A 12 months after first U.S. pictures, pandemic hallmarks re-emerge By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, will be greeted by Dr. Michelle Chester of Northwell Health at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, was vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine
By Andrew Hay, Shannon Stapleton, and Peter Szekely
TAOS, NM (Reuters) – Almost a year after first administering COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, the country is returning to many of the hallmarks that defined previous pandemic life: mask requirements, mass vaccination sites, overcrowded hospitals, and a surge in numbers Fatalities.
Hoping that humanity would soon get the upper hand over the coronavirus, New York Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse Sandra Lindsay (NYSE 🙂 received a dose https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus- vaccines -distribution / race-against-time-first-Americans-vaccinated-as-us-death-toll-passports-300000-idUSKBN28O1TQ of Pfizer (NYSE 🙂 the newly approved vaccine from December 14th as the first US citizen to be vaccinated.
Since then, more than 200 million others – more than 60% of the US population – have received at least two doses of Pfizer / BioNTech or Modern (NASDAQ 🙂 vaccines or a one-time vaccination from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE 🙂 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite this triumph of modern science, the country’s death toll continues to rise. Nearly 500,000 more people have died of COVID-19 since the first dose was given, with the country expected to pass the 800,000 mark next week, according to a Reuters tally.
Both infections – approaching 50 million since the pandemic began – and deaths have risen in recent weeks, especially as colder weather in the northern states is shifting activity indoors, allowing for easier virus transmission.
Flared infections on Friday prompted Democrat, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/new-york-governor-says-masks-will-be-required-businesses-without . Temporarily reintroduce -covid-19-2021-12-10 a requirement for face coverings in businesses and venues that do not require proof of vaccination.
“We shouldn’t have gotten to the point where we’re facing a winter spurt, especially with the vaccine we have available, and I share the frustration of many New Yorkers that we haven’t gotten through this pandemic yet,” Hochul said in one Explanation.
Mask mandates, mostly avoided as government abuse by Republican governors, were a common infection prevention tool for many Democratic governors during the worst spike in the pandemic, which began around Christmas time at the end of 2020.
Fighting the virus has been made difficult by its more aggressive mutations, including the currently dominant Delta variant and the fast-spreading Omicron, first identified last month and already detected in nearly half of the 50 states.
The politicization of vaccines and the reluctance of many Americans to get the injections also helped keep the pandemic going, usually with more deadly consequences, experts said.
New Mexico hospitals hit record capacity as unvaccinated patients fill intensive care units.
In one of the hardest-hit hospitals in the southwestern state, in the San Juan District, intensive care beds filled as quickly as patients were discharged or died. Dr. Erin Philpott said eight of her patients had died in the past week, most of them unvaccinated.
“Sometimes it’s hard to feel because it’s so much and constant,” said Philpott.
“You can see the rooms fill up immediately afterwards, and you don’t have a second to deal with all the loss.” Philpott added that many of those who died of COVID-19 at the San Juan Regional Medical Center were between 30 and 40 years old and mostly male.
Around 94% of hospitalized COVID-19 deaths are unvaccinated. “It feels like it’s impossible to keep seeing and dealing with this,” said Philpott. “I think that’s why half the staff is gone.”
Sister Patricia Thomas stood next to a dead patient she had treated, a white sheet over his body, a picture of his family at his feet. His relatives decided to withdraw life support from him. He wasn’t vaccinated. He had five children and 12 grandchildren.
Suffocating the tears, Sanders said, “We took out the hoses and let them hold his hand as he comfortably walked by. It’s been pretty tough today because it’s my third this week.”
“FUEL FOR THIS FIRE”
As in other states with early high vaccination rates like Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, immunity in New Mexico has declined, which has put these states at the top of the rankings for new cases.
The state’s Democratic governor Michelle Lujan Grisham pushed for vaccinations to limit hospital stays in early 2021.
“The fuel for this fire, our case counts, are unvaccinated people,” New Mexico’s incumbent Health Secretary David Scrase told reporters. “Our hospitals are in a really serious situation.”
Three out of four COVID patients in the state are unvaccinated, officials said. The same was true of Michigan, which was grappling with one of the worst outbreaks in the country.
In Connecticut, health officials said this week that unvaccinated people are five times more likely to be infected with COVID-19, 12 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 16 times more likely to die.
Shortly after the variant of Omicron was discovered in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy reopened one of the state’s previously closed mass vaccination sites this week to encourage residents to get booster vaccinations.
Most of the major vaccination sites that states opened earlier this year to expedite vaccination are closed.
The CDC estimates that about a quarter of Americans have received additional booster vaccinations to date. They have now been approved for https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/us-fda-authorizes-pfizerbiontech-booster-16-17-year-olds-2021-12-09 for everyone aged 16 and over.
Another symbol of the early pandemic, the contaminated cruise ship, also reappeared this week.
On Monday, Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE 🙂 Holdings, a South African crew member suspected of having the variant of Omicron, said was among 17 cases of the virus discovered on a ship that disembarked in New Orleans over the weekend .
In March 2020, when relatively few cases were reported in the United States, the cruise ship Grand Princess was detained at sea for days before being allowed to dock in Oakland, California. Its 2,400 passengers have been quarantined at military bases after tests found 21 positive cases of the coronavirus.