Mask mandates return to L.A. this weekend. They never ended for me, although perhaps I'll have to think about going back to wearing nitrile gloves again. There was never any chance the U.S. political class was going to make the hard decisions to stop the pandemic until millions of people were dead. Currently only around 625,000 Americans have died from COVID so... we're a long way off. Two days from when France announced no one was going to be allowed into public spaces who hadn't been vaccinated, 3 million people signed up to be vaccinated. Viva!
Yesterday, 8 countries had over 20,000 new one day cases:
I would vaguely trust the numbers coming out of the UK and Spain. The rest don't paint anything like how bad the pandemic is spiking again, the U.S. primarily because of doctored numbers from Florida. Florida has been leading the way in the pandemic rebound for well over 2 months-- every day. One in 5 new U.S. cases are in Florida. Yesterday, Trumpist and clownish Gov. Ron DeSantis' plan to kill off as many Floridians as he can in his 4 year term brought his state 8,225 new cases. Nearly two and a half million Floridians have already been infected and the state is closing in on 40,000 deaths, according to DeSantis' fake, politically-motivated statistics. Florida is COVID-19's Typhoid Mary of states.
Is Boris Johnson of England doing even worse than DeSantis? DeSantis has long ago thrown all precautions to the winds and has decided to let the chips fall where they may. Monday Johnson plans to do the same and is being condemned for it. It's hard to be a leader, being pulled in every direction. And the political class in the U.S. and the U.K. just aren't up to it. The Lancet reported that after the weekend "there will be no legal requirement for people to wear masks in public places, sporting events and nightclubs will be free to function at full capacity, and the Government will not advise people to work from home if possible. People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be expected to isolate if they come into contact with someone infected with SARS-CoV-2, though isolation will still be mandatory for those who test positive for the virus... New cases have been rising steadily since the beginning of June... [T]hose infected with SARS-CoV-2 remain vulnerable to so-called long COVID. 'The problem now is not severe disease or death, it is long COVID; we are contributing to chronic disease and the long-term burden on general practitioners and health services,' said Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London and co-founder of the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, a not-for-profit initiative which tracks COVID-19 infections. As of July 6, 86% of adults in England had received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 64% were fully vaccinated. Impressive figures indeed, but nowhere near high enough to control the spread of the Delta variant (also known as B.1.617.2) that is now responsible for 95% of sequenced cases in the country."
Do read the urgent letter to The Lancet from over 1,200 scientists pleading with Johnson to abandon his plans to do in the U.K. what DeSantis has already done in Florida, implicitly accepting that infections will surge, but that this does not matter because vaccines have "broken the link between infection and mortality... We believe this decision is dangerous and premature. An end to the pandemic through population immunity requires enough of the population to be immune to prevent exponential growth of SARS-CoV-2. Population immunity is unlikely to be achieved without much higher levels of vaccination than can be reasonably expected by July 19, 2021. Proportionate mitigations will be needed to avoid hundreds of thousands of new infections, until many more are vaccinated. Nevertheless, the UK Government's intention to ease restrictions from July 19, 2021, means that immunity will be achieved by vaccination for some people but by natural infection for others (predominantly the young). The UK Health Secretary has stated that daily cases could reach 100, 000 per day over the summer months of 2021."
This morning, Ben Quinn of The Guardian took a look at what Johnson is about to do to his country and, potentially, because England is a major transport hub, the rest of the world.
“The world is watching the current avoidable crisis unfold in the UK,” said Dr Deepti Gurdasani, a clinical epidemiologist and senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, who is taking part in Friday’s summit.
She added on Twitter: “Let’s be under no illusions – we are in a country where our government is taking steps to maximally expose our young to a virus that causes chronic illness in many. Our govt is ending all protections for our children including isolation of contacts of cases in schools & bubbles.”
The concerns expressed in other countries comes after Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, warned on Thursday that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 could reach “quite scary” levels within weeks, as cases soared caused by the more contagious Delta variant and the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
Whitty said in a webinar late on Thursday, hosted by the Science Museum, that hospital admissions were doubling about every three weeks, and that the current low numbers of Covid admissions could rise to serious levels in the next couple of months.
New coronavirus infections in the UK are at a six-month high, according to government figures, and the number of people in hospital and dying with Covid are at their highest level since March. Thursday’s data showed 3,786 people in hospital with Covid and another 63 virus-related deaths.
Downing Street, which has defended the lifting of all remaining legal restrictions on social gatherings in England on 19 July, is hoping the rapid rollout of vaccines will keep a lid on the number of people becoming seriously ill.