Miami has become the newest epicenter for the novel coronavirus pandemic. Florida, were it its own country, would have the fourth-highest number of cases in the world. How did the Sunshine State get hit so hard by COVID-19, and what can they possibly do to get the situation back under control?
How Did This Happen?
Many residents of Florida are frustrated with their state’s response to the pandemic. Many have noted that the problems they’re experiencing now are identical to those seen in New York and other parts of New England early in the pandemic. While New York on Monday posted its first day with no COVID deaths since March, Florida continues to break the single-day case records.
The current surge of cases is likely related to Independence Day celebrations. It’s not surprising that a holiday known for social gatherings, barbecues and the like brought many people together. Demographics played a role here: those who were more likely to ignore the risks of COVID were also more likely to be excited to gather for July 4 celebrations.
Miami Is the New Wuhan
Miami has been likened to Wuhan, China, the virus’s origin point and the first epicenter of the virus. During a press conference, Lilian Abbo of the Jackson Health System stated “What we were seeing in Wuhan — six months ago, five months ago — now we are there.”
Currently, forty-eight hospitals in Florida are at ICU capacity. Meanwhile, ventilator use is up across the board, testing sites are overburdened and the number of hospitalizations is skyrocketing.
“We need your help as media communicators to help the community understand that we’re just not repeating the same thing over and over just to give you trouble, we really need your help,” Abbo told journalists during a televised press conference.
Pandemic Could Become the Norm for US
US citizens, fed up with months of lockdowns, surged out of their homes in June. Immediately following the easing of restrictions throughout that month, people were eager to spend money and gather in public. From phone deals to bar specials, people were eager to bust open their wallets and buy stuff.
However, this seems to have backfired spectacularly in some parts of the country, with the Southeast and Southwest now facing staggering numbers of infections. Many epidemiologists are now fearing the virus could become endemic to the US.
This means that the virus is spreading at a rapid pace. It could, in fact, infect a significant portion of the population. If this were to happen, the virus could become similar to the flu or seasonal cold. These are diseases that come around every year as the seasons change. This could be devastating for the US.