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How did we get here?
Just less than a month into the new year, on January 21st, the United States of America saw its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus and reported it to the World Health Organization, or WHO. A mere six months later, the USA is still combatting this virus with little confirmed information globally about its timeline and long term effects. Throughout the month of January, other countries besides the USA saw an incredible rise in cases and COVID-19 began to spread like wildfire. Beyond China and the USA, other countries that have had a high quantity of cases include Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and many others. Worldwide there has been a collective number of over sixteen million confirmed cases. The United States however, makes up over four million of these cases. Though an array of different variables affect the amount of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the fluctuations in different counties and states across the nation have shown just how contagious this virus is and how extensive its effects are, ranging from issues in health to economic to educational.
Where are we headed?
As of July 27th, CNN health has reported that the US trends show early signs that there might be a plateau in new COVID-19 cases. According to Johns Hopkins University, after several weeks of sharp increases in the number of positive cases, the national seven-day daily average of new cases is now under sixty six thousand which is the lowest it has been in the country in ten days. Particularly, the states of Texas, Arizona, and Florida, have seen flattened curves in the past seven days. Despite the trend of this possible plateau, the average number of deaths has nationally started to increase with hospitalization numbers staying somewhat stable. But some states are seeing issues related to the coronavirus hospital data being sent to the Trump administration directly instead of the Center for Disease Control, known as the CDC. Since January, the country has gone through an immense amount of change in regulation, restrictions, requirements, and just daily, everyday life. While Americans remain at home, millions of these Americans are employees that have been laid off or furloughed during the pandemic. Others that remain working in their jobs, work from home. Life as we know it has drastically changed these past months, but people remain hopeful. The Washington Post reports a new poll that 77 percent of laid-off workers believe they will return to work with their previous employer once stay at home orders are lifted and the economy recovers from financial losses. Along with high morale, the government has been able to aid those who have been laid off or furloughed and those struggling to make ends meet as well.
The introduction of the stimulus packages, which provided Americans with a $1,200 check per person, and higher than usual unemployment benefits which provided an additional $600 per week on top of traditional benefits helped Americans tremendously. However, these unemployment benefits are set to conclude at the end of July and lawmakers are at odds with how else they should go on to help the American people. A remarkable economic statistic is that between February and May of this year, disposable income rose in the US by 5.4 percent precisely due to these increased benefits (Washington Post).
The foundation of our nation: education.
Another key area that has been talked about within the USA is education. With increased concern about the spread of the virus among children and the lack of knowledge in just how severe it can be for children, parents and educators alike are fearful to return to classroom settings. Another focus point is about the lack of creativity and joy with increased Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, in the classrooms — including plans for Plexiglass desk coverings and use of facial barriers or masks. Public and private universities have also been battling this issue, with some schools already making decisions to move their courses to be offered online only. Most areas have delayed the start of K-12 education and some have implemented hybrid versions with structures that are half online and then half in person. A variety of different measures and regulations have been tested and implemented in the United States. The experiment of nature — real life observations and data analysis— has proven the effectiveness of wearing facial coverings and practicing social distancing in public spaces. The CDC, has insisted that the use of facial coverings, including masks or respirators, significantly reduces the possibility of transmission of the virus. Though we know COVID-19 is very contagious, the use of facial coverings reduces the amount of airborne particles that exit and travel from the nose or mouth. Blocking these particles from exiting into the air directly reduces the possibility of a high viral load from remaining airborne before settling onto the ground — whether it is coming from someone breathing heavily, speaking, coughing, or sneezing.
Piecing it all together.
Undoubtedly, mask wearing remains a key focal point for slowing the spread of the virus, though contention remains prominent in some counties with sheriffs refusing to enforce mask wearing state mandates. In contrast, police in Miami, Florida — a hot spot for coronavirus — have issued more than 300 citations in ten days to both individuals and businesses that don’t abide by the county mask order and the Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says they’ve seen results. Since implementing the mask in public rule, the growth rate of positive cases has seen a flattening. With over twelve states in the country reporting more than 100,000 cases each, we need to focus on stopping this trend and controlling the spread of the virus. At Clinical Supplies we are dedicated to providing the best mask on the market, the N95 respirator. We work to acquire 3M masks, which is the flagship brand for the N95 mask. By purchasing masks made by an American distributor we are able to ensure the quality and effectiveness of these masks and make sure they are safe. In times like these, we need to ensure that we take the proper measures for safety, and at Clinical Supplies we value that over everything.
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