There is an alarming rise in infections fuelled by the highly contagious delta variant of the covid 19 virus and the sobering words of Dr Anthony Fauci warning today that things are going to get worse. "We are looking to a painful future because we are seeing cases going up and it's the reason we keep saying the solution to this is to get vaccinated".
Officials are worried about scenes like the one in Chicago where the Lollapalooza festival took place with thousands attending and many not wearing masks. 90% of the attendees were vaccinated and time will tell whether there will be consequences for the event.
Nationwide hospitalizations are surging to more than six thousand a day and for the first time since February, the country surpassing more than a hundred thousand new cases in a single day.
Lousiana has the highest case rate in the country, New Orleans is unable to keep up with 911 calls. Dr Emily Nichols told ABC, "Its tough because so many other communities in Louisiana and across the state are having the same problem locally".
There is also concern for the children most of whom are not eligible for the vaccine. The Children's hospital of New Orleans is now treating 10 children with covid, 3 of them in ICU. Dr Jeniffer Avegino told ABC, "All we have to do to protect our children is wear a mask and get a vaccine. There are so many things we can do. This is easy. This is a no brainer".
Research shows that the Delta variant is more contagious than a common cold. Where a person with a common cold on average infects 2-3 people, the infected person with the Delta variant could be expected to infect up to 9 people.
In Austin, Texas there are 7 ICU beds available for a population of 2,3 million people. Dr Desmar Walkes told ABC, " It is mostly people who are unvaccinated who are overwhelmed by this and having to go to the ICUs".
In Nebraska Shelly Wachter was unvaccinated when she had to go to the ICU. She's now speaking out from a hospital bed. "I could have saved myself and my family so much by having the immunization".
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