With more than 160,000 new cases a day and about 100,000 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, this Labor Day holiday in the U.S. appear gloomy amid the wide-ranging, bitter realization that the coronavirus is going to remain a fact of American life for the foreseeable future.
Flight bookings for the Labor Day weekend were down by 15 percent from pre-pandemic levels as of late August. Further back on Tuesday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened less than 1.4 million travelers, the lowest single-day total since early May and a 34-percent decrease from the same day in 2019.
The seven-day average of confirmed cases of the pandemic stood at 160,901 nationwide on Saturday, with its 14-day change recording a 7-percent rise. COVID-19-related deaths were 1,544 on Saturday, with the 14-day change realizing a 53-percent hike, according to The New York Times (NYT).
The resurgence of the pandemic has left the country “exhausted, nervous and less certain than ever about when normalcy might return,” said NYT.
The impacts of the re-surging pandemic are more apparent on campuses and at airports, as the summer is fizzling out, CGTN reports.
The recent spread of the highly contagious Delta variant has thrown back-to-school plans into disarray, temporarily driving tens of thousands of students back to virtual learning or pausing instruction altogether, reported The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.
Since the school year kicked off in late July, at least 1,000 schools across 31 states have closed because of COVID-19, according to Burbio, a data service monitoring school closures at 1,200 districts nationwide.
“The shutdowns are hitting classrooms especially hard in the Deep South, where most schools were among the first to open, a possible warning of what’s to come as the rest of the nation’s students start school this month,” said the report.
In the meantime, the U.S. airline industry’s recovery has been grounded by the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting travelers to cancel travel plans for Labor Day weekend, reported The Hill this week.
Air travel neared pre-pandemic levels in July, giving the airlines momentum and optimism for a robust fall season, but flight bookings dipped in August amid soaring infection rates fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, according to the report. Scourge