All of us want a return to normal – no face masks, social distancing, and more. Over three million people a day are getting vaccinated – over one hundred million a month. Demand for the coronavirus vaccine will wane within the next couple of months when two out of every three people will be fully protected from COVID-19.
The End in Sight?
https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210423/can-we-reach-covid-zero-predicting-the-next-8-months. The term, COVID Zero, is being used to describe the end of the virus. I do not think that is possible. This coronavirus will be with us for years to come. The good news is that it will not make the same entrance into our lives we saw one year ago.
About ten percent of all Americans have been infected with the virus. Less than two percent have died, and most of those deaths were people over 60 years of age. Over half our citizens have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A month from now will see more than 50% of adult Americans will be fully protected with two doses.
The J&J vaccine is no longer on hold and will be distributed again soon. https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/jj-covid-19-vaccine-pause-reviewed-us-officials-hope-resume-shots-2021-04-23/.
Shortly, the FDA and CDC will be authorizing COVID-19 vaccinations for children from age 12 and older. The climate is right for 70% or more of the United States to be protected by vaccination or by having had the virus. This is the threshold for herd immunity and a relaxing of pandemic restrictions.
Face Masks Required
https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/16/health/face-mask-after-vaccine-explainer-wellness/index.html. The line in the sand for herd immunity is drifting. Months ago, we were told 65-70% of the population must have vaccinations to contain the spread of coronavirus. Now, those numbers are ranging up to 80%. Is this fear and panic to keep everyone wearing face masks?
I believe it is to a degree. It does take a couple of weeks or longer to be fully protected from COVID-19. It is almost the end of April 2021. The end of May 2021 will see just over 50% of Americans on the safe side of the virus. Add the survivors (10%) and the United States is at the 60% level.
Give it an extra month to attain full immunity and to catch stragglers and children. It is now the end of June and we should be in that grey zone of herd immunity. We should be able to return to near normal – no face masks, lower social distance to three feet (like Europe), and open businesses to pre-pandemic levels.
It will not happen because of fear. Our population has been controlled for over a year. When there is a possibility that a person could become infected, extra care should be taken to prevent further infections. That is what we will be told.
The Real Story
https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#demographicsovertime. At the beginning of 2021, the age group of 55-64 were experiencing a death rate of 5.31 people per 100,000. Those in the 65-79 age group had a mortality rate from coronavirus at 16.90 per 100,000 people. Those over 80 years of age were seeing 66.76 deaths per 100,000.
By mid-April, just over a week ago, the 55-64 demographic group mortality rate had fallen to 0.1 per 100,000. Those slightly older were at double the risk at 0.2 per 100,000. The older generation (over 80) is now at 0.6 per 100,000. What do these numbers tell us? Are we really at risk? If the trend continues downward, there will be no numbers to report.
The nationwide trend for new cases and daily deaths is low and stable – around 60,000 new cases daily for the past two months and daily deaths under 800 since the beginning of the month. There are many zeroes less than one percent required to describe the daily death rate from COVID-19 in the United States population.
As more people are vaccinated, the infection and death rate from the virus (and its variants) will continue to fall. Yet, the reward for wearing face masks and enduring other restrictions will be to continue wearing face masks. Health scientists will insist that we continue protection against a virus that is no longer killing thousands daily. The current death rate expected from a new case of coronavirus today is just over one percent. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
Hospital Impact Today
https://www.tmc.edu/coronavirus-updates/test-positivity-rates-for-tmc-hospital-systems/. I use the Houston Medical Center for my hospitalization statistics and analysis. Testing positive for coronavirus has been below 5% for almost a month. Almost 1,400 ICU beds are being used with roughly 200 COVID-19 patients.
Over 60,000 coronavirus patients have been treated at Houston hospitals. Over ninety percent of the virus-positive patients survived and were released. Most COVID-19 deaths occurred in the first six months of the pandemic.
When the new cases and daily deaths of COVID-19 are not growing and the trend is stable, is there a problem with a new infection explosion? I do not think so, but many healthcare authorities do. When paranoia is rampant at this level, what happens when the new cases of COVID-19 average less than a few hundred and daily deaths are nearing single digits?
Panic is in the eye of the beholder and the position they hold in society. I do not see panic, but many others do. I see a quick recession to the new infections and deaths due to coronavirus.
Will it end by Christmas? Most likely not. Will it ever end? No. This pandemic virus is with us for the long haul – we might be getting booster shots every three to five years based on the new variants discovered from one year to the next.
Should personal safety restrictions be reduced? Yes, as soon as the magic number of 65-85% is reached for herd immunity, the people wanting protection are protected. The most vulnerable are already over 80+% fully protected. Children are still susceptible and can pass the virus on to others, but the risk of serious symptoms and death to the youth is almost non-existent.
What is the real risk of removing face masks? Is it loss of control of a population or a genuine safety risk?
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com