New York, Nov 21 (IANS) Daily coronavirus deaths in the US are now averaging more than 1,300 – the worst toll recorded since May this year when New York became the original epicentre of the pandemic.
More than 253,000 Americans are dead, morgues are running out of room in several states, and total confirmed infections have blown past 11.7 million.
The single biggest case count came on Thursday – nearly 188,000. More than 80,000 are hospitalised.
In Texas, the border county of El Paso has job postings for morgue workers and is offering nearly $30 per hour for what it calls “emotionally taxing” work. Refrigerated trucks have been pressed into service as morgues run out of space for the dead.
Schools are shuttering and going all virtual, colleges are asking students to go home, the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is asking Americans not to travel and suddenly, US health officials crawling out from under the furniture after Trump’s loss at the ballot box are begging people to mask up.
Health experts are bracing for chaos as Thanksgiving draws near. The cooler temperatures help the virus hang longer in the air and millions of Americans have already made travel plans which they may or may not roll back. College students have packed their bags well before the CDC turned up its latest advice against travel. The cocktail is primed for a perfect winter storm.
According to a predictive model at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, more than 470,000 Americans are likely to succumb to Covid 19 by March 1, 2021.
(Nikhila Natarajan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)