US Faces 300,000 COVID -19 Deaths by December, Study Says -- Shall Face Masks Become Required?

US Faces 300,000 COVID -19 Deaths by December, Study Says -- Shall Face Masks Become Required?1279
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COVID-19 could cost the lives of about 300,000 Americans by December 1, the University of Washington estimated on Thursday. According to the researchers, nearly 70,000 of those lives could be saved if wearing masks.

According to Dr. Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, Americans tend to let their guard down and stop wearing masks once the number of infections drops.

Dr. Murray strongly recommended wearing facial coverings and observing social distancing to combat the spread of the virus.

The U.S. death toll reached 159,000, the most of any country in the world. There are 4.8 million confirmed cases nationwide, Dr. Murray noted.

He also added that the infections were falling in the former epicenters of Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas. However, there is a rise in Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Kentucky, and Virginia.

On Thursday, Tennessee reported 42 new cases, while their number in North Carolina reached 73. Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine said Thursday he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Until two months ago, the infection was centered around cosmopolitan cities such as New York. Nowadays, it is spread from coast to coast, mainly due to summer vacation travel.

''This is a predictor of trouble ahead,'' Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious diseases specialist, said Thursday.

Georgia state health department confirmed Thursday the death of a 7-year-old boy, the youngest victim of the virus in Georgia. The child came from a coastal city in Chatham County and had no underlying health conditions.

Dr. Lawton Davis, the director of the Coastal Health District, commented that COVID-19 is a disease that everyone should take seriously. 

The boy's death is not the first among the US children, data shows. Only in Florida, the virus caused the death of seven minors. In June, a 9-year-old girl from Florida with no underlying conditions lost the battle with the disease.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, and a medical reporter, also highlighted the importance of wearing a mask to prevent COVID-19 transmission. He cited a study by the prestigious British medical journal Lancet, according to which the likelihood of you transmitting the virus if you don't wear a mask was 17% or 18%. If you wear it, it is closer to 3%, a sixfold difference, Dr. Gupta noted.

What are your observations? Do people in your area wear masks?