The Latest: Asymptomatic doesn’t mean safe

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readJun 26, 2020


Dear Reader,

The U.S. is reporting the highest single-day case numbers since the start of the pandemic, and it’s revealing concerning trends. For example, an increasing percentage of people with Covid-19 — and those hospitalized — are younger people in their 20s and 30s.

Yes, it’s true that the infection may be more severe for the elderly and people with secondary health conditions (though that’s certainly not always the case). But that fact shouldn’t be used as some kind of excuse to not behave safely or ignore the risk to others.

Over 124,400 people have died in the U.S., making the pandemic one of the deadliest events in American history. People are dying earlier than they would otherwise from age or disease — time spent with family members is being cut short. And here’s what’s most horrific: It didn’t have to be this way. Other countries protected their health workers, did widespread testing and isolating, and saved lives.

As your community reopens, remember that it’s because the economy is in recession, not because the virus is gone. We are all still at risk.

What you should know:

  • Case count: There are over 2.4 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and over 9.6 million confirmed cases worldwide. So far, over 124,400 Americans have died from Covid-19.
  • The U.S. reports a record day of cases: 36,880 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, which is the largest one-day total since the start of the pandemic. Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas reported their highest single-day totals.
  • New disparity data: Nearly 1 in 3 Black Americans know someone personally who has died of Covid-19, far exceeding their white peers, according to a Washington Post-Ipsos poll.
  • $1 billion in aid went to dead people: A report by the Government Accountability Office shows that as of April 30, nearly 1.1 million coronavirus payments, totaling almost $1.4 billion, has gone to dead people. The group calls the overall federal response slow, disorganized, and inadequate. (Read more).

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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A quick Q&A:

Are there any health risks if you get Covid-19 and do not have symptoms?

Researchers are beginning to study what happens to the body when it contracts Covid-19 but doesn’t develop any symptoms. So far, it looks like there is potential for some damage. In a recent research review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, chest scans of asymptomatic people with Covid-19 have revealed the presence of some “lung abnormalities” — abnormalities that also turn up among symptomatic patients. That’s one example, and scientists are trying to understand if there are others.

Read the full story below.

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Coronavirus Has Made Me a Better Doctor

America Is Now Divided Into Places I Trust and Places I Don’t

The Dudes Who Won’t Wear Masks (The Atlantic)

The Pandemic’s Worst-Case Scenario Is Unfolding in Brazil (Bloomberg)

When the Virus Hit, Japan Already Had an Army of Contact Tracers (Bloomberg)

How the Virus Won (New York Times)

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Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that