A year and a half after the first Coronavirus case was discovered in the U.S. & it has taken over 600,000 American lives. That's more American lives than were lost to WWI, WWII, & Vietnam combined. We're doing better than we were doing in Jan, but we're in the 5th wave which is the 2nd worse wave so far.
The main reason for this wave is the high percentage of people who have not been vaccinated, the high percentage of people choosing to not wear masks, and the new and more infectious variants. Many are saying that we're in our 4th wave but if you look at the chart we're actually in the 5th wave.
According to the Associated Press only 1.1% of those being hospitalized are fully vaccinated and only 0.8% of those dying are fully vaccinated.
According to the Mayo Clinic 49.2% of Americans are fully vaccinated and another 7.6% have had at least one vaccination shot.
If half of Americans are mostly safe against this variant, then the variant has far less people to victimize. But since the variant is more infectious and since less are protecting themselves with masks, a higher percentage of those who are not protected are getting sick.
According to the CDC we've recently seen new infections climb over 100,000 per day again which is the 2nd worst wave so far, but still far from the 200,000 per day that we were seeing in Jan.
All we can do is encourage people to get the vaccine and mask up.
Mask sales have slowed to a crawl and because of that less and less retail stores are carrying them and that's a problem. If masks are hard to find less people will wear them. So we will continue to offer masks at a low wholesale cost and when possible we'll offer them in smaller quantities. We'll also continue to guarantee that they sell for our clients so you can feel free to carry them with no risk to you.
Some of our clients are still requiring consumers to wear masks in their store. That is a decision that all retailers have to make for themselves. As a private businesses it is your choice that you're free to make. Some of our clients have seen their foot traffic improve because many consumers are still weary of going out in public among those who are not wearing mask. You know your customers best and in the best position to make that decision.
The bigger risk is if a Variant is created that's immune to the vaccine. Every person who get's sick creates an average of about 4 variants. Most variants aren't any worse than existing variants but once in a while one will be created that is worse, the Delta Variant for example is worse because it's more infectious but it's still not immune to the vaccine. So it's bad but it could be worse.
Late breaking news, 8-15-21: An early study suggests that the Moderna Vaccine's effectiveness against the Delta Variant may be as low as 76% and the Pfizer Vaccine's effectiveness against the Delta Variant may be as low as 42%. These are still early studies that have not yet been peer reviewed, but it is from a reliable source, the Mayo Clinic.
The more people who get sick the more variants we'll see which increases the chance that we'll eventually see one that is immune to the vaccine. We'll continue to watch for that and we encourage you to do the same.
Summary - Updated 8-15-21
We hope that this summary will help keep you informed quickly and easily.
We have discovered that Airborne Transmission is the main form of transmission. Airborne transmission is all about the viral load which means how many parts per million are in the air. The more virus particles per million total particles the bigger the viral load and the higher the chances of getting sick.
The reason why it's easier to catch it indoors is that there's no fresh air coming in to dilute the viral load. Outdoors there's a constant supply of fresh air to dilute the viral load and there's usually wind to disburse the virus so the viral load can't get too high. However large crowds can create larger viral loads than normal.
The virus can live on surfaces for up to 28 days and once again become airborne with the slightest of breezes, even the breeze created by simply walking past the contaminated surface. So indoors any high traffic area that isn't sterilized on a regular basis gives the viral load a place to build up and get very large.
There are several types of masks on the market. All are designed to reduce the amount of virus particles that a carrier can spread, few are designed to keep the virus out if it's already airborne. Neck Gaiters are the only ones that are worse than wearing nothing at all.
The most popular have been Cloth & 3Ply Masks because they're the least expensive. The more layers, the better they are at reducing the amount of virus particles that can escape from a carrier. They however offer little defense to the wearer if the virus is already airborne.
KN95 & N95 masks are the best. They reduce the amount of virus particles that can escape from a carrier better than any other mask, and they also protect the wearer filtering out 95% of virus particles if the virus is already airborne.
The reason for this is simple. When the virus comes out of a person it is attached to a droplet. The droplet is several times bigger than the virus particle so it's a lot easier to catch in a mask. So any mask is effective at stopping the virus from escaping from a person.
Once the virus particle is out it doesn't take long for the droplet to evaporate and at that point the virus particle is a lot smaller. To keep it out it takes a masks with much smaller holes. KN95 masks will screen out 95% of those smaller virus particles but other masks are not as well designed for that and may only filter out around 20% of those smaller virus particles.
The Virus does not reproduce, instead is replicates itself which means it makes copies, and it makes millions of copies while it's inside a sick person. Sometimes a copy isn't exact, a mistake is made in the genetic code, this is a variant.
Since it's a mistake in the genetic code, when one is created that's worse than the current variant that is also a mistake. Most variants aren't any worse than current variants.
However if you give the virus enough time to make enough mistakes, eventually one will be created that's worse than existing variants. The Delta Variant is an example of a variant that was created by accident that's worse than other variants because it's more infectious.
