I hope you enjoyed your new year’s celebration, and we all enjoy saying “goobye and good riddance” to 2021. We’re hoping for much better in the year 2022. So I’ll be that jerk who starts the year by telling you some bad news.
2022 might turn out to be a wonderful year — but it will start horribly, because the omicron variant of COVID-19 is so astoundingly contagious, the rate of infection is “through the roof” — i.e., faster than ever before in the USA.
The vaccine against COVID-19 reduces its spread, even for the highly contagious delta variant. Perhaps more important, the vaccinated who contract the disease are likely to have a mild case, less likely to require hospitalization, and much less likely to be killed by it.
Maybe that’s why states with low vaccination rates have higher infection rates:
and states with low vaccination rates have higher death rates:
Lower infection rates, and especially fewer hospitalizations, is what our country’s health care providers are begging for. Maybe that’s why they’re begging us to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Over a year ago I began making graphs related to the COVID-19 epidemic. It’s not controversial to identify the most basic number to tell the story: how many new cases each day, per capita? Medical personell tend to express this as cases per day per hundred thousand population, but I prefer to use cases per day per million population. Call me quirky.
I (like many before and since) decided to color-code some of my graphs, with “red” reserved for the most severe outbreaks — so many new cases each day that it will strain the health care system in a week or less, and before too long will crush it, while filling up the morgue to overflowing. I did a little research (translation: looked around on the internet, not peer-reviewed research, but at least I used “reliable” sources like Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Public Health) and concluded that since the so-called “experts” seemed to think that was 25 cases/day/100,000 people, that’s what I’d use — but I’d call it 250 cases/day/million population. Call me quirky.
The state of Maine is suffering through an explosion of COVID-19 cases, now that the delta-variant has arrived. It’s especially a pity because we were doing so well when July began, with only about 20 cases per day per million population — but now we’re up to nearly 120. It’s putting a real strain on the health care system.
COVID loves bars. Get lots of people together, indoors. Keep ’em together for hours. Love it! Go ahead, tell ’em to wear masks and practice “social distancing.” You did know they’re here to consume alcohol, right? How’s that “social distancing” workin’ for ya?
Yesterday, as the country was engulfed in a conflagration of coronavirus, Donald Trump had this to say:
“We have one of the lowest mortality rates anywhere,” the president said before pivoting to an attack on Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee.
I went to Worldometer to look at how different countries are doing in their fight against COVID-19. In the table showing statistics for each nation, if you click on the header labelled “Deaths/1M population” it will sort the table by deaths per capita, in either ascending or descending order as you please. Deaths per capita — the total mortality rate — is an important clue who is doing best and who is doing worst.