When I sent the first coronavirus update to you in March, I was not anticipating that on the first of July the United States would report the highest number of new cases since the pandemic began. Today, our country surpassed 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day. By the end of the week we will have reached 3 million cases and well in excess of 130,000 deaths. Worldwide, we are nearing 11 million cases and more than 500,000 deaths with today being the single highest level of new cases yet reported at nearly 200,000.
There are places in America where the virus had once slowed, but is growing more rapidly, causing their governors to slow, or even reverse, their re-opening plans. Governor Holcomb today postponed the move to stage 5 of reopening for Indiana as well, implementing what is being called Stage 4.5, essentially holding things at the current level until mid-July. While Indiana continues to have a remarkably good experience in comparison to many other states, the governor wisely understands how quickly things can change. One merely needs to look to places like Texas, Florida, and California to see this.
I am hopeful the events of today remind us that, until there is a vaccine, the disease poses a very real threat. I am also hopeful that we remember that we are not powerless in this situation. Quite the opposite, in fact. If we avoid crowded indoor places (physical distancing), wearing masks, washing our hands, and staying home when sick, we can change the trajectory of the disease. Please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to be safe over the holiday weekend – our wise decisions now will pay off in the weeks and months to come.