Living with Coronavirus
Sunday May 23, 2021
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
7-day average 594,358 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Global Dead 3,371,120 3,455,053
7-day average 11,990 deaths daily –DOWN
USA Infected 32,924,375 33,105,228
7-day average 25,836 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
USA C-19 deaths 585,708 589,703
7-day average 570 deaths daily –DOWN
Maine Infected 65,523 66,863
7-day average 191 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN
Maine deaths 801 819
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.