COVID-19: Part 61

August 7, 2021 6:37 pm
  • Livermore cases: 4,901; eligible vaccination rate: 65.9%
  • Alameda County cases: 95,120; deaths: 1,242; eligible vaccination rate: 72.3%
  • U.S. cases: 35,665,000+; deaths: 614,000+; eligible vaccination rate: 58.6%

The situation continues to deteriorate across the country, but public health departments have finally started responding. Alameda County now has a mask requirement for all persons in public buildings. California has issued a requirement that all healthcare workers be fully vaccinated by mid-October (receive their final shot by Sep 30). Several large employers of various types around the country are announcing vaccination requirements for employees.

The federal government announced that federal employees must attest to their vaccination status. Those not attesting to being vaccinated will be required to wear masks, physically distance from others, be subject weekly or twice weekly testing, and have travel restrictions. It was indicated this requirement would be extended to contract organizations at some point, which would mean the Lab would need to comply. Hopefully they go one step further and require proof rather than attestation or have steep penalties attached to lying about it.

The Lab announced that they're getting a round of Pfizer vaccines to administer next week.

Jess was experiencing abdominal pain on Wednesday evening and we ended up going to the ER. Well she did. Only patients were allowed in because they were swamped with COVID patients. I sat outside for awhile and eventually went home and picked her up later. She got cycled back to the general waiting room in between seeing the doctor and having tests done since they didn't have enough space to just stay in the treatment area.

The hospital was straight out of a disaster movie. Entrances were barricaded and taped off, temporary tents and construction lighting were all over the outside, all the personnel were wearing multiple layers of PPE (e.g., masks + face shields), and signs everywhere about restricted access. They had a separate entrance near the ER set up to take people through some tents to an imaging area without passing through the waiting room. I took a couple of pictures, but didn't want to be an annoyance to anyone, so I didn't take pictures where anyone was hanging out.

Jess was there for about 4 hours; thankfully they got her test results rapidly. They gave her a prescription for some pain killers for a presumed kidney stone (it didn't show up on the CT) and she came home.

It's not clear why it's such a difficult message to get across: too many people needing medical care at the same time will overwhelm the medical system causing lower quality outcomes for all patients. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, physically distance. It's not a hard concept. But I guess until the medical system for a region truly does fail under the load many people just won't pay any attention.

The U.S. is back well above 100,000 new cases per day now after getting down below 10,000 in mid-June.

School is starting all around the country over the next few weeks. Over the past several months, some states passed absolutely bonkers laws that prohibit schools from requiring masks for their students. Thankfully California, on the other hand, has mandated that all students, teachers, faculty, etc. in K-12 are required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status per the guidance issued by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

There hasn't been a single day since early March 2020 for which fewer than 100 deaths due to COVID-19 were reported in the country, thankfully we're not at the 4,000+ per day we saw in January, but we are at ~600 per day and trending up. 600 completely preventable deaths a day. It's sad and frustrating that there is so much disinformation and derision for something with such obvious and devastating impact.

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