The U.S. COVID-19 Outbreak Is Still Bad—And it Could Get Worse

Especially in places with low vaccination rates

The U.S. COVID-19 Outbreak Is Still Bad—And it Could Get Worse
planning an August mega-concert in Central Park. I’m as hopeful as the rest of us, but I think we may be suffering from memory loss.

Let’s start from this time last year, when many Americans were exuberantly returning to newly reopened beaches, parks and restaurants after a seemingly eternal three months—three whole months!—of quarantine. Universal observance of safety guidelines was surely going to be sufficient to limit viral spread.

We know how that turned out. By mid-June 2020, there were already signs that our bleary-eyed re-emergence was premature. On June 22, 2020, the number of new daily cases of COVID-19 (33,485) surpassed the high-water mark hit on the worst day of the horrific first surge, when that figure peaked at just over 32,000.
[time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”]

A year later, the daily case count is not as foreboding—nor is it nearly as low it may appear.

If you look at a graph of new daily cases of COVID-19 since March 1, 2021, averaged over seven days, you’ll see that the slope of the curve was in steep decline until the beginning of June. Since then, progress has nearly flatlined at a figure that stubbornly refuses to dip below 10,000 people per day.

You’ll notice that this graph covers only the past 12 weeks, while virtually every chart you’ll find (including the one on TIME’s dashboard) graphs COVID-19 cases from the beginning of the outbreak. This is intentional. The toll of the pandemic in the U.S. has persisted for so long, and reached such catastrophic heights in the first weeks of 2021, that patterns such as this one are nearly impossible to see on the typical chart. Here’s what the same graph looks like against that backdrop:

My fear is that the pandemic remains much more deadly than how it looks on the page. Yes, deaths remain on a steady decline, having recently sunk below 300 people a day on average for the first time since March 24, 2020, right around the time that many offices were shuttering. But a surge in cases, particularly among the large number of unvaccinated Americans, could quickly reverse that decline. For context, let’s look at just the figures since March 1, 2021 against the same period last year (the blue portion above):

As you can see, it has been less than a month since the 2021 case count sunk below the year-over-year figure, on May 26. The massive nationwide vaccine rollout is undoubtedly a major factor, but it’s difficult to quantify the impact of vaccination on the currently low case and death figures. There are only weak correlations between states’ vaccination rates and some key indicators, like the rate at which cases have risen or fallen in recent weeks.

What we can quantify is that, in the 27 days since the lines crossed, the vaccination rate in the U.S. has only crawled upward, from 39.7% to 45.3% of Americans who have received a complete dosage. While the official vaccination rate applies to the entire population, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also includes percentages for several age groups. By TIME’s calculations, there are 97.4 million adults age 18 and over who have been eligible for vaccination for two months but who have not yet received even a first dose. This group trends heavily younger, with those 65 and over representing only 7.8% of the unvaccinated population. (These figures do no include those under 18, who constitute a small portion of the eligible population.)

On May 13, two weeks before daily case numbers in 2021 fell below the year-over-year figures from the same day in 2020, the CDC issued guidance liberating fully vaccinated individuals from wearing masks in many scenarios. I do not have conclusive proof that any of the country’s 97.4 million unvaccinated adults have abused this privilege. All I can state with confidence is that, based on the number of people I’ve seen not wearing a mask in stores places like stores, which often have signs imploring those who are not fully vaccinated to continue to mask up, it is mathematically almost certain that more than a few have done so.

Which is to say: the situation today, if one can momentarily rewind to Memorial Day of 2020, feels very familiar. There appears to be a lambent light at the end of the tunnel, yet cavalier attitudes towards the pandemic, particularly among younger people who, as a group, are under-vaccinated, resembles what we saw last summer just before the second wave.

Watching these trends, I grow more concerned every day that the country is positioned for yet another surge in cases, despite our defensive upgrades in the off-season. I hope I’m wrong, but the numbers are not nearly as comforting as they first look. That the Delta variant, which is both more transmissible and appears to cause more severe disease, is on pace to become the dominant form of COVID-19 in the U.S. in the coming months is further reason for alarm. Moreover, some states have significantly higher vaccination rates than others, leaving those with less protection more vulnerable to future spikes.