The vaccine is effective against the Delta Variant but there is a chance that we'll eventually see a variant that the vaccine is not effective against. We hope that never happens but it's a risk we must all be aware of.
The virus creates about 4 variants every time someone gets sick, so every time someone gets sick we give the virus 4 more chances to create a worse variant. Therefore the best thing we can do is to get the infection rate down.
We have seen the infection, hospitalizing, and death levels go up and down from the start. When they go up we call it a wave or a spike. We've had 4 spikes so far. The worst by far came in Jan.
We're currently in the 5th spike and numbers have gotten worse than all other spikes except the biggest spike in Jan.
Since the vaccine is effective against the new Delta Variant about half of Americans are protected against it. Which means the infection rate shouldn't get as bad as it was in Jan. But it's already far worse than it should be.
Vaccines usually take years to develop, but the drug companies created a vaccine for Covid in less than a year. They should be commended, they gave us an important tool to help us get the upper hand on this virus.
One of the reasons why they were able to develop a vaccine this quickly is because the FDA gave them emergency approval, which means they didn't have to test it as thoroughly as they would have if we weren't suffering from a pandemic. This has caused other problems though giving fuel to the antivaxxers and the conspiracy theorists.
The FDA is working on further testing of the vaccines so they can receive Full Approval which may help some set aside their fears and we should see the vaccination rates go up. Full Approval takes time because they have to test, and testing it means that they have to form study groups who take the vaccine and then they have to wait to see the results. There's no way to rush these tests but it looks like we might start seeing Full Approval in the next couple of months.
It's been said before that vaccines don't save lives, vaccinations save lives. And that is the bottom line. Unfortunately the rollout of the vaccinations was a mess in the beginning. The government didn't buy enough, they promised states more doses than they had, the manufacturers had to increase security fearing attacks from antivaxxers and far right terrorists, the manufacturers promised more vaccine than they could manufacture, the winter storms caused delays...... the list of problems went on and on.
On the bright side almost half of Americans are now fully vaccinated as of late July 2021. Unfortunately the vaccination rate has slowed mainly due to misinformation. But we are hopeful that the vaccination rate doesn't slow down any farther and we'll continue to see the % of fully vaccinated people rise.
Post-Acute Covid Syndrome
Survivors of Covid can have persistent symptoms after recovering from Covid. A study conducted by the National Institute of Health showed that half of the Covid survivors in their study continued to have various health problems after their recovery ranging from "Covid Fog" (type of brain fog) to digestive issues to nerve damage.
It is still unknown if the vaccines will protect from Post-Acute Covid Syndrome.
The 5th Wave has Begun (Late July, 2021)
The 5th wave has begun fueled by the Delta Variant, unvaccinated people, and reduced mask wearing.
On Aug 12 the infection rate once again reached 140,000, the first time since Late Jan after reaching a low of 8,421 in Late June.
Since the vaccine is effective against this new Delta Variant and since half of America has been fully vaccinated, we do hope it doesn't get much worse.
The bottom line is simple and can be expressed by an old adage. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
THE CDC RELEASED PROOF THAT MASKS WORK
OUR HEALTH EXPERTS HAVE CONCLUDED
THAT THE VIRUS CAN BECOME AIRBORNE INDOORS
CSIRO HAS DETERMINED THAT THE VIRUS CAN LIVE ON SOME SURFACES
FOR UP TO 28 DAYS
Link to the study is in the article
DUKE UNIVERSITY STUDY ON MASK EFFECTIVENESS
NATIONAL DAILY INFECTION AND DEATH RATE
WEEKLY STATE WIDE INFECTION RATE
DAILY STATE WIDE INFECTION, HOSPITALIZATION, AND DEATH RATE
2/3 OF AMERICANS WON'T GET COVID-19 VACCINE WHEN IT'S FIRST AVAILABLE
U.K. warns against giving Pfizer vaccine to people prone to severe allergic reactions - CBS News
Post Acute Covid Syndrome
Puzzling, often debilitating after-effects plaguing COVID-19 "long-haulers" - CBS News
COVID 19 CAN CAUSE ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
Wearing a Mask After Being Vaccinated
1 Patient Created More Than 20 Variants
New Recommendations From the CDC Includes Wearing 2 Masks
Vaccine Manufacturers are Working on Booster Vaccines that Will be More Effective Against Variants
COVID Vaccine Updates: Booster shots may be needed until infections die down, study suggests - ABC7 New York (abc7ny.com
According to the Associated Press, only 1.1% of Those Hospitalized
and 0.8% of Those Dying are Fully Vaccinated
According to the Mayo Clinic, as of July 24, 2021, 49.2% of Americans are
Full Vaccination Rates by State from the Mayo Clinic
From the Kaiser Family Foundation - Not all states are reporting
Are Not As Effective Against the Delta Variant
Coronavirus: Is Moderna more effective than Pfizer against the delta variant? – KIRO 7 News Seattle
Comparison of two highly-effective mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 during periods of Alpha and Delta variant prevalence | medRxiv