It turns out the first two weeks have been abysmal.
The United States just shattered its all-time records for the most Covid-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths reported in one day:
— On January 2, a record-high 302,506 new infections were reported in one day, according to Johns Hopkins University.
That’s an average of 3.5 people getting infected every second.
— On January 6, a record-high 132,447 patients were hospitalized with Covid-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Many hospitals are now filled beyond capacity, meaning even those without Covid-19 — say, car accident victims — might not get immediate care.
— On January 12, a record-high 4,462 Covid-19 deaths were reported in just one day, according to Johns Hopkins.
Why is this happening?
“If you go to a party with five or more people, almost certainly there’s going to be somebody with Covid-19 at that party,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
One reason why the coronavirus spreads so easily is because people can be contagious without knowing they’re infected — and can pass along the virus without looking or feeling sick.
“This means at least half of new infections come from people likely unaware they are infectious to others,” the agency said.
Fallout from the holidays could still ripple across the United States for weeks to come.
“It takes two to three weeks for patients to get sick enough to need the hospital after they’ve gotten the virus,” said Dr. Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.
Even though Christmas was less than three weeks ago, “we’re already full.”
“We don’t have any more ICU capacity,” Mahajan said. “All of the hospitals in the region are putting ICU patients in unusual places in the hospital just to find room for them.”