Good News?

I hope I’m not getting ahead of myself but I think there may be reason to believe there is good news on the pandemic front in America.

My regular readers know that for months I’ve been monitoring the 14 day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases in America. I have found it to be a reliable leading indicator. The last several days’ numbers coupled with the calendar are giving me reason to be cautiously optimistic.

As of this writing the latest numbers available are from September 28th. On that date we hit seven consecutive days of double digit percentage declines in new cases. The 28th’s new cases were 114, 395. We haven’t been that low since August 8th. We have been running negative percentages since early September with the exceptions of the 13th and 20th.

In the past one of the contributing factors to spikes have been holidays and the mass gatherings they bring. Looking ahead the next holiday is Halloween and that is about a month away. Then we have a much larger gathering holiday in Thanksgiving but again we have another gap of almost a month. That should keep “super spreader” events that responsible people will be tempted to attend to a minimum for a bit. (You couldn’t pay me enough to go to a large indoor gathering and I have a lot of company.)

The pandemic, in America anyway, has largely become a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Primarily because of some great outreach work in the Hispanic community the racial gaps in vaccination in America have largely been wiped out. Unfortunately, it has become largely a political divide. Red states Alaska and Idaho have a different (and lower) standard of hospital care than the rest of America because their hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID cases, almost all of which are of the unvaccinated.

In Alabama – another red state in huge COVID trouble – Republican Governor Kay Ivey is leading the charge to use federal funds given to the state to combat the pandemic to build three new prisons. I guess you could celebrate that the racist Republicans of Alabama are so concerned about the health of the disproportionately Black inmates that they are building them better prisons. I’m not that naive! It’s much more like the new Jim Crow thinking of lock ‘em up and keep ‘em from voting.

Unquestionably the majority of American over 12 being vaccinated (in my case with three shots) has held the numbers down allowing us to approach normal economic activity. This morning’s papers gave me another glimmer of hope. It was announced that You Tube will ban anti-vaccine lies. (You Tube is owned by Google.) This is long overdue but a step in the right direction. How about you Facebook? We simply can’t rely on those incapable of critical thinking to use reliable sources of information and/or research claims they are exposed to.

On the assumption that the good news is true there is still one unknown to be wary of: a new variant that against which our current vaccines are ineffective. Oh, and then there is the challenge of vaccinating much of the rest of the world.

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