IRC coronavirus deaths top 50, but some encouraging signs

COMMENTARY

MILT THOMAS

Image courtesy of Airport Technology

Trying to gauge progress against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is problematic at times. If someone tests positive, it could be one or two weeks before symptoms show up, if at all. That assumes the test result is known in 24-48 hours. According to this morning’s Florida Covid Action Dashboard, of the approximately 2,400 cases so far in Indian River County, 13 percent (over 300) have been admitted to the emergency room and eight percent (about 190) hospitalized. Two percent of those infected have died, or about 26 percent of those hospitalized. However, an important gauge of what is to come, would be the daily count of new infections. That number has declined over the past several days. If this trend continues, eventually the hospitalizations and deaths will also decrease. That is good news. The question is why are the new cases decreasing?

Again, it might just spike back up again, but if we assume this trend will continue, the best explanation why is the fact that the large majority of people are wearing face masks and keeping socially distant. That is certainly the case in major chain stores like Publix, Target and Walmart where face masks are required. A recent national poll showed that 79 percent of Americans approve of face masks. From an observational standpoint, masks seem to be the rule in most businesses around our area. Certainly confrontations have been infrequent.

We should all be at least relieved that a glimmer of light is shining at the end of the 2020 tunnel. With work on a vaccine progressing on so many fronts around the world, the light at tunnel’s end is coming from 2021.

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