The Pandemic is not over

Living with Coronavirus
Sunday June 13, 2021

7:59 AM

This Pandemic is not over.  Here in the US with many vaccinated the infection rate and it’s resulting hospitalizations and deaths have dropped consistently.  It leaves the US with a high background level of infection but not a growing one.  I fear we are getting a false impression of the Pandemic by living in our American bubble.

Here in the states most mask mandates are gone, stores are open and no longer require masks and people seem to be more than ready to “get back to normal”.  We have 60% of the adult population vaccinated but the other 40% are resistant.  This remnant does not trust science and do not trust our government.   Many of the resistant think of themselves as “patriots”.  They see masks as a government overreach and attempt at control, many even think it is a political hoax, or a designed conspiracy to magnetize the population or place tracking chips in the population.  They see refusing the mask as a statement of their patriotism when it is actually a basic medical protocol.

These self-described so-called “patriots” have created a pool of unvaccinated for the virus to move into, reproduce, and spread.  Over time it will mutate again and again.  It is the polar opposite of patriotism to allow the enemy sanctuary, and that is what those unwilling to vaccinate are doing, creating safe havens for the virus. 

The Alpha (UK) strain and the Delta (Indian) strain are both present in America.  The Alpha strain is 50-60% more contagious, the Delta Strain is even more infectious than that and more lethal.  It also has patients who had been vaccinated or had survived an exposure to C-19.  Not many vaccinated victims, but some, indicates the antibodies from an infection or a vaccine for some people are not enough protection from the Delta strain.  Some people do not react well to the vaccine and do not produce enough antibodies to prevent an exposure from the Delta strain from becoming an infection.

Here in the states many seem to think the Pandemic is over and things are going back to normal.  This is not true as a pandemic is global and the virus is still exploding in various places.  The UK is considering another lockdown because the Delta strain is becoming the dominant strain there.  The P.M., Boris Johnson, is considering another lockdown if the rates keep climbing there as they have been.  India is even worse.

In India the virus has reached the rural areas, places with little or no medical facilities.  Places with a critical lack of O2 and the means to deliver O2 to needy patients.  Graves of the recent dead line the banks of the Ganges for mile after mile.  Most of these are direct Covid deaths, but unrecorded as such because the dead people never had access to a doctor for diagnosis.  These deaths and many others are not counted as Covid deaths resulting in a vast undercount globally.

I have said many times that we assess the damage of a pandemic in hindsight.  In real time we are too busy keeping ourselves and others alive.  We are so busy with the real time infections we will miss folks who die but were not covid diagnosed, for whom Covid-19 was the straw the broke their back. The pandemic is not over, this wave has passed us. There have been more deaths from Covid in 2021, than in all of 2020.  Think about that, we are only 6 months into 2021 and already the death total for Covid 19 exceeds 2020’s.

“More people worldwide have died of COVID-19 so far this year than during all of last year, according to data tallied by Johns Hopkins University. So far, 3.77 million deaths have been reported since the pandemic began — with 1.89 million reported in 2021 exceeding the 1.88 million deaths counted as of December 31, 2020.”

“Globally, COVID-19 has caused approximately 6.9 million deaths, more than double what official numbers show, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine. IHME found that COVID-19 deaths are significantly underreported in almost every country. The updated analysis shows that the United States has had more COVID-19 deaths to-date than any other country, a total of more than 905,000. By region, Latin America and the Caribbean and Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia were hardest hit in terms of total deaths. This figure only includes deaths caused directly by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, not deaths caused by the pandemic’s disruption to health care systems and communities.”

“As terrible as the COVID-19 pandemic appears, this analysis shows that the actual toll is significantly worse,” said Dr. Chris Murray, IHME’s director. “Understanding the true number of COVID-19 deaths not only helps us appreciate the magnitude of this global crisis, but also provides valuable information to policymakers developing response and recovery plans.”

“Increasingly, we see a two-track pandemic. Many countries still face an extremely dangerous situation, while some of those with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus”

“In the Six months since the first vaccines were administered, high-income countries have administered almost 44% of the world’s doses. Low-income countries have administered just 0.4%,” Tedros told the WHO’s member states on Thursday. “The most frustrating thing about this statistic is that it hasn’t changed in months,” he added.”

IHME’s analysis found that the largest number of unreported deaths occurred in countries that have had the largest epidemics to-date. However, some countries with relatively smaller epidemics saw a large increase in the death rate when accounting for unreported deaths. This analysis shows that they may be at greater risk for a wider epidemic than previously thought.

“Many countries have devoted exceptional effort to measuring the pandemic’s toll, but our analysis shows how difficult it is to accurately track a new and rapidly spreading infectious disease,” Murray said. “We hope that today’s report will encourage governments to identify and address gaps in their COVID-19 mortality reporting, so that they can more accurately direct pandemic resources.” Moving forward, IHME’s COVID-19 modeling, which forecasts the potential course of the pandemic over the next several months, will be based on these estimates of total COVID-19 deaths.”

“It’s also in America’s self-interest. As long as the virus rages elsewhere, there is a risk of new mutations that could threaten our people,” POTUS Joe Biden on why we are giving away millions of vaccines to other nations.

The 20 countries with the highest number of total COVID-19 deaths, March 2020­–May 2021

Country                                                Total COVID-19 deaths                   Reported COVID-19 deaths

United States of America              905,289                                                574,043

India                                                      654,395                                                221,181

Mexico                                                 617,127                                                217,694

Brazil                                                     595,903                                                408,680

Russian Federation                          593,610                                                109,334

United Kingdom                                209,661                                                150,519

Italy                                                      175,832                                                121,257

Iran                                                       174,177                                                72,906

Egypt                                                    170,041                                                13,529

South Africa                                        160,452                                                54,390

Poland                                                  149,855                                                68,237

Peru                                                      147,765                                                62,739

Ukraine                                                138,507                                                46,737

France                                                   132,680                                                105,506

Spain                                                     123,786                                                85,365

Germany                                             120,729                                                83,256

Indonesia                                            115,743                                                45,938

Japan                                                   108,320                                                10,390

Romania                                              87,649                                                  28,382

As the numbers show Covid deaths have been massively under-reported.  We will only understand how bad it was in hindsight.

Global Infected      173,008,891                   175,727,365                       
Increase             2,718,474
7-day average        388,353 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN

Global Dead          3,722,282                                          3,796,642
Increase             74,360
7-day average        10,622 deaths daily –DOWN

USA Infected         33,357,241                                       33,457,794
Increase             100,553
7-day average        14,364 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN

USA C-19 deaths      597,377                                         599,672
Increase             2,295
7-day average        327 deaths daily –DOWN

Maine Infected       68,154                                             68,540  
Increase             386
7-day average        55 infections diagnosed daily –DOWN

Maine deaths         839                                    845
Increase             6
7-day average        .85714 deaths daily –DOWN

After lab analysis I have been informed that it was not a cancer after all.  Well, it was benign anyway, technically any benign nodule is a cancerous growth.  If a growth is determined to be malignant, then we call it cancer.  Anyway, I am glad to say it is not me, no need to decide if I ought to blog my own death, at least not today. The surgery did alter my voice permanently.

While I got my truck serviced, went to a medical appointment, and even went to the store unmasked, I remain a hermit in the woods 99% of the time.  As I sat in my isolated hilltop abode another 74,360 of my fellow humans died of C-19, of those 2,295 were my fellow Americans and of those 6 were my Fellow Mainers.

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