Coronavirus briefing: what happened today

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Coronavirus briefing: what happened today

Cases of coronavirus in children are increasing in America. From November 11 to November 18, the American Academy of Pediatrics counted more than 140,000 cases in children, and a 32 percent increase in new infections over the past two weeks.

“Is there any cause for concern? Absolutely,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, vice chairman of the Academy’s Infectious Diseases Committee. “The increase in children has led to an increase in total cases.”

While children under the age of 18 make up about 22 percent of the US population, recent cases account for nearly a quarter of the country’s total caseload. Experts say that after vaccination among adults, the percentage of total cases is now higher in children.

Although children are less likely to develop severe COVID disease than adults, they are still at risk, and can spread the virus to adults as well. According to the CDC, as of last month, nearly 8,300 American children aged 5 to 11 have been hospitalized with Covid and at least 172 have died, with more than 3.2 million hospitalized and a total Altogether there have been 740,000 deaths.

Experts warn that children should be vaccinated to protect against possible protracted-Covid symptoms, multi-system inflammatory syndrome and hospitalization. Dr. O’Leary said he was particularly concerned about the rise in cases among children during the holiday season.

Overall, cases are rising, especially in the Upper Midwest and Northeast. The country is reporting more than 90,000 cases a day, and while that is well below the summer surge or levels it reached before Thanksgiving last year, more than 30 states are seeing a steady increase and the hardest-hit areas are being hospitalized.

Federal medical teams have been dispatched to Minnesota to help overwhelmed hospitals. Michigan is enduring its worst yet, with the daily caseload doubling since the beginning of November. Even with high vaccination rates, the states of New England – including Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire – are trying to prevent major outbreaks.

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This is a complicated moment. While vaccines continue to provide protection against the worst outcomes, their effectiveness against infection is waning for many, as cases rise across the country. Many people who hit the road this year will be uninformed, masked and largely concerned about COVID-19.

Still, health officials have largely stopped telling people to avoid Thanksgiving celebrations, as they did last year, and millions of Americans are moving ahead with holiday plans. Experts largely agree that, with the right precautions, it is possible to host a relatively safe, though completely risk-free, gathering for vaccinated people.

Millions more Americans are expected to take to the skies this Thanksgiving than last year. Many are excited by the vaccination and are reluctant to spend another vacation alone. The TSA said it expects to screen about 20 million passengers at airports in 10 days starting Friday, which is close to pre-pandemic levels.

While the industry is projecting optimism about easier travel, the influx of passengers has added an element of uncertainty to an already fragile system.

Major airlines have struggled to ramp up after widespread layoffs at the start of the pandemic, and flight crews have had to deal with overworked as well as disruptive and belligerent passengers. The FAA has so far started investigating 991 cases of passenger abuse in 2021. This is more than the last seven years combined.

Airlines, including Southwest and American, have also experienced recent troubles that have rippled for days – disrupting travel plans for thousands of passengers – as carriers delay and reschedule flights to get pilots and flight attendants. Were struggling, complicated tasks by thin staff.

Some lawmakers warned that Monday’s vaccination deadline for all federal employees could disrupt TSA staff at airports, resulting in long lines at security checkpoints, but the agency said those concerns were unfounded. Nevertheless, the travel services organization, AAA, recommends that travelers arrive two hours before departure for domestic flights and three hours ahead for international destinations during the Thanksgiving travel wave.

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For those of you flying this holiday, travel industry executives say be prepared for overcrowded flights, inclement weather that can delay trips, and increased ticket costs. If you have to make last minute changes in plans.

With the holidays on the horizon, it can often be difficult to find time to exercise – let alone reach our fitness goals. The coronavirus pandemic has further complicated our fitness routines by shutting down yoga studios and gyms, many of which have yet to reopen, not to mention finding the motivation to keep going. But that’s where we hope you come in.

We’re asking readers about the workout routines they’ve got working for them, as well as the pandemic fitness hacks that have produced results. If you have any suggestions to share, we’d love to hear them. You can let us know by filling out this form here. We can use your feedback in upcoming newsletter.

I am going back to my hometown in Europe this Friday after two years without seeing my family. Today both my mother and his wife tested positive for covid, and my father is lying on a hospital bed, barely breathing. The visit was supposed to be a moment of reunion and joy—instead, it would be anxiety and a hospital visit. When will this nightmare end?

— Lucille, Michigan

Tell us how you are dealing with the pandemic. Send us a feedback here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.

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