Tag Archives: breakthrough cases

Holiday Reminder: COVID-19 Is Not Done With Us

With the local COVID-19 color code at Orange and test positivity holding steady in the single digits, folks seem to be getting too damn comfy. Maskless mass events continue as if this thing is done with us. As we near the holidays, half the country is seeing an uptick in positivity and in hospitalizations. Bottom line: The pandemic is not over.

Here in Texas, 28 hospitals were out of ICU beds and staffing is still affected by the pandemic–no matter what the numbers tells us. People, especially the unvaccinated, are getting sick. We’re still singing the same tune:

The vast majority of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and ICUs are unvaccinated. Doctors say mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing are the best ways to slow down the hospital numbers in the short term, and that monoclonal antibody therapies for people with COVID-19 symptoms can keep them out of the hospital in many cases. They also say the only way to permanently slow down the spike in hospitalizations is to vaccinate a majority of the state.

Texas Tribune

Although the numbers and the worry are low for breakthrough cases, those who live with autoimmune disorders and other comorbidities still live in danger if they are not careful–masked, hands washed, etc.–and insist on hanging out with the unvaccinated. And breakthrough cases are a lot more common than folks think and the Feds and Greg Abbott are sucking at keeping an accurate count. This is why it’s important to get a booster or a third vaccine (if immunocompromised with doctor’s advice) before Thanksgiving gatherings.

The Thanksgiving holidays will be a test for those gathering. The responsible thing is to ensure your guests are vaccinated to protect the rest of your household. Also, distance and hand-washing help!

Get Your Shots! Mask Up!

Since the media and government are on top of trying to get shots into the unvaccinated, there’s no sense in me joining that part of the chorus.

I’ve seen the stats regarding the unvax’d: A majority are anti-vaxxers and come up with any and all excuses to not get a shot. And the rest either don’t have access, or just plain procrastinate. Thankfully, vaccination rates seem to be creeping up, again; however, infections are exploding.

My big worry remains on the vaccinated, and so many numbers are thrown at us to make us feel safe from hospitalization and death. But we need some sense of reality about what is to come regarding infections, rather than being told that because 150 million Americans are vaccinated, only .0000013 (or whatever) are infected. That is disingenuous at best and an avoidance of reality at worse.

I’ve been looking toward Los Angeles when it comes to breakthrough cases. The LA County Public Health Director reported a few days ago regarding breakthrough cases based on current COVID-19 testing. There has been steady growth in infections of the vaccinated.

In March, vaccinated people accounted for only 2% of all infections. In April that rose to 5%. In May, it was 11%. It stood at 20% in June — and is now likely higher. The rise coincides with the rise of the more transmissible Delta variant in the county, which now accounts for 84% of all variants recently identified.

The reason?

“The more people who are vaccinated, the more people who will end up testing positive.”

Huh?

“Those numbers will go up — including among vaccinated people,” she said, “until we get community transmission under control. Masking will help.”

That’s why LA’s indoor masking order was put in place.

In other words, COVID-19 and its variants are out there because people refuse to get vaccinated and because states have sped up their re-openings without having reached a vaccination rate that would control transmission, or having put policies like masking that may control transmission in place.

And a reminder that the vaccinated can still get infected with mostly mild symptoms. But some of us don’t want the infection.

Much like LA and California, Texas is in the same predicament with its even lower vax rate and even faster reopening. There doesn’t seem to be much of a plan to keep students masked when they return to school, and the vaccination rates are lower for the 12 to 18 population. Already, we are seeing a younger population in hospitals with many being unvaccinated. But, again, what about the vax’d?

And let’s go deeper. What about the vaccinated with comorbidities and the immunosuppressed who may suffer more if infected? All this to worry about along with long haulers and those suffering post-COVID-19 after effects.

Obviously the discussion over booster shots is beginning, but at this point, masking up is equally important. Given the numbers, masking needs to be as close to mandated as possible in Texas schools and universities, and even at places of business where crowds form. Whatever Greg Abbott is doing to suppress lives in Texas, it is the leaders of these institutions who must act accordingly and show some…leadership. At the very least, be an example and wear a mask!

I usually would go along with the “don’t worry” crowd, but when the message comes from relatively medically healthy, thin, and insured self-proclaimed thought leaders, my alarms go off and I start feeling that entire groups of people are going ignored.

In other words, we need to be proactive for everyone’s sake.

Find a vaccine. Mask up! Keep clean! Stay away from crowds! You know the drill.

UPDATE: CDC is now recommending vaccinated people wear masks indoors.

The agency is recommending that vaccinated people who live in areas with substantial and high transmission wear masks in indoor public spacesto help prevent viral spread, according to three people familiar with the guidance. It is also advising that vaccinated people with vulnerable individuals in their households, including young children and those who are immunocompromised, wear masks indoors in public spaces.

The agency is also urging universal masking for all teachers, staff and students in schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Now, it’s up to leaders to choose whether to follow-thru, or be whiny SOBs.