Democrats have regained control of the Senate after a pair of victories in Georgia, a group of fascists wearing red hats stormed the United States capitol building yesterday, and Congress certified Joe Biden's victory in the dead of night.
That's all very distracting and occupies most of the daily news cycle, but the coronavirus pandemic doesn't care what we're focused on. It's still with us and it's bigger than ever now.
The United States set new records for daily infections, daily hospitalizations, and daily deaths in the last 24 hours.
A record 3,915 people died of covid-19 in the United States, as a record 251,646 new coronavirus cases were reported, about 16,000 more cases than the Wednesday before, according to a Washington Post analysis. More than 132,000 are battling the coronavirus in hospital beds. [...]
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 5.3 million people have received at least the initial dose of a coronavirus vaccine and nearly 17.3 million doses have been sent to states as of Wednesday morning.
You know the drill at this point.
If we're still setting records for daily infections, that means hospitalizations and deaths haven't peaked. The latter statistics are lagging indicators with deaths following up to a month or longer after infection. People who were infected over the holidays are just now beginning to experience symptoms and anyone who tested posted yesterday may not have hit a hospital yet.
With a death rate of 1 to 2 percent, nearly 252,000 infections in a single day means about 2,500 people had their ticket punched yesterday.
Over 361,000 Americans have died from coronavirus complications as of yesterday according to the New York Times' tracker and it's conceivable that we could cross 400,000 just before or on the day of Joe Biden's inauguration.
Grief is a very complicated process that differs from one person to the next, but I don't think we've really had an opportunity to grieve for everyone lost. That's why I point out how distracting the daily shitshow of the Trump-driven news cycle is. He consumes all of the emotional oxygen in the room, leaving all of us barely able to function. Friends of mine who've literally never spoken to me about political matters were noticeably disturbed last night and that doesn't leave room for having healthy relationships much less give us space to grieve.
Even once Trump is physically ushered out of the White House, there may be a period of time when things do not feel much different; a time when we know things have changed but we're still waiting to emotionally exhale. But that doesn't mean the incoming administration is a disappointment; it could mean we're just beginning to grieve.