Forgive me for being a buzzkill, but unless we can institute a functional vaccine passport system, which appears unlikely, I do not think it is wise to assume that every unmasked individual is fully dosed. Short of a passport system, and with dangerous variants competing for dominance and the duration of vaccine protection still unclear, we ought to continue to ration physical space in public areas—a policy that is hastily being relaxed at places like Major League Baseball parks. I love baseball and eagerly look forward to buzzing up to Philadelphia to take in a game at Citizen’s Bank Park, which is operating at full capacity. But not while the policy is that “Unvaccinated fans are strongly encouraged to wear their masks in all indoor and outdoor areas in and around the ballpark.”

I also think there might be a backdoor to a digital passport system. Based on polling data, it appears there is a substantial population of people who aren’t categorically opposed to vaccination, just unmotivated to get around to it—what we’ve termed vaccine “meh-sitance,” not hesitance. My proposal is that bars, restaurants and other popular venues merely require each person who enters to verbally affirm that they are fully vaccinated.

This might sound about as effective as asking passengers in the exit row to individually verify that they listened to the instructions. But while it’s one thing ignore a sign at the grocery store, it’s another to lie in front of your friends. Peer pressure is a powerful motivator, and if even a fraction of the unvaccinated would take the time to resolve that dissonance, or risk missing out on trivia night, it could substantially push up the percentages. I call this the “FOMO method,” and though we are still a long, long way from eliminating the disease altogether, it could help us avert a fourth wave this summer.

Source : Time More   

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Easy Ways To Get Your Daily Nutrients

What can you do to make sure that you are getting your essential nutrients? Read on for some tips!More

Easy Ways To Get Your Daily Nutrients

Written By Lewis Robinson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

It is easy to find something to eat for a quick snack or a fast dinner when you are crunched for time. However, just because it is easy and fast doesn’t mean it is good for you, and when you eat too many dinners that come from a vending machine it can end up affecting your energy and your health. So what can you do to make sure that you are getting your essential nutrients? Read on for some tips!

Try a Patch

What could be easier than putting on a patch to get some added nutrients? The Thrive patch is about the easiest way to provide your body with what it needs. There are few and very many benefits – one of which is that you are giving your body what it needs without too much effort on your part.

Add in Nutritious Food When You Can

You no doubt deserve that hot fudge sundae after a long work week. Is there some yummy fruit you could add to make it more nutritious? Maybe you really need a few cookies after dinner – you can add in some vitamins by having them with some milk? You don’t have to deprive yourself of all your favorite foods, but you can have your favorites with some added nutrition.

Take Along Some Nutritious Snacks

A good way to avoid the temptations that vending machines offer is to bring your own food so that you have another option when you are hungry. It is very easy to bring a bag of baby carrots or some snap peas to munch on.

Also, although fruits and veggies are the go-to snack when you want to make sure you are eating a nutritious diet, don’t forget about other things that can make a good snack but have lots of nutrition value, like nuts and cheese.

Don’t Skip Meals

Sometimes it can be tough to find the time to take a break and eat. However, in the end it is worth it. Skipping a meal can leave you with no energy and no brain power, and when you skip a meal and find yourself starving later it can lead to snacking on chips or other foods that contribute nothing to your nutrition.

Stopping for a lunch break in the middle of the day is also the perfect excuse to take a break from work; you’ll no doubt return to your task refreshed and ready to go.

Eat Healthy Even When You Eat Out

Nowadays, there is no excuse for not eating right. Even fast food places have realized that customers want healthier options. It may be tempting to get your favorite burger, but now you can opt for a salad instead, or get a smaller burger with a side salad. Eat the salad first, so that you can be sure you are getting some vitamins and minerals.

Try a Smoothie

Smoothies are easy to take along when you are running late, and you can pack them full of good things. It is easy to make an apple, peanut butter, and milk smoothie to get all of that nutrition packed into an easy to take and drink breakfast.

If you make a smoothie at home - which is easier and quicker than ever, thanks to the personal blenders that are so widely available nowadays - you have the advantage of being able to put whatever you want into it. You can add in your favorite foods along with some nutritious bits – the possibilities are endless.

Temptation is everywhere when it comes to food with empty calories. However, in the long run it is worth it to pay attention to what you eat, so that you can get the nutrients you need to . You don’t have to give up on all of your favorite foods – just find some ways to incorporate some more nutritious foods into your day, or try a patch to give you that extra bit of what your body craves.

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Written By:

Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed , a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at .

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Source : Trusted Health Products More   

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