The U.S. continues to break coronavirus records and Florida now has more reported cases than New Jersey, yet no one seems to care. Social distancing is being breached as often as it is being abided by.
In fact, I find it hard to care. I sat locked inside my house for 76 days, self-quarantined for my protection, leaving only for grocery store pick-ups and the rare trip to Sam’s Club for supplies. Today, our state is reporting twice as many cases per day as it did back on May 28 when we officially ended our personal lockdown, but I’m still going out. Yesterday, I got my oil changed. On Tuesday, I was at Home Depot, and it was pretty crowded.
We still have not gone out to eat. We’re avoiding parties and would go to a concert or play, and we’re not beach people. We are being careful and cautious, but we’re not as worried as we once were.
Social Distancing Declines
When we do go out, we always see people without masks. At the convenience store yesterday, the checkout clerk, a woman older than I am, had dispensed with here. People pay less attention to those 6-foot marks.
Do you know why? Because people are not as scared of the coronavirus as they once were. And that’s what it really comes down to: We let China and the media convince us that the coronavirus was a terrible, scary, disease that would kill us all. Months later, we realize that while it can be a debilitating illness, it often is not. That while coronavirus can and does kill the elderly and those with underlying illnesses, it really isn’t that deadly for the rest of us.
Maybe those who initially said “It’s just like the flu” were not that far wrong. Because one day we’re going to stop counting cases and count only hospitalizations, and then it’s going to become just like the flu.
Life goes in cycles. The pendulum has swung. Has it swung too far to the “we don’t care” side? Perhaps. But I find myself more worried about what our country will look like in four months, after Election Day, than I am about COVID-19. This country is getting ready to tear itself apart. Meanwhile, China and India have moved tanks and missiles to their border. Russia is testing us with bomber incursions. China is aggressively threatening its neighbors in the South China Seas. Iran and other enemies are celebrating the protests and riots, thinking that they make us look weak.
Yeah, we got plenty to prep for, and COVID-19 is just one of them.
By the Numbers
The United States reported 55,600 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and increase of 2 percent. This brings the total to 2,758,800. Deaths ticked upwards slightly to 722, bringing the total dead due to COVID-19 to 128,825. This is an increase of less than 0.6 percent.
Global numbers are also high, with 179,000 cases reported, bringing the total to 10.906 million. Deaths climbed by a bit more than 5,000 to 522,112.
The U.S. is once again seeing cases grow at a faster rate than the global average, making us somewhat of a pariah, with other countries banning U.S. visitors or requiring them to quarantine for two weeks. It remains to be seen if countries that have managed to squash viral outbreaks will see them climb again in the winter. Either way, as we have said on multiple occasions, the coronavirus is here to stay. Use your best judgment on whether or how you try to avoid infection.