As you well know I’ve been keeping track of Kung Flu numbers and deaths for well over a year now.
The latest numbers shows a sharp drop in cases AND deaths.
Note how they’re only tracking numbers from June.
And June’s numbers are lower than LAST June’s.
This harsh reality, likely fueled by a failure to adequately vaccinate the most vulnerable, has undercut the best efforts of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other Republican leaders to simply move past Covid.
For weeks, the virus preyed on America’s illusion of a defanged Covid. Most people returned to a semblance of their former lives, never suspecting that the country would revert to such levels of mortality.
Nationwide, mask use fell to a third of its previous peak. Traffic at restaurants and stores approached pre-pandemic norms. Big sporting events and music festivals returned. Now, public health experts say the U.S. needs to reconsider some of those changes as reported deaths from Covid exceed 1,000 a day, and the nation looks warily ahead to another winter virus season.
“There was an underestimation of how penetrant delta could be,” said Vanderbilt University infectious disease professor William Schaffner. “There was a desire to really open things up again, and I think that worked contrary to good common sense.”
For weeks into early August, the delta surge in the U.K. lulled some Americans into a sense of complacency. Across the Atlantic, cases soared but killed relatively few people, and in theory, the mutated virus would act similarly in the U.S. But delta exposed a key difference: The U.S. has fallen far short of the U.K. in vaccinating the oldest members of the community, who remain most at risk of hospitalization and death.
That largely explains the U.S.’s failure: About 18% of Americans 65-and-over still aren’t fully vaccinated, versus about 5% in the U.K. “That’s a huge difference,” said Jeffrey Morris, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania. “When you have four times as high a proportion that are unvaccinated, that’s going to cause a lot more death right there.”
The U.S. has already posted twice as many deaths per capita since early June as the U.K., even though its surge started later. In Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana, the tolls are 4-6 times as high — exacerbated by populations that tend to be older or have more pre-existing conditions.