Mississippi & Japan Don't Have Much In Common-- Except Devastating COVID Outbreaks
Who didn't predict this would happen? The Olympics was a super-spreader event-- like like the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota-- and Japan is starting to feel it-- big time. For the year and a half we've been watching the daily pandemic statistic, Japan was never on page one. It sure is now-- 18,908 yesterday (12th worst in the world), up from 15,109 cases Thursday and 9,850 Wednesday. So far, Japan has only had 15,358 deaths, far fewer than any of the countries with big populations. That's probably going change drastically now.
The cases aren't just in Tokyo, but throughout the country. The government's top medical advisor, Shigeru Omi. who opposed holding the Olympics: "If infections continue to surge at the current pace, we won’t be able to save lives that could otherwise be saved. This is already happening. The situation is like a disaster."
So far 37% of Japanese adults have been vaccinated. The imbecile prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, who is probably not long for his position, denies any connection between the Olympics and the dramatic rise in cases. Japan is now vaccinating a million people a day.
Oh, you know who else vaccinated about a million peeps Thursday? The good ole U.S. All the horrible COVID news seems to be changing some minds-- even in places like Mississippi, which still has the lowest vaccination rate in America. 50% of Americans are now fully vaccinated; just 35% of Mississippians and Alabamans are. The only other states under 40% are Trumpist hellholes Wyoming (37%), Arkansas (38%), Louisiana (38%), Idaho (38%), West Virginia (39%) and Georgia (39%). Yesterday was the biggest one day request for vaccinations in a month and over 576,000 of them were for first jabs.
Despite all the nay-saying from Republican Party spokesmodels like Marjorie Traitor Greene, Chip Roy, Ralph Norman, Lauren Boebert and Kevin McCarthy, reusale mask sales are also going through the roof. "Weekly mask sales in dollars had been declining in June and into July... They've been rising since the week beginning July 21. According to the latest data, mask sales for the week beginning Aug. 4 were up 40% over the prior week."
Let's go back to that Mississippi story for a moment. As usual, the counties that gave Trump his biggest support are the counties filled with morons too stupid to go out and get vaccinated. These are the counties with the lowest vaccination rates-- along with their 2020 Trump percentages.
Smith Co.- 22% vaccinated (Trump- 77.5%)
Wayne Co.- 24% vaccinated (Trump- 62.7%)
Greene Co.- 25% vaccinated (Trump- 82.5%)
Perry Co.- 25% vaccinated (Trump- 76.1%)
Choctow Co.- 25% vaccinated (Trump- 71.1%)
George Co.- 26% vaccinated (Trump- 87.9%)
Walthall Co.- 26% vaccinated (Trump- 59.3 %)
Itawamba Co.- 26% vaccinated (Trump- 87.2%)
Lincoln Co.- 26% vaccinated (Trump- 69.0%)
Amite Co.- 26% vaccinated (Trump- 62.6%)
Calhoun Co.- 27% vaccinated (Trump- 70.2%)
Neshoba Co.- 27% vaccinated (Trump- 71.1%)
Tishomingo Co.- 28% vaccinated (Trump- 86.8%)
Forrest Co.- 28% vaccinated (Trump- 54.6%)
Alcorn Co.- 28% vaccinated (Trump- 81.1%)
Hancock Co.- 28% vaccinated (Trump- 77.0%)
Union Co.- 28% vaccinated (Trump- 81.8%)
Tippah Co.- 29% vaccinated (Trump- 79.7%)
Jones Co.- 29% vaccinated (Trump- 70.5%)
Marion Co.- 29% vaccinated (Trump- 67.9%)
Tate Co.- 29% vaccinated (Trump- 66.5%)
Emily Pettus reporting for AP, wrote that "A community in rural east central Mississippi is overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, two weeks after it hosted the Neshoba County Fair that brought thousands of people who lived in cabins, attended shoulder-to-shoulder outdoor concerts and horseraces and listened to political speeches-- including one by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, who decried federal guidance on mask-wearing as 'foolish.' Frustrated by rising COVID-19 infections, the chief executive officer of the 25-bed Neshoba General Hospital posted a message on social media this week, challenging Reeves to step up and show leadership. '@tatereeves hospitals and healthcare workers need you to help us. Where are you?' Lee McCall wrote Tuesday on Twitter. 'We are overwhelmed with the surge of Covid and understaffed to safely care for our patients. Our incredible staff are holding it together but we are all at our breaking point.' This week alone, Mississippi has broken its single-day record of new COVID-19 cases three times, with more than 3,000 cases reported Tuesday, more than 4,000 Thursday and more than 5,000 Friday. The state on Thursday broke its records for patients hospitalized and patients in ICUs with COVID-19; the previous records were in January, before vaccinations were widely available."
As of Friday, Neshoba County had the highest per-capita COVID-19 caseload in Mississippi and the 55th highest among all counties in the United States, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 case tracker.
Neshoba General is not alone in the struggle with coronavirus cases as the delta variant has proliferated in Mississippi since early July.
Health officials say few intensive care beds are available anywhere in Mississippi. The state on Friday opened an air-conditioned tent as a field hospital in a parking garage at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and it is staffed by health care workers sent in by the federal government. COVID-19 patients can be transferred there from around the state.
Mississippi has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S.-- 36% in the state, compared to 50% for the nation. Reeves himself got vaccinated on camera early this year. While he has said he thinks the COVID-19 vaccines are effective and he credits former President Donald Trump for their speedy development, Reeves also said at the fair that he defends people who choose not to get vaccinated.
The Neshoba County Fair attracts thousands of people, with extended groups of friends and relatives staying in colorful cabins and visiting on front porches in the summer heat, sometimes stepping inside for air-conditioned relief. While many at the fair are from Neshoba County, large numbers of people come in from other places.
...[Republican Gov. Tate] Reeves’s recent approach of saying little about the virus is a change from early in the pandemic last year, when he held news conferences that were carried live on his Facebook page where the public could watch. He has a news conference scheduled Friday in Jackson.
Reeves has made clear that he does not intend to set a mask mandate for the new school year, leaving some local school boards in a tug-of-war between some parents who say they won’t feel their children are safe without one and others who say mask mandates amount to tyranny.