Across America, people have made tremendous sacrifices to get us to this point with #COVID19. We must safeguard our progress and ensure life-saving tools are available for ALL Americans. We can't afford to stop here. 2/2
— Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) March 18, 2022
Dr. Jha’s been on the local news several times a week since the pandemic began. He’s been good at explaining every twist and complication over the last two years, and very good at projecting calm and optimism. Seems like the right choice for our current pandemic moment:
President Biden’s COVID-19 coordinator and his deputy will be replaced by Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. Jha’s appointment comes as the White House shifts its strategy as the nation learns to live with COVID-19. https://t.co/7N6H8vc0af
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 17, 2022
… When I first wrote about the panic-neglect cycle five years ago, I assumed that it would operate on a timescale of years, and that neglect would set in only after the crisis was over. The coronavirus pandemic has destroyed both assumptions. Before every surge has ended, pundits have incorrectly predicted that the current wave would be the last, or claimed that lifesaving measures were never actually necessary. Time and again, neglect has set in within mere months, often before the panic part has been over. The U.S. funds pandemic preparedness “like Minnesota snow,” Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, told me in 2018. “There’s a lot in January, but in July it’s all melted.”
Or, as it happens, in March.
This week, Congress nixed $15 billion in coronavirus funding from a $1.5 trillion spending bill, which President Joe Biden then signed on Tuesday. The decision is catastrophic, and as the White House has noted, its consequences will unfurl quickly. Next week, the government will have to cut shipments of monoclonal-antibody treatments by a third. In April, it will no longer be able to reimburse health-care providers for testing, vaccinating, or treating millions of uninsured Americans, who are disproportionately likely to be unvaccinated and infected. Come June, it won’t be able to support domestic testing manufacturers. It can’t buy extra doses of antiviral pills or infection-preventing treatments that immunocompromised people are banking on but were already struggling to get. It will need to scale back its efforts to improve vaccination rates in poor countries, which increases the odds that dangerous new variants will arise. If such variants arise, they’ll likely catch the U.S. off guard, because surveillance networks will have to be scaled back too. Should people need further booster shots, the government won’t have enough for everyone…
The virus is moving too. Cases are shooting up across Western Europe, auguring a similar rise in the U.S., as has happened in every past surge. (A third of the CDC’s wastewater sites have detected upticks in coronavirus samples this month, although such data are noisy and hard to interpret when levels of virus are low.) Meanwhile, mask and vaccine mandates are being lifted. Contact tracing and quarantine policies are being discontinued. The CDC’s new guidelines recast most of the country as “low risk” and left the most vulnerable individuals with the burden of protecting themselves. Some experts supported the guidelines on the grounds that testing, treatments, and other defensive tools were available—and, as promised in Biden’s recently unveiled national plan, would be strengthened even further. But those promises were always contingent on congressional funding; without it, those residual layers of protection evaporate too. For half a year, Biden, administration officials, and several prominent public-health voices have encouraged optimism because “we have the tools” to fight the virus. The first half of that catchphrase now seems doubtful…
… The virus is invisible. The ruin it inflicts is hidden from public view. The pandemic has gone on for two long years, turning tragedy into routine and breeding fatalism from failure. Older, disabled, poor, Black, or brown Americans, whose excess deaths were tolerated long before COVID, have borne the brunt of the pandemic, while privileged people have had the swiftest access to medical interventions—and have been quickest to declare the crisis over. A country that so readily forgets its dead is surely prone to also forgetting the lessons of the all-too-recent past, setting itself up for further failure in an all-too-imminent future.
… The U.N. health agency has previously said that the acute phase of the pandemic could end this year but it would depend on how quickly we meet its target to vaccinate 70% of the population in each country, among other factors.
Asked by a journalist at a Geneva media briefing about the timing of the pandemic’s end, Margaret Harris said it was “far from over”. “We are definitely in the middle of the pandemic,” she added.
After more than a month of decline, COVID cases started to increase around the world last week, the WHO said, with lockdowns in Asia and China’s Jilin province battling to contain an outbreak.
