Politicians Are Pandering To Loud Public Demands To Give Up On Societal Protection
Over 100 House Democrats were in Philly last week for their annual retreat. So far two-- both fully vaccinated-- elderly members, Connecticut's Rosa DeLauro (79) and California's Zoe Lofgren (74), have reported having come down with COVID. And I don't think Obama was at the confab, but he reported that he has it too. The U.S. is closing in on a million COVID deaths. There were 1,211 more death Friday and 460 yesterday. What's driving all those deaths? I can't say for sure but the 3 states with the highest per capita death rate-- Mississippi (4,118 per million residents), Arizona (3,859 per million residents) and Alabama (3,853 per million residents) are all anti-mask states with extremely low vaccination rates. Compared that to the only two states with less than 1,000 deaths per million-- Hawaii (956) and Vermont (974)-- both of which have citizens who have adopted masks without all the whining and drama and both states are much more vaccinated than the socially immature and backward Trump states with the high abysmally death rates and delusions conflating masks with a loss of "liberty." [I'd suggest they pack up their semi-automatic and go fight in Ukraine if they want to defend liberty, but I'd be worried about which side they'd join.]
Mississippi- 51% fully vaccinated
Arizona- 60% fully vaccinated
Alabama- 50% fully vaccinated
Vermont- 80% fully vaccinated
Hawaii- 77% fully vaccinated
Friday I had dinner at one of my favorite L.A. restaurants. They don't have any outdoor dining but they have been extremely strict about checking vaccine cards. They know me well enough to not check me but a couple of months ago they refused to allow a friend of mine in with me because she didn't have her card with her. Friday, though, they didn't check my dinner date, who was from out of town and had never eaten there before. That scared me. I've been noticing in the grocery store that, though most of the employees and most of the customers are still wearing masks, some aren't. Mask wearing is only recommended now, not mandated. I was in the post office last week and a very sick-looking customer either had COVID or the flu and, maskless, was sneezing all over the place. I wasn't the only customer who left the line and walked out.
Meanwhile, we Americans are letting their guards down in a big way, Europe's next wave seems to have started. I've been planning a trip to Berlin and that's probably off the table now. Friday Germany had 245,342 new cases, second worst in the world (after South Korea). Daily new cases are increasing across the continent. 8 other European countries reported over 20,000 new cases on Friday:
Daily case averages in Europe don't look good. These are 10 European countries with increasing daily case loads over the past two weeks:
Netherlands- up 96%
Finland- up 91%
U.K.- up 83%
Switzerland- up 80%
Cyprus- up 34%
Austria- up 31%
Germany- up 21%
Greece- up 15%
Italy- up 9%
Belgium- up 8%
Ukraine, which has had nearly 5 million reported cases (and 107,000 deaths) isn't reporting regularly any longer, for obvious reasons. Writing from Lviv yesterday, Carlotta Gall suggested that because of the war, Ukraine could wind up fueling a new COVID surge. The surge appears already on but I guess the problems there-- and COVID isn't on the top of anyone's list right now-- could exacerbate it. "With millions of people," she wrote, "on the move fleeing the Russian invasion, health systems disrupted, and testing and vaccination programs suspended in many places, health officials fear that conditions could spread disease. But the pandemic, they said, was no longer a top priority. 'People are not frightened about Covid anymore,' said Dr. Marta Saiko, head of the therapy department at the Clinical Municipal Emergency Hospital in Lviv, in western Ukraine. 'People are frightened of the war.' The chaos of war has made it impossible to gauge how the pandemic is progressing. Coronavirus testing has largely been suspended since the war began on Feb. 24, and physicians have been told to make an observation of clinical symptoms without bothering with a laboratory test, Dr. Oleksandr Matskov, deputy director of the General Public Health Center of Ukraine, said in a written response to questions."
Ukraine has a relatively low Covid vaccination rate, barely one-third of the population, and millions of people fleeing their homes have crowded into evacuation trains, resettlement centers, temporary housing and underground shelters-- conditions ripe for a new surge of infections. The areas of Ukraine that remain relatively safe from the war for now face new problems as the medical networks in those regions are overloaded by the influx of displaced people, Dr. Matskov added.