How Over is the Pandemic
August 1st, 2021
The short answer is, “Not by a long shot.”
The end of a pandemic by definition means a global end. On the African continent only 1% of the people have been vaccinated. This is not from reluctance, but due to unavailability of the vaccine.—NPR
Even in the USA the forecast remains grim. Less than three months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had said that vaccinated people need not mask indoors or outdoors, based on the high protection conferred by the three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in this country, the CDC reversed course, urging people to wear masks in schools and in public indoor spaces in parts of the country with high or substantial coronavirus transmission.
The change in guidance comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant sweeps a nation that is still struggling to get enough shots in arms.
—National Geographic July 27, 2021
The Delta variant and lingering vaccine hesitancy are forcing an early end to everyone's carefree Covid summer. CNN Politics, July 18, 2021
The country [USA] is seeing more than 40,000 new cases of coronavirus infections a day, an increase from a low of about 11,000 cases a day in June. The uptick is largely driven by the delta variant, a far more infectious strain of the novel coronavirus. Moreover, the rate of vaccination continues to slow, with about 500,000 people a day getting shots now, according to The Washington Post’s vaccine tracker. And breakthrough infections also are cropping up among vaccinated sports stars and politicians who are tested regularly. —Seattle Times, July 22, 2021
The U.S. surgeon general said Sunday that he's concerned about what lies ahead with cases of COVID-19 increasing in every state, millions still unvaccinated and a highly contagious virus variant spreading rapidly.
Noting that nearly all coronavirus deaths now are among the tens of millions of people who haven't received shots, despite widespread vaccine availability, Dr. Vivek Murthy painted an unsettling picture of what the future could hold.—WZZM-TV 13, Grand Rapids MI July 18, 2021
Overall, 47.9% of the US population is fully vaccinated while 20 states have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents.
The surge has alarmed officials in Mississippi, where only a third of the population is fully vaccinated.
"We've seen almost an entire takeover in the Delta variant," said State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "We're seeing a lot of outbreaks. We're seeing a lot of outbreaks in youth. We're seeing a lot of outbreaks in summer activities. We're also seeing a lot of outbreaks in nursing homes, where we have our most vulnerable people," he said.—CNN, July 10, 2021
The delta variant's "rapid rise is troubling," CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said of the dangerous Covid strain in a White House press briefing Thursday. The more transmissible delta variant is now the most dominant strain of the coronavirus in the United States, representing over 50% of cases across the country, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday.—CNBC, July 10, 2021
What shall we do in face of these scientific and statistical facts?
- Get vaccinated as soon as it is medically feasible for you to do so. Advise as many people as you influence to get vaccinations too. Vaccination is our best tool in getting this pandemic under control.
- Follow the advice of the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the American Nurses Association and continue to “mask up regardless of your vaccination status.”
- Continue to follow physical distancing guidelines—6 feet makes a big difference.
- Continue to wash your hands often and to use hand-sanitizer when hand-washing is not feasible.
- Don’t allow peer pressure, apathy, or misinformation to deter you from taking care of yourself and others.
UCOM is committed by the our core values of community, faith, and respect to protecting our staff, volunteers, and neighbors by adhering as closely as we can to these five tenets.
We will continue to do so until we have evidence that we are safe to relax some of these standards.
I welcome your feedback, questions, and comments in the section below.
American Medical Association says students and teachers should mask up this fall regardless of vaccination status.—Joint media release by AMA, AHA, and ANA.