Were exasperation levels among health experts plotted alongside surging Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, the curve would be off the charts this week. After months of arguing for relatively straightforward infection prevention measures like indoor crowd limits, physical distancing, and masks for all, and being ignored by the White House and many governors, the exact scenario they predicted and feared is playing out across America.
Frustrations are boiling over on Twitter just as the reality of what’s ahead — another surge in deaths amid an out-of-control pandemic—comes into focus.
With new Covid-19 cases surging across the country and the pandemic expected to get much worse, the number of new infections has begun inching back up in nursing homes after declining since late July, putting some of the most vulnerable people at risk — just as infectious-disease experts had predicted would happen.
The uptick reveals a major flaw in the logic circulating in the White House suggesting that the most vulnerable people, including older adults, could be protected while allowing the coronavirus to run its course in the general population with a goal of achieving natural herd immunity.
This is exactly what health experts warned against. As Americans let down their collective Covid guard after spring lockdowns and new infections surged, particularly among younger adults, the coronavirus would make its way back into nursing homes and their high-risk populations.
After initial outbreaks in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, where some 43% of the early pandemic deaths occurred, the number of new infections declined through mid-June. The figure then began rising and did so through the end of July, according to a new report from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
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