Talk about stupid behavior. That’s the only way to describe Americans

It just boggles my mind that Americans blithely ignore the reality that over 300,000 people have died this year during the Pandemic.

The grim reaper reality has yet to sink in.

Americans insist on pursing their normal lifestyle as if the Pandemic never hit this country.

I’m shocked. I shouldn’t be.

Art above – Liz Heidhues

Excerpted from Washington Post 12.28.2020

The CDC has said the variant may be circulating in the United States, although it has yet to be identified with genetic testing.

With New Year’s Eve looming, the CDC on Monday reiterated calls for Americans to celebrate the holidays at home. The agency repeated earlier warnings that travel and gatherings could increase the risk of transmission, suggesting people host virtual countdowns or ring in the new year as a neighborhood, with families celebrating in front of their homes.

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Despite weeks of increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, U.S. air travel hit a pandemic record this weekend as Americans crisscrossed the country for the holidays — a sign, some public health experts warn, that yet another surge could be on the horizon.

The Transportation Security Administration said Monday that it had screened 1,284,599 passengers Sunday. Travel is down 55 to 65 percent compared with before the coronavirus pandemic, but Sunday marked the highest number of travelers since mid-March and the sixth time in 10 days the daily volume exceeded 1 million.

With more than 110,000 people hospitalized with covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN he feared the peril that could stem from widespread holiday travel and gatherings.

“We very well might see a post-seasonal — in the sense of Christmas-New Year’s — surge, and as I’ve described it, a surge upon a surge,” he said Sunday.

As a year like no other draws to a close, the United States finds itself experiencing dueling realities: Vaccinations are underway, offering hope of an end to the pandemic, yet infections, hospitalizations and deaths have reached record levels that could be exacerbated by holiday celebrations.

At the same time, about 200,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported daily in recent weeks, with a record high of 252,431 on Dec. 17. The nation’s overall caseload surpassed 19 million Sunday, even as the holidays were expected to cause a lag in reporting. Hospitalizations have exceeded 100,000 since the start of December and hit a peak of 119,000 on Dec. 23. Deaths are averaging more than 2,000a day, with the most ever reported — 3,406 fatalities— on Dec. 17.

Fauci said he believes the worst of the pandemic lies ahead, especially following the winter holiday season. He said an increase in cases could overwhelm already stressed health-care systems.

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“If you put more pressure on the system by what might be a post-seasonal surge because of the traveling and the likely congregating of people for the good, warm purposes of being together for the holidays — it’s very tough for people to not do that,” Fauci said on CNN.

He added that he was worried it “might actually get worse,” in the next few weeks, echoing comments from President-elect Joe Biden, who said last week that “our darkest days in the battle against covid are ahead of us, not behind us.”

Also causing concern: a new variant of the virus documented in several European countries and in Australia, Canada, Japan and Lebanon. Although the variant is not believed to be more deadly or cause more severe illness, it appears to spread more rapidly. In the United Kingdom, where it was first detected, officials reported a record 41,385 new coronavirus cases Monday.

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“This very high level of infection is of growing concern at a time when our hospitals are at their most vulnerable, with new admissions rising in many regions,” Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said in a statement. “We have all made huge sacrifices this year but we must all continue to play our part in stopping the spread of the virus which is still replicating fast.”

“The safest way to celebrate the new year is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you or virtually with friends and family,” the CDC said in guidance posted on its website. “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.”

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