Saturday, February 13, 2021

Pandemic Saturday

We have been here before. Over the past year, there have been moments in almost all countries when cases declined, and governments opened up too quickly, and individuals let down their guard, only for the virus to come roaring back." That caution is backed up by multiple studies that indicated states and countries that raised their restrictions too early saw continued infections and earlier returns to widespread infections.  This is a basic outcome of viral spread. The drop in cases is a result of social restrictions, either mandatory or voluntary, lowering the rate at which each infected individual passes the virus on to others. The ultimate goal of these restrictions is to lower the overall cases so that, when people start everyday activities again, there are very few infections, allowing contact tracing and isolation to limit the virus's spread. Stop the social restrictions too soon, and a lot more people will be infected, making contact tracing ineffective and starting new infections at a very high level.  That's what seems to have happened in the United States, which never saw distinct waves of infections but instead had a number of peaks standing out from a backdrop of high levels of viral spread.  Unfortunately, the US seems dedicated to revisiting its earlier mistakes. At a time when infections are still well above any point prior to November, a number of states have responded to the drop in new cases with plans to lift restrictions.


Brian said...

Would love to see some major investment by either private or govt. or some combination of both towards infrastructure to deal with higher and faster vaccine production. Were probably going to need them for sometime. Along with probably permanent changes to how we live and interact

John Wells said...

Voting for future presidents that don't ignore science will be a big step in handling pandemics.

Penelope said...

Our new GOP govenor..Gianforte..lifted all mask mandates two days ago. All bars and restaurants no longer have any Covid restrictions. It isn't as though everyone was following any rules, but now it is a mine field.