US Sees Over 300% Rise In COVID Cases

The beginning of 2022 has already brought a massive spike in COVID cases. National and global disease experts believe it is too soon to allow yourself to run low on N95 mask supplies.

Although some hope that the most serious effects of the pandemic will subside this year, we clearly have a long way to go, according to the data. 

Some restrictions could be temporarily eased by the summer of 2022, but it is expected that COVID will continue to be a part of the new normal, forever. What might this mean? What role do N95 masks continue to play in our daily lives and businesses?

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COVID Cases Surge To New Highs

According to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the US has seen an enormous spike in COVID cases this year. Shooting up to 76,983,188 cases as of February 14th, 2022. 

COVID Deaths

COVID deaths are now also hitting a new high that hasn’t been rivaled since last summer. 

The United States has the highest number of deaths worldwide. Now totaling 910,982. With over 100,000 new COVID fatalities in the last two months alone, according to the data from the World Economic Forum and Reuters. 

There appears to be no slowing in the number of deaths from COVID in this country. 

Vaccinations To Drop Off In 2022

In spite of these data trends, vaccines and testing is expected to drop off this year.

Pfizer is currently working on the emergency approval and rollout of a new series of vaccines for babies and children from 6 months to 5 years old. These vaccinations are expected to be delivered in 3 different shots over a period of weeks. That may extend the financial run investors have been enjoying in pharma stocks. Though, with the exception of boosters, COVID vaccinations may have peaked. Those willing to get them have already had them. The remaining holdouts don’t seem likely to give in now. 

Pfizer alone forecasts its vaccine and antiviral COVID pill sales will hit $54B this year. Wall Street investors were hoping for more. This has led to a 3% drop in the company’s stock prices after the news. 

Similar rival pill manufacturers are selling their medications to the government at $700 each. 

Drugstore chain CVS has also forecasted that COVID testing could fall by 50% this year, with vaccinations down by 80%. Share prices of the company fell by more than 5% within hours of this news. 

The end of the pandemic could prove to be a steep and costly experience for companies in this sector and their investors. Not everyone may end up being happy about the pandemic finally going away. 

Of course, a premature return to work, school, and global travel, and neglecting masking and the great hygiene we’ve developed could bring COVID raging back just as quickly. 

A Glimpse Of A New Normal

While some have been forecasting that the pandemic will die down this year, that doesn’t seem to be backed up by the official data yet. 

Still, even when there is a cooling off and some restrictions may have eased, everyone appears to be aligned in the idea that COVID will remain with us indefinitely as an endemic virus.

Considered to be more dangerous than the flu we have become accustomed to, this would likely mean annual vaccine boosters, as well as the return of mask mandates and some types of lockdowns, seasonally. When it comes to regular activities and travel, some countries, states, and cities have made vaccination passports the new normal requirement for everyday activities like shopping, eating, and going to work. 

The public has also proven that they’ll easily beg for more lockdown restrictions at the hint of a new virus.

On the other side of this coin, the economic issues and side effects of COVID may just be starting to emerge. A big shift of focus could be there, with more supply chain and inflation problems, which could be even more problematic when it comes to businesses and individuals trying to find PPE. 

Masks Are Still Necessary

While some jurisdictions have reported they are folding to voter pressure to roll back some of the toughest COVID rules, the use of masks is still important. 

In fact, the CDC and WHO have maintained their mask guidance for the public. Speaking out in February 2022, the director of the Centers for Disease Control said that it was too soon to consider amending or loosening mask rules. WHO’s the technical lead for COVID has added that everyone should still be wearing masks, even if they are vaccinated. 

N95 Masks Are Now Standard Protection

We’ve also learned that not just any face covering will do. More experts and regulations have come out establishing filtering respirators of N95 mask level protection as the standard everyone should be wearing in public and at work. 

Whether you just want to ensure your business can stay open and operational, or you are trying to protect yourself and your family, now is the time to be sure you have an adequate supply of these protective face coverings. 

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