from Case Western Reserve University
On March 26, the United States surpassed other countries with the most Coronavirus cases recorded with 85,000. China was next with 81,000 and Italy with 80,000. As of April 8, the United States reported over 420,000 cases.
The cases in the United States grew rapidly. On March 1, 30 cases were reported and on March 31, 186,000 cases were reported. In a month, the cases went from less to one-hundred to over one-hundred-thousand. And by April 8, the number of cases more than doubled.
China’s population is over four times the size of the United State’s population, so why does the United States have more cases?
According to The New York Times, the United States has more cases because they didn’t “take the pandemic seriously even as it engulfed China.” Because the pandemic wasn’t taken seriously at first, the United States wasn’t able to fully prepare for the chaos that has occurred. Many hospitals lack the equipment they need to prevent the spread of the virus to their healthcare workers, and with the shortage of supplies, many healthcare workers are having to reuse single-use masks. Mariel Padilla wrote that a “nurse in Illinois was told to make a single-use mask last for five days,” and a pediatrician in Washington State “has been spraying each mask with alcohol after use, until it breaks down.”
The federal government left the power to contain the spread of the virus in the hands of each state’s governor, and some states are taking this more seriously than others. One example of states taking over is by issuing stay-at-home orders. A stay-at-home order means that you can leave your house only if you need to and only essential workers can work. CNN reported that the first state to enact a stay-at-home order was California and it went into effect on March 19. On March 6, Gov. Henry McMaster issued a stay-at-home order for South Carolina, one of the last states to issue one. However, seven states still have not issued orders. The Washington Post put out that “two weeks into stay-at-home orders and business and school closures in the San Francisco Bay area and Washington state, there’s evidence the curve of infections is flattening compared with other U.S. metro areas.”