The latest U.S. Covid surge isn’t confined to certain regions like the ones in the spring and summer. It’s hitting the whole nation hard. Hospitalizations reached 70,000 this week, with more than 13,000 patients in intensive-care units. Health systems in communities like Minot, N.D., and El Paso, Texas, are overburdened, and others may be in the same position soon if governors don’t work quickly and across state lines to slow the spread.
In previous waves, health-care workers from less-affected areas were deployed to New York and the South. It isn’t possible to send an army of health-care personnel into hot zones when the entire country is a hot zone. Another 15% of the U.S. population could be infected by the end of January, on top of the 15% that has already been infected. The genetic epidemiologist Trevor Bedford estimates that such a course could result in about 200,000 more deaths, assuming an improved infection fatality rate of about 0.45%.
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