A combination of factors was causing the increases, including the highly transmissible Omicron variant and its cousin the BA.2 sub-variant, and the lifting of public health and social measures, the WHO said.
Mainland China reported its first COVID-19 deaths in more than a year on Saturday, according to a post on the National Health Commission's website that said two people died in the northeastern region of Jilin. https://t.co/jL1AhDIVqx
— Reuters Health (@Reuters_Health) March 19, 2022
How does China exit the pandemic? We know it's tricky, but this time, its the officials raising it publicly. this is even as omicron drives a surge in Hong Kong and the mainland w/ @dakekang — https://t.co/AFQwsg4U9l
— Huizhong Wu (@huizhong_wu) March 18, 2022
Hong Kong reported 16,597 Covid-19 infections on Saturday, of which 9,069 were from rapid tests. The city added another 249 deaths, including 61 from backlogs and 6 who died before reaching the hospital. pic.twitter.com/oWs1yf9r4p
— Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@hkfp) March 19, 2022
As Hong Kong residents leave the city, in part due to the city's tough COVID rules, many chose to abandon their pets, overwhelming dog shelters, which are running at full capacity https://t.co/rHy7NnPGyP pic.twitter.com/EK5R88q5BA
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 18, 2022
So. Korea’s coronavirus infections have soared to one of the world’s highest w/ an #omicron-fueled surge. Thursday S. Korea recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic: 429 deaths in 24 hrs. Officials reported >621k cases, ~1% of the entire population https://t.co/GK45qis30q
— delthia ricks ? (@DelthiaRicks) March 18, 2022
Ecuador’s president on Friday announced an end to coronavirus limits on public and private gatherings, but the South American country will continue to require foreign visitors to show proof of vaccinations or a negative COVID-19 test.
President Guillermo Lasso said the government made the decision to end two years of pandemic containment measures because Ecuador has reached its goal of fully vaccinating 85% of the population above five years old.
Both new infections and COVID-related deaths have steadily fallen in recent weeks, according to government data…
Lasso’s government is maintaining for the time being rules requiring face coverings in all public spaces, including outdoors, as well as indoor spaces…
According to health ministry data, about 583,000 coronavirus infections have been confirmed over the past two years, along with some 35,000 deaths, which officials describe as the sum of both confirmed and probable fatalities.
Only about 30% of Ecuador’s adult population have received booster shots and the government only recently began vaccinating three- and four-year-olds.
… COVID-19 vaccination did not increase risks for rare neurological conditions among more than 8 million people who had received at least one dose of a vaccine from AstraZeneca (AZN.L), Pfizer /BioNTech (22UAy.DE), Moderna (MRNA.O) or Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), according to researchers.
Their study also included 735,870 unvaccinated individuals who had tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as older data on an additional 14.3 million people from the general population for a baseline estimate of rates of the neurological conditions before the pandemic. Researchers looked for four neurological disorders involving the immune system. Three of them – Bell’s palsy (facial weakness), encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), and Guillain-Barré syndrome (a nerve condition) – were no more common in the vaccine recipients than in the general population, the researchers reported on Wednesday in The BMJ. The fourth – transverse myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) – occurred too rarely for analysis (fewer than 5 cases in 8.3 million vaccinated people). The researchers did see increased rates of Bell’s palsy, encephalomyelitis and Guillain-Barré syndrome in COVID-19 survivors, however…
Risk of depression, anxiety tied to COVID-19 severity
People who have been bedridden for seven days or more with COVID-19 are at increased risk of anxiety and depression, an international study found.
Researchers analyzed data from Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the UK collected between March 2020 and August 2021 on more than 247,000 people, including 9,979 who were diagnosed with COVID-19. Those who had COVID and were bedridden for at least a week had a 61% higher risk for symptoms of depression and a 43% higher risk for anxiety, for up to 16 months after their diagnosis compared to those who were never infected.
