Well there’s good news and there is bad news.
The bad news, because you should always get it out of the way first, is that Americans are about to experience the horrific scenes that Italy and Spain have been experiencing over the course of the last few weeks, as COVID-19 is set to explode stateside.
The good news is that this is all very predictable.
Viruses, and the pandemics they cause, have been carefully and thoroughly studied throughout the modern medicinal era. Their ability to wreak havoc on the world at large lends viral outbreaks a gravity that few other public health problems will ever possess, and our medical professionals are fairly adept at keeping track of these things.
That’s why when they tell us that things are about to get ostensibly tough, we are at least a little thankful that they see it coming. It’s like being told you are about to get punched; at least you can brace for it.
Eighty-five percent of new coronavirus cases have been reported in Europe and the United States, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Speaking at a Tuesday press briefing at the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris said that “the outbreak is accelerating very rapidly and the case numbers we received overnight will put that up considerably.”
Europe is now considered the new global epicenter of the outbreak by the WHO. Italy has been hit harder than any other European country, with 63,927 confirmed cases of the virus, including 6,077 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. However, Italy has seen a decline in confirmed cases and deaths for two straight days, which Harris called a “glimmer of hope” for the country.
The Big Apple seemed to be the hardest hit, unsurprisingly.
While the United States is not in a national lockdown, multiple states have issued stay-at-home orders to slow the coronavirus’ spread. The U.S. has 46,481 confirmed cases of the virus and 593 deaths from its disease, COVID-19. New York has by far the most confirmed cases of any state in the country, with over 20,800, according to the New York Department of Health’s website, which was last updated at 3 p.m. Monday.
And while this news may be a bit ugly and uncomfortable to look at, just having the foreknowledge of our impending chaos should provide us with at least a tiny sliver of solace.