I will start with the good news. The globe is beginning to trend down, that is the rate of new infections has been less for two weeks now. Granted it is still way too high, but it seems like we peaked globally. It could just be the end of the fall/winter holiday peak, but it may be THE peak, let me tell you why.
It’s the math. Here in the USA, we have 27 million diagnosed cases. We also know that C-19 is 50% asymptomatic which means we have seen about half or less of the cases, so we can safely double that number to 54 million exposures. Exposures being 54 million or so people who have or had C-19 and either got sick or never even knew they had it. Both groups would have some antibodies against it, how much is still a matter of conjecture and needs research.
Now we also have 34 million people vaccinated once, and 11 million of those are full vaccinations. The CDC records this as 50.6 million vaccinations and that starts with the most at risk, the elderly with underlying co-morbidity conditions, health and front-line workers like EMT’s and police. So roughly 50 million exposed by virus and another 50 million or so exposed via vaccination, or close to one third of the USA’s overall population now have some type of antibody to C-19.
Thus, one in three people have some resistance and that, combined with distancing and masks, is forcing the trend line down, really down, for the first time. Not a wobble but an actual global trend down. That is very good news in black winter, to be trending down when we fully expected for the trend to continue up is great news.
However, like with everything Covid, there is a fly in the ointment. Both the UK and Brazilian variants are more contagious and will likely hold that downward trend flat. So that the top of the hill is a plateau trending slightly downward. The South African variant is unaffected by the AstraZeneca vaccine, so much so that South Africa stopped using it. The South African strain can also re-infect those who have had the original and new variants. That strain is already stateside, loose in our population.
To me all this adds up to the halfway point, we are halfway to bringing this under control. We are beginning to get a grip on the bug, bug the bug is mutating rapidly. So, we need to keep up the pressure now, remain vigilant, remain masked, and get vaccinated as soon as you are able. Less spread means less chance for C-19 to mutate.
We also need to grasp the reality that C-19 is now endemic, and a rapid mutagen. We will need a vaccine every year like the flu and it will be here forever. Public masking may become a new normal not just during the pandemic, but as a standard precaution, perhaps for years. Many people will be resistant to that and to annual vaccinations. Resistant to a change in reality they do not like or want. The Virus won’t ever care so our desires to have things as they used to be and how we act upon that desire, will play a vital role in how we go forward.
Then there was the 2nd impeachment of POTUS Trump, now in the history books as the only POTUS impeached twice. Only a handful of GOP members were willing to convict, despite ample evidence that the entire thing was a Trump brand creation, and so the Senate acquitted him, again. Trump still gets high marks from many Republicans in polls so many are afraid to cross him, to risk being challenged in the GOP primaries by someone Trump funds and supports. Thus they voted that it was unconstitutional, ignoring the Senate vote at the beginning of the impeachment which concluded it was a proper impeachment. Most GOP refused to even comment on the actual issue; an insurrectionist mob out for blood which Donald Trump created, invited, stoked with angst for months before hand, and then lit a fire under the day of the Electoral confirmation. In the mainstream GOP view, since he did not say “Go burn down the Capitol” he was not guilty.
The lack of integrity of this position is mind-blowing, and a result of the media bubbles people exist in. I also expect it is a death knell for the GOP which will retain Trumpets and lose conservatives, especially moderate conservatives. The GOP has now become an Alt-Right party, farther right than ever in my life and akin to the early Nazi Party. A new Christo-Fascist Party screaming about how victimized they are, that their free speech is restricted while broadcasting on their own TV stations and shows. The hypocrisy is sickening and I fear more violence in the future.
I am an independent and have a purple voting record, but the Trump presidency and actions of the GOP, including the lack of action on impeachment, twice, lack of action on the virus for a year, 2 trillion in tax breaks for billionaires and balking at 2 trillion for the rest of the nation, kowtowing to despots and dictators, has forced me into a “Blue no matter who” mode. I will be forced to vote against the GOP for the foreseeable future, likely for the rest of my life.
The GOP fears that turning against Trump will lose them primaries. They are being very shortsighted; a politician can win all the primaries in the world but also needs to win the general election. By forcing me into a “blue no matter who” mode they can never get my vote again. I am sure I am not alone; the world saw with their own eyes a Trump mob beating police with American flags, that is now the GOP’s image. I expect the GOP to wither and die over the next few elections unless the Dems feel so empowered that try to ram through the most progressive platform you can dream up. That won’t happen with a moderate like Biden at the helm.
I am disgusted by the GOP, which I now see as the Party of Cop killers. A revolutionary right-wing Christo-fascist party, and so do a lot of conservatives. They are even talking about creating their own party as Trump himself threatened. They all know that both of those parties would lose general elections to Dems by splitting the Conservative voting block between moderate and extremist, so none want that. Fear of loss of power has made them choose either integrity or power, they choose power even if it comes in a Christo-Fascist package. Those with actual integrity will leave the party or start a new moderate conservative party.
I await the criminal trials of Donald Trump. His own lawyer in the impeachment brought up that reality saying “he is now just a citizen and so he should just be arrested if some prosecutor thinks he is guilty”. Were Trump to be convicted and jailed it might nip this Christo-Fascist uprising in the bud. Already many who were die hard fans realize he used them as pawns on Jan 6, and he won’t go to jail for it, they will. As these cases go forward in the news and social media cycles my hope is more and more people will realize they were sold a lemon by an unscrupulous used car salesman they mistook for an actual POTUS.
Several already are, on several different fronts, in several states; but I hope someone investigates and charges over the Jan 6 insurrection/riot. To not hold him accountable for his actions on that insurrection is to encourage him, or someone like him, to do it again. They have arrested hundreds who acted that day and they all claim they were there at President Trump’s request, that they were following his orders. Those cases will create a huge database of evidentiary materials which could be used against Trump in an actual court, not the political court called impeachment.
On the numbers this week, a caveat. I said we are on a down sloping plateau which may well be THE peak, and it may be. I omitted the very harsh reality that it is a horrid peak of a 9-11 event, every day, of every week, and we are trending down from that. We still lose more than three thousand people per day from C-19 and must remain vigilant, distanced, and masked; and most importantly, get vaccinated ASAP.
Global Infected 105,852,770 108,610,510
Down by 431,143
7-day average 393,962 infections diagnosed daily
Down by 61,592
USA Infected 26,919,361 27,576,340
Down by 186,354
7-day average 93,854 infections diagnosed daily
Down by 26,892
USA C-19 deaths 462,181 484,250
Down by 576
7-day average 3,152 deaths daily
Down by 83
Maine Infected 41,064 42,219
Down by 741
7-day average 165 infections diagnosed daily
Down by 105
Maine deaths 634 647
Down by 31
7-day average 1.857 deaths daily
Down by 4.4287
While I hid out in my hilltop hideaway home 84,228 more humans died of C-19, of those 22,069 were my fellow Americans, and of those 11 were my fellow Mainers. Happy Valentine’s Day.