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As Predicted, Coronavirus Deaths Jump Again as States Ease Restrictions

Are we in the foothills of the frightening second wave?

While the particular strain of coronavirus that has caused our global pandemic is novel, which provides its own unique challenges, this is still a virus, and it behaves very much in the ways that we understand viruses to behave.

That is to say:  Even though we’ve yet to develop a cure or vaccine, we fully understand just how COVID-19 spreads and attacks a population.

Much like the pandemics that preceded this horrific mess, 2020’s coronavirus outbreak was always going to have a devastating second wave.  We understood this from studying centuries’ worth of viruses, some whose reverberatory destruction was tenfold that of the first wave.

The latest data seems to suggest that we are now in the foothills of this frightening future. 

A long-expected upturn in U.S. coronavirus deaths has begun, driven by fatalities in states in the South and West, according to data on the pandemic.

The number of deaths per day from the virus had been falling for months, and even remained down as states like Florida and Texas saw explosions in cases and hospitalizations — and reported daily U.S. infections broke records several times in recent days.

Scientists warned it wouldn’t last. A coronavirus death, when it occurs, typically comes several weeks after a person is first infected. And experts predicted states that saw increases in cases and hospitalizations would, at some point, see deaths rise too. Now that’s happening.

The data is harrowing.

According to an Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily reported deaths in the U.S. has increased from 578 two weeks ago to 664 on July 10 — still well below the heights hit in April. Daily reported deaths increased in 27 states over that time period, but the majority of those states are averaging under 15 new deaths per day. A smaller group of states has been driving the nationwide increase in deaths.

California is averaging 91 reported deaths per day while Texas is close behind with 66, but Florida, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey and South Carolina also saw sizable rises. New Jersey’s recent jump is thought to be partially attributable to its less frequent reporting of probable deaths.

Much of this uptick can be attributed to Americans’ general distaste for lockdowns and social distancing, and the constant debate online over the efficacy of these tactics.


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