Earlier this summer, it appeared as though the coronavirus pandemic was all but conquered after vaccinations soared and most of us resumed something resembling a relatively normal life style, but vaccines never reached a large portion of the country.
For their own ignorant reasons, many Americans decided they did not need or did not want a vaccine and now hospitalizations are at their worst point since January following outbreaks that began over the holidays.
More than 100,000 people are currently hospitalized with coronavirus infections.
The latest figure, amid a summer surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, is also more than double what it was on the same day last year, when vaccines were not available as they are now.
Hospitals and researchers have been saying the vast majority of this year's hospitalized patients are unvaccinated. The availability of vaccines makes the current hospitalization surge tragic, Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the US Food and Drug Administration's vaccine advisory committee, told CNN Wednesday.
"The numbers now ... are actually in many ways worse than last August," Offit said. "Last August, we had a fully susceptible population, (and) we didn't have a vaccine. Now, we have half the country vaccinated ... but nonetheless the numbers are worse.
Death is a lagging indicator and all of these infections and hospitalizations will eventually lead to death for many people.
University researchers in Washington state and Texas say we can expect to see about 100,000 additional deaths before Christmas.
The U.S. is projected to see nearly 100,000 more COVID-19 deaths between now and Dec. 1, according to the nation’s most closely watched forecasting model. But health experts say that toll could be cut in half if nearly everyone wore a mask in public spaces.
“Behavior is really going to determine if, when and how sustainably the current wave subsides,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. “We cannot stop delta in its tracks, but we can change our behavior overnight.” [...]
Deaths are running at over 1,100 a day on average, turning the clock back to mid-March. One influential model, from the University of Washington, projects an additional 98,000 Americans will die by the start of December, for an overall death toll of nearly 730,000.
If behavior is going to determine if this happens or not, I feel safe in assuming it's going to happen.
I cannot fathom risking the lives of family members and your community by refusing to get a shot that is completely free, but many Americans evidently believe a vaccine is worse than watching a loved one die. And I can't see any reason why we shouldn't expect to see additional outbreaks following the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holiday season. We might add 100,000 additional deaths to our total before then, but it's not going to stop there. If 150 million Americans still aren't fully vaccinated, that leaves a lot of space for the virus to spread among people who also don't believe in wearing a mask.
I don't know what we're suppose to do about a population of people who so carelessly and stupidly risk their own life and those of everyone around them. It's as if they did not inherit any biological instincts toward self-preservation.