Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Coronavirus dashboard for May 4: Keep the faith; vaccinations work!


 - by New Deal democrat

While there has been some renewed DOOOMishness in the press about whether the US will ever reach “herd immunity” or not, I remain more sanguine.

Here’s the overall picture of cases and deaths from the past 12 weeks (note: the wintertime peaks no longer show in this close-up):

The incipient “4th wave” has already receded, and deaths have continued to very slowly decline. Both cases and deaths are now 80% below their peaks.

Both cases and deaths have also all but vanished among the heavily vaccinated senior citizens:

COVID is now, relatively speaking, a young person’s disease. The one item of real concern is the decided increase in cases among those aged 14-17, suggesting that reopening schools in the face of new variants that transmit much more easily and are more infectious to young people was a terrible mistake. Hopefully approval of the vaccines for teenagers, apparently to happen shortly, together with summer vacation, will take care of this issue before fall classes begin.

As a percentage of the total population, people partially and fully vaccinated continue to increase:

This probably had much to do with the fizzling of the “4th wave.”

Keep in mind that we *know* that 10% of the US population has had *confirmed* COVID infections. Estimates of how high the true number of infections is, run as high as 33% of the entire population. If this group is randomly distributed between those vaccinated and those not vaccinated, then the total % of the US population with resistance to COVID is probably about 2/3’s - in short, getting pretty close to the threshold where “herd immunity” might come into play.

In other words, if a relatively small percentage of vaccine “resistors” change their minds (and there is evidence for some of that happening), and the disease continues to spread for a short while among the unvaccinated, those two occurrences alone might push us over the “herd immunity” threshold in several months.

Keep the faith!