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[WATCH] COVID Isn’t Over, But At Least It’s Not As Bad As Last Summer

[WATCH] COVID Isn’t Over, But At Least It’s Not As Bad As Last Summer

Summer in the U.S. has kicked off with lots of COVID-19 infections but relatively few deaths compared to last year at the same time. The ever-mutating virus is still killing hundreds of Americans each day, but it’s not nearly as dangerous as it was last fall and winter when the Omicron variant caused sweeping new outbreaks and brought America to the sad threshold of one million Coronavirus deaths.

As the nation marks the July Fourth holiday weekend, the average number of daily deaths from COVID-19 in the United States is hovering around 360. Last year, during a similar summer lull, it was around 228 in early July. That remains the lowest threshold in U.S. daily deaths since March 2020, when the virus first began its U.S. spread.

A nurse administers a pediatric dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to a girl at a L.A. Care Health Plan vaccination clinic at Los Angeles Mission College in the Sylmar neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, January 19, 2022. – While cases of Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise in California, officials are seeing early signs that the Omicron surge is slowing. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

With more Americans already recovered from a bout of the virus, as well as those who are vaccinated and boosted to protect them from severe illness, COVID-19 has transformed into an unpleasant, inconvenient nuisance for many.

Many businesses now display signs that say “Masks Encouraged” and most restaurants have stopped checking vaccine cards. Children of all ages can now get vaccinated, which should also add to an increase in herd immunity. Most experts say Americans can feel “cautiously good” about enjoying their summer plans.

 

But other experts are worried that summer activities, particularly large gatherings and July 4th celebrations, will bring back the outbreaks Americans experienced back in January. A recent event held at a bar in Portland, Oregon, caused a mini-outbreak when at least 17 people (all of whom were vaccinated, but not all boosted) reported testing positive with minor symptoms.

Well into the third year of the pandemic, it’s easy to feel confused by the mixed picture: Repeat infections are increasingly likely, and a sizeable share of those infected will face the lingering symptoms of long COVID-19. The CDC continues to recommend masking when indoors, and of course, vaccinations and boosters as well as a flu shot for the coming fall and winter.

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