Covid Pandemic – US Reaching Almost Normality

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The Washington Post writes quoting Dr. Anthony Fauci that the US is “on the road to approaching normality”.

“Mask mandates continued to end in traditionally cautious blue states Wednesday as the number of daily U.S. coronavirus cases plunged, covid-19 hospitalizations dropped below 100,000.”

According to the Post, states like New York, Illinois, Rode Island, Massachusetts and others are reportedly ending their ‘state requirements that adults wear face coverings in public indoor places’.

This is what we’ve been waiting for — tremendous progress after two long years. And we’re not done. But this is trending in a very, very good direction, and that is why we are now approaching a new phase in this pandemic.

– Gov. Kathy Hochul, New York (source: The Washington Post)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and health experts are reportedly still worry that abrupt lifting of restriction might be counter productive.

Speaking with MPR News, Dr. Michael Osterholm, epidemiologists and director of the Center for Infections Disease Research and Policy (CIRAP) at the University of Minnesota, told “I think until you actually determine how to get people to wear N95 respirators — these more tight face-fitting masks — or the KN95s, I don’t understand the benefit of masking as a mandate, nor have I from the beginning. If we could do it with much more effective protection, then we’d have a leg to stand on.”

As the Covid pandemic enters third year, public & political landscape is changing regarding masks and other mandates.

“There’s no question, whether it was last year’s election, whether it was getting a sense of the pulse of the state, people are frustrated. They are fatigued. There’s learning loss in our kids, mental health and stress among kids and adults. Folks are yearning for some sense of normalcy — and count me, by the way, among them.”

– New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (source: The Washington Post)

Dr Osterholm added “A public health mandate only works if people are willing to do it, and what you’re seeing is a general rebellion right now against this. Monmouth University just came out with a recent poll that shows 70 percent of Americans now agree with the statement that at this time, we accept COVID is here to stay. We just need to get on with our lives.”

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of February 11, 9 a.m.) 675,764,425 doses have been distributed and 545,981,537 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of Feb 9) a total of 9,314,431 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of February 11) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 1,388,401 (out of 18,367,211 tested) with 11,797 deaths.