Is the covid pandemic in the US getting better, or worse as the media suggests?
Is the US really doing that badly when it comes to stopping the Corononavirus from spreading and killing people, or is the media, as it done many times in the past, is taking things out of context? First we should examine the number of cases in the US. The trend is obvious, they are rising reaching over 50,000 cases per day. But is this something new? Not really . In April the almost the same amount of covid cases was recorded. There was just one difference between then and now, and that was the number of tests conducted.
An important piece of data the media always seems to leave out is the number of tests.
In late March and early April the number of tests stood at tens of thousands to around one hundred thousand per day. Today the number of tests the US conducts per day is between 400,000 to 500,000. That means that four to five times more people are getting tested for covid than they did in April. Extrapolating from these numbers, the equivalent of 40,000 - 50,000 cases in April should be somewhere around 150,000 - 200,000 cases in July. The fact that it is around the same number shows that the situation now is much less worse than it was in April, in fact it would appear to be much better with proportionately fewer people getting infected with coronavirus.
Another important statistic the media is either ignoring or playing down all the time is the number of confirmed deaths. It's important to note that in the US anyone who dies while carrying the coronavirus is automatically marked as “died of coronovirus”, doesn't matter if the real cause of death was a heart attack or a car accident. Estimates are that a large number of the people listed as dying from coronavirus, died from other causes while being tested positive for the virus. Despite that, the general trend in the mortality is clear, and it's headed downwards, despite the last 4 weeks trend of spike in cases.
Hospitalization of people who suffer from coronavirus or coronavirus like symptoms is rising nationwide, but even the hardest hit areas like Florida, which reported exponential growth of cases in the last weeks, hospitals are generally where they were a month ago or just risen slightly.
Another reason for optimism is that that in April most of the US was under lockdown, with the virus having a hard time being transmitted due to the fact that most of the American population was shut down at home. Today the lockdown measures have been lifted, with people resuming their lives and allowing the virus to transmit itself freely from person to person. Despite that fact we still see roughly the same number of covid cases per day as we did in April, where far fewer tests were conducted and with lockdown measures implemented, and the death rate continues to decline with every passing week.
Finally, has the US really done that badly in handling the coronavirus epidemic as the media insists? No one is suggesting that the Trump administration handling of the epidemic has been perfect or even that it has done a good job in containing it, but compared to some EU western European countries, it comes out that the US dealt better with the pandemic (so far) than some of them, though none of those countries, it's elected leaders and governments, received a fraction of the criticism from the global media the Trump administration got.
Given all this data, the conclusion is that the epidemic in the US is not getting worse, in fact it's getting better. The fact that the media reports otherwise is no surprise seeing how a sensationalist stories about "record number in cases!" without mentioning the much higher number of tetst and other out of context "news" items or statistics regarding the epidemic will bring much more raitings, website clicks and subsequently profit from ads to the corporations who own the media outlets. The data presented here of course can change rapidly. It's important to remember that the coronavirus is new type of virus which is very infectious, whose long term effects are still not known and has a higher mortality rate than the common flu. Despite the obvious general trends which are shown, no one can really predict the course or outcome of this pandemic, which is still ongoing, and which is why people shouldn't throw caution to the wind and act as if it's just going to vanish by itself.