As the U.S. surpasses 11,000 deaths on Tuesday, and being nine days away from the projected peak of the epidemic in the country, one question on a lot of people’s minds is when, if ever, can we all get back to normal.
The country’s top infectious disease expert addressed it during Monday’s White House press briefing.
“If ‘back to normal’ means acting like there never was a coronavirus problem, I don’t think that’s going to happen… until we do have a situation where you can completely protect the population, but when we say getting back to normal, we mean something very different from what we’re going through right now. Because right now, we’re in a very intense mitigation,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
But Dr. Fauci said that going back to how things were pre-coronavirus might never happen in the sense that the threat is there, but expressed hope nonetheless.
“I believe that with the therapies that will be coming online, and the fact that I feel confident that over a period of time we will get a good vaccine, that we will never have to get back to where we are right now.”
Meanwhile, a number of states and cities are beginning to flatten the curve when it comes to new infections of COVID-19.
According to data from the University of Washington’s Institute for health metrics and evaluation, Louisiana, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia have already flattened the curve.
In those states, the peak has passed, and they have not seen a shortage in the number of hospital beds available compared to the number of new patients admitted daily.
In the case of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, California, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Arkansas, they have yet to reach their peak, but data show they are not likely to see a shortage in needed hospital beds.
The situation, however, continues to look bleak in New York, as the state recorded its deadliest day since the pandemic began — with 731 new deaths to add to the total count of nearly 5,500.
The federal government has now acceded to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s request to convert the 1,000-bed navy hospital ship comfort to now treat COVID- 19 patients as well.