One of the worst public healthcare disasters of our generation, perhaps even century, is the communication surrounding COVID-19. Namely, that COVID IS airborne, yet communicated by most public health officials with droplet precautions; and that COVID is no more harmful than the flu, which is also false. COVID-19 is SARS. The flu is the flu. The two shall never meet. The long-term damages of COVID-19, particularly in the vulnerable and those who continuously get the virus with repeated sickness, are mounting without clear tracking of both damages and scale in the population. Couple that along with cultural attitudes that the pandemic is over and widespread masking (or any masking for that matter) is no longer needed nor valued, and the continuation of a deadly and rapidly disabling disease continues to proliferate.
How do public health policies in different countries impact COVID-19 deaths? Turns out a LOT. The “Let er rip” attitude prevalent in many Western nations appears deadly. But at least there’s more ‘freedom’?
The summer wave of Monkeypox seems to have waned six months later with cases dropping to around an annual low. The six month decline is now consistent, basing for what could possibly be another increase in the Spring and Summer months. With the continued rise of COVID and its variants, and the known damage it inflicts on the immune system, it is not outside of the realm of reason or immunology to expect case numbers to rise. The question will be, how high will they go? Past the 2022 high watermark? The US and the world will ind out in 3-6 months, and perhaps a notable trend direction change in a month or two.
Chart shows the uptick from Christmas related to COVID reported cases. Note, many jurisdictions including the USA and Canada no longer have widespread testing or reporting. This is a phenomenon to get the public to accept the ongoing harm. It also make sit hard for the general public to get a sense of the real-time COVID-19 danger in a particular area without good data. Wastewater testing data is one tool but it is merely one.
Currently, an expanding population in most countries that fall into the “done with COVID-19” segment. Part of this is attributed to cumulative exhaustion. We all would prefer to move on with our lives despite the relative risk. However, there exists a denial where the notion of “risk” is down-played by the “COVID is just the flu” crowd. This position has been completely debunked yet the rumors/idea persists largely due to ineffective public health messaging. Politicians have a short-term outlook on their own careers, and even more left-leaning science-based political parties are doing away with COVID-19 messaging including public mask wearing.
So where does this take us?
A week after the WHO declared monkeypox a word health emergency (as they did with COVID) governments around the world are following suit, including the United States.
Temporary Recommendations issued by the WHO Director-General in relation to the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox
Cases in the US are approaching 10000 as vaccine acquisition ramps up.
NBC news is among the first major news outlets to release and confirm the dubious distinction that America has hit 1 million COVID-19 related deaths. That doesn’t not include the related deaths because of the lack of healthcare resources, and permanent disabilities incurred because of the virus. In just over two years the death toll has risen exponentially, attributed both to the unwillingness of many American from getting the free vaccine, and curtailing public health measures.
By the middle of February, most modelling predicts that at least 50% of Americans will have been infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
This prediction is based on infection rate, whereas many states are showing possibilities of peak infection. That only means, however, that we’re at the mid-way point of this particular infectious wave.
Case counts for the US appear to have peaked at a 7-day average of 806k on Jan 14. Omicron grew from approximately 35k daily cases on Dec 14 to ~800k daily cases in ~4 weeks. 1/9 pic.twitter.com/D1Y6R58SjN
— Trevor Bedford (@trvrb) January 20, 2022
Not only are Americans permitted to access vaccines and boosters for free, they can now order free N95 masks to be delivered by USPS. With the onslaught of Omicron, cloth or disposable surgical masks are no longer adequate to protect against the virus. The use of N95, at minimum, masks is the new recommendation. Ensuring access to as many people as possible is crucial to tapering the rising wave of infections.
The Biden administration will make 400 million N95 masks available to Americans for free starting next week, a White House official told CNN, the latest federal step aimed at reining in the US’ Covid-19 surge.
The masks — which are coming from the Strategic National Stockpile — will be made available at a number of local pharmacies and community health centers, the official said, adding that the program will be “fully up and running by early February.”
For more details visit: https://www.hhs.gov/
Moderna and Pfizer in the lead with Sputnik not far behind.
Full details of the research so you can continue to arm yourself with science and not conspiracy theories.
At the publishing of this article Canada has now emerged as the world leader in terms of single doses as a percentage of population. The access to COVID-19 vaccines is a question of concern, however. Right now, as the Delta variant continues at a breakneck speed, countries that were not at the front of the line are suffering the consequences. Rich countries have been hoarding vaccines, sitting unused in storage. And although COVAX and the USA are increasing their distribution, the scenario has revealed problems in both access for developing nations, and also exclusivity in production. Countries (which are most) that do not have domestic vaccine production were behind the eight ball. Although the volume of vaccines is increasing across different brands, availability and eventually inoculation has been hampered. Delays that stretch into months, and some countries may even wait years before their population has full access, is working against the worldwide effort to stop the spread, especially as variants emerge in more dangerous forms.
So if you can get it, get your vaccine as soon as possible. And while you’re at it, advocate for the rapid distribution for those close to home, and further away, to have improved access.