U.S. Update on Covid-19



USNS Comfort docks on the shores of New York to provide a helping hand for struggling hospitals.

Sharon Sun, Photojournalist

The United States has advanced to first place in the world rankings for the most cases of the coronavirus. As of March 30, there have been nearly 164 thousand cases confirmed in America, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Covid-19 counter. The number far surpasses that of Italy, which clocks in at second place with almost 102 thousand confirmed cases. Furthermore, American numbers are nearly twice those of the People’s Republic of China, from which the virus first emerged from its province of Wuhan. China sits in fourth place with a little over 82 thousand reported cases, while Spain in third place has confirmed almost 88 thousand cases.


According to usatoday.com, the United States has recorded almost 3,000 deaths on Monday amongst major shortages of hospital supplies. Significant staples of American medical care include hospital beds to accommodate patients, ventilators to help struggling patients breathe, cleaning products to prevent further spread of the virus, and protective equipment for staff. 


According to Vox, New York finds the worst of the new epidemic in America as its hospitals suffer from shortages of such, recording almost 900 deaths related to the virus. Lack of personal protective equipment and insufficient sanitation, for example, risks augmenting hospital staff’s chances of infection, which may further endanger other hospital patients and healthy civilians. 


Another significant shortage regards the ventilators. Being a respiratory illness, Covid-19 is known to attack the lungs and cause difficulty breathing. Ventilators help combat respiratory diseases like these by pumping air into the lungs, making it a crucial weapon to counter respiratory epidemics.


 However, as the number of ventilators in New York hospitals stagnates, the number of new Covid-19 patients entering hospitals continue to rise, according to the New York Times. New York hospitals have since then been forced to make do with inadequate numbers of ventilators. 


However, aid has arrived in New York in the form of a military hospital ship. The USNS Comfort docked at Pier 90 on Monday morning bearing 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, a lab, a pharmacy, a CT scanner (medical imagery), and medical personnel gearing up to accept patients from New York’s overwhelmed hospitals. 


Furthermore, according to Politico, anti-malarial medication is poised to be used by hospitals as active medication for the virus as the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization for the drugs. Though there has not been much evidence of its effectiveness against Covid-19, President Trump has supported its use on coronavirus patients, urging citizens to wait and see how the therapy goes. In such a desperate situation with shortages of equipment, some hospitals have added the drug to their treatment protocol.

In order to avoid further exacerbating the crisis, it’s imperative to prevent the spread of infection. With the national lockdown currently active, it’s important to avoid going out into public as much as possible to prevent any possible contact with infected people. Joyce Lin (10) encourages wearing face masks in public to impede the spread of the viral particles through the air. Most importantly, it’s important to wash your hands frequently and maintain the cleanliness of the surrounding environment. With proper hygiene and responsible self-isolation, we as Americans can save lives even across a nation.