Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Coronavirus special update: the annual summer wave has arrived


 - by New Deal democrat

As I wrote at the beginning of this year, I would only post Coronavirus updates if there appeared to be something significant happening. And there is.

There is a completely new alphabet soup of XBB subvariants that are competing with one another, and one of them, EG.5.1, has been surging in a number of countries worldwide and is now the fastest growing subvariant in the US as well:

Since the CDC and most States have stopped reporting, our only reasonably reliable metric for infections is Biobot’s waste surveillance, which shows that for the fourth summer in a row, from an all-time low in late June, particles in wastewater have more than doubled, to levels last seen back in April:

The increase is occurring across all four US Census regions:

Hospitalizations started increasing during the week of July 15, and are now about 50% higher than their recent nadir, although they are still lower than 10,000, which was their previous low in summer 2021 and spring 2022:

Deaths probably started rising from their all-time weekly low under 500 during the same week, although reporting is not final yet:

It’s too soon to tell how high the peak of this summer save will be, or when it will take place. But it is clear now that we are having yet another summer wave, aided no doubt not just be summer get-togethers, but also be an increase in indoor activities and the absence of any mitigation measures whatsoever. And also the facts that resistance due to prior infections and/or vaccinations are likely waning, and the next booster won’t be available until (apparently) sometime this autumn.

I have begun to temporarily revert to my prior precautions, mainly masking in any indoor public venues.