Massive rises in cases and deaths around the nation

Nurse Maria Charri, left, wears personal protective equipment as she hugs Osmar Grave, 73, as they sing along to live music at a temporary quarantine and isolation facility in North Miami. (Lynne Sladky / AP)
Throughout the United States, too many people don't wear masks or practice social distancing.

As July passed its halfway point Thursday, the United States again shattered the nation’s one-day record for Coronavirus infections on Thursday — a mark the country should not keep setting.

The count, which may not be final, is more than 75,600 and exceeded the previous single-day record of 68,241, set last Friday.

The record more than doubles the 37,014 infections recorded on June 24. That total broke a record that stood for two months.

Deaths from the virus are also setting records. On Thursday, Florida reported 156 new fatalities — a new high for the Sunshine State. Nine other states — Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah — set new single-day records this week.

While more than half of the states facing record increases are not requiring masks, some — all Republicans — still claim requiring a mask is, somehow, a threat toe personal liberty.

One GOP governor, Brian Kemp of Georgia, went further by putting a hold on all local mask ordinances. He also filed a lawsuit Thursday, challenging Atlanta’s authority to require masks inside the city limits.

Amid the rising infection and death rates. President Donald Trump continues to claim deaths are “way down.”

Trump continues to demand that schools open on time this fall and the economy continues of its planned, but throttled, re-opening.

Reports The New York Times:

The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, on Thursday reiterated President Trump’s view that schools must open in the fall. “When he says open,” she said, “he means open and full, kids being able to attend each and every day at their school. The science should not stand in the way of this.”

The New York Times

Not so fast, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, who notes the nation was still seeing problems when it tried to start reopening efforts with 20,000 infectious a day while today’s new rate of 75,000 new cases a day is three-quarters of the way towards his previous prediction of 100,000 daily.

“What I think we need to do, and my colleagues agree, is we really almost need to regroup, call a timeout — not necessarily lock down again, but say that we’ve got to do this in a more measured way,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. “We’ve got to get our arms around this, and we’ve got to get this controlled.”

Increasingly, more and more businesses increasingly are announcing their own “masks mandates.” Target and CVS Thursday announced new rules are going into effect nationwide, with or without a mask order from a state or locality.

They join other chain retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Starbucks and Kroger. On Wednesday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered a crackdown on retail establishments and restaurants found too lackadaisical on enforce the wearing of masks by employees and customers and maintaining social distancing.

Health inspectors are ordered to increase unscheduled visits of businesses and those in violation could face suspension of their licenses to operate.

In Fl0yd County, two more new cases raises the area total to 27.

In Floyd Thursday, I saw a clerk at Circle K, hug a customer. Neither wore masks.

At Food Lion, where a sign on the door says masks are required by the Commonwealth of Virginia, I found myself in line between two customers without masks.

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse