The Novel Coronavirus Pandemic continues to permeate our everyday lives, and while in some locations, COVID-19 seems to be dissolving, in others, concern as well as the number of cases exponentially grow. Here is everything you need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic from its impact to how you can best stay safe.
As of August 24th, 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 23,495,900 people worldwide, causing over 809,607 deaths. According to the New York Times, nearly every country on earth has traced cases of COVID-19, despite certain countries ebbing in terms of number of cases. That being said, globally, the number of new cases is growing faster than ever before, with the World Health Organization reporting more than 200,000 each day. Cases are still increasing dramatically in Peru, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Iraq, the Ukraine, and many more. Case numbers are remaining stagnant in countries like Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Canada, and Bolivia. Countries where case numbers are decreasing include South Africa, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, and the United States.
The United States
As of August 24th, over 5,737,100 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and 176,900 of those people have died in the United States, the current global epicenter. After the nation-wide, state mandated lockdowns in April and May, cases across the country had steadily declined; however, upon the reopening of the majority of states, novel coronavirus cases are rising once again. Once New York, the hotspots within the country have spread to the West and South, now including Alabama, California, and Georgia. That being said, COVID-19 cases as a whole are steadily and gradually decreasing in the United States.
On August 24th, a single COVID-19 death, as well as 550 new cases were reported in Wisconsin. There is an average of 708 cases per day, which is 17% lower than July’s statistics. In Wisconsin, counties like Iron, Marinette, and Lafayette have a large amount of cases per capita; nevertheless, the overall number of cases has been decreasing across the state. Dane County has an average of 44 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week (as of August 24th, 2020).
Vaccines & Treatments
Across the globe, researchers, biologists, and chemists are collaborating and working tirelessly to discover treatments and preventative measures to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. Currently, more than 165 vaccines are being developed, 32 of those currently involved in human trials. Typically, vaccines require a few years of testing prior to being released to the public, but countless people are racing to release a vaccine by 2021. A few organizations like the Taiwan-based adimmune or Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute have developed vaccines that are reaching the early phases of development while various trials in the United States and China have reached phase three of efficacy trials. While no conclusive vaccine has yet been developed, countless people are dedicated to finding an effective and safe treatment and preventative measure.
It is crucial to slow the spread of the virus that we all do our part in preventing contraction and escalation of COVID-19. The most effective ways to do your part in keeping yourself and the community safe include:
- Staying at least six feet away from people outside of your immediate household to the best of your ability.
- Wearing a mask or face covering outside of your home that covers both your mouth and nose. Masks are important in any social setting, but especially in indoor locations. A mask will protect others, and yourself from infection.
- Washing your hands often, especially after leaving your household location. According to the New York Times, ‘Anytime you come in contact with a surface outside your home, scrub soap for at least 20 seconds, rinse, and then dry your hands with a clean towel.”
- Finally, to the best of your ability, stay inside your household, and only leave for necessities, getting outside and socially distanced in nature, work, or school.
Continue to practice safety precautions, Spartans!
– Maggie Di Sanza