Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog



To-date, the United States (US) has had 9.49 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the death toll across the country has reached 233,767. Currently, the US is leading countries across the world in active COVID-19 cases. Globally, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports that there are 48.25 million confirmed cases of COVID-19; with India ranked second in total confirmed cases (8.36 million) and Brazil ranked third with 5.59 million total confirmed cases.

On Wednesday, the US reported 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day — the highest number of new cases recorded in a single day since the pandemic began. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID Data Tracker, Illinois is leading the country in COVID-19 cases in the past seven days, with a total of 48,579 new cases. Additionally, 23 states have documented more active cases in the past week than in any other week-long period prior — with Nebraska, Maine, Indiana, Minnesota, and Colorado also setting single-day case records on Wednesday, November 4. 

As cases continue to climb, applications for unemployment benefits have reached a historic high. The US Department of Labor (DOL) reported 751,000 citizens applied for unemployment in the past week, adding that 21.5 million people in total were still receiving some type of unemployment assistance. 

Additionally, approximately 56 million school-aged children resumed education programs in August and September, with many schools opting for online-only or hybrid programming with some online components. The CDC reported 277,285 COVID-19 cases in children between March and September — adolescents ages 12 to 17 accounting for almost double the number of cases than those ages five to 11. 

Unsplash: Thomas de Luze

Across Europe, countries have taken different measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. France has entered a second national lockdown, while Germany and the Netherlands have implemented partial lockdowns. Italy has scheduled sweeping new measures such as organizing the country into red, orange, and green zones – with red zones indicating the greatest level of infection and requiring shop closures. In the United Kingdom (UK), holiday traditions are showing signs of change as businesses organize virtual holiday gatherings for their employees. Additionally, British actor, James Bartlett, developed a website where young children can hold a Zoom call with Santa Claus before Christmas. 

In India, Union Territory (UT) Director of Health Services Amandeep Kaur Kang spoke with The Tribune India and cautioned about Diwali celebrations which could lead to a second COVID-19 surge in the country. 

Unsplash: SJ Objio

As the pandemic enters its eighth month, pharmaceutical companies rush to develop a vaccine. AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer signed on to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations’ COVID-19 Vaccine Maker Pledge in September. The pledge commits manufacturers to “high ethical and sound scientific principles,” as determined by regulatory agencies around the world. In mid-October, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for holds on vaccine trials at AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson due to “adverse reactions” and “unexplained illnesses,” respectively. As of October 27, clinical trials have resumed globally for both companies under guidance from the FDA.

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): Twitter

Hagerty Consulting’s Vice President of Healthcare and University Programs, Jeff Bokser, provided further guidance on COVID-19 preventative measures: 

“As COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country, hospitals are overwhelmed trying to create capacity to care for patients. We all play a role in protecting our own health to reduce the spread of the virus and the strain on our healthcare system by consistently doing the following:

  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible; 
  • Remain vigilant and keep physical distance from others; 
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and face; and 
  • Avoid gatherings and stay outdoors as much as possible. 

We are all feeling what is being called “COVID-19 fatigue” but following these measures will help get the virus under control, keep you and your families safe, and allow our communities and healthcare system to return to a sense of normalcy.” 

Additionally, the CDC and ready.gov have issued general guidance and best practices to limit the spread of germs and the virus. All households should utilize the following best practices to limit virus spread and transmission: 

  • Avoid contact with individuals who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19; 
  • Stay home when you are sick to protect others; 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; 
  • Wash your hands frequently and after leaving any public environment; 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; and 
  • Practice other good health habits, including managing sleep, getting physical exercise, managing stress, drinking fluids, and eating nutritious foods. 

Stay healthy and well this winter with Hagerty’s easy-to-use health and wellness checklist:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also issued COVID-19-specific guidance that is especially applicable to the upcoming holiday season. The following practices should be utilized when attending or hosting a small holiday or public gathering: Avoid the “3 Cs,” spaces that are closed, crowded, or involve close contact. 

The Hagerty Team will continue providing information and updates on current events and disasters impacting the nation. For more precautionary information and guidance, please visit the CDC or WHO website. 


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