COVID-19: A New Kind Of Normal
Most of the world is still in the grips of the coronavirus, yet the U.S. has achieved vaccination levels that make it possible to return to normal, at least a sort of kind of normal. The CDC has said that masks are not necessary for vaccinated people and schools can return to in-person learning. This is truly a remarkable accomplishment that no one expected would happen this quickly.
The delta variant, for all intents and purposes, is the same as the alpha variant when it comes to vaccinations and acquired immunity. The way the vaccine works, it will protect people from both strains, and possibly other strains that may, and likely will develop.
Now we’re seeing increased cases and hospitalizations among the unvaccinated. Statistics show that 99% of cases are among unvaccinated people. Is this a big concern?
Immunization can be achieved a couple different ways. First, if you get the virus and recover, a normal person will be immune from future infections, at least for the time being. From our background in science and parroting the words of Dr. Fauci, those people should be protected for a “very long time”.
If you get the vaccine you should also be protected for a long time. So, the more people who get vaccinated, the less cases we will see. Also, the more people who get the virus and recover, the more people will be protected. Hmm. So, there is a benefit for people who get the vaccine, and for those who catch the virus and recover. The result is that more people are going to be immune, whichever way they achieve that immunity.
We would encourage everyone to be vaccinated as that is the most straight-forward and safest way to gain immunity. People who fear the vaccine, or don’t want to get it for some political perspective, are at risk for illness, sometimes serious illness, and possibly death. They can’t realistically spread the virus to people who have gained immunity, even though they can spread it among the non-immune. But, the non-immune are both the people spreading it, and the people catching it. That’s why it makes sense to get vaccinated.
Another very important factor is that we are so much better at treating the virus now. Even though cases and hospitalizations are increasing, deaths are still declining. This probably has the effect of providing a “safe haven” for people who don’t want to get vaccinated.
Note: Some data being reported is only being reported as percentages. In evaluating that data, the lower the cases, hospitalizations and deaths, the higher the percentage of increases and decreases will appear to be. In other words, if there are a thousand new cases, an increase of 25 would be 2.5%. However, if there are 25 new cases, an increase of five cases would be 20%. Obviously five new cases is better than 25, but the percentage would make that look bad so pay close attention when you’re looking at the data.
We have made incredible progress. Stay safe, get vaccinated, and enjoy the summertime.