Purpose: In the United States (US), after only one year, COVID-19 has already led to a reduction in life expectancy of about one year. In this study we review the mitigation and containment strategies of the epidemic in the US as a whole as well as in two of its largest states, namely New York (NY) and Florida (FL).
Methods: We utilized the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center to track the time courses of the epidemics in the US, NY, and FL.
Results: Today, the US represents about 5% of the world’s population but accounts for about 20% of deaths due to COVID-19. Initially, NY experienced the largest numbers of US deaths, but later enforced public health strategies of proven benefit and shutdown until deaths plummeted from the highest per capita to one of the lowest. FL issued no statewide mandates for social distancing, crowd avoidance, or masking. When cases plateaued, an initial shutdown was terminated prematurely, and restaurants and bars were mandated to reopen.
Conclusion: As competent and compassionate clinicians, teachers, and researchers in epidemiology and preventive medicine, we should encourage our patients and colleagues to practice the public health strategies of proven benefit. All US states, the nation as a whole, and all countries worldwide should employ coordinated public health strategies as an urgent and necessary adjunct to vaccinations.
Published Date: 2021-04-23; Received Date: 2021-04-02