Down, but not out

Living with Coronavirus
Sunday May 23, 2021
7:42 AM

Things are looking better; numbers are down globally, 1,651,267,480 humans have been vaccinated, and we continue to make good forward progress despite the naysayers among us who are unwilling to do their part.  C-19 is down, but not out.  Far from out in fact, not even stunned.  In boxing and MMA, it is a standard that you are not really in a fight until after you get hit.  C-19 took a hit, but took it like a champ.  This virus does not have a glass jaw.

The 1918 pandemic had a death total of 20-50 million, without modern medicine or knowledge.  It came in four waves and lasted for two years.  Think about the vast differences between 1918 and now, more than a century later.  We are now just over 1 year in and have 3.4 million deaths.  This makes it seem as though we are doing much better.  The world as a whole is, be we Americans are number 1 in deaths despite all our advantages.

America               595,101 deaths with a population of 331,379,847

Brazil                     448,291 deaths with a population of 213,881,340

India                     295,525 deaths with a population of 1,369,699,147          

Mexico                 221,597 deaths with a population of 130,120,328              

UK                        127,721 deaths with a population of 67,886,011

Italy                      125,028 deaths with a population of 60,367,477

Russia                   118,482 deaths with a population of 145,912,025              

France                  108,466 deaths with a population of 65,400,451

Germany             87,960 deaths with a population of 84,019,328

Columbia             84,228 deaths with a population of 51,340,559

So, we are number 1, in our failure to meet the challenges of a pandemic.  That failure is tabulated in blood and death.  That is the legacy of the GOP/Trump party.  The GOP is now lying repeatedly to their base about the events of the January 6 insurrection, an attempted seditious coup de ta.  They refuse to work to find out the cause of the riot/insurrection. A Coup de ta is what was attempted, an attempt to stop the constitutional process of counting the votes.

Multiple recounts and numerous lawsuits found no evidence of fraud.  Trump’s own guy in charge of cyber security said it was the most secure election ever, and even AG Barr said there is nothing to see, no evidence of widespread fraud.  Yet Trump continues to repeat the lie and is not held accountable for it.  This lack of accountability has allowed him to use far right platforms to continue to lie about the election leading many rank and file GOP members to believe him.  These far-right media outlets have created a schism in America.  Whereas we have been staunchly divided on many issues, these outlets for propaganda are actively misleading millions of the GOP base. 

All of this political pandering and posturing allows our nation to be only 1/3 vaccinated, with another 10-15% in the process of full vaccination, and the remainder choosing not to be vaccinated due to misinformation and propaganda.  This leaves a pocket in our population for the virus to infect and reproduce, with enough reproduction mutations will occur and with enough mutations viable variants will continue to appear.

The CDC changed its mask mandates in response to the reality on the ground of many being unwilling to be vaccinated.  The new standard is simple, if you are vaccinated and with other vaccinated peoples, you can lose the masks and distancing.  You can be ‘normal’ again amongst fully vaccinated people.  If however you do not know the status of others, or your in a truly public environ, shopping and so forth, then it would be wise to mask and distance.

This is to prevent spread.  Even vaccinated you might get it and never know as the vaccine does not prevent infection, but rather prevents the worst outcomes of the disease. It is completely feasible that you might get it, never know, and then spread it to your loved ones who may not be so well protected.

Apparently even these simple instructions confuse a large swath of Americans, making me once again furious with the state of our educational systems.  So, in short, get vaccinated.  Then you can behave as you used to with your vaccinated friends and family.  In public, vaccinated or not, follow masking and distancing to prevent spread and therefore reduce future mutations.

Coronavirus (C-19), will continue to thrive and spread, perhaps for many years, in the unprotected pockets of the planet.  Only now is it getting to the most rural areas.  Areas which lack medical infrastructure like hospitals.  I fear we will be counting the dead for a long while still. The problem going forward will be the high rate of background endemic Covid-19. We may fall out of the “pandemic’ definition as more and more become vaccinated. Since it is no longer spreading, but spread, there will come a point when the disease level gets low enough, to declare we are no longer in a pandemic, but instead have endemic Covid-19. I do not expect any such declaration by the WHO anytime soon.

The numbers themselves are down all over, with persistent new hot spots elevated.  Maine suffered a slight bloom this week and is an example of what I think the future will be like.  Good here today, this week, this month, then wham, a new bloom.  We can relax when its good, but need to remain prepared to return to more stringent protocols as the need arises.

Global Infected      162,588,032                   166,748,542                       
Increase             4,160,510
7-day average        594,358 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN

Global Dead          3,371,120                          3,455,053
Increase             83,933
7-day average        11,990 deaths daily –DOWN

USA Infected         32,924,375                       33,105,228
Increase             180,853
7-day average        25,836 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN

USA C-19 deaths      585,708                                         589,703
Increase             3,995
7-day average        570 deaths daily –DOWN

Maine Infected       65,523                                             66,863  
Increase             1,340
7-day average        191 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN

Maine deaths         801                                    819
Increase             18
7-day average        2.5714 deaths daily –UP

As I sat in my hilltop retreat another 83,933 of my fellow humans succumbed to C-19, of those 3,995 were my fellow Americans and 18 were my fellow Mainers.

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