Startling COVID report: Five things to know

J. Harris: Read it and weep — from the Longview paper.


1. Americans didn’t avoid travel over holiday,

”…Daily infections reported were … higher than last year, with 316 percent more new daily COVID-19 cases reported on Labor Day this year compared to 2020, according to Baltimore… Daily virus deaths were almost twice as high, and hospitalizations were up 158 percent compared to the same time in 2020…”.

2. CDC: Child COVID-19 hospitalizations 10X higher for unvaccinated

”…The hospitalization rate among unvaccinated adolescents aged 12-17 was 10 times higher compared to those who were fully vaccinated…”

(J. Harris: Short article with 6 good points.)

3. LA reports 167 cases of new ‘mu’ variant — 8 updates

”…California had reported 399 cases of the strain as of Sept. 6, the highest in the country…The strain still accounts for less than 1 percent of samples sequenced in the state…Current evidence suggests the strain is likely “more transmissible,” according to Paul Cardenas, MD, PhD, an infectious disease and genomics expert in Ecuador who is studying the virus. Mu has “been able to outcompete gamma and alpha in most parts of Ecuador and Colombia,…”


1. Covid-19: Malaysia Hit by Record Cases Despite Prolonged Lockdown (BMJ) On 23 May 2021, Malaysia surged past India to record one of South East Asia’s highest covid-19 infection rates, with deaths per capita now exceeding India and neighbouring Indonesia. Since then, the numbers have only grown, despite the nation being in a state of emergency for seven months and in lockdown since June. Malaysia reported a record high of 22 242 daily cases on 18 August 2021, with a total of 1.47 million cases and 13 302 deaths during the pandemic. Doctors in east Malaysia and the southern state of Johor told The BMJ that emergency departments are seeing a surge in cases and have reached maximum capacity. The situation has been worsened by insufficient ventilators and staff. Musa Mohd Nordin, paediatrician and resident doctor in KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital, told The BMJ that patient-facing staff are “overstretched and overworked” and have “reported physical, occupational, psychological, and socially negative impacts.”

(J. Harris: In May, most of these cases were various variants. Now the new cases are primarily Delta according to various Malaysia sequencing reports.)

2. US HOSPITAL BURDEN Across the US, hospitals are straining under the volume of COVID-19 patients, and several states are nearly out of ICU beds. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Texas have less than 10% of their ICU beds available. Georgia hospitals have topped their January highs on some days, and adult ventilator use has far outpaced the previous high. A US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)


What the Sturgis rally shows us about the delta variant (and Twits)

 By Ashish K. Jha

Ashish K. Jha is a physician, health policy researcher and the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.


I  ”…The annual Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota is America’s largest bike rally, a 10-day blowout, with attendance this year exceeding 250,000.If it [the 2021 Sturgis Rally] had gone off without big spikes in covid cases, it would have provided strong evidence that this level of population immunity — around 75 percent [in SD] — would allow us to get back to the way we did things in 2019. But unfortunately, that’s not what happened. In the weeks since the rally began in early August [2021], infection numbers have shot up more than 600 percent in South Dakota. We can expect to see big increases in other states, too, since bikers returned home from the event. Last year, after Sturgis, we saw massive outbreaks across the Dakotas, Wyoming, Indiana, even Nevada. Much of the region was aflame because of Sturgis, probably causing thousands of deaths...[attendance each August in Sturgis is usually over 400,000 people as it was in 2020]

II  [In contrast] ”… what happened in Provincetown, Mass., over the July 4 weekend. Provincetown unfortunately also led to a spike in cases — but the infection numbers peaked quickly, dwindled and were gone three weeks later. There were very few hospitalizations and no deaths. Why? Because most of the people in Provincetown were vaccinated. That may be an indicator that population immunity from vaccinations is better and more protective than immunity from infections…”

III. ”Consider also this summer’s Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. All those attending were required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. Anyone unvaccinated was required to wear masks throughout, even though the festival was outdoors. And those attending were asked to accept a “Lollapalooza Fan Health Pledge” promising they had not tested positive or been exposed to covid within two weeks or experienced any covid symptoms within 48 hours. The result? Of the hundreds of thousands of fans who attended the festival, only a few hundred have subsequently tested positive — and it is unclear whether any of them were infected at Lollapalooza.”

”Over the past year, every time we have tried to defy the virus by scorning precautions, the virus has won, and people have suffered and died: significant outbreaks, a lot of hospitalizations, too many deaths. Large gatherings like rallies, festivals and fairs are the biggest test of what our society can do in a pandemic….It’s important for Americans to find ways to come together. So we should ask how we can make gatherings safer…Here, the pandemic playbook is straightforward: Ensure you have a highly vaccinated population. Verify people’s vaccination status. Require rapid and frequent testing, especially for the unvaccinated. Improve indoor air quality, and use masking intermittently when needed.

None of these are difficult to achieve. And none of them should be particularly inconvenient. If we do all that, we can safely get back to the things we love and the events that bring us together, like music festivals, concerts and motorcycle rallies.

Resolution on Continued COVID Prevention by the NET Health Board of Directors (September 2nd 2021) (J.Harris: Our neighboring medical authorities are ahead of us, again.  It is worth reading the “whereas’. ”)


(J. Harris: Thank you, Dr. Allman)


As I watch this new generation try to rewrite our history, one thing I’m sure of … it will be misspelled and have no punctuation.

Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves.


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