Countries Face Different Stages of Pandemic

Cassi Reaka, Editor-in-Chief

It seems as though everywhere in the world is at a different stage of the pandemic as April approaches. As the United States is rolling out vaccines at an ever-increasing rate, Europe is in its third shutdown and struggling with its own vaccine distribution and Australia has essentially returned to normal life. 

The Biden administration has exceeded its goal of 100 million doses in 100 days on day 58. President Joe Biden has increased his goal to 200 million doses by his 100th day according to US News. If vaccines continue at the current rate of about 2.5 million per day, he would exceed this goal by 500,000 doses. 

Forty out of 100 U.S. citizens have had at least one dose of the vaccine, putting the U.S. ninth in the world for vaccination doses per 100 citizens. Israel is number one currently with 111 doses per 100 citizens, according to the New York Times. 

Gov. Pritzker announced on Thursday, March 18, that beginning April 12, all Illinois residents 16 and older that do not live in Chicago will be eligible to get the vaccine, according to NBC Chicago. This is ahead of President Biden’s initial deadline of May 1 to make everyone eligible.

Chicago will not be able to expand eligibility yet because of low vaccine supply. 

Spring break has brought a huge number of young people to Florida’s beaches even as they are encouraged to continue staying home. More than 1050 arrests have been made by the Miami Beach Police Department over the past six weeks, according to USA Today.

On March 15, police shot pepper balls into a crowd to disperse patrons. Public health experts are worried that these large gatherings will cause another spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Many European countries are in their third shutdown of the pandemic because of a third wave of cases, according to The Guardian. This increase in cases came after a decision to pause distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine and an increase in cases of the UK variant of the virus which spreads 34-40% faster and now represents 54% of total cases in Italy.

Meanwhile, Australians have mostly returned to pre-pandemic life despite low vaccine numbers. Australian case numbers never rose above 1000 cases despite the country having a population of over 25 million, according to Forbes.

Australia has the advantage of being an isolated country, but strong enforcement of thorough testing, contact tracing and quarantining has helped its citizens to return to the life the rest of the world is longing for.