Almost a year after the Covid-19 vaccine was introduced in the United States, the country is seeing a return to many of the elements that defined the daily life of citizens in the previous phase of the pandemic: mandatory mask use, huge vaccination centers, full hospitals and a growing number dead due to disease.
Nurse Sandra Lindsay, who works in an intensive care unit at a New York hospital, was the first person in the United States to be vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Pfizer drug on December 14, 2020.
How many have been vaccinated
Since then, more than 200 million others, more than 60% of the US population, have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine, either Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Despite the triumph of modern science, the death toll from Covid-19 continues to rise in the United States. About 500,000 people have died in the country since the first vaccine was given, with the total death toll expected to rise to 800,000 next week, according to a Reuters count.
Rise in cases and deaths
Both the number of new infections – approaching 50 million since the beginning of the pandemic – and the death toll have risen in recent weeks as temperatures plummet, forcing people to relocate indoors.
The rise in cases prompted New York Governor Kathryn Hawkal on Friday to resume mask use indoors where no vaccination certificate is required.
“We should not have reached the point of experiencing an outbreak (of the epidemic) in the winter, especially as we have the vaccine at our disposal, and I share the outrage of many New Yorkers who have not yet overcome this pandemic,” she said in a statement. .
The imposition of the mask, a measure avoided by Republican rulers, was a common prevention tool used by many Democratic governors at the height of the pandemic, which for the United States began at the end of the 2020 Christmas holiday.
The treatment of the new coronavirus has become more complicated due to the new variations that appear, including the Delta strain, which now dominates in many countries of the world, but also the Omicron, which spreads rapidly after its detection at the end of November.
The politicization of the covid-19 vaccine and the reluctance of many Americans to be immunized also contributed to the continuing pandemic, causing, according to experts, more deaths from the disease.
In New Mexico, hospitals are on the verge of collapse as unvaccinated patients with Covid-19 fill intensive care units.
At one of the state’s hospitals in San Juan County, intensive care units fill as soon as a patient is transported to a regular room or dies. Dr. Erin Philpott said eight of her patients died last week, most of them unvaccinated.
“You see the rooms fill up right after and you do not have a second to process all these deaths,” he said, commenting that those who die from covid-19 at the San Juan Regional Medical Center are between 30 and 50 years old, mostly men.
“Oil on fire”
As in other high-vaccination states, such as Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, immunity has been reduced in New Mexico, resulting in the highest incidence of new covid-19 cases.
Democratic Gov. Michel Lohan Grisham has urged citizens to get vaccinated in early 2021 to reduce hospitalizations.
“The oil for this fire (…) is the unvaccinated,” New Mexico’s caretaker Health Minister David Screis told reporters. “Our hospitals are in a very bad condition,” he added.
Three in four patients with Covid-19 are unvaccinated, officials said. The same is true of Michigan, which is facing one of the worst outbreaks in the United States.
Connecticut officials said this week that unvaccinated people were five times more likely to be infected with covid-19, 12 times more likely to be hospitalized and 16 times more likely to die.
For the third installment
Shortly after Omicron was spotted in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy reopened one of the state’s vaccination centers this week in an effort to encourage people to get a boost of Covid-19 vaccine.
Most of the major vaccination centers that the states opened earlier this year to speed up the immunization campaign have closed.
The CDC estimates that about a quarter of Americans have received a booster dose so far. The third dose of Covid-19 vaccine has now been approved for anyone over the age of 16.
Another symbol of the beginning of the pandemic, the cruise ship carrying people infected with the new coronavirus, made its reappearance this week.
On Monday, Norwegian Cruise Lin Holdings announced that a South African, a member of the crew of the company cruise ship that disembarked its passengers last weekend in New Orleans, is believed to have been infected with the Omicron strain. He is among the 17 people diagnosed with covid-19 on the cruise ship.
In March 2020, before many cases of the new coronavirus were detected in the United States, the cruise ship Grand Princess was forced to stay afloat for four days before being allowed to dock in the port of Auckland, California. Its 2,400 passengers remained in quarantine at military bases, after 21 Covid-19 cases were identified.