State of Affairs: Sept 6, 2021

Well, we may have peaked in the United States. Acceleration continues to slow down (second graph), which is a great sign. Cases are incredibly volatile right now, though, so let’s hope this trend continues.

This is about on track when we compare our Delta curve to other countries. It looks like everyone peaks between 40-60 days and we are coming up on 60 days.

We have six states with decreasing cases. The South’s fire is slowly but surely fizzling out. Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana (but we can’t trust their numbers due to Ida), Missouri, and Arkansas have decreasing 14-day averages.

Unfortunately, the national average is now being offset by a mid-Atlantic hotspot. South Carolina is now the national leader in COVID19 cases (106 per 100K), followed by Tennessee (100 per 100K) and Kentucky (99 per 100K).

Maine (136% 14-day change), West Virginia (113%), and South Dakota (99%) have the fastest growth rate in the country.

Also notice how case trends, by age, are rapidly changing. I pulled a graph from the CDC website and selected different time frames: The first graph is the Winter wave; the second graph is the Delta wave. The order of colors is drastically different. Before Delta, kids were at the bottom. During Delta, 12-17 years olds are at the top. Followed closely by 5-11 year olds.

Hospitalizations

We’re averaging 102,285 hospitalizations per day. Florida continues to have the highest hospitalization rate (70 per 100,000) regardless of their 11% decrease in hospitalizations in the past 14 days. This just reflects how high their hospitalizations got. Interestingly, and unfortunately, only the adult hospitalizations are decreasing. Pediatric hospitalizations continue to climb in Florida.

We are seeing this age trend at a national level too. We can see this best in the graphs below from the CDC (second graph). On the right hand side, you can see all adult age brackets starting to decrease. If you zoom on that yellow line (left graph), hospitalization admissions among 0-17 year olds continue to exponentially increase.

Deaths

We’re averaging 1,544 deaths per day, which is 99% preventable at this point. As of August 30, 1,957 vaccinated people (out of 173,000,000) have died due to COVID19.

As Dr. Hotez (pediatric immunologist) pointed out, we will exceed the number of deaths from the 1918-1920 Spanish Flu by the end of September.

It’s important to note, though, that there is a significant difference in U.S. population between then (103M) and now (330M). If this were the same death rate as the Spanish Flu, the equivalent per capita of COVID19 deaths would be 2 million. There have been advances in science, knowledge, and access to information (maybe for the worse) though. Nonetheless, this is indeed a tragedy.

Vaccinations

We’re averaging 942,472 doses per day. The urgency of Delta got vaccines in arms. 1 million people in the United States have gotten a 3rd dose, which could also account for this slight increase over the past few weeks (I have yet to see a graph that takes this into account). FDA approval also happened, but 6 million people said they were waiting for full FDA approval, and we certainly haven’t seen this reflected in the numbers. I think we have hit saturation, unless the private and public sectors start mandating.

That’s it for now. Have a wonderful holiday, YLE