Watching the BA.2 “bump”
Coronavirus dashboard for April 13: watching the BA.2 “bump”
The BA.2 “bump” (h/t Dr. Eric Topol) is upon us (and hopefully a “bump” is all it is). Let’s take a look at where we stand.
Cases bottomed 8 days ago at 28,378. As of yesterday, they had increased to 32,835:
Hospitalizations have continued to decline, and at 9859 are the lowest since March 2020 when the pandemic was just beginning:
Deaths are at 527, just above their 10 month low of 498 the previous day. Only in June and July 2021 have deaths been lower than this. The below graph shows the long term view of both deaths (bold line) and cases (thin line), scaled separately:
Each successive wave has been *relatively* less lethal (i.e., deaths vs. cases) than the previous one, with the exception (slightly) of Delta last summer. Note there was a slight increase – a “bump” in Topol’s terminology – last April, during Alpha, that was focused on Michigan.
I suspect this is because ever-increasing percentages of the population have been vaccinated and/or infected, priming the body’s immune system for a better response.
The CDC reported yesterday that as of last week BA.2 accounted for 86% of all new infections:
Regionally, in the Northwest and Southwest BA.2 is 88% of new cases; in the upper Midwest it is 84%; in New England it is 90%; and in NY and NJ it is 92%:
Here’s what the level of new cases looks like broken down by Census Region:
As you can see, cases are rising in every region (except for the South, where the last few days’ increase is due to a data dump by Texas – otherwise it is still decreasing). Cases started increasing in the Northeast first, 4 weeks ago, and that region has the biggest increase.
Because BA.2 started earlier and has been furthest along in the Northeast, and because in Europe BA.2 cases have typically peaked once BA.2 in the country reached 90% of all cases, here is a more detailed breakdown of the Northeastern States over the past 8 weeks:
So far there is no sign of BA.2 peaking in any of those States. Since in European countries the turnaround tended to occur quickly, as in within a week, hopefully we will start to see signs of a peak in some Northeastern States shortly.
Here’s what we know about Omicron XE
Boston Globe – April 14
Sure hope that BA.2 continues to be just a little bump. We went to a funeral service in Springfield, VA just three weeks ago. Fortunately for us the old bag died at 94 YO, having outlived her spouse, all her siblings, and all her lifelong friends. So, only her kids and their spouses and children showed up. Wife just left an hour ago to go to Duck, NC to stay with siblings and their spouses and the oldest sister’s timeshare. Contact beyond the family will be minimal. Fortunately my attendance was not mandatory. Ocracoke on the opposite end of the NC OBX is more to my liking. In four more weeks wife and oldest sister will travel together to a niece’s wedding in CT where there will be standard family wedding attendance of well over 100 guests.
Local news is telling me that planes, buses, and trains are being overwhelmed with passengers for this first warm weather holiday weekend of 2022. So, just wait until Memorial Day weekend. People certainly are acting convinced that the pandemic has passed.
Things can go the other way too. Covid could adapt to a stronger strain.
Wife and I are alone this year. Pulled out a chunk of sliced ham from the last holiday we had with an oversized ham. Got some scalloped potatoes too. She will make some salad which is excellent. The three of us (German Shepard) will have our Easter dinner. Fish fry tonight.
Exactly. Happy Easter.
Yesterday, I crocked two pounds of black beans all day and then boiled a pound and half of barley and made two salmon meat loafs from three cans of fish loaded with bell peppers and onions. That will be my dinners until wife gets back next Friday for broccoli Alfredo.
Sounds good. Be who you are and be that well. Enjoy the holiday.
Thanks. Back at ya.
The Omicron waves in Europe were much closer together, meaning that the people who were infected during the first wave still had protection from the second, the hiatus between the two waves in the US means a lot of people who were infected in the first wave will no longer have sufficient immunity and will be infected with the second wave. This isn’t even taking into account the far higher fully vaccinated and boosted rates in Europe, which reduced spread at the margin besides much lower death rates.
The US is in for a larger bump than Europe got, the only question is how much larger.