The United States is now facing its second Thanksgiving of pandemic. It is in better shape than last year thanks to the vaccine. However, some areas are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients that could worsen as more families travel across the country for events that were impossible one year ago.
Nearly 200 million Americans have been fully vaccinated. Tens of millions of Americans are still not fully vaccinated, some out of defiance. The cold Upper Midwest, particularly Michigan and Minnesota are filled with COVID-19-infected patients.
Michigan hospitals reported around 3,800 coronavirus cases at the beginning of the week. 20% were in intensive care units. These numbers are close to the worst days of the pandemic's 2020 outbreak. The state's Monday new-case rate was 616 per 100,000, the highest in the country.
New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming were also high up. To reduce risk, some communities in Colorado are resorting to hiding.
According to Dr. Matthew Trunsky of Beaumont Health, suburban Detroit, the statistics in Michigan are "horrible".
He said, "We got sick and moved insides. We have large pockets of unvaccinated people." "You cannot have pockets of unvaccinated people that don't want their faces covered and expect to get a virus, lose parents or teachers, and then expect to get a lot of them to become ill."
He encouraged a patient who relies on oxygen to get vaccinated during a recent office visit. Trunsky stated that the patient refused and is now in hospital with COVID-19. He desperately needs more oxygen.
He stated that he still encounters patients and their families who believe conspiracy theories about vaccines.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan stated that hospitalizations have increased by twofold since November.
Despite this surge, the overall outlook for the U.S. is much better than at Thanksgiving 2020.
The vaccine was made available in mid-2018 2020. A year ago, the U.S. had 169,000 cases and 1,645 death per day. Nearly 81,000 people were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. U.S. currently has an average of 95,000 cases, 1,115 deaths, and 40,000 hospitalizations.
Since the last Thanksgiving, more than 500,000 Americans have been affected by COVID-19. This makes it a death toll that exceeds 770,000.
"We encourage people to gather after they have been fully vaccinated," Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "I think this is very different, because we actually have all the tools to prevent the vast majority."
Eric Topol, the Scripps Research Translational Institute's head, stated that his optimism is temperated by the ability of the delta variant to leap from person to person, particularly among millions of people who are not vaccinated or due for boosters.
Topol stated, "That is very high vulnerability."
Three Denver-area counties had announced Wednesday that mask orders would be in effect in public indoor spaces. The mayor of Denver also planned to announce Tuesday a new policy.