I was talking to a friend last night who told me how worn out she was from the pandemic—and she has family all around her, including two grandkids. That made me realize how worn out we all our from our more-than-a-year sequestration. Nobody has been immune.
And now the specter looms of yet another lockdown and mask festival, this time caused by the delta variant of Covid, which can not only infect those who are doubly vaccinated, but can live in huge numbers in their nasal passages and infect other vaccinated people. A huge number of Americans are resisting not only getting vaccinated, but also to wearing masks. Some yahoo governmental officials have declared that they won’t even consider mask mandates. All of this this presages another tough time this fall and winter. These are my predictions, and I dearly hope I’m wrong.
a.) There will be another surge in infections, which in fact is starting now, and breakthrough infections will start happening with the vaccinated. Other variants may arise even more dangerous than the delta. Kids will start getting the virus.
b.) Booster shots will be instituted by the fall, and the smart folks will get them. In fact, I think we’ll need at least an annual COVID shot because immunity is wearing off faster than many thought.
c.) Perhaps more Americans will start wising up about vaccination and masking, but not enough of them. On Thursday heard four healthcare workers on the NBC Evening News explain why they didn’t want to get vaccinated. Healthcare workers! One said she didn’t trust the CDC. Another, confronted with the “facts” about vaccine efficacy, said she didn’t believe them.
d.) We will start having more lockdowns and mask mandates, and people, worn out from the last ones, will be even more resistant than before. Eight of the fifty states have indoor mask mandates. As of now, only two of of them (Nevada and Hawaii), as well as Washington, D.C., include the vaccinated. But of course we know now that the vaccinated can not only get infected, but spread the virus. (The just don’t get as sick as the unvaccinated.)
d.) As schools start to open, and the concert/entertainment festivals start, superpreader events will occur. (The giant Lollapalooza Music Festival is going on right now in Chicago. You can get in if you wear a mask, but if you’re unmasked, you’re required to show a negative Covid test in the last three days or your vaccination card. But which masked people will be keeping them on in the huge crowd?) This all will lead to more lockdowns and other restrictions.
e.) Schools will open soon. Many kids have not been vaccinated, and nobody under 12 is even eligible. What with the Delta variant about, which makes younger people sicker than the previous variants, proper social distancing, air filtering, and mask wearing are essential for live classes. Everybody connected with school is sick of virtual teaching, so schools will desperately try to stay open “live”. This will cause problems, and many schools may go back to virtual classes.
The upshot: the “Summer of freedom” we all expected is dissolving fast, and I suspect we’re facing another wearing Fall and Winter of Restrictions. Many more people in the U.S. will die than would have had they gotten their jabs, and we’re all in for more restrictions, masking, and travel bans.
In short, it’s going to be tough until well into 2022. Such is my prediction, which is mine. It’s depressing. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see it coming.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 (caption from NPR), which is more dangerous because it proliferates faster in the respiratory tract and reaches higher numbers: 1,000 times higher than previous variants.