COVID – not going away anytime soon

Wow. I’ve been watching the US daily case rate rise the last couple of weeks, and the acceleration in new cases is now scary. We just hit the all-time daily high for new cases (approx. 85K yesterday!), and experts are predicting >100K cases/day rates soon. This disease is really rolling over America. And of course the rise in deaths will follow the new cases by 2-4 weeks.

At the same time a new epidemic model was published in Nature, a first-tier prestigious science publication. Its conclusions are chilling:

Projections of current non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies by state—with social distancing mandates reinstated when a threshold of 8 deaths per million population is exceeded (reference scenario)—suggest that, cumulatively, 511,373 (469,578–578,347) lives could be lost to COVID-19 across the United States by 28 February 2021.

Biden was correct – this is going to be one dark winter. After we return to CA, looks like it will be time to hunker down hard once again. Personal silver lining – I can finish rewriting my novel.

But there can’t really be a silver lining when so many people close to me are still vulnerable to a disease with unknown and often deadly results. My dad and stepmom in the assisted living facility, Em and Greg and the kids, my brothers, my close friends…the disease hasn’t touched them yet, as least that we know. So I dread this huge wave of infectiousness that now looks inevitable.

Given this context, I feel relieved that we made the hard decision to cancel the Dionne family Christmas gathering at our place this year. It would have been 19-ish people coming in from all over the country, all inevitably gathered in the kitchen, eating, drinking and laughing. That sounds wonderful, other than the infectious risk of such an event. We made the decision to cancel about six weeks ago. Now, given the huge wave of new infections, it looks like a very good decision. Sometimes you get it right.