Coronavirus Update June 26: It’s Baaack

Coronavirus is back and causing trouble again. Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Coronavirus is back and causing trouble again.

That dull thud you heard in the past 24 hours, that was the coronavirus lockdown slamming shut again. After record levels of COVID-19 cases have been reported, a number of hard-hit states have started delaying reopenings and even backtracking, repealing previous reopenings.

Texas closed bars while Florida left them open, but prohibited alcohol sales.  Texas left restaurants open, but limited them to 50 percent capacity.

This recent burst of activity is concentrated in urban areas, like Houston, San Antonio, Miami, and Atlanta.  While the data is nowhere near as bad as it was in the New York metropolitan area, this is another example of why living in cities puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to the coronavirus.  Another data point is that many of the cases are in people below age 50, which shows precautions taken to protect the elderly appear to be working.

Meanwhile, the earlier this week the CDC reported that only 1 in 10 coronavirus cases have been identified.  That means there may be as many as 24 million Americans who have had the disease but don’t know it. Sounds like bad news, but it actually is positive for two reasons: One, it means the percentage of people who get seriously ill or die from COVID-19 is much lower than the numbers currently show, and two, we are that much closer to acquiring herd immunity.

Today’s Numbers

The New York Times reported a jump of 41,113 COVID-19 cases yesterday, a record number and an increase of 1.7 percent.  The total number of cases has now climbed to 2,435,200. 

Deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S. climbed 2,470, a number that is distorted because New Jersey just released “probable” deaths.  If that data is removed, then the U.S. would report on 616 deaths in the past 24 hours.  With the data included, the U.S. death toll stands at 124,393.

Globally, there were almost 200,000 cases reported, bringing the total number of cases to 9.654 million and 490,632 deaths.  Brazil now has half as many cases as the U.S. and Russia have as many as Brazil.