From Alabama Daily News: Alabama is racing toward virus numbers it last saw at the peak of the pandemic, with more than 2,100 COVID-19 patients in state hospitals Monday and only 6% of intensive care unit beds available, a medical official said.
Medical officials have said low vaccination rates and the highly contagious delta variant have combined to cause an explosion of cases.
“It’s like the California wildfires. We have the perfect environment,” said Dr. Don Williamson, Alabama’s former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association.
On Monday, there were 2,134 patients with COVID-19 in state hospitals, including 33 children, according to numbers provided by the Alabama Hospital Association.
Nearly one-third of the hospitalized virus patients, or 628, are in intensive care units and 318 patients are on ventilators. Williamson said 42% of intensive care unit beds in the state are now occupied by someone with COVID-19.
The current hospitalization number of 2,134 is lower than the little more than 3,000 recorded at the peak of the pandemic in January. However, health officials have expressed concern about the steep upward trend. A month ago, there were 247 virus patients in state hospitals, according to numbers compiled from the Alabama Department of Public Health.
“It’s filling up faster and there is no end in sight,” Williamson said.
The state had 87 intensive care unit beds available Monday, or 6%, Williamson said. By comparison, the state had 3% available at the worst part of the pandemic in January.
The above report came from Alabama Daily News. It does not include vaccination status stats on the hospitalized patients, nor age groups for hospitalized patients other than mentioning that 33 are children. It has previously been reported that data is generally collected from hospital discharge reports.
Recent reports of a large outbreak of Covid cases in a Massachusetts town have attracted a lot of attention and alarmed authorities. The CDC has reported facts surrounding this outbreak and the affected townspeople included almost all vaccinated persons. Additionally the CDC report included the following facts:
During July 3–17, 2021, multiple summer events and large public gatherings were held in a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, that attracted thousands of tourists from across the United States. Beginning July 10, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH) received reports of an increase in COVID-19 cases among persons who reside in or recently visited Barnstable County, including in fully vaccinated persons. Persons with COVID-19 reported attending densely packed indoor and outdoor events at venues that included bars, restaurants, guest houses, and rental homes. On July 3, MA DPH had reported a 14-day average COVID-19 incidence of zero cases per 100,000 persons per day in residents of the town in Barnstable County; by July 17, the 14-day average incidence increased to 177 cases per 100,000 persons per day in residents of the town (2).
By July 26, a total of 469 COVID-19 cases were identified among Massachusetts residents.
On July 27, CDC released recommendations that all persons, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks in indoor public settings in areas where COVID-19 transmission is high or substantial. Findings from this investigation suggest that even jurisdictions without substantial or high COVID-19 transmission might consider expanding prevention strategies, including masking in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status, given the potential risk of infection during attendance at large public gatherings that include travelers from many areas with differing levels of transmission.
End of CDC facts
On June 30 the ADPH dashboard showed 200 hospitalizations when the curve began to spike sharply upward. By July 31 the numbers are approaching 1,400 and reported yesterday at 2,100 statewide.
Disclaimer: The rest of this below is opinion
Clearly there is a wave of new cases in Alabama. It is also clear from reporting from other states that you can be infected with Covid if you are already vaccinated. It is also reported that vaccinated persons can carry the virus and be asymptomatic. It is alleged that asymptomatic carriers can infect others and this is used as a justification for calling for the masking of vaccinated persons.
It is also known to be true that you can get a flu shot every year and still get the flu. Many seniors get a shot to prevent shingles (herpes zoster) but in some cases they still get the painful intercostal nerve attacks. The vaccine has been proven to lessen the severity and painful effects. My doctor recommends that we get flu shots every year and the zoster vaccine and we have followed his advice.
From a layperson point of view it looks like the Covid vaccines are going to prove to be similar in utility. Meaning, they are not going to defeat or prevent Covid or its variants. There are side effects and the side effects may be harmful to some people. They will require boosters or annual renewals to fight new Covid strains. They may not prevent infection but will lessen the effects and increase the chances for recovery. We have followed our doctors advice on this one also and taken the vaccines without any side effects.
Following the advice of experts that you find on social media, including Youtube videos, is a risky business. For every video that you find and post on social media that appears to have an unqualified expert quoting authority that appears scientific and reasonable I can probably find a countering expert with an opposing view that is just as authoritative. I mention this today because of the swirling controversy in our community about school board policy and student masking.
I am posting here a video from YouTube that is circulating on social media from an appearance made by a physician before the Mt. Vernon Indiana school board giving a presentation of his views on student masking and the futility of fighting the Covid outbreak with vaccines and school policy.
This video is being offered on social media to counter the Board of Education’s announced 2021 policy on student masking and can be seen at the following link.
Just below is a countering video, by another physician offering an opposing view, who argues and points out the weaknesses in the Mt. Vernon video.
Please do not take one of the above videos into your research and opinion forming without considering both.
On an ending note, over the weekend our former President Obama threw his 60th birthday bash at his estate on Martha’s Vinyard with hundreds of partying, unmasked guests. Conservative news media are presently in the throes of criticizing the hypocrisy of the sophisticated left for ignoring the mask policies they recommend for us while partying unmasked for themselves. Could it be that conservatives are reading their signals wrong ? At least one respected news source, Breitbart, sees it differently. This source thinks that Obama is sending a clear nose thumbing to the Biden administration that he is not buying the fear mongering of the Biden administration and the CDC.
The Breitbart writer’s message is this: If you’re vaccinated, this pandemic is over. Don’t listen to the fear merchants. Don’t listen to Joe Biden. Go and live your life.
I hope he is right.
Warning: the article below contains offensive language.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer only and not necessarily the views of the Bibb Voice or its Editorial Board. Your thoughtful comments and respectful opinions are also welcomed. You can leave your thoughts in the comment section below.