CommunityD Kevin McNeir

COVID-19 Continues Its Deadly Assault on America

California Faces Shutdown While D.C.'s Deaths on Decline

As the District continues to operate under Phase Two restrictions in efforts to curb the rise of COVID-19, D.C. Health reported Monday that the city has experienced six days of sustained decrease in community spread with no additional coronavirus-related deaths.

Still, 568 District residents have lost their lives due to COVID-19 with 40 new positive cases, bringing D.C.’s overall positive case total as of July 13 to 10,946. Virginia reported 800 new cases on Monday with Maryland reporting 700 – the highest numbers in Maryland recorded in Prince George’s County.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, California finds itself forced to return to earlier shutdown restrictions as the state faces unprecedented deaths, positive test results and hospitalizations. As a result, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), extended the statewide order, effective Monday – closing bars and ending indoor dining throughout the state while shuttering the doors of gyms, churches and hair salons in most of CA’s counties as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in America’s most populated state.

On July 1, Newsom ordered 19 counties with surging infections to close bars and indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, zoos and family entertainment centers. Now, most drastic measures have been employed.

“The data suggests not everybody is practicing common sense,” Newsom said during a recent press conference. He has not determined the status of schools that remain scheduled to open in a few weeks for most of the state. However, for the state’s two largest school districts, San Diego and Los Angeles, students will begin the year with online learning only. LA Unified serves as the second-largest public school district in the U.S.

It’s a tragic about-face for California, which in March, emerged as the first in the nation to issue a mandatory, statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order appeared to have worked with numbers soon stabilizing while other parts of the country faced huge increases.

But, as the fifth-largest economy in the U.S., and over 7.5 million people filing for unemployment, Newsom relented to the urgings of many citizens, allowing businesses to reopen in early May. That move, following the trends in other states, led to a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, forcing the governor to impose new restrictions in the past few days.

California confirmed 8,358 new coronavirus cases on Sunday – a 47 percent increase over the past two weeks with hospitalizations rising by 28 percent during the same time period. In total, the state has reported more than 329,100 cases and over 7,000 deaths but health experts suggest infections may be much higher as some people don’t show symptoms and testing remains woefully low.

Newsom said on Monday that residents must remember that the coronavirus remains a threat to all lives and will remain so until either a vaccine or effective therapy can be discovered.

“This virus is not going away anytime soon,” he said. “I hope all of us recognize that if we were still connected to some notion that somehow when it gets warm it’s going to go away or somehow it’s going to take summer months or weekends off, this virus has done neither.”

Could Blood Type Be Key to Life or Death? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already reported that people who are at higher risk for coronavirus include older adults, those who are immunocompromised, individuals who suffer from asthma, HIV, liver disease, serious heart conditions and obesity.

However, several recent studies which remain in the peer review process, show that those with Type A blood have a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that if infected with the virus, they would need to receive oxygen or be placed on a ventilator.

The study comes from research conducted at the University of Kiel in Germany by a molecular geneticist, Andre Franke. But it isn’t the first study to find a link between Type A blood and increased coronavirus risk. A Chinese study examining the blood types of nearly 2,200 COVID-19 patients in Chinese hospitals, along with the blood types of 27,000 who didn’t have the virus in the same areas, showed that those with A blood types remain at a significantly higher risk of contracting coronavirus compared with other blood types.

However, as Dr. Franke admits, neither his nor the Chinese study offers solid evidence which explains how blood types might affect the disease.

“This is haunting me, quite honestly,” Franke said in a released statement.

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Award-winning journalist and 21-year Black Press veteran, book editor, voice-over specialist and college instructor (Philosophy, Religion, Journalism). Before joining us, he led the Miami Times to recognition as NNPA Publication of the Year.

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