This group of people is showing higher infection rates for COVID-19 now

At a congressional hearing this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the National Institutes of Health, said that summer transmission rates will determine the potential of a second COVID-19 wave later this fall. 

Without saying so directly, the seasoned immunologist seemed to indicate that our pandemic is a multifaceted one. Comorbidities, waning trust in establishments and civil unrest have all played their roles in neutralizing countermeasures developed in the six months since the first documented SARS-CoV-2 case appeared in Wuhan, China. 

Even with a baseline established, new questions will continue to penetrate analysis

Can coronavirus cases be reduced while committing to shutdown easing? Will demonstrations and protests put more communities at risk for infection? Is there a way to make up for time squandered by an insensible administration? You can find answers to any of the three just as easily as you can find their detractors. 

Indecision among pundits and elected officials made it impossible to remain optimistic and now Texas, Florida, California, and Arizona are currently experiencing massive spikes in transmissions. 

Early last Friday, Vice President Mike Pence revealed that 50% of new COVID-19 cases were adults under the age of 35. In that same press briefing, Pence went on to address the record number of infections detected a day prior. 

Over 41,000 new cases had been reported in the past 24 hours, and Florida accounted for nearly 9,000 of them. As of the time of this writing,  the US has 2.64M COVID-19 cases and 128,749 deaths.

You don’t have to be an academician to pick up on a failure on behalf of public servants to properly interpret and administer medical data. 

Testing and contract tracing began so late in America, we underestimated COVID-19’s infection rate by nearly 80 times.

“We analyzed each state’s influenza-like illness (ILI) cases to estimate the number that could not be attributed to influenza and was in excess of seasonal baseline levels,” explained Justin Silverman, assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology and Department of Medicine. “When you subtract these out, you’re left with what we’re calling excess ILI – cases that can’t be explained by either influenza or the typical seasonal variation of respiratory pathogens.”

It wasn’t initially known that SARS-CoV-2 carriers actually tend to shed the most viral debris before the onset of symptoms. Combine these silent vessels with those who remain asymptomatic but contagious before complete viral clearance, and you have an overwhelming number of undiagnosed cases spreading the virus to disproportionately affected demographics. 

“Our results suggest that the overwhelming effects of COVID-19 may have less to do with the virus’ lethality and more to do with how quickly it was able to spread through communities initially,” Silverman concludes. “A lower fatality rate coupled with a higher prevalence of disease and rapid growth of regional epidemics provides an alternative explanation of a large number of deaths and overcrowding of hospitals we have seen in certain areas of the world.”

It’s true that around 80% of COVID-19 patients recover without the need for medical intervention. However, there are so many factors that are instructive to severe manifestations of the disease—some of which are likely yet to be determined. 

When smokers, the obese, diabetics, those who suffer from hypertension, chronic stress, and asthma are all vulnerable to fatal forms of a pervasive disease, no one is invulnerable to provisional lifestyle changes. This is why we have to be mindful of updates provided by academic resources (with a healthy dose of skepticism as opposed to an all-encompassing one).  

A failure to debunk rumors that COVID-19 is called COVID-19 because it’s the nineteenth attempt by (name villain here) to (name nefarious plot here) ensures populations take the disease seriously in unproductive ways. 

CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ stands for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ stands for disease. Then 19, because the first case was recorded in the year 2019.

The intentional conflation of mask mandates and restrictions on liberty ensures populations accept any excuse they can to avoid wearing the admittedly uncomfortable devices.  

The prolonged use of medical or cotton masks does not result in CO2 intoxication or oxygen deficiency. In fact, Singapore was able to suppress COVID-19’s growth curve and continue commercial operations because its citizens properly wore masks during high-risk situations. 

Even if SARS-CoV-2 turns out to be acutely seasonal, like the coronaviruses that staffed epidemics around the world, talking about COVID-19 in the past tense will ensure populations race toward a defected normalcy. 

The mutated coronavirus is the most stable at 4°C. UVB in sun rays has been deactivating SARS-CoV-2 in regions across the globe at different times of the year. Neither of these negates the utility of social distancing.

Pretending that underrepresented communities die of COVID-19 more frequently because of dietary aggravators and them alone, ensures legislative language continues to omit them from the lexicon.

A COVID-19 vaccination will only severe an arm from the pandemic. Medical austerity, policy, and transparency will have to do the rest.