2. COVID-19 Facts
Listen to the Bells Toll 500 Times At the National Cathedral! (It takes 50 minutes. So you can turn off the sound when you like.)
The Most Important Fact: More Than 500,000 People Have Died in Our Country!
In this Step 2, you will review and analyze the data about the spread of the pandemic across the world, in the United States, and in your own state. We will cover the following topics:
- Cumulative total cases: worldwide and United States
- Cumulative total deaths: worldwide and United States
- Daily new cases: worldwide and United States
- Daily new deaths: worldwide and United States
- Cumulative total vaccinations: worldwide and United States
- Average daily deaths: states and territories
- States currently most at risk
- Vaccinations: states and territories
- Vaccine supply projections
- Death rate projections in the United States in the short run
- What is the future of this virus in the long run? An endemic future?
First, let's compare the spread of the pandemic in terms of cases. As of Feb. 17, 2021, there were 109 million confirmed cases in the world and 27 million of those were in the United States. The U.S. has approximately 25% of the cases world wide and only 4% of the world population. Obviously, the U.S. has been disproportionately infected compared to the rest of the world, despite being the most affluent country. The chart below is interactive and will give you the latest case statistics. You can also look at the data for other countries.
1. Cumulative Total Cases: Worldwide and United States
2. Cumulative Total Deaths: Worldwide and United States
With regard to deaths caused by the pandemic, as of Feb. 17,2021, total worldwide deaths was 2.43 million while in the U.S. total deaths amounted to 490,825, or 20% of the total deaths. The chart below is interactive and will give you the latest death statistics. You can also look at the data for other countries.
3. Daily New Cases: Worldwide and United States
Another way to analyze the spread and trend of the pandemic is by looking at the number of new cases each day. Across the world, on Feb. 17, 2021, there were 395,092 new cases and in the United States for that day there were 69,829 new cases, or 18% of the new cases. New cases per day have been declining since early January.
4. Daily New Deaths: Worldwide and United States
Perhaps one of the most important ways to track the impact and trend line of the pandemic is through the number of new deaths per day. On Feb. 17th, there were 11,313 deaths worldwide, and in the U.S. there 2,380 deaths on that day, or 21% of the total. The U.S. has been above 2,000 deaths per day since mid-November., but thankfully decreasing recently. Hopefully, that will continue to decrease and not turn into a third wave.
5. Cumulative Total Vaccinations: Worldwide and United States
One of the most important factors, if not the most important factor, in stopping this pandemic is vaccinating people against the virus worldwide and in our country. We cannot achieve herd immunity if we don't have widespread and consistent vaccination. If part of our country or other countries are not vaccinated, then new variants could develop and re-infect our country or the rest of the world. As of Feb. 17, 2021, 189 million people were vaccinated worldwide, of which 56 million were in the United States, or 30% of total vaccinations.
8. Vaccinations: States and Territories
The image below is based on data as of Feb. 21, 2021 The dark blue states have gotten 30% of the people vaccinated. We need to reach 70-80% vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and the ability to control the spread through testing and tracking. Click here to see the most recent data.
9. Vaccine Supply Projections--700 Million by Mid-Summer
130 Million People by the End of March
Enough Available for All of the U.S. by the End of July
Herd Immunity Depends on Vaccine Hesitancy
Bloomberg reports on Feb. 23, 2021 that 130 million people could be vaccinated by the end of July. By mid-summer the three approved vaccines: Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson can supply 700 million doses, enough for the US population (332 million).
Click here to read the Bloomberg article on the amount of vaccines that are projected to be available by mid-summer.
President Biden Says Everyone Can Be Vaccinated by December
President Biden recently said that we should be able to get everyone vaccinated by December. While we may have enough supply of vaccines by July, it will take longer to get those shots into everyone's arms–provided of course vaccine hesitancy is signficantly reduced.
10. Death Rate Projections for the United States in the Short Run
Dependent on several facts, including wearing of face masks, social distancing, vaccine supply, and vaccine hesitancy,The graph below is based on data as of Feb. 21, 2021. Click here to see the most recent projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research center at the University of Washington.
In the best case scenario (green below), with 95% of the American population wearing masks, there will be 571,000 deaths by the end of May. The likely projection (purple) with increased supply of vaccines will reach 588,000, and the worst case (orange) will top 614,000. In the worse case, there will be another 100,000 dead by the end of May.
11. What Is the Future of This Virus in the Long Run? An Endemic Future?
"...it will circulate in pockets of the global population for years to come."
Based on a recent, Scientific American survey of 100 scientists who are researching this pandemic, 89% said that it was very likely or likely that this pandemic would become endemic in the future–"meaning that it will continue to circulate in pockets of the global population for years to come." Click here to read thia article.
"But failure to eradicate the virus does not mean that death, illness or social isolation will continue on the scales seen so far. The future will depend heavily on the type of immunity people acquire through infection or vaccination and how the virus evolves. Influenza and the four human coronaviruses that cause common colds are also endemic: but a combination of annual vaccines and acquired immunity means that societies tolerate the seasonal deaths and illnesses they bring without requiring lockdowns, masks and social distancing." (Scientific American, Feb. 19, 2021)
Most likely this virus will be with us for many years around the world.
But with annual vaccines, the development of herd immunity, with control of the outbreak of new variants, and with vaccination of the poorest countries, it might become more like the flu and less deadly than the current virus.
If we're diligent, determined, and lucky, this coronavirus might become like the annual flu.
Photographer: Roger Kisby/Bloomberg