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jeudi 19 novembre 2020

The cover story: The U.S. COVID-19 outbreak is worse than ever. Why aren't we acting like it?

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The Cover Story
The U.S. COVID-19 Outbreak Is Worse Than It's Ever Been. Why Aren't We Acting Like It?
By Jamie Ducharme
Staff Writer, TIME

By the middle of summer, I was already dreading winter. Experts repeatedly told me and other journalists that our best pandemic safety tool—the ability to shift our lives outside—would disappear in many parts of the country as the weather cooled. Winter, to me, heralded a surge in COVID-19 cases. I steeled myself for another lockdown and a lonely season.

But then I'd go on Instagram and see friends and acquaintances attending parties, drinking at bars and hosting large weddings. This continued well into the fall, when I started to hear people talk about elaborate Thanksgiving gatherings they planned to attend. I was baffled. Didn't they know everything was about to blow up again? 

That cognitive dissonance is the major theme in the story I wrote for this week's issue. The U.S. is facing its most dangerous COVID-19 surge yet. We're recording more coronavirus cases and hospitalizations than at any other time during the pandemic, and the virus is spreading virtually everywhere. And yet, many people seem not to notice or care. Thanksgiving plans are moving forward, travel is picking up and people in many areas are free to dine, drink and exercise indoors. Pandemic fatigue, leadership failures and a mistaken belief that things are better than they were this spring seem to be creating the perfect storm for a pandemic explosion. Even promising news about COVID-19 vaccine candidates—which my colleague Alice Park covered in this week's issue—seems to be giving people a false sense of security.

With winter fast approaching, the U.S.' biggest challenge seems to be convincing its residents that the danger isn't behind us—and that we probably haven't seen the worst of what's to come.

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