Are you noticing the increase in new cases of COVID-19? We have had a steady 20-25% unvaccinated rate for a long time. By mid-August, around 200 million Americans had their first dose (60%). Another 15 million people received their first dose by the first of October, increasing the overall percentage to 65%. (https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations?country=USA).
Some blame it on the Delta variant being much more aggressive in spreading from one person to another. A few suggest that many new cases are people who were vaccinated and tested positive – like we have seen lately with three governors and one supreme court justice become infected with the COVID-19 virus. All had been fully vaccinated and were tested daily.
100% Vaccinated Town?
https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/01/health/covid-vaccine-colorado-tourist-town/index.html. I came across this article today. According to the CDC, San Juan County, Colorado, has a nearly 100% vaccination rate (99.9%) https://data.cdc.gov/Vaccinations/COVID-19-Vaccinations-in-the-United-States-County/8xkx-amqh/data.
There are 730 residents in San Juan County. With 99.9% vaccinated, that leaves seven people unvaccinated. In August 2021, five residents were hospitalized with COVID-19. Three were put on ventilators, with two surviving. One death out of five. The key sentence that I thought interesting was that all the hospitalized patients were believed to be unvaccinated.
That is a statistical impossibility. The city boasts a 99.9% vaccination rate, and they do not know who is and who is not vaccinated. There would be less than ten people not having the vaccine. That should be easy to track. What is going on in San Juan County that caused nearly every unvaccinated person to become infected in August?
Five people contracted the virus in August, and at the end of September, another person became infected. Overall, since the pandemic started, ninety people have tested positive for COVID-19. Four residents have died during this pandemic. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/san-juan-colorado-covid-cases.html
Pandemic Personal Protection
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html. The CDC tells us to get vaccinated. From what we are experiencing, the vaccine does not prevent you from getting infected – only minimizes the severity of symptoms to reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
We are to wear masks. Does this work? Many scientists think so. If we are vaccinated, what is the fear that keeps vaccinated people wearing masks? If they are truly protected, they cannot get infected or pass it on to others. Wear a mask when you are unvaccinated not to become infected or pass the virus on to others. Wear a mask when you are vaccinated does not align with the CDC rhetoric about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Oh well, I’ll let the higher authorities work on that one.
Social distancing is always an excellent protective measure. Yet, Europe recognizes a three-foot social distance, and the United States has a six-foot standard measure for social distance. One would think that social distance should be the same around the world. Regardless, social distance does make it challenging to catch a virus randomly. This makes sense.
Avoiding crowds indoors is probably the hardest thing for vaccinated people to do. When you believe you are fully protected from getting infected, then social distance, face masks, and social interaction (the days before the pandemic) are the norm and should be celebrated as such. After all, vaccination protects! Yet, as social distance provides a decent measure of protection, avoiding indoor crowds (family, friends, other enthusiasts, etc.) will provide even better protection than the simple six-foot invisible barrier.
Washing hands and disinfecting are ancillary protective measures. Both offer a level of protection. But is that protection enough to keep the bug away? For example, how many times a day do you wash your hands? How many things do you touch every day? How many other people have touched the same things? How long does disinfecting work? For example, if an infected person touches a doorknob two hours after it was cleansed, is the protection still there?
Getting Back to San Juan County
https://sanjuancounty.colorado.gov/COVID19. During the summer, the population doubles – a veritable tsunami of tourism. The local historical train from Durango brings in vast numbers of people. Vaccination status is not checked on the trains. The number of new pandemic cases spiked to around 40 within two weeks. The county restarted the mask mandate and did the best they could for those infected.
San Juan County’s residents are nearly 100% vaccinated. How could visitors (vaccinated and unvaccinated) cause infections to skyrocket? Were not the citizens fully protected? There is a disconnect between the CDC claim of vaccine works and prevents infection and the increasing number of vaccinated people becoming infected.
The good news is that the vaccine mitigates the severity of symptoms. To me, that implies that the minor or mild symptoms are probably eliminated – meaning that vaccinated people become asymptomatic. As such, when infected and asymptomatic, the vaccinated can infect others – vaccinated and unvaccinated. Maybe I am wrong!
Future of COVID?
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41573-020-00151-8. Will coronavirus morph into an annual seasonal influenza-type virus with symptoms no worse than the flu or common cold? Maybe. Maybe not. No one knows. This link provides excellent insight into the current development of vaccines beyond the emergency use only vaccines quickly developed last year. We need a vaccine that prevents the spread of the virus now – not one that mitigates symptoms.
Time will tell whether vaccines or antiviral medicines or other protocols will effectively reduce coronavirus spread and bring the pandemic to a halt. The Delta variant showed us that herd immunity is not achievable when vaccines do not stop the spread of the virus. So that option (herd immunity) is off the table for this year.
Whether we like it or not, the best protection against spreading the virus is to isolate it appropriately. Graduations, weddings, funerals, birthdays, and more might have to be postponed for another year or maybe longer to indeed reduce the spread of the pandemic virus.
I saw a story earlier today about an epidemiologist who caught the virus at a house party last month. All fourteen attending the party were fully vaccinated. Yet, the host of the party managed to infect nine of the fourteen attendees. https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/op-ed/bs-ed-op-0804-breakthrough-covid-20210803-t32trfpiwzdf5okfar45f64whi-story.html
Vaccines may keep people out of the hospital and cut down the risk of death, but they cannot stop the spread of the virus. However, some think a Swiss cheese model might work. https://andersonvillept.com/blog/the-swiss-cheese-approach-to-managing-the-coronavirus. It is a decent model, but it is difficult to shut down the house party mentality when fully vaccinated.
We are continuing to react to the pandemic rather than proactively fight the virus. The Delta variant proved that vaccines were no match to that viral mutation. What is the answer? I do not know. The scientists are working hard to find the silver bullet, but it will not be this year.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com