Coronavirus now among top leading causes of death in US

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Credit: via WINK News.

Four more Southwest Florida families are mourning the loss of a loved one Friday night. Two Charlotte County women and two Collier County women died from the coronavirus.

And Florida saw the second most deaths due to COVID-19 in a single day since the pandemic reached the state – 58 deaths. That’s only behind April 14 when 72 people in Florida died of COVID-19.

Researchers say coronavirus is now one of the top leading causes of death in the country. But it won’t be forever.

The U.S. surgeon general warned this week could be the country’s “Pearl Harbor moment” with COVID-19. But the stats show, for all the people who died in Pearl Harbor, the U.S. is losing almost as many every single day to COVID-19.

“We’ve seen the number of [COVID-19] deaths increase exponentially,” said Dr. Robert Hawkes, the director of the FGCU physician assistant program.

But, if you back up the stats to March 1, it’s a different story, one that medical experts say shows more accuracy than daily snapshots.

“As we spread this out over 90 days, 180 days or the entire year, it certainly will not remain that high,” Hawkes said.

Even with COVID-19 being one of the leading causes of death, there’s talk of reopening states. It’s something some still can’t see as reality.

“The only thing we know is we know that she is in ICU and that she has COVID-19,” said Erick Lopez, whose daughter is a leukemia patient.

And Lopez lost one cousin to coronavirus, and another is on a ventilator.

“It is very scary because it touches my family,” Lopez said. “Not only my cousins, but it also touches my daughter.”

She sees the stats and worries about those who are most vulnerable like her daughter.

“So we just know what? The people who have been tested,” Lopez said. “But what about those who have not? And that might be carrying the disease. What then? I mean, are we ready to open?”

But medical experts say getting back to normal can be done carefully.

“Don’t become complacent and say, ‘Oh, we’ve passed the peak, ‘” Hawkes said. “Now, all of the sudden, throw away the masks, go outside, don’t do social distancing anymore. Because it’s possible we could develop a rebound or a second peak because of this.”


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