Arizona, Florida or Texas have seen a record increase in coronavirus infections in recent days. The southern states of the United States in particular are entering a crisis that Europe has already experienced. The situation there is even worse than at the beginning of the pandemic. There are 40,000 new cases in the United States every day.
There were more than 9,500 new cases in Florida in Saturday, with tests revealing a record 6,900 new cases a day in Texas last Tuesday. According to experts, Florida could soon become another focus of the American epidemic, with a worse situation than in April in New York, where hospitals did not manage to accept the seriously ill.
While the situation has improved in Europe and many Asian countries, the United States is moving in the opposite direction. 128,000 Americans have already died of covid-19, and 2.7 million are infected. This is currently the most of all countries in the world. In 14 US states, the number of cases doubled during June.
What did the Americans do wrong? At first, they reacted more slowly. President Donald Trump underestimated the pandemic, leaving the decision on action to individual states. The cancellation of cultural events, the wearing of veils and the subsequent release took place in the United States a bit randomly. In many cases, national decisions ignored the recommendations of the Federal Office of Public Health. For example, he recommends wearing veils, yet this obligation has been introduced by only 18 US states.
However, according to experts, the main reason for the second, more crushing blow of the pandemic is the fact that the authorities began to relax measures too quickly. Americans began to go on trips, beaches and go to bars.
Release too fast
According to Bloomberg, this is clearly seen in the graphic representation of the pandemic in the USA and in Europe. For many American states, it was enough for them to flatten the so-called disease curve. That is, when the graph curve showing the number of infected stopped rising sharply. In contrast, EU countries waited until the curve dropped significantly with the release of quarantine measures.
The EU, for the most part, waited until the coronavirus had been greatly reduced before attempting reopening, and so far, their case load has remained flat.
By contrast, most of the USA basically ignored medical advice about when and how to reopen and new cases are surging. ☹️ pic.twitter.com/PezaXXsjf2
— Robert Rohde (@RARohde) July 1, 2020
Only at that moment does the amount of virus circulating among people decrease. When cases of infection stop rising, it doesn’t mean the virus has disappeared – it just hasn’t had a chance to spread among people. But open bars, clubs, restaurants or gyms will make it possible for him again.
Open the bars was a mistake
Therefore, some US states are re-entering quarantine measures, while others are only slowing down or suspending releases. “If I could go back and do something different, it would probably be a slower reopening of bars, now that I see how fast the coronavirus is spreading there,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said a few days ago. Last Friday he ordered the bars to close again, the restaurant must reduce capacity by 50 percent.
On the same day, a bar in Orlando, Florida, where up to 150 people became infected, lost his license to sell alcohol.
“We all want to go back to what we love to do in Washington this summer and open up our economy completely, but we’re not there yet,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee said over the weekend. “The situation is still evolving and we will make decisions based on data,” he added.
Veils are a political issue
Some U.S. states or cities, beginning to fear the spread of the disease, are beginning to introduce compulsory wearing of veils. People in 45 of the 50 states already have to cover their mouths and noses in shops, public transport or other places.
“For God’s sake, avoid the crowds, wear veils. These are the basics that – when you look at TV shows or newspaper photos – people don’t follow. It’s a recipe for disaster,” said a respected epidemiologist and White House Crisis Staff with coronavirus Anthony Fauci. On Tuesday, the US Senate warned that if the current trend of the pandemic continues, the United States will soon count up to 100,000 new cases every day.
But the veils are divided by the Americans, and they have literally become a political weapon. According to polls, they are now worn in public by more people than at the beginning of the epidemic, but more often by Democrat voters than by Republican supporters.
It is similar to the dividing line between politicians. Democratic governors are introducing the duty of veils more often than Republican ones. For example, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo directly asked Donald Trump to order the wearing of veils. He even invited him to wear it himself. But the US president does not use it at public events.
Worse than mass protests
The laxity policy of individual states and the president himself is proving to be the main cause of the coronavirus crisis in which the United States is now. Even the mass protests sparked by the murder of black George Floyd during a police operation did not start any wave of infection, despite fears.
The amount of time Americans spent at home actually increased, on average, in weeks that saw protests spread across the country https://t.co/FcIQCR9S1P
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) July 1, 2020
Researchers at Barkley University, the University of Colorado and the University of San Diego were able to compare mobile operator data with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database of infected patients.
Politicians have warned that huge protests and non-compliance will cause a new wave of epidemics. However, data collected over a three-week period in 315 cities where large Black Lives Matter protests took place showed that the events had no effect on the jump in infections.
On the contrary, other residents who did not protest spent more time at home than ever before. There could have been more motivation. Even out of fear of violence and looting, shops remained closed, the streets were blocked and people preferred not to leave.
Video: A third of people in Prague’s public transport still wear veils
Despite the abolition of the obligation to wear veils in public transport, about a third of people in Prague did not take them off. Watch the video. | Video: Kristýna Pružinová