The July course of the COVID-19 pandemic has been unfavorable. Over the last several weeks, the message of a return to using masks has been controversial, as the CDC released revised guidelines based on new evidence related to the transmissibility of the Delta variant.
Since the start of 2020, we have lived through momentous times: the COVID-19 pandemic, tumultuous political shifts, and a reawakening to the urgency of addressing structural racism and its reach throughout our society.
All states are experiencing a rise in case numbers and the 14-day change for the United States is +126%. Is misinformation causing people to not be vaccinated and leading to the deaths of some of the misinformed?
We might think that the COVID-19 pandemic has ended in Colorado and the United States. The 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played at Coors Field on July 13 and Governor Polis ended all Emergency Public Health Orders on July 8. But I worry that the stain of politicization persists and is costing lives.
President Biden framed the July 4th holiday as a time to celebrate achieving independence from COVID-19 while continuing to speak about the urgency of vaccination. As a nation, we did not reach the goal of 70% of American adults getting at least one dose of an authorized vaccine by July 4th, stalling at 67%.
In the United States, the direct death toll from COVID-19 is now about 620,000 with many additional excess deaths resulting from indirect pathways. Not surprisingly, new estimates of life expectancy for the United States show a dramatic decline with an overall decrease of 1.9 years to a life expectancy of 76.9 years.
Two days ago, June 19, was the first celebration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, after President Biden signed the enabling legislation on June 17. We should remember the end of slavery while not forgetting its legacy and move forward to reduce the lasting impact of structural racism. June is also Pride Month, commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.
I have been on vacation this week traveling through southwestern Colorado and New Mexico, gaining a picture of pandemic behavior as vaccination drives the epidemic curve down. As a quick summary, travelers behave as though the pandemic has ended, but not everywhere.
May 31, Memorial Day, “…is dedicated to the memory of all U.S. Armed Forces who have died while serving their country.” The total of those who have died directly is enormous, but there is another uncounted, and also enormous, toll of those who died after wars from the sequelae of wounds to their bodies and minds.
Mathematical modeling of epidemics dates to pioneering work at the start of the 20th century. These models do not project abrupt changes in the course of the epidemic curve. The epidemic curve is anticipated to follow a gradual course, as control measures change (changes in policy and behavior, and the countervailing force of vaccination at the moment).
Quite a week: many Colorado counties moved to “Level Clear,” and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its mask guidelines for those who are vaccinated. Turning to Level Clear, adopted by six Denver metro area counties and in force on May 16, most transmission control restrictions are removed.
Beliefs concerning adverse consequences are one barrier to vaccination. Knowingly spreading lies about the consequences of vaccination is another. I recognize why there is a range of beliefs about many health topics, but lying in the face of a pandemic is morally troubling.
This week, Colorado's epidemic curve stalled with hospitalization counts in the low 600s. The plateau is good news and comes two weeks after the state’s COVID-19 Dial “devolved” and many counties reduced or eliminated policy measures for transmission control. Globally, the vaccination gap is bringing horrific news from India.
A glimpse of normalcy brings impatience as to the rapidity of regaining what we have lost with the pandemic. At the moment, Colorado’s epidemic curve is still rising but its growth may be slowing. Predicting the timing of its future downturn is difficult, but vaccination should win out in the weeks to come.
The pandemic persists, although too many Coloradans are “over it.” Yesterday’s hospitalization count was 520, well above the March 14 low of 283. Colorado is not the only state with a rising epidemic curve.
Not a good pandemic week in Colorado. The positive news of rising vaccination rates and falling hospitalizations among those 65+ is now counterbalanced by indications of a “fourth surge” as the epidemic curve has definitely taken off.
The pandemic has provoked and exacerbated prejudice, particularly against Asian-Americans, fueled by the rhetoric of the former Administration. Words and actions matter, and these attacks are unconscionable.
Gun violence has long been labeled as a public health crisis. Gun violence has become the norm, as have mass shootings. With more than 38,000 deaths annually from firearms, around 24,000 from suicide and 14,000 from homicide, it is a crisis and a series of preventable tragedies.
Immunity is increasing as vaccination increases and pressure is rising for easing restrictions as the pandemic has abated substantially in much of the United States. In Ethiopia, the worst consequence of prejudice is playing out with relatively little global notice—the genocide of the Tigrayans.