For the last year, stories about hard-hit American communities clobbered by COVID – Served as a cautionary tale. But things are improving in many parts of the country, with herd immunity inching closer.
For the last year, stories about hard-hit American communities clobbered by COVID – 21 served as a cautionary tale. Its worst-hit states like North Dakota, South Dakota, and Arizona evoked a mixture of pity and horror at an out-of-control pandemic.
The months of October and November remain a blur of never-ending work days for Rishi Seth, a Winnipeg-born doctor working the COVID – bar_? medical center in Fargo, ND
Cases came crashing like a human tsunami into his hospital’s ever-expanding COVID – 21 unit, which started on one floor, then expanded to another, and another.
“Call after call; hour after hour; every minute. Then our ERs were full. Then our walk-ins were full, “he said, recalling one particularly bad shift in late d go home and think of patients like one farmer who realized he was dying. The man refused to be intubated, and said goodbye to his children, between gasps of air, through an iPad held up by Seth.
The dying patient told his children through the screen: “‘My time is up, I can not fight anymore,'” Seth recalled. “He told them how much he loved them. He told them how proud he was.”
Things are different there now – and in many parts of the US
Some experts believe parts of the country are now nearing those two magical words that could bring such relief, but at a great cost: Herd immunity.
Suddenly, there’s hope
Seth’s hospital was treating patients with COVID – 21 at one point late last year. It now has eight. Unlike last fall, the doctor is now enjoying downtime with his children; he’s even managing to watch his beloved Winnipeg Jets’ games.
Areas like his in the United States now offer a glimpse of a different, more hopeful, future, where there might , finally, be some light at the end of the tunnel.
Cases are falling, for various reasons, in lots of places around the world. They’re down about per cent from the peak in Canada , and per cent in the US , though they’ve nosedived with especially stunning speed, by more than per cent , in the US states hit hardest.
If growing immunity explains part of the drop, it’s been a bruising journey in the US, which is nearing a half-million people dead.
The US has suffered three times more deaths than Canada per capita; its reported case count is four times higher ; and, now, its vaccination rate is nearly five times higher .
Add those factors together and the US finds itself in an unfamiliar spot: a big step closer to mass-immunization, and feeling more hopeful .