Hospitals near capacity as U.S. sees record COVID-19 cases and deaths

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Hospitals are filling up, coronavirus cases continue to break records, and the vaccine may be too late for too many. The White House Coronavirus Task Force now says the current supply of the vaccine “will not substantially reduce viral spread, hospitalizations, or fatalities” until “100 million Americans” are immunized, which will take until the late spring.” Until then, they say behavior must change.

According to Bloomberg, 80% of U.S. counties saw even more people traveling this Thanksgiving than last year.

This is what the Thanksgiving surge looks like. “People are on ventilators, people dying. It doesn’t end, and there’s no way for health care workers to really decompress” said Dr. Scott Samlan, an emergency room doctor in Hammond, Indiana.

Deaths are sharply increasing. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s public health director, choked up as she said, “Over 8,000 people who were beloved members of their families are not coming back.”

More than one-third of all Americans live near hospitals that are critically short of intensive care unit beds, according to the New York Times. California has more than 11,000 people hospitalized and over 30,000 new cases — both all-time records, the state reported.

COVID-19 has also taken a disproportionate toll on Latinos due to jobs in agriculture, construction and meatpacking. In Los Angeles, their infection rate is double that of whites.

“Latinos are overrepresented in essential industries, and so being in these occupations, we often have to go to work,” said Jeffrey Reynoso, executive director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.

Meanwhile, in Idaho, a meeting on mask mandates was canceled after one health official had this to say: “My 12-year-old son is home by himself right now, and there are protesters banging outside the door. I’m going to go home and make sure he’s OK,” said Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo.

And in Florida, 41-year-old Rose Felipe finally left the hospital. Her own battle with the coronavirus lasted nine months.

“If you would have told me back then that I would come out walking, with difficulty but I’m standing,” said Felipe. “And I’m not gonna give up.”



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