By contrast, patients who had COVID-19 but were never bedridden actually had significantly lower rates of depression than people who had never contracted the virus, researchers found. “This group may experience a relief after recovery from the relatively benign infection and are able to return to somewhat normal lives as compared to those not yet diagnosed with COVID-19, perhaps still fearing infection and therefore still limiting social contact,” said Dr. Anna Valdimarsdottir of the University of Iceland, whose team reported the findings in The Lancet Public Health. The results should alert clinicians to the possibility of long-term mental health symptoms in their patients who suffered severe acute illness from the virus, she added.
Imp. paper in the world’s best biomedical journal. Not great news for natural omicron infection doing as much as hoped to contribute to the ‘wall of immunity’. You’re NOT bullet proof if previously infected. Everyone – get your 3rd dose & avoid infection as best you can. #COVID19 https://t.co/xC7l7S7o7g
— Prof Brendan Crabb (@CrabbBrendan) March 18, 2022
In D.C., Maryland and Virginia, one of the most vaccinated regions in the country, 7,100 people have died of covid-19 since Christmas https://t.co/Iqhm8paJVu
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 18, 2022
People shrug over flu. Will they soon be shrugging about Covid? https://t.co/xXxgr7yGrI
— delthia ricks ? (@DelthiaRicks) March 18, 2022
Monroe County, NY:
83 new cases on 3/18. I hope I didn’t pick up Omicron 2 during my MRI yesterday.
New Deal democrat
Cases in the US declined to a new Omicron low of 30,400, a 15% decline from one week ago. Deaths declined to exactly 900. Aside from two days after Thanksgiving, this is the lowest since mid-July. Since cases are down 96%+ from peak, if deaths follow suit they will be down to about 100 in a month or so.
Watching the UK’s trajectory under BA.2, the weekly rate of increase decreased again, down to about 35%. I am expecting a peak there within about 2 weeks, now that BA.2 makes up nearly 100% of their cases.
Leaving aside NV’s data dump, the worst US State is ID at 32 cases per 100,000, followed by KY and AK at about 30, then VT, CO, and RI at about 20. All other States are below 20. The best State is KS at 2.5 cases per 100,000, followed by NE, SC, LA, SD, MS, and WY, all at 4 or less.
Jurisdictions with week over week increases increased to 11, and include NY, RI, MA, VT, NH, MI, HI, OK, and PR, as well as NV and KY with their data dump. CA and MD are flat.
The US is on the cusp of a temporary bottom. I expect it to occur in about a week. BA.2 probably accounts to 40% of all cases by now, the national rate of decline has slowed substantially, and the % of jurisdictions flat or increasing has increased to about 25%. At the same time, I only expect the BA.2 increase to last about a month and to be less severe than the UK’s.
On 3/18 Mainland China reported 2,157 new domestic confirmed (26 previously asymptomatic), 1,713 new domestic asymptomatic cases. There were 2 deaths.
Guangdong Province reported 47 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic) & 48 new domestic asymptomatic cases.
Guangxi “Autonomous” Region reported 2 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic, 1 each at Nanning & Qinzhou) & 17 new domestic asymptomatic cases (10 at Qinzhou, 5 atFangchenggang, & 2 at Chongzuo). 7 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 1 domestic asymptomatic case was released from isolation. There currently are 80 active domestic confirmed (44 at Fangchenggang, 11 at Baise, 19 at Qinzhou, 4 at Nanning, & 1 each at Chongzuo & Guilin) & 171 active domestic asymptomatic cases (53 at Fangchenggang, 14 at Baise, 55 at Chongzuo, 41 at Qinzhou, 5 at Liuzhou, 3 at Beihai) in the province. 1 zone at Fangchenggang are currently at Medium Risk.
Hunan Province reported 6 new domestic confirmed & 1 new domestic asymptomatic cases, 1 at Changsha (a traced close contact of domestic positive cases elsewhere & already under centralized quarantine), 2 at Shaoyang (both traced close contacts of domestic positive cases elsewhere & already under centralized quarantine), 3 at Huaihua (all mild), & 1 at Yongzhou (a person recently arrived from Guangdong). There currently are 12 active domestic confirmed (4 each at Changsha & Huaihua, 2 at Shaoyang, & 1 each at Xiangtan & Yongzhou) & 1 active domestic asymptomatic (at Yongzhou) cases in the province. 1 sub-district at Huaihua has been elevated to Medium Risk.
