After 8 months, I updated this page last week, and by the next day, I wanted to rewrite it to bring out some points I had realized needed more explanation. And since then, things have moved on even more.
New infections per day about 140,000 - which is about 47 per 100,000 population.
|Week||New Cases||Infectious||In Hosp||In ICU||Dead/Week||New/100K|
We were doing so well until mid-July.
For comparison, here are the numbers from last December:
|Week||New Cases||Infectious||In Hosp||Dead/Week||New/100K|
While we have more sick people, the number of deaths has not gone up. This will change very quickly, if we do not have ICU beds.
So be very careful, just like last winter. Wear a mask if you are within 6 feet of people who do not live with you.
So what happened? This annotated graph gives one read.
But my understanding is this: With 65-70% of the population vaccinated, we had achieved an amount of herd immunity, where outbreaks would die down and not grow and spread. But then the Delta variant of the virus took over, which was twice as infectious. Where 65-70% vaccination rates (i.e. 30-35% unvaccinated) was enough for the "old" virus, 83-85% (i.e. 15-17% unvaccinated) would be required to achieve the same stability, and we just do not have that, so long as we cannot vaccinate young children. We can mitigate this by distancing and mask-wearing, but if we do not do that, we see the curve rising rapidly.
Locally, new cases have dropped very slightly, but hospitalizations and ICU occupancy is still creeping up.
In "red" states with low vaccination rates (Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida) hospitals are beginning to saturate. A number of republican governors have banned the local health departments and school districts from requiring masks, so it will be very hard to reverse the trend. And there are reports that the nurses in these states are burning out and recruiting to replace them is a very uphill batle.
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