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Virus Expert Warns "COVID is Not Done" With You
By Lekhak January 27, 2022
"Everybody is in the soup at the same time."
COVID isn't done with you just because you're done with it. Dr Michael Osterholm, Director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, has had this message. One of the most accurate virus experts, predicting the present "viral blizzard" and providing precise assessments of what steps must be taken next to stay safe and keep life moving. Then he gave an update—and a warning. Read on for six life-saving tips.
1. Virus Expert Warned We Are All "In the Soup."
"I was expecting a viral blizzard," Dr Osterholm said. "At the same time, everyone is in the soup. It makes no difference whether you're in the Northern or Southern hemispheres. It makes no difference if you live in a rural or urban section of the country. The only thing that makes it truly unique, like a true snow blizzard, is that it affects some areas first, then others later. As a result, some areas are recovering more slowly than others from the blizzard. And that is exactly what is happening in the United States right now. The soup includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, the states that were first affected—particularly those in the Northeast—now see the highest number of cases. And then the figures start to fall. We'll face the problem that if we look at what happened in South Africa and use it as a benchmark, the numbers there went up quite quickly. That peak is something we're all aware of. Then it started to fall quickly, and people forgot about it—well, it's over now. That isn't the case right now. According to the tail of cases, South Africa's incident rate is still 25 times greater than it was before the hit. So what we don't know is what the tail will look like once the huge peak comes and it starts to fall. And I believe that everyone in the United States will be affected by this."
2. Healthcare Worked are Hanging "By the Skin of Their Teeth," are Infected Themselves
Our healthcare system has been destroyed as a result of the surge. "The problem we have is that the entire country is in the soup at the same time," Dr Osterholm explained. "We don't have any means of transporting assets or resources from one location to another. Indeed, when we remove members of the National Guard from their communities and place them in hospitals or long-term care facilities, we are not only removing them from vital roles in their communities, but we are also removing them from other critical jobs in their communities. As a result, we are experiencing today a lack of ability to move individuals from one part of the country to another for healthcare. So basically, what was already a risky position in obtaining adequate staffing became even more dangerous. At this point, we're hanging to life by the skin of our teeth. We've observed 20 to 25 per cent absenteeism in many areas because of infected healthcare "workers," he says.
3. Virus Expert Warns: Please Don't Get Infected Now
"These vaccines are great, but they aren't perfect. And one of the things that are happening is that people who have had their booster and are completely vaccinated are still becoming sick. It's a mild disease, and they're not hospitalized, but they can't work. As a result, we've faced a challenge. And if you watch the news, you'll see story after story about different regions, begging people not to get infected since our ERs and hospital beds are currently crowded. Furthermore, we must consider the implications for supply chains. We've had pharmacies shut down totally because there was no one to work in them only this past weekend, according to the number of big-box pharmacies that were closed. After all, there was no one to work in them."
4. Virus Expert Pleads You Use Common Sense in Schools
When it comes to COVID and education programs, Dr Osterholm says, "Let's go back to what I call a common sense moment." "It's just reality, you know. The problem is that this isn't about not wanting children to go to school right now. But how can you safely hold school while 35 to 40% of your teaching staff, support staff, and bus drivers are out with COVID? And this is simply the case. It's not a question of whether we should go to school or not. Would we close schools if a category five hurricane was approaching? Yes, absolutely. Is there anyone who would deny it? No. Would anyone object to schools being closed if there was a regular blizzard, a true blizzard, with 35 inches of snow and 40 miles per hour winds? No. So what I've been advocating for over the last few weeks is simply basic common sense to say, look at this surge; it's only going to last three or four weeks at most. All we have to do now is get it done. And you're making a mistake if you think you can start your school safely with such a low staffing level. And this should not be a political issue where no closings are considered under any conditions. Many superintendents and teachers have told me they believe they are being punished for closing schools. And the superintendent responds, "How am I going to do that with 35% of my stuff out?" As a result, I believe this is one of those cases where ideologically motivated people made decisions before having enough data to comprehend why they made them."
5. Virus Expert Says Here's Where We'll Come Spring and Summer
Dr Osterholm stated, "It's somewhere between little to nothing and bad." "And it's somewhere in the middle of that. This is where humility enters the picture. We have no idea because all of the statistical models beyond four weeks are based on pixie bust. I wish for the best but must prepare for the worse. And if it's less than that, we'll be in a much better position. And so I believe, you know, people don't want to hear this, but for me, herd immunity went out the window over a year ago, and it's because we don't have sustained immunity with this virus. It's also not all that unusual. It's happened before with other coronaviruses. Consider how many people are currently being reinfected with a ho crime despite having been vaccinated, having boosters, or having previously been infected with a Delta form. So what it means is that in three or four months, another variety could evolve, able to easily evade the immunological protection of what we currently have in our population and be just as transmissible or not. Maybe we won't get to see it. … I'll say that we're not done with Omicron yet, and we're certainly not done with COVID. We may be done with the pandemic as a population, but the virus isn't done with us, and understanding that is why we must learn to live with it."
6. How to Stay Safe Out There
Get vaccinated or boost your vaccinations as soon as possible; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you aren't sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene.