Why Have Covid-19 Cases Spiked so Fast in Michigan?
Michigan is currently in the middle of the biggest Covid-19 spike in the U.S. But, why?
Before we get to the why. Let's look at Michigan's numbers compared to the rest of the United States. The stats below are for the week ending Sunday, April 4th and are provided by Reuters Graphics.
New Covid-19 Cases one week total (per 100,000 residents)
- Michigan: 452.5
- New Jersey: 343.9
- New York: 280.2
- Puerto Rico: 248.5
- Connecticut: 245.3
You can see how far Michigan is ahead of the state with the second most cases. To further put this into prospective, the U.S. average is 136.1 (per 100k) total Covid-19 cases that same week. Michigan also has the most residents per capita hospitalized due to Covid-19.
WWMT points out that cases have increased over 600% over the last 6 weeks. So, what is really going on here?
There are many factors in play here that have created the 'perfect storm' for a Covid spike. The four major factors below are not listed in order of importance.
#1 Covid fatigue. There's not a person on the planet that isn't sick of wearing a mask, social distancing and all of the other CDC recommendations to keep us safe. That is leading to some people being far less diligent.
#2 New variants. There are quite a few new variants currently circulating around the U.S. There is a concern that the "Michigan variant" is more contagious than others. There is no data to show if that new variant is more or less dangerous or lethal. However, it does seem to spread at a much faster rate.
#3 Misinformation. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have both given recommendations on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 which include wearing masks, not gathering in groups and social distancing just to name a few. Measures like wearing a mask has become a hot button political issue instead of the simple life saving measure that it actually is. Many credible sources and studies have show that wearing a mask and social distancing dramatical decrease the spread of this virus.
#4 Vaccines. I realize that seems counter intuitive. However, the news of multiple vaccines being used all over the world may have lulled many people into the feeling that this pandemic is over. The fact is, we still should follow CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of this virus. Doctor Ashley Drews, medical director of infection prevent and control at Houston Methodist said that we need to vaccinate between 70-90% of the population before we have any hope for her immunity.
According to Reuters Graphics, As of April 4th, 2021, 32.6% of the U.S. has received their first vaccination shot while 19% are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile 31.6% of Michigan residents have received their first shot and 19.5% are fully vaccinated.