The leadership of the CDC has raised an alarm about the decision of some state leaders to kill mask-wearing initiatives. While the spread of COVID-19 may have slowed in recent weeks, the disease still represents a terrible danger. A curtailing of a basic rule about the prevention of more infections could trigger another surge in the disease.
The spread of the disease in the U.S. can hardly be considered over. Confirmed cases number 27,837,755. While the increase no longer hits over 200,000 most days, a daily jump of 100,000 remains common. The U.S. continues to have about 25% of the global case count. Deaths number 488,364, and rise by 3,000 most days. Experts worry 600,000 total deaths by summer remains a possibility.
Another reason for the CDC warning takes into account vaccination rates. Currently, the count vaccination doses delivered stands at 70,057,800. “Shots given” number 52,884,356. Only 12% of Americans have received one dose, and just 4.2% have gotten the two shots necessary for close to full protection.
Variants of COVID-19 which may spread faster than the version of the disease most prevalent in America may be more lethal and could resist current vaccines. The CDC puts the count of these cases at 1,173 across 40 states. Florida’s infection count for the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, or P.1 variant has reached 379. The figure in California has reached 186. Some experts believe the B.1.1.7 could be the most widespread version of the disease by March.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”, “We still have 100,000 cases a day. We still have somewhere between 1,500 and 3,500 deaths per day. And yet we see some communities relaxing some of their mitigation strategies. We are nowhere out of the woods.” States which have relaxed standards, or made the decision to soon include Montana, Iowa, and North Dakota. Ironically, North Dakota remains among the hardest hit state since the pandemic began just over a year ago.
Additionally, anecdotal evidence shows that mask-wearing and social distancing never became the norm in many states and cities. According to The Hill, “South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) on Tuesday posted a photo of her and more than a dozen of her staffers at her home without masks, drawing backlash from some.”
The CDC’s rules about methods to cut the spread of the disease have not changed: 1) wear masks, 2) keep six feet (two arm lengths) from other people, and 3) avoid crowds. Walensky says the “wear masks” part of that should not change, under any circumstances.