The recent developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, explained

By Nia Anthony

Elm Staff Writer

With thousands of COVID-19 cases being reported every day and little information or guidance on what’s to come, many United States citizens have been anxiously awaiting the day they can return to normal daily life. 

As of Sept. 24, there are over seven million COVID-19 cases and over 200,000 deaths in the U.S alone, accounting for over a fifth of the total 32.4 million total reported cases worldwide. 

Although the U.S. and other leading countries have seen a multitude of recoveries, the everyday citizen can easily be discouraged by the numbers. 

According to a real-time in-article map by The New York Times, there has been a 17% increase in a 14-day change in total U.S cases as of Sept. 24. 

However, some states have shown significant numbers that have stagnated or plummeted in total COVID-19 cases. According to The New York Times, 23 states in the category of “where cases are lower and staying low” have been recorded, including New York and Washington D.C. 

On the other end, in the category of “where new deaths are increasing,” 12 states have recorded considerable increase from a few months ago, including Maryland. 

How these recent changes came to be varies by state.

According to Axios’ Orion Rummler, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has lifted restaurant capacity bans, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan decided to lift capacity restrictions for the state’s restaurant week, while, on the opposition, states such Colorado and New York have pushed group gathering restrictions even further. 

The Washington Post quotes World Health Organization expert Mike Ryan as having said that getting a vaccine together in nine months is “a big task for everyone involved.”

The reality is that vaccine strains are coming, but that may not be rise for hope yet. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has spearheaded the COVID-19 pandemic response in the U.S. According to him, the majority population in the U.S. will not be vaccinated within the year, stating that the public will need to wear masks well into 2021 in an effort to prevent a future spike in numbers. 

There have also been multiple companies trying to spearhead the vaccine in the next coming months. 

According to Biopharma Dive Industry News, a total of 13 organizations — including Moderna, CanSino Biologics, and Novavax — have gained status through consistent vaccine development, and five of them have their first batch supply available. 

This means that for the foreseeable future, even with the prospect of a vaccine, the day-to-day pandemic routine will go about as usual: citizens will continue to stay six feet apart, wash their hands frequently, and check in on their own symptoms. 

Although the promise of a vaccine and the trend of cases slowing down does bring hope, there are still steps needed to take to ensure an end this global health crisis.

Featured Photo caption: With a recent decrease in COVID-19 case numbers in the United States, and potential vaccines on the horizon, there appears to be hope in sight for the end of the pandemic. Photo Courtesy of Markus Frieauff.

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