What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, November 13



“Those are not words I use lightly, but when there’s more than 60,000 people in the hospital and we could lose more than 2,000 lives a day by January, there’s no other way to describe this,” Gupta said of the growing crisis in America.

The numbers in the US are staggering. More than 242,000 people have died from the coronavirus — and the toll grows. On Thursday, the US recorded 919 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, and 153,496 new infections — breaking another grim world record. California is the second state after Texas to record 1 million cases. And more people are hospitalized with Covid-19 in America than ever.
Reports show the pandemic is worsening as the country approaches the holiday season. An influential Covid-19 model projects the US death toll is likely to hit 439,000 by March 1.
But Dr. Anthony Fauci said he doesn’t believe the US must go into lockdown if people “double down” on public health measures, like mask wearing and social distancing. And there is little appetite for another lockdown — fewer than half of Americans said they would comply with one, according to a Gallup poll.

Striking a hopeful note, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said “the calvary is coming” in the form of a vaccine. “We’re going to get this under control, I promise you.”

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q: Will college students bring Covid-19 home for Thanksgiving?

A: With students testing positive at many campuses nationwide, families face the tough choice of whether to allow their children to come home for Thanksgiving.

Unless their return-home plan is airtight — including 14 days of quarantining before traveling — infectious disease experts are urging students taking classes in person to shelter in place, on campus.

That said, if your child must come home or if their school’s semester ends as of Thanksgiving week, the entire family must take concrete steps to avoid exposure to the virus. Here are some tips on how to mitigate risk.
Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

Don’t expect a coronavirus vaccine before December

Pfizer released surprisingly positive preliminary data about its experimental coronavirus vaccine this week and may hope to apply for regulatory approval by the end of the month, but it will take several weeks to get a vaccine approved, experts have noted.

Americans should not be hoping for any authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration before the second half of December, experts agreed. That’s because Pfizer could not possibly have it approved before the end of next week. After that, weeks of FDA review remain.

Meanwhile, a study has found evidence that a mutation in the coronavirus that enabled it to spread more easily may also make it more susceptible to a vaccine.

The economy as we knew it might be over

The Covid-19 pandemic brought the US economy to a screeching halt, and while it has started its long road to recovery, the one we knew is probably a thing of the past, said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday.

“We’re recovering, but to a different economy,” Powell said during a virtual panel discussion at the European Central Bank’s Forum on Central Banking.

The pandemic has accelerated existing trends in the economy and society, including the increasing use of technology, telework and automation, he said. This will have lasting effects on how people live and work. And as the market adjusts, the pain won’t be shared evenly.

India’s capital sees surge in Covid-19 cases ahead of Diwali

India celebrates its biggest festival, Diwali, this weekend, as it battles the world’s second-largest coronavirus outbreak and enters its annual air pollution season. Experts fear those factors combined could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases, especially in the capital where infections are already surging, Julia Hollingsworth and Esha Mitra write.

Diwali is the five-day Hindu festival of lights, and beginning on Saturday, friends and family will come together to feast, set off fireworks and light colorful lamps. For many of the country’s 1.3 billion people, it’s the most important festival of the year and is equivalent in importance to Christmas in many Western countries. But this year, it’s being held during a pandemic.

India has reported more than 8.7 million coronavirus cases, more than any other country in the world besides the US. While it is now reporting fewer cases than at its peak in September, the situation is worsening in the capital New Delhi, which reported a record number of daily fatalities on Thursday.

ON OUR RADAR

  • A drug normally prescribed to treat multiple sclerosis helped reduce the risk of severe disease from Covid-19, British researchers reported Thursday.
  • As cases soar to alarming levels around the US, some schools are moving back to online-only instruction.
  • Chicago has issued a stay-at-home advisory as Covid-19 cases continue to rise throughout the city.
  • Japan has reported its highest daily number of cases, but Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says there’s no need to reintroduce a state of emergency or cancel the government’s campaign to boost domestic tourism.
  • South Korea’s capital Seoul will establish a 24-hour rapid response team to help enforce the city’s mask mandate.
  • French Prime Minister Jean Castex says one in four deaths currently happening in the country are caused by Covid-19.

TOP TIPS

Your Thanksgiving quarantine starts now. Here’s what to do

If you want to visit your family for Thanksgiving and avoid passing the coronavirus on to them, experts say you must quarantine for 14 days.

That’s two weeks of doing even less than we’re doing now, and it should have started yesterday.

CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and a visiting professor at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, has this guidance.

TODAY’S PODCAST

“Regardless of how we got here, the real tragedy, the real humanitarian disaster, is that so much of this was foreseeable and preventable.” — Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Almost a quarter of a million people have died of Covid-19 in the United States. The country is now seeing record-breaking case numbers. Dr. Gupta makes an emotional plea for us to start treating the pandemic like the crisis it is, before it is too late. Listen Now.



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