US Coronavirus: Covid-19 cases are climbing in more than half of US states and these factors helped drive the surge
Among them are college and school reopenings, Dr. Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told CNN Monday night. But that’s not all.
And those gatherings will likely multiply as the holidays approach and more people transition indoors, where the virus can spread more easily.
“The numbers are moving in the wrong direction,” Inglesby said. “We see that happening as the weather gets colder, and it’s likely … to get worse.”
Only Hawaii is trending in the right direction
In Illinois, the governor said that while the state remains better off than others across the Midwest, every region of the state “has started to move in the wrong direction.”
“We can’t wall off Illinois from the surge, but we can take extra precautions and do better than others at following the mitigations that slow the spread,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday. “Let me reiterate what I have been saying for months, ours will not be one of the states that takes no action in response to rising cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.”
And Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday announced additional measures, including requiring hospitals to reserve capacity for Covid-19 patients as well as more targeted measures for several counties with a higher number
In 2018, Matthew Morgan made a New Year’s resolution that sounded a lot like ones he made in the past: He vowed to lose weight. Then in February he had a minor heart attack. But instead of letting that derail his goals, it emphasized how he needed to stick with his healthy habits.
“I used it as motivation. I actually suffered a heart attack from having the extra weight,” the 41-year-old from Brunswick, Maryland told TODAY. “That was enough of a wake-up call that I needed to continue down the path that I was going rather than go back. Because the heart attack was the result of what I’ve pretty much done my whole life.”
A life of dieting
Morgan was overweight most of his life, but in high school and college he was in the marching band and that activity kept his weight a little bit lower.
“I’ve so-called dieted pretty much my whole life,” he said. “After college because I wasn’t active and got stuck in a sedentary lifestyle — I wasn’t exercising — the weight just kept coming on.”
At his heaviest, he weighed 330 pounds and that’s when he knew he had to take his health seriously. He started by tracking what he ate on the weight-loss app, Lose It!
“I would use the app to track every single thing that went in my mouth to the extent of having a food scale and weighing every single piece of food,” Morgan explained. “I would use the recipe builder on a portion of the Lose It! app to enter in all the ingredients for stuff I was cooking so that I could get an accurate count.”
He also started to move more, first walking.
“It was difficult because you’re going from a lifestyle where you’re really sitting on the couch, sitting at work, sitting at home — not really moving a whole lot — to trying to be as active as possible,” he said.
But then Morgan stared listening to podcasts about people using running to help with their weight loss and he wondered if he, too, could run.
“Being someone that was overweight my whole life I assumed that I would never ever be able to run,” Morgan said. “Running is actually something I do for entertainment. Now if I find I’m bored or have a stressful day — you name it — I go out for a run.”
He runs four to five times a week for an average of 20 miles. Since making his resolution, Morgan lost 155 pounds to weigh 175 pounds. He’s run several half-marathons, though they have all been virtual due to COVID-19. He’s looking forward to someday running a
Our health-care system is experiencing rapid, powerful change, far more consequential than is generally recognized. Although these changes are welcomed by many in the health-policy community (see our assessment a year ago), even those who applaud them have been surprised at their speed and impact.
What follows is a brief overview of what the Trump administration has done to reform the health-care system — in some cases, with the compliant help of Congress. The vision behind the Trump reforms can be found in Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition. This 124-page Health and Human Services document from 2018 argues that the most serious problems in health care arise because of government failure, not market failure.
In pursuing its vision, the administration has aggressively pursued its options under current law. We now need Congress to make the revolution complete.
Virtual Medicine. The ability to deliver medical care remotely is growing by leaps and bounds. It promises to lower medical costs, increase quality, and reduce the time and travel cost of patient care. For example, most people in hospital emergency rooms don’t really need to be there. With a phone or a computer and an app or two, many of them could be examined and triaged in their own homes.
The benefits of telehealth have been known for a long time. Yet as we entered 2020, it was illegal (by act of Congress) for Medicare doctors to consult with their patients by phone or email, except in rare circumstances. Even non-Medicare patients were constrained. For example, it wasn’t clear if visual communication by Zoom or FaceTime satisfied the federal government’s privacy regulations. While some state governments were clearing away barriers, progress was incremental and uneven.
Two things made radical change possible: COVID-19 and the Trump administration. Sweeping away the regulatory barriers to telehealth was not a simple act. There are roughly 7,500 procedures that Medicare pays doctors to do. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had to sort through those and determine which were candidates for virtual medicine and which were not. There were also the questions of whether a virtual visit would pay doctors the same as an office visit, and whether an audio visit would pay the same as an audio/visual visit.
Fortunately, CMS had already been sorting through those problems in the first three years of the Trump administration, for example allowing Medicare patients to use telehealth to determine if an office visit was necessary and allowing patients to send medical pictures to their physicians electronically. CMS also allowed great leeway for telehealth in the Medicare Advantage program. So when COVID struck, the administration was ready. Congress was only too willing to let the administration do what it had wanted to do all along. State governments also got on board, not only loosening prior restrictions but also, in many cases, allowing doctors to practice across state lines.
The take-up by doctors and patients has been nothing short of breathtaking. According to