Inner Mongolia “Autonomous” Region reported 6 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 6 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 14 active domestic confirmed & 12 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
Tianjin Municipality reported 28 new domestic confirmed (3 previously asymptomatic, 18 mild & 10 moderate) cases, 24 are traced close contacts already under quarantine & 1 via screening of residents in areas under movement restrictions. 14 domestic confirmed case recovered. There currently are 363 active domestic confirmed & 31 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city. 4 sites are currently at High Risk. 9 sites are currently at Medium Risk.
Shandong Province reported 42 new domestic confirmed (5 previously asymptomatic) & 161 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 27 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 31 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 1,136 active domestic confirmed cases & 1,759 active asymptomatic cases in the province.
At Shanxi Province 5 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 15 active domestic confirmed cases in the province (4 at Jinzhong, 5 each at Yuncheng & Taiyuan & 1 at Jincheng).
Hebei Province reported 4 new domestic confirmed & 265 domestic asymptomatic cases. There currently are 296 active domestic confirmed & 1,289 active asymptomatic case in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
Liaoning Province reported 69 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic) & 60 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 17 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 293 active domestic confirmed & 264 active domestic cases in the province.
Heilongjiang Province reported 20 new domestic confirmed & 43 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 1 domestic confirmed case recovered & 2 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 103 active domestic confirmed & 161 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
Jilin Province reported 1,674 new domestic confirmed (8 previously asymptomatic, 1,654 mild, 10 moderate & 10 serious) & 537 new domestic asymptomatic cases. There were 2 deaths among domestic cases. As the province does not consistently break down recoveries by confirmed & asymptomatic cases or by jurisdictions, I can no longer track the count of active case counts in the different jurisdictions.
Beijing Municipality reported 1 new domestic confirmed (all mild) cases, via screening of persons deemed at risk of exposure. 1 village is currently at Medium Risk.
Shanghai Municipality reported 8 new domestic confirmed & 366 new domestic asymptomatic cases, 182 of the new domestic positive cases are traced close contacts already under centralized quarantine, the rest from screening of persons deemed at risk of exposure. 6 domestic asymptomatic case was released from isolation. There currently are 168 active domestic confirmed & 1,657 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city. 10 sites are currently at Medium Risk.
Shaanxi Province reported 11 new domestic confirmed cases (all mild). 8 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 324 active domestic confirmed cases in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
At Hubei Province 5 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 5 active domestic confirmed (2 mild & 3 moderate, 4 at Wuhan & 1 at Shiyan) & 3 active domestic asymptomatic (2 at Wuhan & 1 at Xianning) cases in the province..
Jiangsu Province reported 3 new domestic (1 previously asymptomatic) & 35 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 22 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 5 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 137 active domestic confirmed & 299 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
Anhui Province reported 15 new domestic asymptomatic (8 at Ma’anshan & 7 at Tongling) cases, 10 are tracked close contacts already under centralized quarantine & 5 via screening of persons in areas under movement restrictions. There currently are 4 active confirmed (2 each at Ma’anshan & Tongling) & 49 active domestic asymptomatic (27 at Ma’anshan, 3 at Suzhou, 16 at Tongling & 1 each at Anqing, Chuzhou & Haozhou) cases in the province. 2 villages at Ma’anshan, & 1 village & 1 residential building at Tongling, are currently at Medium Risk.
Zhejiang Province reported 11 new domestic confirmed (4 previously asymptomatic) & 14 new domestic asymptomatic cases. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
Gansu Province reported 22 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic) & 2 new domestic asymptomatic cases. There currently are 186 active domestic confirmed & 156 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
Fujian Province reported 199 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic) & 77 new domestic asymptomatic cases. There currently are 478 active domestic confirmed & 239 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
At Xining in Qinghai Province there currently are 2 active domestic confirmed cases in the city.
