Anti-mandate trucker convoy descends upon D.C., death toll approaches 6 million, and more COVID news

Here’s a summary of COVID-19 news for today, March 6.

A group of anti-COVID-19-mandate truckers circle Washington, D.C.

A large group of truck drivers who object to COVID-19 mandates drove two loops around the beltway surrounding Washington, Sunday, deliberately moving slowly to impact traffic and make their feelings known to lawmakers in the nation’s capitol.

People crowded onto overpasses, waving at the “People’s Convoy” and holding signs and American flags. Within the convoy, there were tractor-trailers with horns blaring and some recreational vehicles and pickup trucks occasionally going by, mixed with the normal traffic on Interstate 495 in Silver Springs, Maryland.

The convoy was moving normally — albeit slowly — and while some congestion was noted, news outlets reported traffic was able to flow around the convoy. 

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Worldwide COVID death toll closes in on 6 million

The official global death toll from COVID-19 is on the verge of eclipsing 6 million — underscoring that the pandemic, now entering its third year, is far from over.

The milestone is the latest tragic reminder of the unrelenting nature of the pandemic even as people are shedding masks, travel is resuming and businesses are reopening around the globe. The death toll, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, stood at 5,997,994 as of Sunday afternoon.

Remote Pacific islands, whose isolation had protected them for more than two years, are just now grappling with their first outbreaks and deaths, fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.

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“Near normal” for the spring and summer?

While the pandemic is not over, experts say the US may be in for, at the very least, a “near normal” spring and summer, based on new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

“I think the move from pandemic to endemic appears to be accelerating,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the division of infectious disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

According to the CDC’s updated data on Covid-19 community levels, the number of counties with “high” Covid-19 levels dropped from about 1,200 on February 24 to 472 on March 3.

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