The numbers of the infected are surging in Minnesota, so now our governor says “Whoops!” and decides maybe we should refrain from wild partying.
Gov. Tim Walz strongly indicated during the Monday opening of a new saliva testing center in Minneapolis that he will soon announce restrictions on bars and restaurants as a way of stemming an explosion of COVID-19 infections in Minnesota.
Walz stood with Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm to announce another expansion in testing, this time at the Minneapolis Convention Center, but both officials further lamented an increase in both infection numbers and positivity rates. The state saw 10,000 new infections over the weekend and passed a 10 percent positivity rate.
Walz said health department information is seeing three infection sources: social events such as weddings and funerals, large family gatherings and bars and restaurants. The latter dovetails into another concern of health officials — the large number of 18-to-35 years olds who may be infected but asymptomatic. Those people can be efficient spreaders.
Barn doors, closed, after cow escapes, etc. OK. I think the citizenry have already learned to be slack about these things, unfortunately, and there is also going to be a subset of the population — you know the ones, the conspiracy theorists — who are going to see this as a validation of their belief that the Democrats want to steal muh freedoms.
In more positive news, I’ve been reading the news about the new potential vaccine. It’s an RNA-based vaccine? Cool. That’s an intriguing approach, except for the fact that RNA is remarkably fragile. My concerns were confirmed by this little bit of information:
Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored at ultra-low temperatures, which complicates the massive endeavor to distribute a vaccine throughout the population. Pfizer’s logistical plan includes using dry ice to transport frozen vials. Health facilities can keep the vaccine for up to six months at minus-70 degrees Celsius, or minus-94 degrees Fahrenheit. But many hospitals lack the special freezers that can get that cold.
So that’s like dry ice temperatures, but at least it’s not liquid N2 temperatures. I guess that’s doable, but it’s going to add to the expense and mostly force communities to upgrade their medical infrastructure a bit. Otherwise, though, the idea of using RNA to put the patient’s immune system to work making viral antigens is just kind of brilliant. I hope it’s working soon, and that maybe Governor Walz gets ahead of the game this time and starts making grants to regional medical institutions so they’re ready as soon as the vaccine is available.
Yeah, and closing the bars would have been a brilliant idea, too…last month.