September 23: U.S. Surpasses 200,000 COVID-19 Deaths

The U.S. reaches a milestone, but the number of serious COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to slow.

The United States surpassed 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 yesterday and is just a day or two away from 7 million total cases.  To put that in perspective, that’s about 21 percent of global deaths and 22 percent of worldwide cases.  Heart disease and cancer are responsible for several times as many deaths. By Year-end, Coronavirus will probably account for only 9 or 10 percent of all deaths in the U.S. in 2020.

While cases are trending higher again, increased testing and college students are reportedly to blame.  Deaths continue to trend downward and there has not been an increase in hospitalizations. Unlike Australia, Israel, the UK, and parts of Europe, it doesn’t look like the U.S. is heading back into a shutdown.

As this article from Bloomberg discusses, colleges are “reservoirs” of infection and when students go home, they could be responsible for spreading the disease as we head into winter.

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September 6: COVID-19 Cases Play Havoc on College Campuses

Despite their best efforts to minimize spread, COVID-19 cases on campus are causing many colleges to shut down or crack down on unsafe behavior.

Outbreaks continue in college towns as tens of thousands of returning students result in hundreds, often thousands, of cases. More than 25,000 students in 37 states had tested positive for COVID-19 at college as of last week.  Some campuses are closing, sending kids home. Others are cracking down on rule to prevent parties and social gatherings.

You will notice that while reports of cases rise, reports of hospitalizations are few and far between.  The danger of college students getting COVID-19 isn’t to themselves, it’s the possibility that they might spread it to others who are more vulnerable.

For example, sending kids home may simply spread the disease into the communities where students live, infecting their parents and possibly older relatives.  It may be safer to students quarantined in dorm rooms until the initial cases die down. 

In either case, its clear COVID-19 is playing hell with people’s education and their lives.

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August 17: Colleges Wrestle with Party Culture in COVID Era

Campus life is presenting a host of challenges for universities and the cities and towns where they are located.

College and universities that have allowed students on campus find themselves wrestling with COVID-19 and the party culture as kids hang out and party without masks or social distancing. Why does this surprise anyone?

Imagine being 18 or 20-years-old and suddenly on your own after being locked in your parent’s house for the past five months.  Of course you’re going to rebel and break the rules!  And chances are, if these students get COVID-19, the vast majority are going to have little or no symptoms and will be just fine.  The real danger is probably to their professors, administrators, and those with suppressed immune systems.

COVID-19 is becoming a disease where the youth spread it and the elderly die from it.  If I worked at a college or school and I was over 60, I’d think this was a great year to take a sabbatical or maybe consider a move to emeritus status and retire.  But the young?  There’s really no stopping them from acting their age.  We should just be glad they aren’t out protesting, looting, and joining Antifa.

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