Saturday in Whitewater will see light afternoon showers with a high of forty-nine. Sunrise is 6:47 AM and sunset 4:31 PM, for 9h 44m 25s of daytime. The moon is new with 0.6% of its visible disk illuminated.
Recommended for reading in full —
Philip Bump writes This is what the pandemic is doing to the country:
On Wednesday, 31 states were at the highest seven-day averages of new coronavirus cases they had seen since the pandemic erupted this year. Twenty-two states were reporting more hospitalizations than at any previous point. Ten states saw their highest seven-day averages of deaths from covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
We are in the middle of the third coronavirus surge the country has seen over 2020. The first ended in early April after the number of new cases confirmed each day reached 31,000. The second began in early June, just as Vice President Pence was writing that the country was not undergoing a second wave of infections. By July 22, the country was seeing 67,000 new cases a day before the surge receded.
The current surge, the third, began Sept. 12. It is ongoing, with the country exceeding 127,000 new cases Wednesday — as many cases that day as were added in total from the beginning of the pandemic through March 28.
The White House has repeatedly touted the fact that a smaller percentage of those who contract the virus are dying than earlier in the pandemic, which is true. It is also true both that the ratio of new cases to deaths has been fairly steady since early July and that the current surge in cases threatens to fill hospitals with coronavirus patients, reducing hospital capacity for any type of patient, covid-19-related or not. The point of “flattening the curve” this year wasn’t just to limit the spread of the virus; it was to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. In some states, they already are.
Dhruv Khullar writes The Pandemic’s Winter Surge Is Here:
Almost every flu pandemic since the eighteenth century has come with a second wave; the fall of 1918 was far deadlier than the spring. Today, as the Northern Hemisphere steps deeper into autumn and more activity moves indoors, the spread of the coronavirus is, predictably, accelerating. America is again following Europe’s lead. In the last week of October, the U.S. recorded more new coronavirus cases than it has at any point during the pandemic; there have been days in November on which more than a hundred and thirty thousand people have been found to be newly infected. A few states—Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa—have among the highest per-capita infection rates in the world. The new surge has no epicenter. Infection records are being set in more than half of U.S. counties, and large swaths of the Midwest and mountain West are struggling with skyrocketing hospitalizations. On many days, more than a thousand Americans are now dying of covid-19—a number that is certain to rise, since deaths lag behind infections by several weeks.
The mortality rate for the virus has fallen substantially since the start of the pandemic, probably because of improvements in care and a shift in viral demographics: many of the newly infected are young. But a lower death rate combined with a vast rise in infections will still create profound suffering. One model predicts that, by the end of the year, two thousand Americans could be dying from covid-19 each day. The American death toll could reach four hundred thousand by January.