Experts – Wear a Mask and Get Vaccinated for Winter 2021

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In a recent forecast, epidemiologist at the IHME of the University of Washington, predicated that Covid-19 surge is not going away during the winter holiday season.

IHME Covid-19 Model Predictions
  1. In South America, we’re seeing increases in Bolivia, Chile, and Colombia. Chile is the most notable. In the rest of South America, things are coming down. 
  2. We’re seeing a cluster of countries in the Middle East experience increased transmission: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.
  3. Laos and Vietnam are experiencing significant transmission surges after transmission had recently come down due to lockdowns that had been imposed. 
  4. The truly dramatic increases right now that are unfolding are in select US states like Michigan where numbers are going up, and a number of other northern states. 
  5. The most dramatic increases in COVID-19 transmission are in Europe. Interestingly, the countries with the biggest increase are the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Norway, Czechia, Poland, and Slovakia. 

Source: New Covid-19 Projections

It may be frustrating for people who feel they’ve done all the right things by getting fully vaccinated already, by wearing masks and by avoiding crowds. This should have been the holiday season to enjoy.

CNN Health

Dr. Mike Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN that the “pandemic fatigue is winning the war over the gravity of the virus itself”.

Advice from health experts: 1. Get a booster. 2. Wear a mask.

I think that’s all you can do. You just socialize with people who are of like mind, more than ever.

– Dr. Mike Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota (Source: CNN Health)

Get a vaccine. Wear a mask.

– Ali Mokdad of the University of Washington (source: CNN Health)

Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Public Health-Seattle and King County, took to Twitter with advice.

To minimize risk from future surges: – Must vaccinate more people ASAP, esp. young adults, children – EVERYONE eligible should GET A BOOSTER now. – Continue CoV-19 prevention precautions: masks indoors, ensure good indoor air ventilation/filtration, test & isolate if positive.

– Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Public Health-Seattle and King County (source: CNN Health)

The IHME projections also recommends the following strategies dealing with the winter Covid-19 surge:

IHME: Covid-19 Dealing Strategies
  1. Trying to vaccinate the hesitant.
  2. Encouraging wearing masks because we know that’s the fastest way to get a handle on these surges.
  3. In places that have the supply, consider a third dose of vaccination because that has been shown to bring immunity – at least for preventing infection – back up and could have an effect on preventing surges in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s a more complex issue at the global scale because there is still a shortage globally and a real concern about low vaccination rates in some low-income countries – so there is a tradeoff at the global scale. But from the perspective of controlling the winter surge where we think most death is going to occur in the Northern Hemisphere in the next four months, that third dose may turn out to be critical.

Source: New Covid-19 Projections

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of Nov 24, 9 a.m.) 572,190,175 doses have been distributed and 454,447,737 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of Nov 23 ) a total of 7,728,861 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of Nov 26) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 895,229 (out of 14,719,856 tested) with 9,338 deaths.