The United States is the country of the great outdoors, deserts and plains. Despite this natural physical distancing, they are also the country of Covid-19: more than nine months after the start of the pandemic, the virus continues to spread into the most remote countryside of America. As of Wednesday, December 9, more than 3,000 people perished in twenty-four hours – a record. Hospitalizations and contaminations are in unison.
These poor results do not come as a surprise to the experts, who did not fail to warn, at the beginning of November, of the difficult period which lay ahead of Thanksgiving, the American family holiday par excellence. Each year, the 4e Thursday in November gives rise to crossovers in airports and on the roads, to share the turkey with the family. An important meeting in a country where relatives often live far away …
But the calls for caution were clearly not enough. Millions of Americans traveled as usual, and two weeks later hospitalizations jumped across the country, confirming the health impact of family reunification during a pandemic. According to the Department of Health, more than a third of Americans now live in areas where intensive care units are overcrowded.
But the Thanksgiving turkey is not the only cause. Because all the indicators – contaminations, hospitalizations, deaths – had started to rise again at the end of the summer, steadily increasing since the end of September. During the election campaign, the figures paraded at the bottom of the screens, giving way to political debates. Since the election, the numbers are displayed in large on the small screen.
Because for lack of federal policy, Donald Trump having other priorities, the infinitely small has continued to weave its web inside the country, from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts affected first in the spring. The Covid-19 has managed to flourish to the most remote places, from the depths of Wisconsin to the plains of Nebraska or Kansas.
The United States now has 290,000 deaths – nearly 20% of global deaths for less than 5% of the planet’s population. The country of westerns and great rides, however, displays a density that should have worked in its favor – the United States has 33 inhabitants / km2, compared to more than 117 in France, 200 in Italy or 267 in the United Kingdom.
Carelessly, the virus has made its way without being too worried by federal authorities and, too often, by local authorities. This is how he was able, for example, to reach farms in the Midwest: South Dakota, which has only 4 inhabitants per km2 and had recorded only about twenty deaths at the end of April, today shows more than 1,100 deaths, for 885,000 inhabitants.