SAN FRANCISCO – Millions of Italians were allowed to return to work this week after nearly two months in lockdown because of the coronavirus. Children are free to play outside in Spain again after the pandemic kept them indoors for six weeks.
About half the states in the USA have taken similar steps to loosen the social distancing measures imposed to keep the virus from spreading, and others are considering it.
Whereas those two hard-hit European countries – second and third behind the USA in case totals – have considerably slowed their rate of infection and started to bend their respective curves, the trajectory of U.S. cases looks straight, like an arrow shot into the sky, with no sign of its descent in sight.
The USA has had at least 20,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day since mid-March, and a government projection raised that figure to 200,000 – including 3,000 daily deaths – by June 1, according to The New York Times.
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The model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation nearly doubled its national death projection Monday, from 72,000-plus to 134,475 by Aug. 4.
A new model from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania projects almost 117,000 deaths by June 30 – up from 71,000-plus – even if states don't reopen. If states fully reopened, the death toll would rise to a staggering 466,000 by the same date, the model predicts.