A year after the coronavirus pandemic began, despite attempts by governments to speed up vaccination and prevent hospital overcrowding, the US is on the brink of a fourth wave.
After six weeks of decline in the last week of February, the number of patients in the world began to grow again. This is partly due to the spread of new strains of the virus, which are transmitted faster than the original variety, first found in Wuhan.
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The WHO reiterated the need for a coherent and coordinated response to the pandemic, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said vaccination could affect the situation, but its level had not yet reached a safe level.
Currently, more than 101.1 million doses have been administered in the United States, covering 20% of the population. Also recently approved for use is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has become the third drug available on the market. Of the more than 115 million cases, a quarter are in the United States, and more than 518,000 COVID-19 patients have died in the country.
The CDC’s prognostic model indicates that the incidence trend will decline in March and April, but according to the country’s chief infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci warned that a new wave of cases is imminent. The model of researchers from Philadelphia PolicyLab indicates that the rate of spread of the virus is increasing.
“We could not have made a more wonderful environment for this virus to take off than we have right now. We are not driving this tiger, we’re riding it. And the first time we may be able to drive it is with widespread use of the vaccine, and we’re not there yet,” warned Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
“I understand the need to want to get back to normality, but you’re only going to set yourself back if you just completely push aside the public health guidelines — particularly when we’re dealing with anywhere from 55 (thousand) to 70,000 infections per day in the United States,” says Fauci.
Many states have begun easing coronavirus restrictions for businesses, restaurants, and public gatherings, as well as the obligation to wear masks, even though the incidence rates are sometimes higher than in the summer when the measures were introduced, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said. If you are careless now, it can only prolong the duration of the pandemic, say PolicyLab.
At the same time, spring and warming should help America fight the coronavirus, as people spend more time outdoors, and at higher temperatures, the virus’s activity may decline.
However, the problem is that part of the population may refuse vaccination, which is not mandatory, even though vaccination has not shown significant health risks.
In general, experts believe that the next three months may be indicative, when it is likely to become clear whether humanity is moving towards overcoming the coronavirus.