Have You Caught Covid Yet?
Take our first poll.
Have you or people you know caught Covid recently? President Biden caught a mild case of Covid last week, and one presumes that every possible precaution was taken with him. For many of us, avoiding the virus has been a two-year-plus project. Despite best efforts, people are getting infected, and that includes people in your family or neighborhood. A recent block party in Sebastopol resulted in two positive cases of Covid-19 with both people reporting high fevers.
Covid-19 is not making the headlines as it once did. There is nothing in the local Covid data for Sonoma County that seems concerning. Yet just from talking to people you know, you probably realize that things are far from normal in our community.
“Those who sincerely care about the number of coronavirus infections in their community … can tell that the number is high — and growing. But they’re hard pressed to pinpoint it with any certainty.” writes Karen Kaplan in the Coronavirus Today newsletter of July 17 in the Los Angeles Times. With rapid home testing kits widely available, local health departments can no longer keep track of those who test positive. “Plenty of positive tests never made their way into the official statistics,” Kaplan wrote. Even people who get Covid are not necessarily reporting it to a doctor.
Kaplan writes that the numbers leave “the public with the false impression that daily activities are a lot safer than they really are.”
“We don’t have to count every case to understand what’s happening in our communities,” Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. ... “What’s important is to understand the general trend of how cases are changing.”
Right now, the general trend is that the virus “is widespread in our communities everywhere,” Osterholm said. “The bottom line is, extensive transmission is going on.”
'“Extensive transmission everywhere” is noteworthy. Sonoma County is one of 42 counties out of 58 in California with a high Covid-19 community level. 87% of Californias live in a place with a high Covid-19 community level, according to the LA Times.
The BA.5 variant is “rampant,” says Dr John Campbell of the UK. Campbell produces an independent, reliable daily video on Covid developments worldwide. He delivers a mix of hopeful and worrisome news calmly and clearly. Campbells shows CDC data that the BA.5 variant accounts for almost 80% of new infections, outcompeting the previous variants everywhere around the world. This virus is not going away quietly.
Check back in a day or two to see how others responded to the poll.