Here's That Additional Covid-Related Stress You Didn't Ask For

Illustration for article titled Here's That Additional Covid-Related Stress You Didn't Ask For
Photo: Grant Hindsley/AFP (Getty Images)

Now, excuse me for saying this as I understand that it might be controversial to proffer such alarm, but covid-19? Is stressful. Just speaking personally, of course! Purely one woman’s opinion.

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Anyway, now that I’ve finally (finally!) gotten that off my chest, it brings me absolutely zero pleasure to report that the pandemic has gotten even more stressful somehow. Although new cases and hospitalizations have been dropping nationwide for the past couple of weeks, public health officials and other health experts worry that the new variants of the novel coronavirus threaten to reverse those trends before the vaccines are able to reach us first, The New York Times reports.

The widely referenced predictive model put out by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has long said that the United States will experience a nationwide peak in January, as it has, followed by a decline in cases, as it has. But those predictions predate knowledge of the new, more easily transmissible coronavirus variants, at least one of which has arrived stateside, per Reuters.

“We’re definitely on a downward slope [cases have fallen nationwide 21% over the last two weeks], but I’m worried that the new variants will throw us a curveball in late February or March,” Caitlin M. Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the Times.

The U.S. crossed another grim milestone this weekend as the nation counted 25 million total cases since the start of the pandemic just over one year ago, CNN reports. Over 417,000 people in the U.S. have died in that timeframe, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and the University of Washington’s predictive model warns that the death toll could climb to 569,000 by May 1.

Freelance journalist (GQ, W, Esquire, elsewhere), here on weekends

DISCUSSION

jacknicholauson
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I have vaccine envy, particularly watching others in other states who, unlike me, do not have a high-risk condition. And now the stress of getting my 2 shots before any of these new strains finds their way to me. I just registered, qualify for Phase IA, and received the message that registering does not guarantee a spot in line.

I have vaccine envy.