At first, it was considered a respiratory disease, but as patients have grown, so has the variety of damage. Covid-19 has caused inflammation of the lungs, strokes, cardiac arrests, swelling of the toes, or neurological mishaps, among other conditions. It has also afflicted pets and several tigers at the Bronx Zoo. The latest data says that it may have caused unique effects on children. In New York State alone, 73 minors have become ill and 3 have lost their lives.
“This is every parent’s nightmare, right?” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in one of his daily appearances. “Apparently, these children had COVID antibodies, or tested positive for COVID, but those were not the symptoms they showed when they arrived at the hospital.”
Unlike most adult patients, sick children suffered from toxic inflammation that could require mechanical respiratory assistance. The inflammation, similar to the so-called “Kawasaki disease,” can manifest itself in the skin, eyes, heart, tongue, or arteries and blood vessels.
Although at the moment only one hundred long cases have been detected in the United States, mostly concentrated in New York, and many others in Europe, the syndrome has questioned the original idea that the coronavirus only affects adults. New York health authorities still working to clarify these new manifestations possibly linked to COVID-19. One of the hypotheses being considered is that, since it has manifested itself one month after the peak of infections, the syndrome is a post-infectious immune response to the virus.
One of those affected, Jack McMorrow, 14, had a fever and rashes. “They came out on my hands and started spreading to my wrists,” he told NBC News. “It was painful, it was scary and I pray that it won’t happen to anyone.” Governor Cuomo recommends that parents monitor their first symptoms, which can be fever, severe abdominal or chest pain, or a change in skin colour. “We still have a lot to learn from this virus,” said Cuomo.
Reopening without scientific control
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in most states. A reality that does not prevent them from having started to reopen their economies. 42 states are already in this process, despite the fact that none of them meets the two most important requirements set by the White House: the increase in diagnostic tests for COVID-19 and the decrease in infections for 14 consecutive days.
The consensus of epidemiologists, including those in the White House, augurs new peaks. “What we are going to see is an unfortunate natural experiment going on,” Jeffrey Shaman, an expert in infectious disease modelling at Columbia University, told Vox.com. “For the states that are loosening the restrictions and reopening, we’re going to see if they’re able to do it without having the virus blow up in their face. … basically, they’re playing Russian roulette.”
In Missouri, for example, the rate of daily detected cases continues to rise, but its governor, Mike Parson, has ordered the reopening of all businesses. Starting today, the inhabitants of this state will be able to celebrate and attend concerts, as long as they respect the meter and a half distance from each other.
Confinement remains a popular measure, albeit less among Republican voters. Around 55% of conservatives support it, compared to 88% of Democratic voters. Discontents, however, are manifesting more and more often and in greater numbers. At least twenty states have registered protests, some of them armed, such as the one in Michigan or the one this weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina. Some of the protesters carried signs and banners named after the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Two Republican representatives from Texas, Steve Toth and Briscoe Cain, went to the barber illegally: they cut their hair to protest against the closure of the barbershops. “There are thousands and thousands of other businesses across the state of Texas that are being put out of business as a result of this,” said Toth.
The virus continues to circulate, even inside the White House. The press secretary of the US vice president, Mike Pence, has tested positive for COVID-19. Katie Miller’s illness, which is currently asymptomatic, has forced several members of the Government to be quarantined. Among them the prestigious Dr. Anthony Fauci, 79 years old. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have tested negative.
The worst unemployment data since the Great Depression
Like the president, many Republicans are inclined to cater to an economy that still calibrates the enormous damage of the pandemic. According to the latest unemployment data, at least 20 million jobs were destroyed in April. In some states, the unemployment rate exceeds 25% and nationally it approaches 15%: the worst number since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
According to Obama, Trump’s response to the pandemic has been a “chaotic and absolute disaster”
Some economists, such as Mark Zandi of Moody’s, believe that the hardest part of the economic impact has already passed: in May some more jobs will be destroyed, he said, but then the economy will take flight again. Other observers, such as investor Warren Buffett, have been more pessimistic. The “the Oracle of Omaha” has sold 16 times more shares in April than it has bought. An unusual action in someone who usually bet on the long term.
The almost two months of confinement have not only left a dent in the economy. The growing trend of Americans to consume organic and healthy food has lost its reason for being, giving way to fast food, cans and frozen pizzas. Sales of frozen products rose 94% in mid-March, according to AFFI data.
In the background, but reemerging strongly, is the presidential campaign. Its momentum is increasingly evident in the messages of the White House and in the press, and even a hero of the Democratic Party is warming up to get out. Former US President Barack Obama had a conversation with his former team in which, according to Yahoo News, he criticized the Trump administration’s management. Trump’s response to the pandemic, the former president declared, has been a “chaotic and absolute disaster.”