COVID has clearly spread rapidly this summer. Cases are averaging almost 150,000 per day, a level that was first reached late last fall. We left those levels behind in early February, we thought for good, but the virus waxes and the virus wanes. The virus is gonna do what it is gonna do despite the best laid plans of mice and men.
I can’t make promises of what exactly comes next, but we can say a few good things at this point:
- We appear to have hit another peak in the cycle. The case curve has flattened and is, in fact, heading down in some states already. Cases should soon be declining again for the country as a whole; we’ll see how much they drop this time.
- As delta spreads, more are getting vaccinated. This is especially true in states which had low vaccination rates going into the summer. For example, vaccinations have sky-rocketed in Arkansas and Louisiana, two states that have felt the delta sting the most. We don’t need vaccine mandates to raise the rate!
- More than 73% of all adults have received at least one dose, that’s almost 3 of out 4 adults. The vaccination rates fell as virus went into remission earlier this year, but the rate is back up to almost 1 million per day as the virus has re-emerged..
- Overall, more than 51% of all Americans have been fully vaccinated. Given that a large percentage of the population (12 and under) are not even eligible, this is a pretty good rate.
- Kids are going back to school now, so the chance of spreading COVID increases with kids crammed into classrooms. However, a fifth of the population is under 18, and as of this week, they account for only 360 COVID of almost 650,000 U.S. COVID deaths, meaning that 99.5% of all COVID deaths are for adults. Kids are at more risk from flu, pneumonia, car accidents, child abuse, suicide, homicide (in certain parts of the country) and so much more, yet, so many among us, including my kids’ school and our school board, appear terrified to let the kids spread this disease. Letting the virus spread among those not at risk, may actually be the best way to reach herd immunity and save more lives in the long run. When we let fear and emotion drive our thinking, we often get counter-productive results while we stretch out the pain (i.e. we, widen the curve).
- Last November, when the case count first rose to this level, the death count was about 50% higher than it is now. So, we should conclude that the vaccine is having an impact at tamping down deaths, not as much as it did in the UK earlier this summer, but then the U.K.’s vaccination rates were a little bit higher than ours are at the moment.
- Further evidence that the vaccines are having an impact can be seen in the chart below. The key stats are in the fourth and sixth columns, especially column four. Eleven states have 59% or more of their residents vaccinated. These states continue to have the fewest deaths and fewest cases per capita, although deaths and cases have risen in all states. The distinction among the groups is clear when we get to those states in the last two rows (below 47% fully vaccinated); we see the death rate rise significantly as we fall below this threshold. Deaths are 5 times higher for states in the bottom tier (5.64 per 1 million) as they are for states in the top tier (1.15 per 1 million).
|Tier (groups of 10 states, from highest to lowest vax’d)||Total Population||Total Deaths||Death/1M||Total Cases||cases/1M|
|First 11 – 59%+||58,938,216||68||1.15||13975||237.11|
|2nd 10 – 54-59%||85,383,655||114||1.34||25273||295.99|
|3rd 10 – 47-53%||76,459,356||132||1.73||36704||480.05|
|4th 10 42-47%||69,545,734||226||3.25||36385||523.18|
|5th 10 36-41%||37,912,562||214||5.64||28377||748.49|
Florida was one state to watch. Florida was hit pretty hard this summer, reaching new peaks in cases and triple digit death rates, but Florida has weathered the storm; cases are falling and deaths have plummeted while vaccination rates have continue to rise.
Look at the tail end of these two charts. Clearly, things are looking up in Florida, and hopefully for the other states soon.
So, What Comes Next?
Kids are back in school and life is more than normal than it was for them a year ago. We are headed into the cold and flu (and COVID) season in the next month or so. We have had nine months to vax ourselves up and we’re doing about as well as could be expected, in my opinion. We should be ready for what comes next. Now is the time for the vaccines to shine. If the vaccines hold up as we head into the Fall and Winter and we don’t need endless booster shots, then all this bodes well for us. If, on the other hand, the vaccines are not so long-lasting and everyone needs more and more booster shots, then we may have to rely on the old-fashioned way of reaching herd immunity (i.e. let the virus spread and rely on natural immunity).
Need I also remind everyone again about Sweden who beat this the old fashioned way through natural immunity while eschewing mask mandates, lockdowns, and forced vaccinations? Throughout July and August, while COVID deaths have been on the rise world-wide, Sweden has had 21 COVID deaths. Compare Sweden to North Carolina and Michigan, all with about 10 million residents and similar population densities. Michigan has twenty times more COVID deaths than Sweden over the same period and North Carolina 30 times more. We are currently holding back the virus through a combination of vaccines and natural immunity. Sweden appears to have hit the sweet spot sooner than us; let’s hope we will find that sweet spot as well as 2021 comes to a close.
We can also say that neither vaccines nor masks are doing much to slow the spread of the virus, but we have limited the impact of the virus. The case for vaccines is still being made and I think we should be hopeful. How much longer can they sustain us? In my last post on this topic, I reported Dr. Robert Malone is saying Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may last only six months before a second booster is needed. The CDC is also now recommending a second booster after eight months: https://www.cnet.com/news/us-to-start-offering-booster-shot-for-covid-19-vaccines-in-september/
Keep Things in Perspective
So, while I really don’t know what’s next, I remain hopeful and I want to continue pass along hope to those of you reading. Eventually, we will get beyond all this madness to some low level of disease, whether through mass vaccinations or the virus infecting enough people and burning itself out. Take appropriate precautions, but live your life to the fullest. In my last post (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/08/20/what-is-freedom/), I quoted the New South Wales Minister who said this:
“Whilst it’s human nature to engage in conversation with others — to be friendly — unfortunately this is not the time to do that,” Chant said.
“So even if you run into your next-door neighbor in the shopping center … don’t start up a conversation. Now is the time for minimizing your interactions with others. Even if you’ve got a mask, do not think that affords total protection. We want to be absolutely sure that as we go about our daily lives we do not come into contact with anyone else that would pose a risk.”
For God’s sake, please do not listen to folks like this. She is even worse than our own Dr. Anthony Fauci. And please don’t be like this poor slob who doesn’t realize how life is passing him by:
I refer you back to a post of mine from March in which I highlighted comments from Father Gabriel Lavery regarding how we have ruined lives in the name of compassion: https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/03/21/covid-what-have-we-done/.
What was said back then is still true today. The world has gone mad. Take the advice of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
I think I may have also said the following in an earlier post, but this advice also bears repeating. We will never eliminate all risk in our lives. We may never completely eliminate the risk of COVID, just as we have never eliminated the risk of the flu or so many other deadly diseases, just as we have never eliminated the risk from highway or air travel, or the risk from natural disasters, or the risk from so many other experiences of life. Why do we treat this virus differently from all other risks? Why do we listen to the panic peddlers who want to manipulate our thinking on this?
Our politicians have imposed countless measures that have diminished or ruined lives in order to save our lives; our media has supported them and hyped the panic as well. Basically, they have destroyed lives in order to save lives. Does this really make sense? Let’s tell them no more. You run the country, protect us from the bad guys, and the rest of us will live our lives as we see fit, not as you would have us live our lives. You can’t do your jobs properly, so why we do trust your advice on how to run our lives? As long as we follow the rules for a civil society, stay the hell out of our way.