By Eamonn Burke
As states are beginning to reopen from the months-long quarantine due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and summer approaches, hoards of people are going back in public in a largely relaxed manner in terms of the social distancing and protective measures. Restaurants, shops, and gyms such as Equinox are opening, and people are excited to get back to normal life. Another major source of the spread has been protests, as crowds gather in cities across the nation to fight racial injustices in the country. While most are seen wearing masks, the spatial proximity is still certainly cause for concern.
It should come as no surprise, then, that COVID cases have spiked in recent weeks. 19 states, mostly in the southern and western parts of the country, reported increases in average COVID cases in the past two weeks. Texas has been hit especially hard – hospitalizations have doubled since memorial day, and hit record highs for multiple days in a row. North Carolina and Florida have experienced similar peaks. The county judge in Houston is contemplating another stay at home order.
There is concern in the east as well, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warns against a comeback of the virus in response to a video of a large crowd of people in Manhattan with few masks in sight.
The stock market is reacting to these troubling signs, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average has plummeted, as has S&P and Nasdaq.
Recent projections put the U.S. at 130,000 total deaths by July 4, and over 100,000 more deaths by September. There is good news too – Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the progress in the search for a vaccine is promising, and we could have trials running by the end of this year.