The world reported more than 9.5 million cases last week, which is a 71% increase compared to the previous week. Although the greatest increase is still in the Americas (+100%), every region in the world now has increasing case trends. (Notice the y-axis is different for each region in the figure below).
Thank you for continuing to give us the data! As frightening as it is reality helps us all make sound personal decisions.
Maryland hospitals passed their breaking point between Xmas and New Year’s and started shifting into crisis standards of care. No decoupling here other than the vaccinated have a dramatically lower hospitalization rate. Everyone else is being hit hard like before.
Something that I am interested in seeing is that Massachusetts intends to start splitting out their hospitalization data into “hospitalized with covid” and “hospitalized from covid”.
I think it will be revealing from a data perspective to see how much of the covid hospitalization rate in my state is due to covid symptoms vs incidental (tested positive while there for something else). The ludicrous transmissibility of omicron would surely increase the incidental rate, but it’s really hard to say by how much.
Is it possible we would see more decoupling if we had an accounting for the at home tests and their results? Just last week I knew 3 cases and yesterday 2 more. I know of several others as well that tested positive on rapid tests and have done well in the course of their illness.
I don't know if I have just been missing it in previous newsletters but today I noticed the offer of a version in Spanish. Thank you very much for providing this option (on top of all the terrific work you're already doing)!
Aaaaaaand I think it just got me. Developed a 100 degree fever earlier today
Please note the damaging oped piece in the WSJ this AM entitled Omicron Makes Biden's Vaccine Mandate Obsolete. The authors cite a prepub article from Denmark that they say suggests that vaccines are ineffective against omicron. However the article ends with the following, ".......these findings highlight the need for a massive rollout of vaccine and booster vaccine."
You need to stop saying things like “vaccine preventable disease”. It’s patently false at this point. Even the cdc has come out to say it doesn’t prevent. It makes everything else you say impossible to listen to,
" In this scenario, Omicron would lead to a peak of 17,700 daily hospital admissions and 1,700 deaths per day." So, ten percent of #omicron hospitalizations will result in death? Where did this data come from? My searches a failing to come up with any significant number of deaths that are confirmed #omicron.
Speaking of the UK and Denmark, are you going to talk about the vaccine’s negative efficacy there? (As well as Iceland and Canada, where they are also seeing higher cases among the vaccinated vs unvaccinated)
As many families, mine is currently dealing with COVID running through the house. I would love for you to address a post on the aftermath of Omicron for a family. What does it mean we should/could/should not do now? We are all vaccinated (and adults are boosted) and now we've even had omicron (we assume it's this variant given the prevalence in our area). We've been SUPER careful (N95 masks, only going out for essentials), but the (vaccinated) kids brought it back from school anyway. After we recover, can we be less careful? Can we get it again? socialize and travel more?
My son, an ID specialist, takes issue with your last report "There is a flaw in her analysis of the relative lack of decoupling. We have vastly undercounted the cases in the US omicron surge. People already knew that omicron is mild at the start of our surge, so many aren’t testing. We have many more home tests, none of which are counted. I addition, it is estimated that 50-70% of Covid hospitalizations are for reasons other than Covid." Best wishes, james R Oster, MD firstname.lastname@example.org
Given the increasing evidence of long term impact on children even after mild cases, such as the increase in diabetes, are you concerned the the officials are calling to keep schools open no matter what. Why no urging testing or circuit breakers briefly virtual? My city of Virginia Beach (not a small town-school division has 65,000 students) is far from alone falling that guidance to keep schools open with almost no access to testing even for those sick and with symptoms, definitely no regular testing, falling down cloth masks (while we're "lucky" enough to require them), contact tracing has been suspended due to rates too high, and in most cases no improved ventilation from before the pandemic (a few classrooms got filters but not most). Our community rates are 44% positivity and we are around 1000 per 100,000. Hospitals have stopped non-emergency surgeries. 25-40% of students and staff are absent, so little to no learning is occurring.
I understand babysitting is needed for the economy, but it is devastating the health of so many staff and students and a profession (education) that already sorely was lacking staff is and will to hemorrhage people at an even higher rate because of how people are being treated. We are destroying our education system in addition to health and it breaks my heart. Thank goodness, I already resigned after how poorly we were treated last year but I feel for all my friends and colleagues still suffering, both as parents and staff members. Even those who are vaccinated have been getting quite ill, having other family members get more seriously ill (because they're still bringing it home to immunocompromised or unvaccinated family), not to mention the sometimes devastating and sometimes more minor long term impacts to their health that we are seeing in large numbers.
I know you can't answer every question but thought I'd ask since I have not been able to find any articles on my question (below). I am an MD with an MPH so know just enough to get obsessed with the data but don't have the analytical skills or advanced epi training to distill the information myself. I have been SO GRATEFUL for your scholarly and accessible newsletter which I read first thing every morning. Sorry it has taken me so long to pay for a subscription given how much time and effort you put it!
Here's my question: If a health young person (28 yo male) is due for their mRNA booster but tests positive for Covid (presumably Omicron given the timing but not confirmed) should he delay his booster? And if so by how long? Or go ahead and get it now as planned once he is out of the quarantine period?
Are there any valid concerns about too many vaccines too close together or on the heels of an infection? I have read some unsubstantiated comments about "over stimulating" the immune system if folks stack their vaccines closer than recommended but not sure if this is true or how a breakthrough infection fits into this picture. I have not seen any data on this particular scenario or in the CDC guidelines (such as they are) yet so would appreciate your input -especially if other folks have the same question.
Thanks again for your dedication. Tell your little ones their mom is a hero. :)
Here's a question that I've been searching for an answer to and can't find anywhere.
Prior to Omicron, the science seemed to indicate that the risk of transmission outdoors was slim to none (unless you're in a large crowd of people). Kids' playdates, gatherings outside, etc. should be safe (even unmasked) because of unrestricted airflow.
Now that we have a far more transmissible variant, does that guidance change? If we can become infected with a much lower amount of exposure, then is outside still the magic bullet, transmission-wise?
In my suburban community, we rarely mask outdoors (but always, ALWAYS indoors). However, I've been wondering if it's wise to be masked outside with other people around. Do you have any thoughts, links, or information on whether the risk is different for Omicron outside than it was for previous strains?
As always, thank you so much for your efforts and insights. I appreciate your work so much.
Thank you for your amazingness and distilling this for us! I am wondering if you will be covering the nasal v. oral v. both debate that is currently happening for at home testing?