CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship January 8, 2021


January 8, 2021

COVID-19 Hardship

January 8, 2021

The they-warned-us-and-we-didn’t-listen editionFor months, medical experts warned us that COVID-19 cases likely would spike in the winter. It is happening. 4,112 new COVID-19 deaths were reported in the U.S. on Thursday, January 7 alone – the first time deaths in a single day exceeded 4,000. The daily death toll in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania also set records. Illinois became the fifth state to record its one millionth case since the pandemic began. In Arizona, which right now has a higher infection rate than any other state in the U.S., hospitalizations and deaths set records in the past few days; the state has seen more than 8,000 new cases a day, more than double the summer peak.  

But, as a nation, are we paying attention? Are we listening to the experts? “Most Americans don’t want to know, don’t want to acknowledge, don’t want to recognize, and certainly – even as it is descending upon us – do not appear to understand the dire circumstances that we are facing,” Dr. Marjorie Bessel, Chief Clinical Officer at Arizona’s Banner Health, told The New York Times. 

Before the last Congress adjourned, it passed, as part of a COVID-19 relief package, $69 billion to purchase and help states distribute vaccines. The funds also will help states with COVID-19 contact tracing, treatment, and mitigation. The funds include $2.5 billion targeted toward communities of color and rural communities – both hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. When the new Administration is sworn in, scaling up the distribution and administration of the vaccines will be a priority in bringing the pandemic under control; to date, health officials have expressed disappointment at the pace of the vaccine roll-out.  



The number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed in the U.S. on Wednesday, January 6 alone. That’s an 8 percent increase over two weeks ago. Tweet this.


The number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in just two weeks. That is more cases than at least 19 entire states have reported during the course of the pandemic. Tweet this.


The number of jobs lost in December, one month after jobs increased by 336,000 in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tweet this.


Lost state and local government jobs in just one month (from November to December), bringing the total job loss in state/local govt. jobs (including educators) to 1.34 million since December 2019. Tweet this.


 Indigenous, Black, and Latinx Americans were at least 2.7 times more likely to have died from COVID-19 than white Americans, adjusted for age, in 2020. Tweet this.


1 in 800 

By early December, COVID-19 had taken the lives of 1 in 800 Black and Indigenous people in the U.S. In Michigan and New Jersey, it was 1 in 470 Black lives lost; in Mississippi, it was 1 in 140 Indigenous lives lost.




71 percent of Black Americans say they know someone who has been hospitalized or died from COVID-19, according to a Pew Research survey released in December.




The percent of Americans who say they will get a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the same survey. 42 percent of Blacks say they will do so, compared with 83 percent of Asian Americans, 63 percent of Latinx, and 61 percent of whites.


29.6 million 


The number of people in households that sometimes or often did not have enough to eat in the previous week, or 14 percent of all people in households. That was true of 24.5% of Blacks, 21% of Latinx, 10% of whites, and 7% of Asians – and 18% of adults in households with children. The numbers appeared to reflect a sharp increase from a previous reporting period in November.


89.7 million 


The number of people whose household found it somewhat or very difficult to meet usual expenses during the previous week, or 37.5 percent. That was true of 55% of Blacks, 51% of Latinx, 32% of Asians, and 31% of whites – and 45% of all adults living with children.