cdcoct2021covidcasesreported-300x154As the summer’s deadly Delta variant surge slowly seems to be receding, questions are rising anew as to what further harms the coronavirus pandemic may inflict on a nation that already has suffered greatly.

The infection still is creating major problems in Alaska, as well as parts of the West and Upper Midwest, notably Minnesota. There, hospitals and health care systems are struggling to care for not only their regular populations of patients but also big numbers of unvaccinated patients requiring intensive treatment for Covid-19.

An unacceptable 1,700 Americans still are dying on average each day from the virus, even as medical scientists and doctors now can muster a growing arsenal to prevent and battle the illness — with free, widely available vaccinations, new monoclonal antibody therapies, and public health measures like face covering, distancing, testing, and quarantines.