Yes!! Yes!! were the words that came to mind when, on September 1, I read the Wall Street Journal editorial board’s “A Virus Report: It’s no time to be complacent, but the summer surge has eased.”
The lead paragraph: We hate to be the bearer of good news, but here goes: The so-called second virus wave is receding and has been far less deadly than the first in the spring thanks to better therapies and government preparation. Nobody is suggesting we should now let it rip, but the progress should give Americans more confidence that schools and businesses can reopen safely.
The 2nd paragraph: Most states experienced flare-ups of varying degrees this summer as people gathered and traveled more. But outbreaks were worse in the South and the West, for reasons that deserve more study but could include high rates of co-morbidities and more multi-generational households. Some U.S. nationals and migrant workers also brought the virus from Mexico.
And now for a few lead sentences from the rest of the article:
- The U.S. seven-day rolling average of new cases has fallen by about 40% from its peak on July 25.
- Hospitalizations are down by 62% in Texas, 60% in Florida, 48% in Utah, 45% in California, and 44% in Louisiana from their peaks which all occurred between July 21 and 24.
- The best news is that the virus is killing fewer Americans than it did in the spring.
- Covid-19 patients in the South and West have been somewhat younger than in the Northeast this spring, but death rates have been lower across all age groups.
- More testing is probably identifying less severe cases, but in-hospital death rates have also improved.
- States are doing a better job protecting their elderly and vulnerable populations, so there have been relatively fewer deaths in nursing homes.
And it concludes: More and faster testing such as the low-cost rapid antigen test by Abbott Laboratories that the Food and Drug Administration approved last week will allow more schools and workplaces to reopen. The policy goal should be to mitigate the virus’s damage while allowing Americans to return to some semblance of normalcy.
Amen to that and blessings all around. ~ Carol