More people are not wearing face masks.

New cases and daily deaths have been on the rise in the past couple of months. Daily deaths usually follow new cases by a couple of weeks. Hospitalizations blossomed and are now receding. A headline I noticed today said that more people are not wearing face masks compared to a couple of months ago.

New Cases & Deaths

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ The first ‘wave’ of coronavirus cases occurred from mid-June to mid-July. A second wave appears to have begun in late October. There was a brief respite around Thanksgiving and then the new case trend continued upward. However, it looks like that trend is leveling off.

Early in the pandemic, we did not know what we know now. This resulted in significant daily deaths from March through May. Lockdowns do not cure viral infections. However, lockdowns allowed hospitals to get ahead of the incoming curve and daily deaths leveled out.

A slight rise in daily deaths from COVID-19 occurred in early August. The daily death rate became a steady plateau until mid-November. Daily deaths are at the highest rate now, but it seems to be leveling off.

Hospitalizations

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html#:~:text=The%20overall%20cumulative%20COVID%2D19,295.8%20hospitalizations%20per%20100%2C000%20population.

The hospitalization rate rose in the United States until mid-April when it reached 10%. It remained high for a month and then descended to 5% in June. A slight rise to 7% was seen in July and then trended lower to just under 5% until October.

A steep rise in COVID-19-related hospitalizations began in mid-October and rose to 15%. In December, the hospitalization rate has sharply fallen to 10%.

Causes of New Cases?

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20201222/mask-wearing-declines-even-as-covid-19-touches-more-us-lives-poll#1

HealthDay News is reporting that Americans are not wearing face masks with the same vigor they did just a few months ago. There are statistics by age group and gender. Check the link for details.
What is causing people not to wear masks? We have lived without face masks in our culture since we can remember. A disease that devastates those over 60 years of age exponentially more than the younger crowd infected our country from late last year.

Fear, panic, and the unknown are part of the problem. People were locked down, businesses failed, and more occurred within months. Personal restrictions unseen before have dominated our lives since March. 2021 is literally around the corner. People are tired and disgusted.

All of us know someone who has had COVID-19. We might also know people who have suffered in hospitals with severe symptoms because of coronavirus. And we know people who have died from it.

I do not believe we are becoming jaded by these numbers and the closeness to home.
The face mask is inconvenient, especially when worn for more than an hour. I had a couple of instances in the past week or so that I was required to wear it for many hours. I did not like it a bit. But I think it is more than an inconvenience that permeates our psyche. It is really the perceived risk.

We know that 99+% of us will not die from SARS-CoV2. That number tells us that we are taking incredible actions for the risk involved. If I were a thirty-something and worked and socialized with others under 50 years of age, I would expect that the worst-case scenario is that I might become infected and suffer minor symptoms and be house-bound for two weeks.

If I were sixty-something or older, I would wear a mask and limit my social intercourse. The vulnerable are those over 60 years of age. Why can they not be protected by the younger when in proximity or the older generation continue to protect themselves as needed?

I remember when the pandemic started, and the grocery stores were reopening after being shut down temporarily. No toilet paper and other items! However, some stores opened their doors for the first couple of hours to senior citizens and limited access to their facilities.

Can that rationale return? Protect the vulnerable and let the chips fall where they may for most people? Look at the demographics for hospitalizations, ICU demand, and deaths. Those numbers are not reflective of most of America.

I wear a mask, reluctantly, but I wear one when I must. I belong in the seventy-something crowd and can live in an open society with hours that support and encourage elders to partake of services or product availability. I can wear a face mask and social distance and wash my hands often without increasing my risk around others, especially when I am outside.

Are people who govern really looking out for our best interest or are they looking out for their own best interest. We do not like to see hospitals and daily deaths increasing, however, what options do we have?

Conclusion

I think there are smarter ways of keeping vulnerable people protected and open society. Vaccines and other medical interventions will make a difference. It will take months before we see COVID-related statistics fall to acceptable levels. I saw one headline this morning that we will be wearing face masks until 2022. Is it true? I do not know, but it is disturbing.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 

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