I read a glimmer of hope in the NYT today. I get a daily briefing from them but then when I tried to post a link to the article itself here, it was blocked because I haven't bought a subscription. But if anyone is interested, they could probably google it.
Anyway, it said new cases are down 35% this week in the USA, for the first time, I believe.
It went on to say that 1 million people in the US have already been exposed (three or four additional people for each person who shows symptoms). And, 24 million people have been vaccinated. With 3.3 million people in the US (I think?) that's quite a chunk.
The article said we MAY be seeing the very beginning of herd immunity. So, a little more possible light at the end of the tunnel, though it's been way too hard earned.
Here it is, quoted correctly this time. Sorry about that!
"We may be in the very early stages of herd immunity. Roughly 100 million Americans seem to have had the virus. (For every person who tests positive, three more have had it without being diagnosed, studies suggest.) Another 24 million people have received a vaccine shot.
Put those two groups together, and you realize that about one-third of all Americans have at least some degree of immunity from the virus. That may be enough to begin — begin — slowing the spread, as my colleague Donald G. McNeil Jr. explained on “The Daily.”"
A 35 percent decline
The United States has never experienced a sharp and sustained decline in new coronavirus cases — until, perhaps, now.
Last year, new cases in the U.S. went through cycles of rising rapidly and then leveling off or falling only modestly. That was different from the situation in many other countries, where sharp drops sometimes occurred. Look at how much bigger the declines were in Western Europe last spring and last fall than in the U.S.:
But now the situation may be changing.
“I like the trends we are seeing, and I am personally hopeful that things are going to get better,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told me. “But there are a number of things that could also wrong.”
The good news
Let’s start with two possible explanations for the recent improvement:
1. We may be in the very early stages of herd immunity. Roughly 100 million Americans seem to have had the virus. (For every person who tests positive, three more have had it without being diagnosed, studies suggest.) Another 24 million people have received a vaccine shot.
Put those two groups together, and you realize that about one-third of all Americans have at least some degree of immunity from the virus. That may be enough to begin — begin — slowing the spread, as my colleague Donald G. McNeil Jr. explained on “The Daily.”
2. More Americans may be wearing masks and staying socially distant. Many still are not, as I saw on my recent 1,600-mile road trip. But any increase in safe behavior matters.
And there are signs of change. Multiple states tightened restrictions late last year. The country just elected a president who echoes scientific advice rather than flouting it. Some Americans may also be inspired by light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m hearing from a lot of people that one of the reasons why they’re really hunkering down now is that it would be a shame to get a severe Covid case while waiting to get the vaccine,” Dr. Lee Harrison, the chairman of a local health board, told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week.
Dr. Mark Escott, who runs the a local health agency around Austin, Texas, told the CBS affiliate there: “Folks are changing behavior. Folks are wearing masks, folks are staying home, and that is resulting in these decreasing cases.”
Dr. Alex Garza, a member of a pandemic task force in St. Louis, told The Associated Press: “The fact that this is happening in the winter when respiratory viruses typically spread the most shows us just how effective all the preventative measures actually are when we use them.”
It could get worse again
I want to emphasize that the pandemic has not entered an inexorable decline.
But the U.S. has it within its power to make this month a true turning point."
I just read after 10 months Perth may have continuity transmission and is in Lock down
A security guard at a quareteen hotel has tested positive
Just as Australia reopen the travel bubble today with NZers allowed back in without having to guareteen after our case last week out in the community had no further transmission
So much of this virus is about luck
Good or bad