On November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving, an American healthcare worker named Josh Rubin shared footage from Now This News on Twitter and wrote “Healthcare workers are very disappointed and angry that this is happening.”
The footage showed a flight radar of November 23rd and the sky was covered with airplanes. “We are at capacity now. Buckle up for December” Rubin added.
This tweet from a healthcare worker indicates how terrible the conditions in the United States are at present – with over 330 million people set to struggle through a COVID winter.
COVID-19 in the US is now in its third wave, and is this time more severe than the previous two.
Confirmed cases have been growing since the beginning of November.
On November 27th, the number surpassed 200,000 confirmed cases in just one day. That stat was again matched yesterday.
And as the U.S. stands today, the numbers seem to be increasing without any sign of abating.
Why can’t the supposed ‘greatest nation on earth’ as the U.S. is so often called by Americans put a halt to the uncontrolled spread of the virus?
Not wearing masks is an important factor as to why the United States is the worst affected nation in the world.
While states such as New York, California, and Florida have all formulated strict rules to help prevent the spread of the virus and have themselves been affected on a grand scale by COVID, states in the midwest including North Dakota, and Montana are not as well-prepared – comparatively speaking.
They have to date believed that masks are unnecessary as the population is not as dense as in big cities, and the governors of some states have not even requested, with some even refusing to ask their citizens to wear a mask.
This has led to some of these states becoming the new U.S. epicenter of the pandemic.
According to reports in the New York Times, there have recently been over one thousand cases daily in these midwest states.
In North Dakota, the mortality rate has reached a new peak of 18.2 deaths per million people on average; making it the most austere region in the world.
The governor of North Dakota only changed tack and issued a mask mandate on November 13th.
Holidays are another reason the number of confirmed cases are increasing instead of decreasing.
Since Thanksgiving is a holiday for family reunions many people go home and thus spread the virus around the nation.
The holiday also brings with it a wave of ‘revenge travel’ in the US as Americans are tired and bored of being at home, effectively quarantined for the past few months in some areas.
The Transportation Security Administration estimates there were at least 1.1 million people taking airplanes the day before Thanksgiving – the new COVID peak.
Additionally, American infectious disease authority Anthony Fauci said that they cannot predict the peak after Thanksgiving, indicating how horrifying the conditions are for authorities trying to contain the virus.
He also urged people not to go out as they normally would over Christmas, to help prevent more cases and deaths.
Recently, vaccines have of course become the hope in the months ahead for humanity in dealing with COVID, and this is no exception for Americans.
With many well-known pharmaceutical firms claiming that their vaccines are effective, people are gradually letting down their guard.
However, there still are many questions and concerns about vaccines. For example, is it suitable for everyone?
How long will it take to ensure most people have access to the vaccines?
In such uncertain times Fauci says the public should not expect too much of the vaccines as its help is “limited”.
Here in Taiwan, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) launched a new rule on December 1st under which people must wear masks in eight types of public venue in order to help control the spread of COVID-19 as well as influenza.
There have been around seven hundred people infected with COVID-19 in Taiwan to date.
Mask use and these low numbers are not a coincidence.
Although vaccines are just around the corner, and the domestic pandemic is slowing down, we must comply with prevention regulations wherever we live.
Wear masks, wash hands regularly, use applicable social distances, and don’t go out if unnecessary.
Stay healthy, stay safe.