Whether it’s the second wave of the first surge or a second wave, the number of COVID cases has begun to increase significantly.
First the (sort of) good news. Deaths have more or less stabilized at average of just under 900 per day. There are exceptions, such as the 27-29th of October when there were over 1,000 deaths each day.
I cannot comfortably say that this trend will continue. The medical community has learned a lot and become more effective, but this stability in death rates cannot be expected to be maintained as the number of new cases increases. Once the number of cases that require intensive care exceed the available ICU beds, it can be expected that the number of deaths will increase. Reports are that this is already the case in El Paso, Texas where adult patients with non-COVID medical issues are being sent to a pediatric hospital to make beds available for pandemic patients.
Now for the bad news. The number of new cases per day has begun to significantly increase. Yesterday, new cases exceeded 101,000–a record number.
Because the data now include over 150 entries, a sudden change over a short period of time tends not immediately impact the trend line. However, if the increase that began in late September continues, the trend will follow.
Other factors to consider include:
- Preliminary data do not indicate permanent or long term immunity for those who have been infected.
- Treatment options from hydroxychloroquine to Remdesvir do not seem to cure the disease. The best they have been able to do is to mitigate some of the symptoms. While recovery time was shorter when Remdesvir was administered, death rates among patients treated with Remdesvir were statistically similar to patients treated with a placebo. [Link]
- COVID-19 outcomes are not limited to death or recovery. So called long-haul patients experience a number of long term–and possibly permanent–changes that impact the quality of life, in some cases severely.
My personal interpretation:
- New cases will continue to increase until either an effective vaccine or a cure is discovered.
- Given that a segment of the population chooses to ignore prophylactic measures, such as social distancing and wearing masks, numbers can be expected to continue to rise.
- Family interaction during the holidays will increase infection rates as some people who are normally careful relax their safety measures due to the overarching importance of families.
I fear that many future holidays may be remembered in terms of the death of a loved one due to COVID. I have racked my brain trying to identify even a tiny new idea as to how to deal with the pandemic without success. The best I can offer is: 1) wear a mask; 2) maintain social distancing; and 3) practice frequent and thorough handwashing.
Generally, I try to blog about things that are interesting and–as far as I can tell–either based on facts OR obviously fictitious for entertainment value. This does not mean that I attempt to remain ignorant about other issues such as race, sex, politics, etc. I just try to keep my nonfactual opinions on such issues to myself.
I read a great deal, although less than I would like due to time constraints. I enjoy some science fiction, which is really philosophy with space ships and aliens. I enjoy biographies of important historical people because it gives me hope when I see that great men and women were imperfect yet achieved great things.*
I read a lot of technical material because no one rises in righteous indignation to protest Ohms law. Electricity performs in a given way—change one of the variables and the result changes predictably. I like facts. Opinions and commentary, spin and gas-lighting are not facts, no matter how many times they are repeated.
Recently, I read a post by Erik Lind on Quora.com that posited, “The Internet is like life support for propaganda. . . ”
It made me think.
*Stan Lee used this model in 1962 when he wrote the story of nerdy, neurotic, unpopular Peter Parker being transformed into Spiderman. Peter’s first use of his new power was to attempt to make money, which inadvertently resulted in the death of his Uncle Ben.
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Posted in Blog, Communications, Culture, Future, Government, History, Media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Writing
Tagged Commentary, Fact, internet, Opinion, Propaganda