As numbers of Covid-19 cases decline, Experts Mark a Spike in Eating Disorders

In a spot of good news, the U.S. recorded the lowest rate of new Covid-19 infections in 11 months. The decline can be attributed to the massive vaccination drive across states which has prevented severe cases as well as checked the spread of the virus.

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Last week, the number of hospitalizations due to a Covid-19 infection and the number of Covid-19 deaths both declined. After the CDC said that vaccinated adults could gather unmasked in indoor and outdoor spaces, states that still had pandemic-related restrictions in place eased them. Crowds returned to the White House and a Mardi Gras-style parade made its way joyfully through Mobile, Alabama. New cases dropped to below 30,000 per day and the average number of deaths during the last seven days dropped to 552. However, some health experts believe that the pandemic is not over and warn that we must be vigilant about new strains.

While numbers have been declining, we still have to contend with the devastating costs of the pandemic. According to health experts, there has been a spike in the number of people diagnosed with eating disorders since 2020. This has no doubt been brought on by the many months of isolation and anxiety wrought by the pandemic. In a normal year, eating disorders are the cause of about 10,000 deaths a year in the US. That number is likely going to rise. Jennifer Wildes, the director of an outpatient eating disorders program at the University of Chicago Medicine said that patients now have to wait up to five months for treatment or medication. This is four times the wait time in a non-pandemic year. Meanwhile, medical records collated from over 80 U.S hospitals showed that there was a 30 percent increase in eating disorder diagnoses after March 2020.