COVID-19 is still killing hundreds of Americans each day — yet the virus is not nearly as dangerous as it was last fall and winter.
“It’s going to be a good summer and we deserve this break,” Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the AP.
With more Americans shielded from severe illness through vaccination and infection, COVID-19 — at least for the time being — has transformed into an unpleasant, inconvenient nuisance for many.
“It’s like having a bad cold or the flu,” one woman in Massachusetts said recently.
She also said, “If I get it, I get it — and I’ll get over it.” She’s been doubled vaxxed and boosted against COVID, she said.
Depending on location, many Americans are still wearing masks when they enter grocery stores or go to other public places, even though the stores or venues may not require them. Many are still masking up outdoors, too, when they’re among large crowds.
Some shops are also still requiring masking in order to enter.
Yet other Americans want nothing to do with masks at this point.
Dr. Dan Kaul, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, told the AP that things “feel cautiously good right now.”
“For the first time that I can remember, pretty much since it started, we don’t have any [coronavirus] patients in the ICU,” he said.
As the nation marks July 4th this year, the average number of daily deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. is hovering around 360.
Last year, during a similar summer lull, that number was at roughly 228 per day in early July.
That remains the lowest threshold in U.S. daily deaths since March 2020, when the virus first began to spread across the U.S.