We’ve all been hunkering down for the last month or so. Between the ongoing pandemic and worsening economic outlook, we’ve needed some good news. Luckily, there might now be some. COVID-19’s death rate appears to be on the decline in the United States. While this is certainly welcome information, there are some important takeaways this pandemic has laid bare for us.
Social distancing is still important
Social distancing makes a significant difference. While the trend is currently on the decline, this only makes social distancing even more important now. A resurgence could still happen if we drop our guard. If we stop social distancing now, we could see a second wave that is even worse than the first (like what happened during the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918).
Projections change and that’s OK
Projections are only estimates and improve once there is more information. This does not mean experts or the media which relays what they say are trying to mislead us. On the contrary, both have been doing their best to provide us with the best information possible and suggest the best steps to keep us healthy, stamp this out, and return things to normal.
COVID-19 has been one of the worst outbreaks in recent history
COVID-19 is still pretty bad as far as outbreaks go. It has been worse than Ebola, SARS, and H1N1 combined for the United States. Those previous outbreaks added up to approximately 12,500 deaths in the U.S. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has claimed over 28,500 lives stateside. Worldwide, these previous outbreaks caused 296,000 deaths while COVID-19 has caused over 137,000 deaths. And it’s still chugging along, even if it might be winding down.
It pays to listen to experts
There’s no telling which outbreaks will be mild and which will be catastrophic except in hindsight. We should always listen to experts and follow their advice. Heeding their advice is one of the reasons this outbreak has not been as bad as initially feared.
Our elected officials are supposed to advocate for us. Throughout this pandemic, the Trump Administration has downplayed the seriousness of COVID-19, skirted responsibility for doing so, and tried to enrich themselves by exploiting the situation. In Congress, Republicans hindered and attempted to water down relief efforts. We have Democrats to thank for the fact that gig workers can now receive unemployment benefits, the fact we don’t have to pay back our stimulus checks, and many other wins for the working class. Remember this in November.
We can change anything we want
This pandemic has shown us that we’ve had it within us to change whatever we want all along. We can provide differently-abled people with remote-work options. We can have free medical care and UBIs. We can pay delivery drivers, grocery workers, and food service employees better. We can come together to help each other. We can build an economy that values life over labor. These things are not radical or out of reach.
Stay safe, healthy, and smart out there!
For those interested in the actual death numbers, here they are:
March 1: 1
March 5: 12
March 10: 30 (2.5x growth)
March 15: 68 (2.2x growth)
March 20: 225 (3.3x growth)
March 25: 931 (4.1x growth)
March 30: 3,141 (3.3x growth)
April 5: 9,636 (3.1x growth)
April 10: 18,747 (1.9x growth)
April 15: 28,529 (1.5x growth)