Guardian: For Americans, coronavirus went from being a mysterious affliction that occurred in far-off lands to 1m confirmed cases on US soil within 14 weeks. Now, just six weeks later, the US has broken through the grim milestone of 2m positive tests for Covid-19, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
The anguish of life lost, of a severely wounded economy and wrenching political turmoil have taken a harrowing toll upon a fatigued American public. But further, perhaps far greater pain is yet to come, pandemic experts have warned, even as authorities wave people back into reopened shops and offices and the US president’s political rhetoric on an epochal crisis dwindles away to near silence.
How to medical pic.twitter.com/0EDqJcy38p— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) April 24, 2020
“Everyone has just looked at the first 100 yards of this marathon,” said Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Osterholm said a society usually becomes resilient to a virus once at least 60% of the population has been infected, either naturally or via a vaccine, and develops antibodies. This is still a far-off point for the US, with no firm guarantee a working vaccine will ever be developed.
“At most, perhaps 5% of people have been infected,” he said. “If all that pain, suffering and economic destruction got us to 5%, what will it take to get us to 60%? That’s a sobering thought. All of that suffering and death is just getting started. People haven’t quite got that yet.” Read more…