Zunyi in Guizhou Province reported 1 new domestic confirmed (mild) & 2 new domestic asymptomatic cases, 2 are traced close contacts already under centralized quarantine & 1 via screening of residents in areas under movement restrictions. There currently are 9 active domestic confirmed & 3 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city.
Jiangxi Province reported 36 new domestic asymptomatic cases (35 at Nanchang & 1 at Yichun). There currently are 3 active domestic confirmed (all at Nanchang) & 49 active domestic asymptomatic (47 at Nanchang & 1 each at Yichun & Jiujiang) cases in the city. 3 sites at Nanchang are currently at Medium Risk.
Henan Province reported 1 new domestic confirmed & 4 new domestic asymptomatic cases, all at Jiaozuo, 2 are elementary school students found via regular screening & the others are traced close contacts. The cluster is likely to have been seeded by a person who arrived from Shanghai on 3/12, who tested multiple times between 3/12 & 3/17. There currently are 9 active domestic confirmed (5 at Puyang & 1 each at Jiaozuo, Luoyang, Shangqiu & Zhengzhou) & 5 active domestic asymptomatic (4 at Jiaozuo & at Puyang) cases in the province. 7 sites at Puyang are currently Medium Risk.
Chongqing Municipality reported 3 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic) cases, all traced close contacts already under centralized quarantine. There currently is 53 active domestic confirmed & 12 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city. 3 dormitory buildings are currently at Medium Risk.
Sichuan Province did not report any new domestic positive cases.
Yunnan Province reported 5 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic) & 24 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 2 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 9 new domestic asymptomatic were released from isolation. There currently are 78 active domestic confirmed & 381 active domestic asymptomatic cases remaining in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
On 3/18, Mainland China reported 71 new imported confirmed cases (14 previously asymptomatic, 2 in Guangdong), 110 imported asymptomatic cases, 0 imported suspect cases:
Overall in Mainland China, 614 confirmed cases recovered (383 imported), 251 asymptomatic cases were released from isolation (177 imported) & 40 were reclassified as confirmed cases (14 imported), & 7,784 individuals were released from quarantine. Currently, there are 18,586 active confirmed cases in the country (2,056 imported), 31 in serious condition (1 imported), 14,318 active asymptomatic cases (1,721 imported), 7 suspect cases (all imported). 296,513 traced contacts are currently under centralized quarantine.
As of 3/18, 3,218.716M vaccine doses have been injected in Mainland China, an increase of 4.943M doses in the past 24 hrs.
On 3/19, Hong Kong reported 16,597 new positive cases, 14 imported & 16,583 domestic (7,514 via RT-PCR & 9,069 from rapid antigen tests), 182 deaths (23 fully vaccinated, including 3 boosted) + 61 backlogged deaths.
On 3/19, Taiwan reported 126 new positive cases, 120 imported & 6 domestic.
@New Deal democrat: Yeah… a lot of people are expecting a new peak as vicious as the first Omicron peak, and I don’t think that’s going to happen, because there’s not much evidence of BA.2 having high immune escape for people who were already infected with Omicron, and that’s what makes this situation different from Omicron vs. Delta or Alpha.
What’s going to happen is that BA.2 will find a lot of the remaining people who weren’t already infected during the Omicron wave, especially if they’re still not vaccinated (but also many who were). But in the US, most of the people who still haven’t gotten Omicron are vaccinated and perhaps take some other precautions, which should at least cut down the R value and the death/severe illness rate.
One difference from Europe is that here, either a given place had no vax/mask mandates at all, or if they did, they held off lifting them until the Omicron wave was mostly spent. In Europe, many countries seemed to suddenly lift them when Omicron was still clearly romping, which is just weird.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Health reported 24,241 new Covid-19 cases yesterday in its media statement, for a cumulative reported total of 3,951,678 cases. It also reported 59 deaths for an adjusted cumulative total of 34,244 deaths – 0.87% of the cumulative reported total, 0.94% of resolved cases.
Malaysia’s nationwide Rt stands at 0.92.
