It has been slightly over a month since I wrote about the pandemic virus. Unfortunately, headlines generally support another surge plowing through those few unvaccinated people – sooner than later.
The headline that attracted my attention today told us that most Americans have had coronavirus; however, the experts are predicting the next surge. https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/02/politics/covid-vaccine-booster-pandemic-surge-what-matters/index.html
Is That True?
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ is a source I often use to determine the current level of pandemic cases and deaths worldwide. Over 500,000,000 people have been infected, and the death rate is still around one percent – the virus survival rate is around 99%. So the big surge at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, along with a minor ripple in March, appears to be over.
Is there any indication that another surge is rapidly approaching? No, there is not. One could try to interpolate the likelihood of the next surge by viewing the frequency of previous waves of infection. January, April, August, and December were notable increases in cases worldwide last year.
Does that mean we will see four significant surges in 2022? Maybe, who really knows. As more and more people become infected, it should be less likely for new infections. But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume the experts are correct, and the next surge is just around the corner. Therefore, no post-pandemic world in view in 2022.
But, wait! Is it the number of cases or the number of deaths that really matter? If many people get infected and fewer people die, isn’t that a better measure of our future? The death rate is lower today than since March of 2020.
The big waves of deaths attributable to the pandemic occurred in April 2020, August 2020, December/January 2020/2021, May 2021, August 2021, and February 2022. Comparing the frequency of new cases to the resulting deaths from the pandemic virus indicates that fewer people are dying from the virus over the past year, no matter how many new cases are reported.
Maybe there is hope for a post-pandemic world in the next year?
https://www.science.org/content/article/when-pandemic-over. A committee of health advisors meet regularly to assess the pandemic. They declare whether the pandemic is still active or not. The World Health Organization accepted their opinion, and we continue to live in a pandemic world. Some nations (the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom) have already declared the pandemic over.
However, a few reported cases do not mean the virus has been conquered. Look at Hong Kong, China, and other countries implementing zero-Covid tolerance and policies. Those protections lasted over a year. Then a viral variant began infecting millions nearly overnight.
How about those countries with previous high infection rates?
https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/26/health/covid-americans-cdc-study/index.html. The United States has almost sixty percent of adults and seventy-five percent of children with antibodies to the COVID-19 virus. Just before the Omicron outbreak in late 2021, only one-third of American adults had antibodies.
One viral variant infected a quarter of the population in just a couple of months. The CDC tells us that the antibodies last at least two years. The test results can distinguish between antibodies from the virus and the vaccine.
What is happening in the United States?
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/. The current new case trend is slightly upward. After over 800,000 daily cases in January 2022, the infection rate dropped below 30,000/day in just two months. Today’s seven-day-average rate is just over 60,000/day.
Deaths from the pandemic virus are also at nearly all-time lows. The summer of 2021 saw average daily deaths of around 250/day. The current average daily death rate is under 300/day. Considerable surges in new cases do not correlate with increasing numbers of deaths.
We still have doom and gloom living in predictions.
https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/01/health/covid-southern-summer-surge-prediction/index.html. One should be happy that pandemic deaths are nearly the lowest levels ever. Over half the American population has had the virus, and millions more vaccinated and boosted. Yet, the former White House
Coronavirus Response Task Force Coordinator tells us to expect new cases in the American south this summer and another surge in infections in the north this winter.
This forecast is based on South Africa’s frequency of viral surges – every four to six months. Yes, South Africa is experiencing an increase in new coronavirus cases. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/
Is South Africa a good indicator for the rest of the world? What is the antibody level of their country? How many are fully vaccinated and boosted? There are too many unknowns to pick a specific geographic area and make that the basis of what will happen in the United States.
Just under 80% of Americans have had one vaccine shot, and two-thirds are fully vaccinated.
However, does that really mean something since we know that vaccine protection gradually disappears after six months? I would put my money on the 60% of American adults who already had the virus to predict future infections better.
Of course, the experts are telling us that we need to change our terminology from ‘fully vaccinated’ to ‘up to date’ to include those with booster shots. Yet, less than one-third of Americans chose to get boosted. Is there a reason why?
There will always be experts predicting doom and gloom. It is their nature. The survival rate from the SARS-CoV-2 virus has historically been around 99%. The survival rate for older adults with health issues is 80-85%, depending on age.
I have always maintained that we must protect those most vulnerable to infection. Unfortunately, many factors prevented adequate protection in the early days of the pandemic. Those days have passed, and we know more about the virus.
Can a new, more deadly viral variant arrive on our doorsteps tomorrow? Absolutely. Can a new, far less lethal viral variant also arrive on our doorsteps tomorrow? Absolutely. Will a vaccine developed for a viral variant a year or two ago be effective against a new mutation of the virus? Most likely not. So, what can we do?
I preach awareness and education regarding health and wellness daily. What can you do to protect yourself from infection – any infection? Build up and maintain a robust immune system. Will it prevent you from becoming infected by the pandemic virus or other visiting viral cousins? No, but it will probably lessen any symptoms you might get. And you will most likely, over 99% likely survive any future bout with our pandemic virus.
And, the post-pandemic world should arrive much earlier than the doom and gloom experts predict, in my humble opinion. It will not occur everywhere at the same time, but it is closer than most of us think.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin – RedOLaughlin.com