Cinquantaduemilanovecentottantadue. Or, more simply, 52.982. This is the impressive number of coronavirus cases that occurred only yesterday, July 1st, in the United States. Thus reaching over 2 million 680 thousand positives, with 128 thousand victims. An exorbitant increase in cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic, which exceeds the records recorded in the past four days. So much so that there is those who shout at the “second wave” alarm in the country that has so far paid the highest lifespan of coronavirus.
While President Trump continues to diminish the problem, even joking about the use of the mask (“I wear it because it gives me“, He said), his advisors are starting to be seriously concerned:”We could have 100,000 new cases a day in the United States if we can’t control the epidemic, “said Anthony Fauci, White House adviser on the coronavirus crisis. “The situation is out of control.”
Concern also shared by the mayor of Houston, Texas, who announced that hospitals “have practically reached their maximum capacity‘. In a city with over two million inhabitants. But let’s talk really a second wave of infections, or is the problem another? To understand this, it is essential to read the data on the pandemic in the United States, which shows how more than a second wave we are facing a long wave of a poorly managed pandemic. Indeed, the countries that had been largely spared during the peak that hit the city of New York: Florida, Texas, Arizona and California were most affected at this stage.
In Florida the increase in cases was 6,563, in Texas 8,076, Arizona 4,753 and California 6,682. Almost half of the new cases are concentrated in these four states. From this point of view, the case of the “Golden State” is emblematic: following the outbreak of the contagions, the governor of California found himself forced to impose a new lockdown in 19 counties including that of Los Angeles. We speak of over 72% of the inhabitants of the state, which has a population of almost 40 million people.
In short, from May 7, the day California released the first guidelines for reopening, cases have exploded and the government has been forced to retrace its steps. Arizona and Florida have done the same, but not (yet) Texas, which has so far confirmed the policy of reopening.
And this clearly indicates one thing: the too rapid removal of restrictions has brought the pandemic out of control again, especially in areas least affected initially and which therefore may have underestimated the seriousness of the situation. Councilor Fauci himself had suggested it, who already spoke last week of “perhaps too early reopenings”, causing the anger of Vice President Mike Pence who instead defended the government’s choice.
The haste of removing the containment measures is evident in this Johns Hopkins University chart: curve not yet flattened, the pandemic immediately resumed as soon as the guard threshold went down.
A very different choice from that made by Italy, which it maintained the stringent lockdown across the country until the epidemic curve has not really been under control across the country, without giving in to the temptation to reopen in the least affected areas such as those in southern Italy. An apt choice that of the Italian government, so much so that the WHO has come to define “A model” our effort to contain the coronavirus: “A dreadful situation is reversed,” said general manager Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu. Because, it is worth remembering, just 3 months ago Italy was the global epicenter of the pandemic.
However, data on contagions in the United States also indicate two other factors that may be worth analyzing: the age of the infected and the temperatures in the areas currently most affected.
As for age, the new cases of coronavirus are concentrated mainly among the younger ones: unlike in the past, when the most affected group was that of the over 65s, now the infections are mainly concentrated in the 18-49 age portion. Although the cause of this change is not yet clear, there are those in the United States who blame the lack of respect for social distancing and hygiene rules by young people. A perhaps superficial explanation, which however joins another probably positive fact: the surge in cases it has not yet coincided with a surge of deaths, also because coronavirus has been shown to be more dangerous for the elderly and for those already burdened by previous pathologies.
Finally there is a final figure to analyze, namely that of the temperatures of the most affected States: Florida, Texas, Arizona and California are all part of the so-called “Sun Belt”, the sun belt made up of Warmer states of the Union. Bad news if you consider it hopes that the heat could to some extent ‘defeat’ the coronavirus. Obviously it is not this single data that gives a sure answer in this regard, however it seems to suggest that the containment of the pandemic in Europe was more the result of the containment measures than the increase in temperatures with the arrival of summer.
In conclusion, the United States is more than a victim of a second wave victims of the incompetence and superficiality with which the pandemic was managed. It is no coincidence that Donald Trump has always been one of the strongest supporters of the futility of containment measures. Is this just a coincidence? If you want the proof, citofonate to Jair Bolsonaro.