Coronavirus Morning News Brief – July 6: Does Life Really “Go On,” Covid Leading Cause of Death in Americans 45 to 54, Lockdowns Return to China

Macau Locks Down a Famous Hotel

By Jonathan Spira on 6 July 2022
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A lone bicyclist crossing 42nd Street

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira reporting. Here now the news of the pandemic from across the globe on the 818th day of the pandemic.

To say that “life goes on” after a tragedy is at best a great understatement.  Despite indiv8dual beliefs, no one is ever the same nor is life after a trauma.

The coronavirus pandemic is such a trauma.

Indeed, the  pandemic has been the most traumatic collective event of our lifetime.

A recent study found that 54% of respondents believe their lives are somewhat the same as before the pandemic, while 34% think their lives are not the same.  Some 12% think, perhaps optimistically, that their lives are the same.

The study, published Tuesday by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the SCAN Foundation.

Separately, a survey by the American Psychologist Association found that two-thirds of respondents said that their lives have been permanently changed by the coronavirus pandemic. The study also found that a large proportion of the country has been living in “sustained survival mode” with the expected consequences for mental health.

Indeed, the World Health Organization found that the pandemic has sparked at 25% increase in anxiety and depression worldwide.

Personally, I don’t know anyone whose life is untouched by the pandemic.  In the past week, multiple people have said to me that “everyone they speak to” is getting Covid, as the new BA.4 and BA.5 variants of omicron cause dramatic increases in cases.

I am far from untouched by it.  Multiple people I know, some with underlying conditions, have had particularly bad cases of Covid and continue to experience some form of what we call Long Covid.  Even though I’ve not tested positive for Covid, I may have had an asymptomatic infection which resulted in multiple conditions associated with Long Covid, including severe chronic fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, vision issues, an occasional loss of concentration, and very occasional “Covid brain.”

Perhaps the 12% are lucky but I suspect that is not the case and that most simply refuse to acknowledge the horror of it all.

In other news we cover, new research shows Covid as the leading cause of death in those 45 to 54, outbreaks and lockdowns are returning to China, and Macau locks down a famous hotel.

Here’s a look at what has taken place over the past 24 hours.

UNITED STATES

The coronavirus was the leading cause of death of Americans in the age group 45 to 54 in the year 2021, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine on Tuesday by researchers t the National Institutes of Health.

All in all, 1 in 8 deaths were from due to Covid in the period  March 2020 through October 2021.  The virus trailed only heart disease and cancer as a cause of death, the study found.

Researchers in Houston reported that the Covid-19 viral load was up 630% in the city’s wastewater.  Cases there have been climbing since the end of May and the 7-day incidence is 2,057.

GLOBAL

After a short break, lockdowns are returning to China.  The city of Xi’an, in the country’s northwest, was partially shut down after it reported the country’s first outbreak of the highly transmissible BA.5 omicron subvariant.  Xi’an is home to over 13 million people.

Officials in Shanghai shuttered the city’s karaoke venues as they tried to contain a recent outbreak of coronavirus which stemmed from one such location.  Other venues such as libraries, cinemas, and performance venues will remain open.

Meanwhile,  Hong Kong stocks dropped to their lowest level in two weeks amidst concerns about a resurgence of the pandemic in China.

Finally, Macau locked down the Grand Lisboa, one of the city’s most renowned hotels, after more than a dozen cases of Covid were found there Tuesday.  The virus is spreading rapidly in what is considered the world’s biggest gambling hub, officials there said, after months of almost no new reported infections.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily statistics for Wednesday, July 6.

As of Wednesday morning, the world has recorded 556.6 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 1.2 million new cases in the preceding 24 hour period, and 6.36 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 530.9 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.8million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Wednesday is 19,283,854, an increase of 365,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 19,246,366, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 37,488, are listed as critical.  The percentage of cases considered critical is unchanged over the pat 24 hours.

The United States reported 180,870 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday for the previous day, compared to 35,662  on Tuesday, 10,402 on Monday, 8,516 on Sunday, 151,929 on Saturday, and 123,718 on Friday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The 7-day incidence rate is now 101,047.  Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 100,155, a 4% increase, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources.  The average daily death toll over the same period is 327, an increase of 13% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 33,486, a 10% increase.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Wednesday, recorded 89.7 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of 1.04 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, over 43.5 million, and a reported death toll of 525,270.

New data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed at the end of May that the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 812,890, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, after the United States.  Rosstat reported that 11,583 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in April, down from 35,584 in March and from 43,543 in February.

Meanwhile, Brazil now has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 672,494, and has recorded 32.6 million cases.

France continues to occupy the number four position in total cases with 31.7 million cases, and Germany is in the number five slot with 28.7 million.  The United Kingdom, with over 22.7 million cases, is now number six and is the only other country in the world with a total number of cases over the 20 million mark.

VACCINATION SPOTLIGHT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of Wednesday, over 259.9 million people in the United States – or 78.3% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 66.9%, or 222.9million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 596.2 million. Breaking this down further, 89.6% of the population over the age of 18 – or 231.5 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 76.8% of the same group – or 198.5 million people – is fully vaccinated.  In addition, 51.1% of that population, or 101.5 million people, has already received a third, or booster, dose of vaccine.

Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish it on Wednesdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.

Over 66.7% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Wednesday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information.  So far, 12.13 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 5.92 million doses are now administered each day.

Meanwhile, only 20.2% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits, if not lower.

In addition, North Korea and Eritrea are now the only two countries in the world that have not administered vaccines.

Anna Breuer contributed to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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