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Thursday, December 16, 2021

More than 800,000 US Covid-19 deaths

802,511 as of Dec. 16th, according to Johns Hopkins

We're now losing ~40,000 patients a month. At that rate, we'll hit a million US deaths by May 2022.

We have as yet no firm idea as to how the emergent Omicron variant will play out. Reports thus far indicate that it is more transmissible than its predecessor Delta, but less virulent.
Mask Up
Published by Steven Novella under Science and Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic is not done with us yet. We are still in the middle of the delta surge, and while delta will eventually pass, the omicron variant is right on its heels. In the US we just passed the milestone of 800,000 people dead from COVID with over 50 million cases. More Americans died of COVID in 2021 than in 2020, although in 2021 most deaths were among the unvaccinated. The vaccines remain our best defense against this pandemic, which is why it is tragic that there are still holdouts for tribal or ideological reasons. Regardless, it is extremely likely that we will be dealing with COVID through 2022. It is also likely that COVID is now endemic, and while it may fade down to flu-like proportions, we will also very likely have to deal with it for years to come. COVID is also likely not the last respiratory pandemic we will have to deal with this century.

All of this is why masks are still important. We just have to accept the fact that face masks are now an important part of life. At least for the foreseeable future we will need face masks as a layer of protection in health care settings, large indoor crowds, among vulnerable populations, and for anyone who is symptomatic. Walking around in the public maskless, sneezing and coughing from a “cold” is no longer socially acceptable…
Exigencies at every turn.
We might easily see 825,000 fatalities accrued by New Year's Day. 


Like most of my colleagues, I haven’t arrived at this moment unscathed. I weathered the brutal first wave of the pandemic, often witnessing more COVID deaths during my shifts in New York City than I saw working in an Ebola-treatment center in West Africa in 2014.

When I was vaccinated against COVID a year ago, I was already exhausted. But better times seemed close at hand. Perhaps soon we wouldn’t have to endure wearing full personal protective equipment for hours on end. I was wrong.

After two years of dealing with this virus—working extra shifts, watching families sob on grainy FaceTime calls while their loved ones slipped away—many health-care workers are already in a dark place. With a new wave of COVID upon us, we face this grim truth: You can’t surge a circuit that’s been burned out. For frontline providers, there’s simply no new fuse that can fix the fact that we’re fried.

Many people are holding out hope for the possibility that the Omicron variant may cause less severe disease. But this is little comfort for those worried about our hospitals and the people who work there: A large surge of even a more mild variant will still produce more patients than our already maxed-out system can handle. Moreover, doctors and nurses will themselves get sick…

Click the photo for the Atlantic article link.
My grandson Keenan, his wife KJ, and their son—my great-grandson Kai—are now here from Kansas City for Christmas, staying at my son's place. 
Cousins Kai (now 17 mo) and Calvin (23 mo) yesterday morning. They are really hitting it off.
Gonna be a pretty muted time here. Lotta stuff shutting down in the Baltimore area.
Stay safe.

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