It has been approximately seven months since social distancing and lockdown protocols began to be put in place, and on Sep. 28, the world reached one million COVID-19 deaths. The U.S. has the highest total cases of the virus and the highest number of COVID-19 deaths as of today, followed by India and Brazil. Since the pandemic began there has been many different methods and opinions presented on how to prevent/slow the spread.
According to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), contrary to other countries such as China, U.S. citizens were not willing to wear masks.
Masks have been the subject of controversy in the United States since the pandemic started. Some Americans view masks as an essential precaution required to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19, while others disagree. According to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), contrary to other countries such as China, U.S. citizens were not willing to wear masks. In China, masks were common in public and social spaces even before the pandemic as a means of protecting themselves against pollutants, but in the U.S., masks were rarely worn outside a work setting, such as in hospitals or on construction sites.
The effectiveness of masks has been heavily researched by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other medical and scientific professionals in the United States. In a study conducted by ResearchGate, they determined that, globally, governments that supported and encouraged mask wearing along with a cooperative population had been more successful and had lower Covid-19 deaths.
In those seven months, the US government has not put out a federal plan to defeat this virus or slow the spread. Each state has been determining their own laws about mask mandates, social distancing and reopening. For example, Florida reopened restaurants and bars at 100% capacity, whereas California’s restaurants and bars are still at 25% for indoor seating.
Many different organizations and scientists have been rushing to find a vaccine. The Washington Post reports that there are currently over 200 vaccines being researched, created, and tested. The majority of the vaccines are still in a pretrial phase and as of yet no vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA will approve a vaccine once the effectiveness is at 50% In context, the average effectiveness for a flu vaccine is 40-60%. The vaccines are first tested on animals, then young healthy volunteers.
According to the CDC, a person should get tested for COVID-19 if they are showing symptoms, if they have been within close range of a person who has tested positive, or if they have been referred to be tested by a medical professional.
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