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Suio Falls, California — As the incidence of the virus is soaring in most parts of the country, the delay caused by the coronavirus outbreak in the upper Midwest has made health officials cautiously relieved, despite their fears that the infection is still rampant and holiday parties may be The worst outbreak of a renewed pandemic.
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, the countries in the Midwest and the northern Great Plains had the worst coronavirus infection rates, and hospitals were beyond their capacity, resulting in states such as North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin and other states reported some of the countries with the highest per capita death rates in November.
However, in the past two weeks, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the average daily cases in these states have declined, ranging from 20% in Iowa to 66% in North Dakota. %. Since mid-November, the entire area has recovered to a level similar to that in October.
Ryan Demmer, an epidemiologist at the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, said: “We have contained the fire, but if the conditions are right, it will easily break out again.”
For this region that is now a harbinger of the virus wave that has plagued most parts of the United States, the positive direction of the Midwest provides hope that people can unite and take virus prevention measures seriously because they believe that in the final months of vaccination, They waited for the last few months of the vaccine. Pandemic.
The governor used the declining numbers to prove that they took a different approach to combat the epidemic, and sometimes even joked. In Minnesota, Democratic Governor Tim Walz insisted on maintaining some restrictions until early January, saying that the restrictions on bars and restaurants are working. In neighboring South Dakota, Republican Governor Kristi Noem took the opposite view. She used the recent decline in the number of people in her state to prove that mandatory masks had no effect.
But some epidemiologists believe that the most convincing factor for many people who have redoubled their efforts to prevent infection may be that they have experienced the virus on a personal level. As the pandemic spreads to communities in the Midwest, more and more people have ever loved a person, a friend or acquaintance who gets sick or dies.
Dr. Christina Peterson, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa, said: “This is a fox hole religion-when the person next to you is shot, the whole thing becomes more real.” “Suddenly, your local The hospital is full, and your sister, aunt or grandmother is in the hospital.”
According to data from the COVID Tracking Project, out of 278 people across northern states from Wisconsin to Montana, about 1 person needs to be hospitalized for COVID-19. These experiences are common in close-knit communities.
Dr. James Lawler of the Center for Global Health and Safety at the University of Nebraska Medical Center said that by early November, the outbreak of the virus was so widespread that almost everyone knew that someone was seriously infected with COVID-19.
He said: “This seems to bring things home, but it was not discussed earlier.” He pointed out that he has observed more and more people wearing masks and avoiding parties, parties and indoor dining.
Until autumn, the Upper Midwest had not seen the widespread outbreaks and high mortality rates experienced in other parts of the country in the early months of the pandemic. Many people have adopted a loose approach to mitigating the virus. Republican governors in the region avoided the government’s request to wear masks or take other measures to prevent infection.
Many health experts warn that the area is already prone to widespread infections, especially when the weather gets cold and people gather inside, the coronavirus is more likely to spread.
Peterson said: “As soon as the snowball started, everyone fell.” “We knew it was coming. Those who took precautions and redoubled their efforts. They performed slightly better, but we knew that anyway. , It will be difficult.”
Peterson believes that the renewed efforts to reduce the rate of infection are attributable to a variety of factors: health officials and medical staff warned that the hospital will be full; some Republican governors issued orders to wear masks; and life experience from the pandemic. Other experts say that some people, such as those who work in meat packaging plants that are widely infected, have a high infection rate that the virus has slowed down.
But throughout the region, many people worry that Christmas and New Year celebrations may not be able to avoid the success of the Thanksgiving peak. Peterson worried that people decided to abandon the Thanksgiving party just to hold family celebrations at Christmas. As a Midwesterner, she admits that the lucky draw for gatherings with her family during the holidays is hard to resist.
She said: “I hope many of us won’t feel guilty in a few weeks.”