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Improvement in COVID Data

10/11/2021

For the week ending Friday October 8th, the seven-day average of new COVID infections fell to 99,669 compared to 152,400 per day for the first week of September.  Hospitalizations declined from 101,700 in September to 68,700 during the first week in October.  Fatalities, a lagging indicator, were slightly higher with 2,426 dying of COVID per day, compared to 2,226 in early September.  To date confirmed cases of COVID have risen to 44.2 million with 710,500 confirmed fatalities. Both figures are in all probability underestimates.

Notwithstanding the ongoing unacceptable incidence rate of COVID, at least 35 percent of our population has not been vaccinated with a high concentration of those hesitant or rejecting vaccination resident in southern and northwestern states.  COVID is unfortunately now regarded as a political issue whereas it should be a matter of public health concern. Control and eventual eradication should be subject to the application of scientific principles and recommendations by the medical community and not politicians or talk-show media.

 

 

It is axiomatic that until COVID is controlled, the economy will be fettered by a patchwork of restrictions of fluctuating intensity. Continual bickering by politicians on both sides of the issue of protective measures including vaccination, masking and common sense precautions has been unproductive. Simply denying the existence of COVID is illogical and an affront to the reality of over 710,000 deaths to date.

 

As a nation we are making progress in controlling COVID but the action we have taken to suppress the infection should be intensified in coming months since co-morbidities with possibly influenza and other respiratory viruses including RSV may result in spikes in mortality especially among our fellow citizens with predisposing conditions including the elderly, the obese and the immunosuppressed.

 

Fortunately we will soon have emergency use authorization of mRNA vaccines at an appropriate dose for children aged 5 through 12.  As with adult vaccination, the challenge will be to assure parents of the safety and effectiveness of vaccination.  Rising incidence rates as children have returned to school, coupled with hospitalization and unnecessary mortality should stimulate acceptance of vaccination demonstrated to be the simplest and most effective method of controlling the infection.