America's Still Breaking Horrifying New Covid Records Every Day

Illustration for article titled America's Still Breaking Horrifying New Covid Records Every Day
Image: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

To paraphrase the ledes of at least four different covid-related blogs I’ve written over the past six months, the coronavirus pandemic is still very bad and only getting worse.

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The United States cleared 12 million cases on Saturday, with Johns Hopkins University clocking 12,019,960 covid-19 infections total, CNN reports. If you thought that number wasn’t staggering enough already, the outlet notes that 2.8 million of those infections—i.e., nearly one-quarter of them—were reported in November alone.

Friday saw the greatest number of new cases reported in a single day, according to CNN, with 195,500. Unlike previous waves of the pandemic that remained localized in specific regions of the country (New York, Florida, Texas, California…), the case surge is occurring in nearly every state.

Hospitalizations are similarly rising, as are deaths. We’re currently averaging about 1,300 covid-related deaths per day, according to the Associated Press, with more than 10,000 deaths reported in the past week alone, per CNN. More than 250,000 Americans have died of the virus at press time.

Freelance journalist (GQ, W, Esquire, elsewhere), here on weekends

DISCUSSION

mrmeseekslookatme
mrmeseekslookatme

My lady and I went out today to go for a hike in the hill country. It was wonderful. Peaceful. Relaxing. Rejuvenating.

After our hike we decided, why not, let’s check out one of our favorite outdoor venues and maybe get a beer, relax a little, if it isn’t too crowded. When we showed up, the parking lot didn’t look any more crowded than any other time we had gone, so we figured it probably wasn’t going to be too busy inside on the grounds. But before we arrived, we agreed that either of us could call it off if we feel unsafe.

So we walked into the grounds and paused before heading into where the outdoor bar is (indoor bar is closed). What we saw was a fairly large group of people all sitting closely together at the picnic tables. I would describe it as a little crowded. In the normal times it would have not felt very crowded at all. But in this timeline, and especially with cases spiking in our area, it was a little crowded.

This was not helped by the fact that we guessed that 90% of the people there weren’t wearing masks. Not only were they not wearing masks, they just didn’t have them. Normally when people observe mask wearing protocol they would have one under their chin, or hanging from their wrist. Nope. Not these people. No masks. The last time we were there was in late September. It was raining and so the place was empty, we were two of maybe 6 - 8 people there. We got beers and frito pie and took shelter under an awning as we ate and watched the rain. It was GLORIOUS. And there were signs everywhere that said, if you weren’t seated at a table with your group, you needed to be wearing a mask and distancing. This was one of the things we considered when deciding to head over there in the first place today.

I don’t know what happened to those signs, but they were gone. We saw one sign on our way in that only said “6'”. That’s all it said. Not “Keep 6' Distance” just “6'”. And from the looks we got (we were wearing our masks as we were heading in) from the (many maskless) people around us, it was clear this was going to be a very judgmental environment and would not be conducive at all to having a relaxing beer.

So we left. We left disappointed.

Many, many, many people just don’t care about this virus, this pandemic. For whatever reason they hold, they don’t care who gets it. They don’t care who dies. They don’t care if they get it. They don’t care if they give it to someone else who dies. They. Just. Don’t. Care.