Recent COVID news

(I didn’t see an open topic to add this to.):

Based on wastewater, the BA.2.12.1 wavelet has peaked in Massachusetts. Now we wait to see whether BA.4 and BA.5 will cause transmission to go back up again.

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This is more of an opinion piece, but he makes some interesting points. There may be recent information on reinfection that he overlooks, e.g. COVID reinfections surge during Omicron onslaught.

Yes, there are two, no three, big things missing there. One is the more recent information about the limited protection against infection offered against current variants by vaccines and prior infection. The second is Long Covid, which is real, common, and often highly debilitating. Vaccines (and probably antivirals, but that’s not clear yet) again offer limited protection. The third is that accompanying immune waning and immune evasion is an increase in severe disease and death among the most vulnerable, even though they’ve been maximally vaccinated.

ETA: During the Omicron Wave, Death Rates Soared for Older People - The New York Times

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Not around here, sadly.

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All I know is here in Mexico, the pandemic has never been declared over, masks have been required indoors in all public places, since March 2019, and compliance is really high. When I was walking to the grocery store yesterday, I’d say 50% of the people out and about were wearing masks outside, just walking on the sidewalk. It’s not a big deal here. I believe vaccination rates are higher too. I don’t know anyone in Mexico with COVID right now. Official numbers (admittedly probably underreported) have the national daily death rates for the month of May in the teens and twenties.

I could probably count 20 Americans I know personally who have had COVID in the last month. No one in our family has gotten COVID, but I know quite a few Americans who’ve had it three times. I wonder if in addition to masks, the fact that almost nowhere has any kind of central air/ heat and buildings are designed to be ventilated by fresh air. Most restaurants here are essentially covered patios. Markets where people do most of their shopping are outside. There is no mall or movie theater w/in 4 hours. All that to say there are so many factors besides mask compliance that come into play. But it sure seems to me like masks do something.

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