CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship, June 3, 2022


June 3, 2022

COVID-19 HardshipJune 3, 2022

The our-nation-is-not-well edition. Omicron subvariants continue to surge throughout the country. The average number of new daily cases now exceeds 100,000 – a number we have not seen since February. Things could get worse. In California, two highly contagious subvariants that recently swept through South Africa have been detected. The newly discovered BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are more transmissible than the nation’s current dominant subvariants – BA.2 and BA.2.12.1.

Meanwhile, there is mounting evidence – three studies out in recent weeks – that suggest long Covid is going to be more of a longstanding issue than most people ever could have imagined. That will force us to devise new treatments and write new laws and regulations that protect people from workplace discrimination and allow them to receive disability benefits as well as the medical care they need. Long Covid will affect millions – probably tens of millions – of us.

There are other symptoms that demonstrate our country is not well.

We are a nation awash in guns – 120 guns for every 100 Americans, according to NBC News. We’ve experienced 19,000 gun deaths since 2019 – 53 a day. As of Uvalde, we’ve witnessed 27 school shootings this year. But that’s not all – since the children and teachers died in Uvalde, there have been another 20 mass shootings, killing 18, including 5 dead in Tulsa on June 1, and injuring 88.

We are a nation plagued by addiction and deaths from drug overdoses. The rise in overdose fatalities rose sharply from 2019 to 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

Finally, we are a nation reeling from a mental health crisis, particularly a youth mental health crisis.  Close to two-thirds of 18-24 year-olds report anxiety or depression symptoms. Nearly 20 percent of high school students report serious thoughts of suicide and 9 percent have attempted to take their lives, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Among girls ages 12 to 17, there was a 51 percent rise in suspected suicide attempts from Feb. 21 to March 20, compared to the same time period in 2019.

Through all of this, Congress has not even mustered the will to pass a COVID-19 relief package, meaning it will be increasingly difficult to pay for things like vaccines, testing, and treatment. Write your Senators today. And pundits say Congress won’t restrict the sale of assault weapons – tell them they should.



63% of young adults (age 18-24) reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in June, 2020; the proportion rising since before the pandemic. More than one in four said they had seriously considered suicide. Tweet this.


-$211 million

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called last week’s school massacre in Uvalde a “mental health” issue. But in April, he cut $211 million from the department that overseas Texas’ mental health programs. Texas ranks last among all 50 states and Washington, D.C. for overall access to mental health care. Tweet this.


Almost 25 million


Almost 25 million Americans may have experienced neurological issues, cognitive difficulties, breathing problems, and organ damage associated with long Covid. Tweet this.




A new study of 33,940 people who experienced breakthrough COVID-19 infections after being fully vaccinated shows that vaccinations only slightly reduce the risk of getting long Covid. People fully vaccinated were 15 percent less likely to come down with long-term symptoms. Tweet this.


1 in 5

One in five adult COVID-19 survivors under the age of 65 in the U.S. has experienced at least one health condition that could be considered long Covid, according to a large new study by the CDC. Among patients 65 and older, the number is even higher – one in four. Tweet this.




COVID hospitalizations for age 70+ rose from 5.4 per 100,000 on April 1 to 9.1 per 100k on June 1, a 68% increase.  Hospitalizations for all ages rose 44%. 


2-3 times more likely 

Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people are 3.1 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than non-Hispanic Whites. Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic people are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized than non-Hispanic Whites.


More than 100,000 

By late May, the U.S. was averaging more than 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day for the first time since February. Hospitalizations were up 28 percent over the past two weeks.



Nationwide, at least 103,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2021, a 45 percent increase from 2019, according to data from the CDC. About seven out of every ten of those deaths were from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl.


30% higher 

Overdose deaths are disproportionately affecting Native Americans, who have less access to health care resources. The overdose rate among Indigenous people was the highest of all racial groups in the first year of the pandemic and was 30 percent higher than the rate among White people.





COVID-19 Watch