How many 9-11s is that?

Courtesy of HuffPo:

Nearly 300,000 Americans could be dead from COVID-19 by Dec. 1, University of Washington health experts forecast on Thursday, although they said 70,000 lives could be saved if people were scrupulous about wearing masks.

The latest predictions from the university’s widely cited Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) comes as top White House infectious disease advisers warned that major U.S. cities could erupt as new coronavirus hot spots if officials there were not vigilant with counter-measures.

“We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States. It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down,” Dr Christopher Murray, director of the IHME, said in announcing the university’s revised forecast.

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 stands at more than 159,000, the most of any country in the world, with nearly 4.9 million known cases. (Actually, as I write this post the number of dead is already well over 160,000.) 

The IHME said infections were falling in the former epicenters of Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas, but rising in Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Virginia. Those findings are consistent with Reuters tallies.

The simple fact is that if we had a national mask mandate we could bring these numbers down to a manageable level.

That is what has been done in European countries with great success, and yet we continue failing to do the obvious thing. 

This virus will likely be with us for several years to come, not because that is what viruses do, but because in America we proved too stupid to take the smart steps to fight it effectively.