The virus has infiltrated communities, rural and urban: In Chicago, public schools have been closed to students for a sixth straight week as the city’s rate of positive coronavirus tests increased by nearly 5%. In Gove County, Kan., Population of 2,600, nine people have died from the virus in recent days, health officials reported. Clusters of infections have appeared at a spa in Washington state, a hockey league in Vermont, a Baptist church in North Carolina, and a Sweet 16 party on Long Island.
People who are sick tell contact tracers that they detected the virus while trying to return to ordinary life. Beth Martin, a retired school librarian who works as a contact tracer in Marathon County, Wisconsin, said she interviewed a family who had fallen ill in what is now a common situation – during a birthday party for a parent in early October.
“Another case said to me, ‘You know what, it’s my adult son’s fault,’” she recalls. “‘He decided to go to a wedding and now we’re all sick.'”
Mark Harris, director of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, said he had been frustrated by the “strong minority” in his county who had managed to push back any public health measures to be taken against the pandemic.
They have a unique mindset, he said, “It’s been bothering me for quite a while and I’m done changing my behavior.
In the Czech Republic, a politically divided nation, people met the initial order to take shelter in their homes this spring with an unusual display of unity. They launched a national mask-sewing campaign, recognized around the world for its ingenuity. Confidence in the government, in its handling of the crisis, has reached a record 86%.
Since then, support for the government’s response has plummeted and the country is now experiencing the fastest increase in virus cases in Europe. About half of the more than 150,000 cases recorded in the Czech Republic have occurred in the past two weeks, and more than half of the roughly 1,300 deaths in the country have occurred this month.