If COVID-19 is still spreading and killing around the country, but people are "tired of it," does it matter?
It's September 1, 2022, and COVID community transmission levels are HIGH throughout most of the state, yet you would never know it by the minuscule number of people wearing masks in our community and the number of crowded, unmasked, in-person events.
Following the right people on Twitter has helped me understand the complete and total failure of national health agencies, both under TFG and during the current administration, to effectively lead on this health crisis.
You may have noticed that suddenly things are better. One reason, as explained by Dr. Eric Topol,
... the CDC continue to push a contrived metric which they call “community level” to “know your risk for serious illness”. As defined by the CDC website, this “is determined by the higher of the new admissions and inpatient beds metrics, based on the current level of new cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days”. This is not appropriate guidance since Americans would be rightfully concerned about getting infected, not stressing hospital resources in their community. The right United States map, is the “community transmission” which simply reflects the number of confirmed cases in the past seven days per region.
But, hey, it's like the flu, right? Except it isn't. COVID-19 can cause severe and expensive long-term health problems including
- Higher risk for brain disorders like cognitive deficit, dementia, psychotic disorders, and epilepsy or seizures
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Long term joint and muscle pain
- Heart damage
- Lung damage
- and more
New studies show that up to 50 percent of people infected with COVID end up with long COVID. And that's if you don't die from it. While no longer making headlines, the average COVID death rate in the US is about 400 per day (and some days, like August 31, 1,518 deaths, much higher) and that includes vaccinated and boosted individuals.
As school starts again, in "back to normal" mode, COVID infections will put children, school staff, and families at risk. There are many, with conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious health effects, who will be endangered by lax policies. The consequences for children who may end up with long COVID may mean health and financial issues in the future.
We can reduce the opportunities for spread and further mutation by being diligent about masking with high quality N/KN95 masks and replacing in-person indoor events with remote or outdoor events where possible. Unfortunately, the crazies have cowed health officials into silence. So, it's up to individuals and families.
Get vaccinated, wear a mask, encourage others to do, push for better public policies.