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yeah, it's a new wave
and not the good pop music kind
I’ve been expecting a new COVID wave for a while now. I didn’t write about it here. I didn’t want to be alarmist, and as I like to remind you - I am not a epidemiologist. I could have been wrong. But the wastewater monitoringhas been showing a steady increase in COVID and ever since the CDC gutted COVID surveillance, wastewater is our best sign of the future. Not to mention, China is in their wave already.
I feel pretty comfortable saying - it’s a wave.
Two weeks ago, the CDC even told us it was a wave. Sort of. The CDC said COVID cases would probably rise but it doesn’t really matter because they were already so low. Sure there are infections, but you don’t have to actually do anything like wearing a mask. Duh. Masks are for losers. Also only old people are dying now and they are disposable. Okay, verbatim, what the CDC said was “If you sort of imagine the decline in cases looking like a ski slope — going down, down, down for the last six months — we're just starting to see a little bit of an almost like a little ski jump at the bottom.”
The New York Times agrees that, yes, COVID cases are increasing, but who cares anyway. Their article is full of dismissive quotes from epidemiologists, who appear to have forgotten that public health professionals are meant to care about the entire public. The one bright spot in the piece is Katelyn Jetelina, who made a really excellent point: “I think we do the public a disservice by saying that it’s over and let’s move on, because it is going to be disruptive this winter, and it will cause a number of people to die…That’s just not acceptable to the public health world, especially since it’s preventable.”
That’s right. Preventable deaths are not okay.
On a personal level, COVID is back in my life. Everyone I know seems to be getting sick. My Novid friends are losing their never status. Others are facing their second and third infections. COVID is now present and deeply felt in a way it hadn’t been for months.
It’s a wave, what do I do?
If you’ve gotten casual about masking, put your mask back on and be diligent.
Stop indoor dining - you can eat at home or you can eat outside. The weather is still nice. Dine al fresco.
Avoid crowded indoor spaces. Do your shopping in off hours. Watch your ball games at home instead of at bars. Sell your Eras tickets and use the money to buy an e-bike so you can commute without taking a crowded train or bus.
If you get COVID, get Paxlovid. Doctors are still weirdly hesitant to prescribe, but they will generally do it if you push them. They should not be hesitating. Paxlovid is safe and effective, and the whole rebound thing was a misunderstanding of the data.
Get your booster next month as soon as they are available.
What was I writing about last year: The two pandemics
Scroll down to the nearly incomprehensible graph. You can understand it if you spend a little time but it sure does remind me of something…
Really truly that’s what the CDC guy said. Not me exaggerating.