More than 2 million individuals in the United States have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, according to the most recent data available from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
As of June 10, over 112,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. and more than 533,000 have recovered. Across the world, over 7.3 million have been infected and 416,000 have died, based on Johns Hopkins data.
Health officials in the U.S. had expressed concerns that the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd could spark a wider spread of the coronavirus, around the same time that many states and cities were reopening parts of their economies.
Tens of thousands came together for demonstrations across the country and the world over the past weeks, most of which have been reported to be peaceful.
Floyd, a 46-year-old out-of-work bouncer, died after a former police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield warned that the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death could be a “seeding event” for coronavirus infections and urged participants to get tested as soon as they could.
Redfield, who is also a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said the agency is concerned its health message “isn’t resonating” with the public, referring to guidance on wearing masks and keeping 6 feet apart.
Even prior to the protests, there had been incidents of large crowds of people packed together in the past weeks, including over Memorial Day weekend, despite larger pleas for social distancing as a preventative measure to help combat the spread of the virus.
The impact of the virus on lives lost, on the economy and on society as a whole has led many to wonder how long it will take as a population to get out of this current outbreak. When will things return to some sense of “normalcy?”
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According to Dr. Gabe Kelen, director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins, not as soon as we’d hope.
“We are nowhere near the peak. And there are several peaks. We just hit the first one, generally, and we’re sliding a bit downward,” Kelen, who specializes in emerging infections, explained.
“We just saw a little mini peak now, with maybe 1 to 12, 13, 15% of the population in some sections infected. So it’s inevitable that unless a vaccine comes in, there’s still a huge swath of people remaining to be infected before this thing peters out. So a second wave is virtually inevitable, possibly even a third and a fourth,” Kelen said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.