June 19, 2020: California was one of the first U.S. states to do a serious COVID-19 shutdown. We later learned that COVID-19 was in America much earlier than initially thought. In March 2020 my husband Tim and I decided to self-isolate at home. We ceased visiting with family and friends. The creative arts events we were associated with were cancelled and remain cancelled.
Testing has improved, but America still does not have enough testing or enough contact tracing for COVID-19. It is pathetic how few tests are available, especially for nursing home personnel, nursing home residents, and people of color. Also, our states do not have consistent messaging or similar plans to battle this pandemic.
When COVID-19 first started ravaging the United States, our federal government forced state governors to compete for supplies while a staggering number of our amazing doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers lives were at great risk because they did not have enough (PPE) personal protective equipment. Many states still have shortages of masks, gowns, gloves, ventilators, and other life protecting and life saving supplies.
Our federal government is unwilling to fully invoke the Defense Production Act so this crucial problem could be resolved, in spite of the fact that most states have not completed their "first wave" stage. Our inevitable "second wave" will be predictably impacted by this avoidable problem.
The Defense Production Act gives the federal government the power to direct private businesses to produce essential items for a national emergency.
In America it feels like we have entered Rod Serling's surreal "Twilight Zone" - we are trapped in a distorted reality TV show episode with amateurish actors playing the role of our federal government.
Many in our federal government have a cavalier attitude about COVID-19. Their message seems to be that this pandemic is "magically" over, facemasks aren't needed, and social distancing is unnecessary. When I watch TV and see large numbers of American citizens also behaving like COVID-19 does not concern them, I am stunned.
COVID-19 is not taking a pause as the majority of states are reopening with safety procedures being inconsistently implemented. Many people are not taking precautions. They underestimate their risks and the exposure they can give to others who are more vulnerable.
In spite of the typical flood of fabricated and false information from conspiracy theories, and misinformation in general, our infectious disease specialists, scientists, and epidemiologists say drastic measures are necessary to minimize the COVID-19 impact. Since Memorial Day (05-25-20) many U.S. citizens have not worn facemasks or practiced social distancing. Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 is on an upward climb in several states.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington updated their predictions and now report that there will be 200,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 by October 1st. Some medical professionals believe the death toll could be higher. The reason for the update: Americans have increased their mobility during and after Memorial Day weekend, we have sizeable gatherings in some states without facemasks and social distancing, and we have large, prolonged gatherings at protest demonstrations.
COVID-19 is enormously politicized in America, but it infects across the political spectrum, it has no boundaries worldwide, and it does not discriminate.
The Lancet is a respected weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is among the world's oldest and best-known medical journals. The Lancet measured the usefulness of facemasks, social distancing, and eye protection. Their study determined that without a facemask, social distancing, or any other preventive measures, the risk of transmitting COVID-19 is 17.4 percent.
Some people think that 17.4 percent is relatively low. I ask this: Imagine that I have a bowl of 100 jellybeans. I offer them to you, but I admit that 17 of them could make you ill, and they may kill you. Would you eat any of the jellybeans?
I recently read, "If you hate wearing a facemask, you really won't like wearing a ventilator." That statement breaks my heart. Before we get a vaccine, many people will eat the damn jellybeans. Unfortunately, some will die.
On 02-23-20, National Security Council Advisor Peter Navarro sent a memo to Trump warning that the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a loss of life as high as 1.2 million American souls. The next day Trump tweeted, "The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA."
As of 06-19-20, (almost four months after 02-23-20) the U.S. has had more than 2,297,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 1,219,000 active cases, and more than 121,000 related deaths, according to Worldometer. Worldometer was voted as one of the best free reference websites by the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world. Scroll down on their web-page to review Worldometer's updated COVID-19 statistics, per country. They update their statistics each day.