Be Careful Out There

I will admit (rather proudly) that I am among the most cautious when it comes to exposing myself to COVID-19. That is mainly due to a fortunate convergence of circumstances and prudence. I fully realize not everyone is as lucky as I am in most if not all of those categories but that still doesn’t excuse irresponsible behavior.

The 2022 Gridiron Dinner was held on April 2nd. This is a white tie-gown formal affair that draws many of the Washington power players especially from journalism and the progressive world of politics. Proof of vaccination was required for admittance. Masks were optional and most chose not to wear them. Obviously by the nature of the event social distancing was impossible.

As of April 9th, we know of 53 persons who have tested positive. That includes at least two Cabinet members. As of this writing the 53 are either experiencing mild effects or are completely asymptomatic. (This illustrates the value of vaccination! I lack the space to explain that to the Trump base of the less well educated.)
I am among the overly cautious – one large gathering (I wore a mask the entire time) and one meal in a restaurant (that took great precautions) in the last two years. For a variety of reasons, I can’t expect everyone to act like me but it is way too soon to sound the all clear or act like it has been sounded. COVID-19 is alive and well in America!

Currently we are at a plateau in America with regard to COVID. Using 14 day rolling average numbers (which I still maintain is the best publically available leading indicator) the March 17th new infection number was 30,550. On April 8th (the latest data available as of this writing) it was 30,501. No significant difference. From March 29th (-9%) to April 8th (+1%) with the lone, minor exception of March 30th at -12% we have stayed in the single digits in percentage increase/decrease. The conclusion is that we have reached a plateau. To me, at an average of 600 new daily infections per state, an unacceptably high plateau.

The two great unknowns are related and they both have to do with a new variant that will cause a spike. We simply don’t know if that will occur in America despite some issues in Europe of late. I seem to be one of the few sounding the “second alarm” but my biggest fear is a variant that defies our vaccines. If that were to happen, we are back to square one and the only thing we have going for us as opposed to in 2020 is that we have a competent and intelligent president in the White House.

As bad as 53 infections (that we know of, the real number is undoubtedly higher) and no life-threatening cases is, can you imagine what we would be looking at if the attendees were largely unvaccinated.

I’m asking my readers to get vaccinated to the fullest extent your personal circumstances will allow, wear a mask and practice social distancing. I’m not asking you to isolate; I’m simply asking you to be careful and thoughtful in your actions.

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