COVID-19 Cases and Deaths Drop

Social distancing sign. Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash.
A sign illustrating proper social distancing. Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash.

The pace of COVID-19 expansion across the U.S. appeared to slow yesterday as only 25,200 cases were reported, an increase of only 2.2 percent.  The total is now in excess if 1,165,300, which is one third of the 3.529 million total global cases.

Deaths also dropped to their lowest level in days.  Only 1,295 deaths due to the coronavirus were reported in the past 24 hours, an increase of 1.9 percent and the lowest number we’ve reported since last Monday.  Globally, deaths increased less than 4,000.

We have seen a trend in which fewer cases are reported on Monday, which we have dubbed the Sabbath Effect.  We’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s report to see if these lower numbers represent a trend or are simply the result of less data collection on Sunday.

Global Reports

On the worldwide stage, Russia appears to be a new epicenter, growing an average of 10,000 cases per day over the past four days.  They are now reporting 145,268 cases, approximately half of which are in Moscow.

Italy experienced its lowest day of reports just as they are relaxing restrictions.  France, Italy and Spain, three of the four European countries with the most cases, are gradually relaxing some restrictions, starting today.  They join another dozen countries across the continent that are lifting some restrictions.

In the U.S., Florida joins a host of other states that is allowing additional reopening.

Institutional Outbreaks

Outbreaks in nursing homes, prisons, and meat processing plants continue, with 373 employees testing positive at a Triumph Foods pork processing plant in Missouri. All cases, however, were asymptomatic, as are many of the cases that test positive in prisons.  Meanwhile, more than 16,000 are dead across the nation’s nursing homes. In Kentucky, Colorado and Pennsylvania, more than have the reported deaths have been in nursing homes.

Asymptomatic cases represent a conundrum for proponents of reopening.  They clearly demonstrate that the coronavirus can infect people without making them sick, yet each asymptomatic carrier is a Typhoid Mary should they come in contact with a vulnerable population.

As states reopen, the elderly and those who live or work with them must remain extremely cautions and continue to self-isolate. 

Reopening Battles

Across the U.S., reopening battles continue as protesters revolt against tight restrictions and what appears at times to be over-enforcement.  Police in New York were tasked with enforcing social distancing regulations beat a man who was simply observing the arrest.  Elsewhere, stories of surfers being arrested and a women cutting hair of friends and neighbors in her home make it seem as if the government is oppressive and using coronavirus as an excuse to limit our civil liberties.

Meanwhile, protests against the lockdown continue around the country as small businesses suffer and unemployment rises.

To put today’s numbers in perspective, you look back at yesterday or a week ago.