and other vulnerable populations, but we should be able to do that while we let everyone else go back to their old lives.
We need to reopen restaurants, put farmers back to work, let the brewers go back to making beer instead of hand sanitizer, let the kids go back to school, and the athletes play their games. Now that we have a good handle on the short-term damage caused by the coronavirus, it’s clear that the long-term damaged caused by the shut-down is going to be worse. If we want to have a country left to reopen, then we need to reopen by June 1.