Omicron, a highly infectious coronavirus variation sweeping the country, is pushing the daily death toll in the United States higher than it was during last fall’s delta wave, and deaths are expected to continue climbing for days, if not weeks.
Since mid-November, the seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 fatalities in the United States has been growing, hitting 2,267 on Thursday, topping a September high of 2,100 when delta was the prevalent variation.
Omicron is now thought to be responsible for virtually all of the virus circulating in the United States. Even if it produces less severe sickness in most individuals, the fact that it is more transmissible implies that more people will become ill and die as a result of it.
According to Andrew Noymer, a public health expert at the University of California, Irvine, “Omicron will drive us beyond a million deaths.” “That will lead to a lot of introspection.” There will be much debate about what we might have done better and how many of the deaths may have been avoided.”
The country’s average daily death toll has already reached the same level as last February, when it was gently easing off an all-time high of 3,300 deaths per day.
According to an AP-NORC survey released this week, more Americans are taking preventative precautions against the virus than they were before the omicron outbreak. Many individuals, however, who have been worn down by the crisis, are returning to some kind of normalcy in the hopes that immunizations or previous infections would protect them.
Researchers believe that Omicron symptoms are generally milder, and that some infected patients show none at all. However, it, like the flu, can be fatal, especially in the elderly, those with serious health issues, and those who have not been vaccinated.
“Importantly,’milder’ does not mean’mild,'” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during a White House briefing this week.
Chuck Culotta was a healthy middle-aged man who managed a power-washing company in Milford, Delaware, until recently. He began to have symptoms before Christmas and tested positive on Christmas Day, when the omicron wave ravaged the Northeast. He died on Dec. 31, only nine days before his 51st birthday, less than a week later.
Todd, his brother, explained that he was unvaccinated because he was concerned about the vaccine’s long-term consequences.
Todd Culotta, who had his injections during the summer, said, “He simply wasn’t convinced it was the appropriate thing to do — yet.”
This month, 50 COVID-19 patients have died and more than 200 are being treated at a Kansas city hospital. A video from the University of Kansas Hospital’s morgue in Kansas City, Kansas, shows bagged remains in a refrigeration unit and a worker tagging one white body bag with the name “COVID.”
Ciara Wright, the hospital’s decedent affairs coordinator, said, “This is genuine.” “Our main fear is, ‘Will the funeral homes arrive quickly enough?’ A refrigerated vehicle is available to us. We don’t want to utilize it until it’s really necessary.”
The morgue has been at or over capacity virtually every day in January, according to Dr. Katie Dennis, a pathologist who performs autopsies for the health system, “which is very unusual.”
The United States has the highest COVID-19 death toll of any country, with over 878,000 fatalities.
According to the COVID-19 Forecast Hub, nearly every U.S. state will witness a quicker increase in fatalities over the next week, however deaths have peaked in a few states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Maryland, Alaska, and Georgia.
According to CDC data, new hospital admissions have begun to decline for all age categories, and fatalities are projected to follow.
“In a pre-pandemic environment, we used to see 10,000 to 15,000 deaths throughout flu seasons.” Nicholas Reich, who aggregates coronavirus forecasts for the hub in partnership with the CDC, stated, “We see that in the course of a week occasionally with COVID.”
“The toll, the anguish, and the suffering are startling and really humbling,” Reich, a biostatistics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said.