Jul 10, 2020 - Health

Reality of the coronavirus bites

National Airport in D.C.

National Airport in D.C. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

It feels like mid-March in America again. The coronavirus is surging, deaths are climbing and the country is dreading a wave of disruptions, less than four months since the first round started.

The big picture: Lingering under all the happy talk of future plans is the reality of this virus — which thrives in potential super-spreader conditions like mass gatherings.

  • You see it in the sports reopening plans, especially for fans who want to attend games this fall. Colleges keep having to delay their training camps, and conferences are preparing for the possibility of no sports this fall.
  • You see it in the school reopening plans, with K-12 and higher education sounding hopeful but facing growing staff revolts.
  • You can see it in the Sun Belt: While governors aren’t giving in to a complete state closure like the first time around, many with hotspot areas have reversed or paused reopening policies that could encourage mass gatherings, Axios' Marisa Fernandez tells me.
  • You even see it far in the future, where the Tokyo 2021 Olympics planners insist the games will start in July of next year — but the Japanese public overwhelmingly disagrees, the AP reports. A recent poll found 77% believe the games can't be held next year.

The bottom line: The U.S. may be implicitly adopting a national herd immunity strategy, but that doesn't mean every facet of life won't be painfully disrupted until we get there — or until an effective treatment or vaccine is widely distributed.

Go deeper: Rural America's coronavirus problem (Axios Re:Cap podcast)

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