(AP) – Yet again, the U.S. is trudging into what could be another COVID-19 surge, with cases rising nationally and in most states after a two-month decline.
One big unknown? “We don’t know how high that mountain’s gonna grow,” said Dr. Stuart Campbell Ray, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins University.
No one expects a peak nearly as high as the last one, when the contagious omicron version of the coronavirus ripped through the population.
But experts warn that the coming wave – caused by a mutant called BA.2 that’s thought to be about 30% more contagious – will wash across the nation. They worry that hospitalizations, which are already ticking up in some parts of the Northeast, will rise in a growing number of states in the coming weeks. And the case wave will be bigger than it looks, they say, because reported numbers are vast undercounts as more people test at home without reporting their infections or skip testing altogether.
Would it be fair to say that there is only some skin and bones left to beat on this dead COVID horse?
Dr. Eric Topol, head of Scripps Research Translational Institute, said the numbers will likely keep growing until the surge reaches about a quarter the height of the last “monstrous” one. BA.2 may well have the same effect in the U.S. as it did in Israel, where it created a “bump” in the chart measuring cases, he said.
“WE MUST PANIC” say the experts. About what? Not really sure. But you need to go deeper in the article to find the “We are being balanced” disclaimer:
Joseph Wendelken, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Health, said the metric they are most focused on right now is hospitalizations, which remain relatively low. About 55 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, compared with more than 600 at one point in the pandemic.
COVID does hit a certain demographic. We have known this for over a year now: Obesity, smoking, advanced age, overall weakened state is some of the things that may cause people to fall sick and even die. But the use of “infection” as only true measure and suggesting a direct equivalence to death is plain lies spread on purpose by the same media that complains about people believing other sources rather than them. Even the latest strain of Ebola “only” kills about 50% of those infected while the survival rates for COVID are in the 99% neighborhood.
But fret not. The COVID Theater of Horror is not going anywhere. In fact, the show has been renewed and new seasons have been approved and will come to your life soon.
Vigilance is a good strategy, experts said, because the coronavirus is constantly throwing curveballs. One of the latest: even more contagious subvariants of BA.2 found in New York state, known as BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1. And scientists warn that new and potentially dangerous variants could arise at any time.
“We shouldn’t be thinking the pandemic is over,” Topol said. “We should still keep our guard up.”
They will keep on beating the horse till they pulverize all of it or no longer is a usable political tool.