The 27-year-old nurse has seen a substantial increase in new Covid-19 patients fighting to breathe in the intensive care unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. However, when he leaves the hospital after 12-hour shifts involving shifting patients from their backs to their stomachs. Then rolling them onto their sides every two hours to maintain their oxygen levels, he notices that few people are wearing masks or adopting social distancing.
Few people were rejoicing this week as the United States surpassed the goal of delivering at least one dose of a vaccination into the hands of 70% of adults in the country. The highly contagious Delta strain of the coronavirus was sweeping the United States, and there was rising frustration that the national endeavour to stop the virus’ spread had stalled due to vaccine resistance in broad swaths of the conservative South and Midwest.
Since the outbreak of the health crisis in the United States, the coronavirus, in all of its forms and mutations, has exacerbated the country’s political divisions. Americans have differed on the need of wearing masks, government lockdowns, and even the severity of a virus that has killed roughly 615,000 people in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the biggest number of cases and the most severe consequences are occurring in places with poor vaccination rates, as Delta has caused a rash of cases and Covid-19 hospitalizations across the United States.