January 3rd, 2022
Omicron is highly transmissible and cruising throughout the country especially in the colder states. We are at the highest daily case rate since the pandemic started. This week - 486,000 + cases in a single day. The case number is actually much higher due to uncounted positive at home tests. However, the blessing is that death and hospitalization rates are not following at all. Therefore, we need to keep our focus on hospitalization and not case number.
North Carolina has begun a big wave as with the rest of the country. South Africa has already turned the corner after a 6 week run. This may bode well for this wave as well.
There is a dramatic increase in the 7 day moving average of cases for the US in recent weeks owing to Omicron's activity. It is outcompeting Delta based on the data.
If you have had 2 doses of an mRNA vaccine or had previous natural infection, you have a very very small risk of a significant hospitalization and therefore death from the Delta or Omicron variant based on statistics overall, however, you are likely to get some illness from Omicron now as it has escaped the two dose series protection. The caveat remains that these realities are left untrue when we see that the reinfected person has advancing age and metabolic diseases putting them chronically at risk for potential negative outcomes.
As it stands today, the United States has had 55 million known cases and almost 824,000 deaths.
As with the first newsletter on this topic, keep solace with the fact that there is a 99+% chance of survival for all of us regardless of vaccination. However,
mathematically, you now have a 99.9998% chance of survival once vaccinated and the vaccine safety for the mRNA vaccines continues to look good.
Why take on that extra risk?
Are going to get a third "booster" dose of COVID vaccine?
62% say yes
Are you changing your travel plans based on Omicron?
9% say yes
For anyone interested in the whiteboard of poor viral killing capacity see Section III
Directly below is a graphic from Andrew Brackins MSIII related to recent podcasts.