Million: Why Is The US Such A Difficult Situation With COVID-19

A life 2023

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Million: Why Is The US Such A Difficult Situation With COVID-19
Million: Why Is The US Such A Difficult Situation With COVID-19
Video: Million: Why Is The US Such A Difficult Situation With COVID-19
Video: COVID-19 Cases In US Pass 13 Million Amid Fears Of Post-Thanksgiving Spike | TODAY 2023, February
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Alexandra Savina

Yesterday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States has reached a million - that is, about a third of all cases recorded in the world. At the time of this publication, 1,012,583 cases have already been registered in the country - and this figure is likely to grow even more in the next day. For comparison, in Spain, the country with the second largest number of cases, the diagnosis was confirmed 232,128 times, and in Italy - 201,505 times. There are also more deaths associated with the new coronavirus in the United States than anywhere else in the world - 58,355. This is twice as high as the second result in the world (in Italy today, 27,359 deaths have been recorded), and more than the number of Americans killed during the Vietnam War (58,220 - although losses on the Vietnamese side were much higher).

New York State deserves special attention: back in mid-April, there were more confirmed cases of COVID-19 than in any country except the United States. This holds true today, with 295,106 cases reported in the state to date, and 162,338 cases and 17,682 deaths in New York City. We understand why what is happening has become possible in a country with a developed economy.

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The scale of the spread and the exact number of people infected with the new coronavirus infection in the world is still difficult to estimate. There is still a lot we don’t know about the disease, and statistics differ from country to country and lead to conflicting conclusions of researchers, for example, about mortality. Often, the data is very late: the Chinese authorities in mid-April announced new data on deaths associated with COVID-19 (the country was often accused of hiding official information). Do not forget that many people carry the infection asymptomatically, not suspecting that they are infected, and without going to the doctor.

Despite the fact that absolutely accurate data on COVID-19 infection are not available in many countries, statistics in the United States raise separate questions. Many believe that the official figures are much lower than the real figures: at the initial stage of the outbreak, there were not enough tests, which allowed the disease to spread more. Selective testing among New Yorkers in April showed that almost a quarter of its participants were found to have antibodies to the new coronavirus - this allows us to conclude that all of them had previously been infected and it is quite possible that many of them were not included in official statistics. There are also people who, in principle, will never be included in official statistics, for example, the homeless, among whom asymptomatic carriers of the infection are also often found.

Many believe Trump's stance has influenced the behavior of the country's residents and how seriously they take the virus.

Insufficient testing in the early stages of an outbreak is one of the possible reasons why it is impossible to imagine the exact extent of the epidemic in the United States today. The situation is associated with various factors: insufficient funding, the fact that the authorities underestimated the scale of the problem, difficulties in production. The actions of Donald Trump himself are also accused of what is happening, who at first did not consider the new coronavirus infection a serious threat. Already in early April, the president announced that he was not going to wear a mask, despite the fact that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended doing so in public places to slow the spread of the disease. Many believe Trump's stance has influenced the behavior of the country's residents and how seriously they take the virus.

Problems arose with the tests themselves. As in Russia, in the United States, at first, they were conducted only for those who traveled abroad or came into contact with a person who had a confirmed disease - in a situation where the disease began to spread throughout the country, this was not enough.According to The Atlantic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's first own tests turned out to be defective - given that the outbreak in the country had already begun, the cost of the error was high. Bureaucracy also interfered. For example, epidemiologists from Seattle tried in February to achieve the ability to conduct widespread testing among residents of the country, but were refused both from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from another agency - the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), because the laboratory did not have the required clinical status - and the procedure to obtain one could take months. Many independent labs have complained that the FDA is too slow to validate the tests they have developed, despite the urgency of the situation. In late February, the FDA relaxed the procedure and allowed laboratories to conduct their own tests if they provide the agency with evidence that they are effective.

In addition, today the number of tests conducted in the United States per capita varies from state to state, and these figures do not always correspond to those in European countries, such as Italy and Germany.

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Insufficient testing may have affected how the health care system responded to the outbreak and how it prepared for the stress. Access to medical care is still a difficult issue for the country. In the United States, there is no publicly available free health care system: in order to receive treatment, you must purchase health insurance (it covers all or part of the costs) or pay for medical services yourself. Going without insurance can be very costly: treating a broken leg can cost, for example, $ 7,500, and a three-day hospital stay can cost $ 30,000.

Not everyone can afford health insurance, and the potential huge sums for treatment lead to the fact that not everyone seeks medical help, even in critical situations. A 2018 study showed that this happens even when it comes to a serious condition like cancer: women postponed medical procedures if insurance did not cover them completely and they had to pay significant amounts on their own.

The fear of huge expenses can stop them from going to the doctor even during a pandemic: many are afraid that they will have to pay a large sum for a specialist examination or, if the diagnosis is confirmed, spend several days in the hospital and also receive impressive bills for this. The New York Times, for example, talks about amounts in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Fear of huge expenses can stop you from going to the doctor even

during a pandemic

Vox also talks about other problems with the system: for example, in the country, hospital beds are often occupied by people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma, who, with proper care, could be treated at home. Or the small number of doctors per capita, which they attribute to the high cost of medical education.

Experts also point out that the spread of the disease is closely linked to inequality: the African American population is more likely to face COVID-19. For example, in Louisiana, African Americans make up a third of the state's population - but 58% of those killed as a result of COVID-19. In Michigan, there are fewer than 15% African Americans, but among the deaths diagnosed with COVID-19, there are about 40%. This is associated with racism and discrimination, as well as the more vulnerable position of the non-white population. Outbreaks also point to other groups more vulnerable to the spread of the virus, such as in specialized care facilities and prisons.

Despite all this, the US authorities are determined to gradually remove restrictions: in the state of New York, for example, they note that the number of people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 is decreasing.The authorities are discussing the possibility of gradually abandoning the self-isolation regime - however, even now it is still a matter of the future.

PHOTOS: BiryukovaA - stock.adobe.com (1, 2)

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