COVID-19: Part 60

August 1, 2021 3:21 pm
  • Livermore cases: 4,648; eligible vaccination rate: 65.4%
  • Alameda County cases: 91,889; deaths: 1,232; eligible vaccination rate: 71.7%
  • U.S. cases: 34,926,000+; deaths: 610,000+; eligible vaccination rate: 58.1%

Things have been trending poorly in several parts of the country. Nationwide we are back to the case rates we saw in early February, except in early February we were trending strongly downward and currently we're trending strongly upward--so more like what we saw in early November.

The latest data suggests that the delta variant has an r0 between 5 and 10; compared to the original strain at ~3. It's just spreading like crazy. It's also showing to be significantly more spreadable by vaccinated persons than either the original strain or alpha variant were. So while the original strain could have been effectively controlled with a vaccination rate of ~65%, the delta variant will need a vaccination rate of ~85%. Which it looks like we're just never going to get to.

It's pretty depressing that we're going to watch tens of thousands more people die for no reason other than weaponized ignorance and selfishness. Get vaccinated, wear a mask while community infection rates are high, and this could be effectively over.

California, and Alameda County, haven't re-introduced any mandatory mitigation measures despite that if we were still using the rules in place as of 2 months ago pretty much the entire state would be "purple" and there would be mask mandates and business restrictions.

It would be easy to wash one's hands and say, "those refusing a free vaccination have only themselves to blame," but children under 12 are still not eligible to be vaccinated. High community infection rates means there's a continuing risk that a vaccinated person will catch the virus and then infect unvaccinated children even if those kids are being kept out of high risk situations. While the vaccinated person is significantly protected we'll still end up killing thousands of children for no reason.

At work, the Lab was going to relax their on-site mask requirement, but canceled due to the much higher spread rate of the delta variant and the disappointingly low self-reported vaccination rate among employees. We still haven't begun working on site as a regular thing, so I continue working from my closet just about every day.

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