World Tops 10 Million Coronavirus Cases, 500,000 Deaths
The world passed two troubling milestones Sunday, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases topped 10 million and the number of deaths surpassed 500,000.
This means the death toll has doubled in less than two months, The New York Times pointed out, from 250,000 in early May. In April, it topped 100,000. The number of confirmed cases, meanwhile, has doubled in 40 days.
"It's a startling number," Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles chief medical officer Richard Riggs told Bloomberg News of the 10 million caseload. "It seems like it's going to continue for quite some time."
How the world reached 10 million coronavirus infections https://t.co/4DenJ9J0Sq— Alfons López Tena (@Alfons López Tena)1593418448.0
The number of confirmed cases is likely well under the real tally, according to The New York Times. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released last week found that the case load could be as much as ten times higher than reported in some regions, and New York Times investigations revealed an underreporting of the death toll in the U.S. and more than a dozen other countries, since inadequate testing makes it hard to confirm that patients died of COVID-19.
The U.S. continues to lead the world in both confirmed cases and deaths, with more than 2.5 million cases and more than 125,000 fatalities, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Brazil follows with more than 1.3 million confirmed cases and 57,000 deaths. Both U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have been criticized for downplaying the seriousness of the outbreak and undermining accurate scientific information about its treatment and spread. Together, the two countries account for 49 percent of new infections, according to World Health Organization data reported by Bloomberg News.
The U.S. accounts for more than a quarter of all known deaths, according to The New York Times. And infections are increasing in 29 of 50 states, The Guardian reported. The country reported 44,000 new cases by 4 p.m. on Friday, the highest daily increase since the pandemic began. While the U.S. outbreak was initially centered in the Northeast, with New York City emerging as an early epicenter, cases have now shifted to states in the South and West, The New York Times reported. Texas, Arizona and Florida are especially hard-hit and have been forced to pause reopening plans, according to Bloomberg.
Administration officials including Vice President Mike Pence have attributed the surge in U.S. cases to an increase in testing, The New York Times reported, but public health experts say this is not the case. One of the reasons is that the percentage of tests turning up positive results is also on the rise. The positivity rate in Los Angeles rose from 5.8 percent two weeks ago to nine percent Saturday, while the rate in Texas nearly doubled from seven percent two weeks ago to 13 percent Friday.
Worldwide, Brazil and India are both battling significant outbreaks, with each reporting more than 10,000 new cases a day, according to The Guardian. And China, where the outbreak began, has put a province near Beijing under strict lockdown to control an outbreak there.
The current global caseload dashes hopes that the outbreak would weaken in the summer, Bloomberg News pointed out, but health experts warn that things could still worsen in the fall, especially in Northern countries that will also have to contend with flu season.
"We haven't seen the end of Covid-19, and we haven't seen the full scope of it yet, either," professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington Ali Mokdad told Bloomberg News. "This will be as dangerous as the Spanish flu in many ways."
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People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>