Category: Health and Wellness

COVID-19: The Not-So-Much Bunch

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.

This graphic shows two lines. The blue line represents people with COVID-19 in the hospital. It starts at around 250 on July 1, 2021 and rises nearly continually, stopping at 844 on July 21. The red line indicates the percentage of those on ventilators. It starts at about 12% on July 1 and goes down slightly, ending at 7.6% on July 21.

Click graph to view larger

 

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.

Posted on: July 22, 2021

7 comments on “COVID-19: The Not-So-Much Bunch

  1. Reva

    What is the long lasting affects from the vaccine? Every pharmaceutical medication has side affects that warns the consumer on what could occur after taking the medicines, and the only side affects that are mentioned is soreness or possible covid like symptoms but that is side effects that would happen within 24 hours. Where are the lists that says what will/could happen in the future from taking these vaccine? What are in these vaccines? I absolutely would want to take something that will protect me and my loved ones especially being that I have lost 4 family member during this pandemic but the way the government is trying to push for the vaccine is just not sitting well with me.

    Reply
    • Lindsey

      Reva,

      The CDC website is a bevy of information about the COVID-19 vaccines and has answers to the questions you are asking.

      For side effects, here is a great webpage that lists the most common side effects, as well as the more rare ones that have been discovered so far — https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html.

      The longest lasting effect of the vaccine is that you will likely not die from or be permanently harmed by the COVID-19 virus. But as for the vaccines — the CDC says “Vaccine monitoring has historically shown that side effects generally happen within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. For this reason, the FDA required each of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines to be studied for at least two months (eight weeks) after the final dose. Millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines, and no long-term side effects have been detected.”

      As for ingredients — this webpage includes the ingredients in all three vaccines approved for emergency use in the United States — https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html#Appendix-C. The same site also has even more details on possible side effects.

      Personally, I fully believe that the only thing the government is pushing is health and safety. Can you specify your concerns so Mike might speak to them? The government advocates for health and safety of its citizens all the time. It’s why it established the CDC, the consumer protection agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, OSHA and so many more.

      You have lost four family members to a disease that now has a solid way to prevent MOST severe illnesses or deaths. PLEASE, in their memories, get yourself protected.

      Reply
    • Michael Bertaut

      Reva!
      These are excellent questions! I’m not molecular biologist but I do understand a bit about how the current vaccines were developed and brought to market, how they work, and why they are effective.
      Messenger RNA (mRNA) type medications have been in development for many years, mostly as cancer treatments. Essentially they use instructions encoded in hollowed-out virus shells to educate your immune system. In the case of the Pfizer, or Moderna vaccines, they show your immune system an image of a particular protein that Covid-19 uses to replicate itself and teach your immune system that this is something to be rejected or destroyed. The actual mRNA instructions and the vaccine itself is completely gone from your system within 30 days (or less) leaving behind an image of a new invader to be destroyed. From that point on, it’s the strength of your own immune system that determines your reaction to Covid when it shows up on your doorstep.

      No one knows how long your immune system will retain this new education, but it appears that it hangs around for quite a few months so far in most people. Since the vaccines are harnessing your own immune system, if your immune system is already compromised or less than robust, it might take a few extra “lessons” to get it going. Two shots at least three weeks apart is the current recommendation, but a third shot is recommended for people who are immuno-compromised.

      This mRNA formula has turned out to be amazingly effective. Over 90% of the people in the hospital with Covid are unvaccinated. In states with high vaccination rates, almost no one is hospitalized from Covid as I write this, and deaths from Covid in the vaccinated population seems to be almost exclusively people with weak immune systems or who are over 80 years old.

      No one is pushing you to make this choice. It is absolutely and sacredly yours to make. 360 MILLION people have already received mRNA vaccines in the last 7 months and they are the safest vaccines we’ve ever created. Much safer than tetanus or flu shots.

      Keep reading, and trust the data we are publishing here. It is well vetted and we are all being vaccinated, as is my own family.

      mrb

      Reply
    • Michael Bertaut

      RT!
      Well, you know how it is with family. They are coming over, kicking you out of your room, eating your favorite snacks, and you are hoping they are the ones that are fun to hang out with. Sometimes yes, sometimes no!

      Covid/Delta Variant is NEVER fun to hang out with. The faster we can take control of our own destiny again with vaccination to faster we can get back to our pre-Covid lifestyle, Saints, LSU, Tulane, Festivals, Carnival, you name it, all hangs on our willingness to get the shots.

      Thanks for playing! Cheers!…mrb

      Reply

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