Local doctor assesses state of pandemic as US surpasses one million COVID-19 deaths – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Flags flew at half mast Thursday at the White House to mark a grim milestone. One million lives have been lost to COVID-19 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins.

Pennsylvania was one of the hardest hit states with more than 44,000 people dead. Another 33,000 people in New Jersey have died in the pandemic. And in Delaware, the death toll has reached nearly 3,000.

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As we recognize and remember the lives of those who lost their lives to COVID-19, as well as those they left behind, here in May 2022 most mask mandates have been lifted , restaurants are packed, as are indoor and outdoor stadiums for sporting events and concerts, convention centers are packed again, and life is largely like it was before the pandemic.

Not so fast.

CBS3 caught up with an emergency physician from southeastern Pennsylvania to get a sense of our current situation and what you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.

What’s the trend in COVID cases with most of us ditching our masks?

“You see a correlation between laxity in wearing a mask and feeling safe and an increase in COVID numbers,” said Dr. Meaghan Reid, co-lead of the Committee to Protect Medicine.

It’s likely that you know people who have contracted COVID in the past few months, but there are two main factors in determining how you fare if you catch it.

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“Everyone is still in danger. The people who have very symptomatic infections and require hospitalizations are still, unfortunately, the unvaccinated patients,” Reid said.

The other factor? We don’t often talk about your general state of health.

“No more co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, lung disease, heart disease. You already have so much to overcome and so the healthier you are, the more likely you are to have an easier course with COVID,” Reid said.

Here is the doctor‘s general advice as we try to defeat this virus once and for all.

“To continue to be careful, continue to be attentive. You don’t have to live in fear but I would say you should be safe, wear the mask when you’re in crowded places because it’ll help you, it’ll help others and it’ll help stop carrying on to spread,” Reid said.

We are infinitely better off now than a year ago, but we can all still get sick, we can still infect others, and people can and will still die.

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As of Thursday evening, 272 Americans have lost their lives to the virus in the past 24 hours.

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