Coronavirus is Still a Threat, But Shows Signs of Slowing

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Courtesy of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19’s quick spread and deadly nature is causing panic across the world but the numbers are starting to show a slow down in cases.

Ryan Lanxton, Writer

COVID-19 has ravaged the world over the past two months. Starting as a distant concern back in January, normal life has come to a halt in an effort to stop the spread of the disease.

Starting in China, the coronavirus quickly spread to all corners of the world, including Italy and Spain in particular. Throughout March and April, thousands of people have lost their lives to the virus, with the elderly and immunocompromised being the most vulnerable.

With few worries for much of February, COVID-19 has hit the U.S. harder than any other country in the previous two months. As of April 15, there have been over 622,000 confirmed cases and 27,000 deaths in the country.

New York has been the hardest hit area in the country. As of April 12, there have been over 190,000 cases and 10,000 deaths in the city. Other cities like Chicago and Detroit have also been hit hard, with each reporting over 10,000 deaths.

Along with Detroit, the rest of Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in cases and deaths over the past few weeks. Between March 19 and April 12, Michigan has reported nearly 25,000 cases. Within Genesee County there have been 955 confirmed cases and 68 deaths. 

This dramatic rise in cases has led Governor Gretchen Whitmer to issue a “stay-at-home-stay-safe” executive order for the entire state which she later extended to the end of the month. 

The executive order has suspended many everyday activities and closed thousands of non-essential businesses. Places like grocery stores and hardware stores, which have been able to remain open, have seen a tremendous flood of customers racing to grab supplies.

Nationally, in the past three weeks, over 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment, the highest number since the Great Depression in the 1930’s. On the week ending on April 4, over 6.6 million people filed unemployment claims. For perspective, the previous highest amount of claims filed in the past 50 years was about 500,000. 

Despite all this seemingly bad news, there is hope on the horizon.

The amount of new cases reported in the U.S. has been slowing in the previous few days, leading to a “flattened curve.” By flattening the trend of new cases, hospitals across the country will be able to focus more on their cases at-hand and help victims recover quicker. 

Internationally, new cases and the amount of deaths has also been slowing. Italy, Spain and France, some of the three hardest hit countries in the world, have seen their death rates falling over the past few weeks. 

Human testing for a vaccine has also begun this month. Although not expected to be widely available for almost a year, there has been an unprecedented level of research towards finding the cure. 

But we are not over with this disease yet. Per public health officials from around the world, people are still encouraged to use face masks when out and public. Additionally, by practicing self-isolation and social distancing from others, spread of the disease can be further slowed. 

If you’re looking for more information on the disease and how to stay safe, visit the CDC website. You can also track the spread of the disease in the U.S. on The New York Timescoronavirus map, which is updated daily.