When I was a kid, I grew up surrounded by relatives. My mom had five brothers and sisters. On average, they had 4.3 kids per family. Add that to the five kids in our household, and you had the makings of quite a cousin party, pretty much all the time. My mom’s father gave up trying to remember the names of his 29 grandkids. He gave us numbers based on our ages. I was #3. My youngest brother, Chris, hated the fact that he was #27.
I think from age 7 to about age 12 I slept on the floor WAY more than in my actual bed, thanks to cousin sleepovers. Frankly, we had a blast MOST of the time.
But, while there were some relatives you really looked forward to seeing, others, well, not so much. I always wondered why it was the “not-so-much bunch” who seemed to visit us the most. I mean, we were nice to them, but you could tell by our faces that we were not having much fun and frankly couldn’t wait for them to go back home.
Not You Again, COVID-19
COVID-19 is rapidly becoming the “not-so-much bunch” here in Louisiana. And I’m more than ready for it to go home and leave us be.
But it’s not. Hospitalizations are on the upswing again. When I originally wrote this post on Monday, July 19, the number hospitalized was 714. Just three days later, on Wednesday, July 21, it jumped to 844 in the hospital.
We had THREE big waves of COVID-19 in the past year. These messed up our economy and threw 400,000 Louisianians out of work. Since the COVID-19 vaccines first became available in Louisiana in December 2020, a huge number of residents have been getting vaccinated. God bless them for that! But, it appears from my hospital data that COVID-19 wave #4 is upon us. We’ll call this one the Fourth of July wave.
The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 ballooned from around 270 on July 1 to over 700 just three weeks later. COVID-19 deaths are up as well, from an average of about three per day to now pushing 10 people a day.
And here’s the interesting part:
More than 97% of people in the hospital right now with COVID-19 have NOT been vaccinated.
Of all the COVID-19 deaths reported in the past three months, 0.5% of them were vaccinated. That is, 99.5% of all the deaths were among the UNVACCINATED population. That’s pretty clear, isn’t it?
The best way to keep the “not-so-much bunch” away from your doorstep is with vaccination.
Delta Variant + Low Vaccination Rate = A Very Imperfect Storm
Our current COVID-19 wave is the result of a brand-new version of COVID-19 (the Delta variant) meeting a largely unvaccinated population (Louisiana). Keep in mind the ONLY way a virus can become a new variant that’s potentially easier to spread or is more dangerous is if there are human hosts around to catch it. The virus takes up residence in their bodies to mutate. The more unvaccinated people in the population, the more mutations form, and the more recurrence of the epidemics like we are seeing today. It’s pretty straightforward science, frankly.
As always, I recognize that your choice to vaccinate or not is yours and yours alone, and I consider your right to make that choice sacred.
All I’m asking is that you gather all the facts before you proceed one way or another.
Don’t take it from me, take it from our docs:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Medical Director Dr. Larry Simon explains that the vaccines are very effective at preventing death, hospitalization and severe cases of COVID-19.
“Now that millions of people have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, we have real-world proof that it provides strong protection against the virus, even the more infectious Delta variant,” Dr. Simon said. “But, to really protect our community, we need more people to roll up their sleeves.”
Straight Talk is, our public health and economic future is in the hands of each and every one of us.