Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Numbers Don’t Tell The Real Story

From the Washington Post:

U.S. coronavirus cases are rising again, driven by rapid transmission in Midwestern states and sparking fears that a forewarned wave of infections this fall and winter has begun.

For almost a month, new U.S. cases have been trending upward. Since Saturday, more than 20 states have hit a new high in their seven-day average of case counts, and more than half of those states set records again on Tuesday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.

The rising numbers are especially concerning because they set the stage for an even greater surge this winter when the virus will be helped by drier conditions and people spending more time indoors. The upward trend comes before the increased mingling of people expected to arrive with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The virus has become especially rampant in Midwestern states after dominating U.S. coastal and urban areas in the spring, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.

It is unclear what factors are driving the recent increase — whether it is the long-feared winter effect already taking place or the resumption of business and schools, or simply fatigue and people letting down their guard on social distancing efforts.

I felt the impact of this plague on a personal, gut-wrenching level when I went to visit my mom last weekend.  I was allowed to actually see her, give her a gentle hug, and take her out to dinner with my sister.  It was the first time I was with her since Dad died in May.  As we waited at a stop light, she said quietly, “I miss him.”

We all do, Mom.  Me, my sister, my brothers, my nieces and nephews, the rest of the family, his friends, the people he knew over his long life.  And we are just one family.  There are over 217,000 other families who miss their father, mother, sister or brother.

I can mourn for my loss and try to comfort my mother.  I can try to understand the complexities of dealing with a global pandemic and how it affects a nation of over 330 million people.  But I cannot rid myself of the visceral sadness and grief that comes from knowing the simple fact that this was all preventable.  It could have been stopped.  Something could have been done.  They knew it and they let it happen.