I didn’t write a post last Monday, but this Monday I am. A few things may have changed in the Covid situation. The most important is that we may have finally seen the peak of this current wave’s surge of new cases.
For the last few weeks we’ve seen cases rising in the five states. Only New Jersey of late had shown a return to declining cases. About the middle of the week before last, we began to see those numbers decline. And so in this past week we did begin to see cases decline in all five states.
The thing to watch this week will be that at the very end of last week, new cases ticked up slightly for two or three days in a number of states. It could be an aberrant one-off, but with full vaccinations still well below herd immunity and cases still at high levels, it isn’t difficult to imagine a scenario where the virus begins to surge once again.
Deaths on the other hand, they continue to climb. We aren’t seeing massive increases, instead these are largely marginal. But they are increasing all the same.
Encouragingly, if cases can continue to decline, deaths will begin to fall. As a lagging indicator, they will be the last metric we see decline. Consequently, it’s a question of when, not if, deaths begin to decline. On Saturday, we did see a small decline in deaths, but one day before the weekend is insufficient to determine whether or not we’ve seen the inflection point, after which deaths would fall.
Vaccinations remain a broad set of positive news. All three states are now reporting just over 30% of their populations as fully vaccinated. However, the rate of vaccination has begun to slow.
And that worries me and the professionals, because we are still far from herd immunity. Until we reach that level, the virus can easily spread among unvaccinated populations. The charts above don’t show the decline, as they look only at the total, cumulative effect. But the charts that I see make it quite clear the decline over the last week or two.
Moral of that story is, if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please register to do so or visit a location that allows walk-up vaccinations.