The White House Is Warning That COVID Is "Very Different" Now
The coronavirus has been spreading violently in the United States for nearly eight months - and a lot has changed over the course of the pandemic. Outbreaks have shifted from one area to another, the virus itself has mutated, and our understanding of how the virus has spread has also evolved. But now we are seeing another turning point in our longstanding battle against the coronavirus. "The type of spread we are seeing now is very different from the spread we saw in March and April," said Dr. Deborah Birx, White House chief coronavirus task force, at a news conference in Hartford on October 8. Connecticut. "What we did in the spring won't work in the fall." To learn more about what's new with the spread of COVID, and to learn more about what's going on with the virus itself, read on to see why Dr. Fauci says the latest COVID mutation worries him.
The virus spreads in new settings.
Two young women are sitting in the restaurant and surfing the internet. They all wear face masks under their chins.
"The spread of the virus is less happening in the workplace than people taking precautionary measures," said Birx. "It happens at home and at social events." For more information about how the virus is spreading, see How Fast Does COVID Spread In Your State.
And even cautious people get too careless.
Woman taking off her mask
Birx said there are increasing cases where "people collect and remove their masks and let go of their guard and not distance themselves physically". She added that some people feel comfortable taking off their masks or breaking social distancing guidelines, being in the presence of people they know and everyone appearing healthy.
But time and again we have seen that even those who show no symptoms can infect others. This became particularly evident in the past few weeks when seemingly healthy individuals in the White House caused a superspreader event that has infected more than 30 people, including President Donald Trump. For more information on his status, see So Likely Trump Will Get Worse, Doctors Warn.
The virus is returning to places where it was previously hit.
People wearing masks on the subway
Birx's visit to Connecticut comes as the number of cases in the northeast began to rise again. According to the New York Times, Connecticut has recorded an average of 287 cases per day for the past week, an 85 percent increase from the average two weeks earlier.
"In certain regions of the country, like the Midwest and the Northwest, and even now, we're starting to see little trouble in the Northeast in New York. Then you worry," said Dr. Anthony Fauci during an interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell this week. "And if you're starting to see upticks like we see it and you have a baseline of 40,000 and you get stuck at 40,000, this is not the optimal position when you step into the fall and winter." And to learn more about what Fauci is concerned about, read Dr. Fauci. He just said this was a "bad sign" for COVID.
And that's a problem when people move indoors for the winter.
Low angle view of a multiethnic group of people clinking champagne glasses at an indoor gathering
Birx urged Connecticut residents to maintain their coronavirus safety practices, especially when the weather cools. After all, she says that indoor activities when the heat is on "is particularly useful in spreading events without a mask". She recommended that residents improve the ventilation in their homes with outside air by leaving the fans on and cracking windows if possible.
"This is the time to really step up asymptomatic testing and expand the reach of the communities. Make sure every community member knows it may be a COVID event when it comes to anyone outside their household "said Birx. "Physically distant and masks work indoors too." Sign up for our daily newsletter to receive up-to-date instructions on COVID.
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