164 confirmed cases are in ICU, 103 of them on ventilators. Meanwhile, 26,615 more patients have recovered, for a cumulative total of 3,623,068 patients recovered – 91.7% of the cumulative reported total.
Three new clusters were reported yesterday, for a cumulative total of 6,905 clusters. 332 clusters are currently active; 6,573 clusters are now inactive.
23,720 new cases reported yesterday were local infections. 521 new cases were imported.
The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) administered 40,418 doses of vaccine on 18th March: 18,273 first doses, 1,709 second doses, and 20,436 booster doses. The cumulative total is 68,418,688 doses administered: 27,397,802 first doses, 25,784,236 second doses, and 15,446,895 booster doses. 83.9% of the population have received their first dose, 79.0% their second dose, and 47.3% their booster dose.
Saw this poetry fragment while bouncing around Twitter yesterday and think it is too good not to share:
what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious month between covid waves
Yes, I am a bad person, accidentally did not copy the writer’s name.
Friday in the UK we had 90,349 new cases. The 7-day moving average is up 38.1%. New cases by nation,
England – 68,492
Northern ireland – 1798
Scotland – 18,124 (includes some cases from Thursday)
Wales – 1935.
Deaths – There were 126 deaths within 28 days of a positive test yesterday. The rolling 7-day average is up by 3%. 95 deaths were in England, 23 in Scotland, 8 in Wales and none in Northern Ireland.
Testing – 775,884 tests took place on 17 March. The rolling 7-day average is up by 9.7%.
Hospitalisations – There were 14,671 people in hospital and 292 on ventilators on Thursday, 17 March. The 7-day average for hospital admissions was up by 24.8% as of 14 March.
Vaccinations – As of 17th March, 91.7% of all UK residents aged 12+ had had 1 shot, 85.7% had had 2, and 67.1% had had a 3rd shot/booster.
England will stop issuing free RLFT’s w.e.f. the end of this month. Tests will be available to buy at chemists. As they have a long shelf life I am stockpiling free tests. I think a lot of people must be. There was none available yesterday but I managed to score a box of 7 this morning. I am allowed to get 1 box every 72 hours so I will try for my final free box mid-next week. Does this make me a bad person?
Anyway, that’s all until Tuesday as the UK no longer publishes updates over weekends.
Just want to say I appreciate all the country-specific reports from all regular posters in this thread. This is citizen journalism right here on this almost 10,000 blog. And AL, wow. Almost every day for an entire pandemic, 2 years and counting. We’re lucky to have all y’all (and Amir, I’m still glad to see you each day. We had quite a scare. You were missed.)
O. Felix Culpa
@Sloane Ranger: All I can say to the UK is STOP THAT! I’m headed to Scotland next month and not for the purpose of catching COVID. :)
As of March 12, CDC had the proportion of cases that are BA.2 at 23.1%. Looking back over their weekly figures, this proportion appears to be increasing by about 50-60% per week. Projecting forward, at this rate BA.2 will be almost 100% of infections here in about 3-4 weeks from March 12. Since one of those weeks has already passed, if we are going to be hit hard by BA.2 we will see it soon.
In the US, there are a number of politicians making noise about public health measures like vaccine mandates, lockdowns, and mask wearing being tyranny. As the election approaches I expect these same people to start attacking the Biden administration for not doing enough. Possible they will reference the red-blue split on deaths and claim Biden was killing off Republicans. Yes, that cynical.
@Ohio Mom: there is a haiku hidden in that poem fragment:
What is it you plan
With your wild and precious month
Between covid waves?
Numbers here in Maine are falling, especially here on the southern coast, which now is considered low risk. Nevertheless, I won’t be without a mask for a long time, and now that it’s getting warmer (yes, everything’s relative), my informal four-person weekly lunch group will be gathering again—outside. One of our favorite places has outdoor tables with heaters in the bases. Many fewer people are masked now, but with an other variant on the way, we’re not dropping our guard. Hey, we’re old but not stupid.
@Amir Khalid: I often track the Rt figure you provide. Am I right that it has gradually been going down for a while?