Cassandra here; we’re all buggered

I could have told you months ago that this was going to happen. Thanks to the right-wing propaganda networks and the gullibility of the American citizen, the pandemic is coming back.

Federal health officials sounded an alarm Friday about a surge in U.S. coronavirus infections fueled by the twin threats posed by the highly transmissible delta variant and a stagnation in efforts to vaccinate as many Americans as possible.

During a White House briefing, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the seven-day average of coronavirus infections soared nearly 70 percent in just one week, to about 26,300 cases a day. The seven-day average for hospitalizations has increased, too, climbing about 36 percent from the previous seven-day period, she said.

“There is a clear message that is coming through: This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Walensky said. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk, and communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well.”

Imagine your community is threatened by a brush fire. Everyone rushes to put it out; they spend a whole bunch of money on fire-fighting equipment. They get it mostly extinguished, there are just some smoldering coals left on the ground, and at that point we all say, “That’s taken care of, everyone go home, take it easy.” The next day, the neighborhood is burning again. Carl’s house burns down. We’re all sorry about Carl, but the fire is out, mostly, a few embers still smoking over by the gas station, but hey, this new fire extinguisher we bought is too heavy to haul over there to put it out completely, let’s just give up.

Maybe it’ll go out on its own. There couldn’t possibly be an explosion of flames that destroys the whole town. We’ll deal with it then, if we absolutely must.

When will we realize that it’s going to take a consistent, sustained effort to tamp this problem down? Nah, it’s too hard, probably never.

Oh,look. Florida leads the way.

About two weeks after Florida health officials discontinued publicly reporting some data and stopped issuing their daily COVID-19 summaries detailing cases, test positivity and vaccinations, some researchers remain concerned that the moves were made too early.

Even as the pandemic wanes, scientists such as Jennifer Nuzzo, a leading epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, say that state health departments should be presenting more data, not less, while the medical and science communities continue to gauge the effectiveness of a still-fresh vaccination campaign.

“It feels like we’re running a marathon and we’re almost giving up a couple miles from the finish line,” Nuzzo said in an interview with the Miami Herald.

Did you know 20% of the new cases in the US are in Florida?


  1. foolishleader says

    20% of the reported cases is pretty impressive for a state that only has about 6.5% of the US population.

  2. Matt G says

    I’m not the world’s best counter, but this is wave four. Some people don’t learn. Some people, it appears, CAN’T learn.

  3. says

    The fire analogy isn’t quite correct. It’s more like the fire gets mostly put out, when some of the neighbors who heard “fight fire with fire” one time when they were 6 start lighting more things on fire.

  4. says

    The only victims of this next pandemic I will feel bad about are those who cannot get the vaccine due to medical reasons. I am angry on their behalf.

    The others, well I won’t do a jig or anything but I won’t feel bad. In fact, it might thin out the opposition to my transgender SJW far-left antifa views. I am remarkably ok with that (and no, I won’t take the high road with the same people that want to outlaw me and take away my place in society).

  5. hemidactylus says

    Desantis tried to channel Dubya with a “Mission Accomplished” approach to COVID. Instead of acting responsibly he swept it under the rug and addressed higher priority items such as a law against protests that only applies to black people, protecting white kids from black racism in the curriculum, and eventually running for president. That’s the highest priority.

    Expect no concern from Deathsantis:

    “Asked about the growing cases Tuesday, DeSantis said the state will not take any action that restrictions a person’s ability to decide for themselves what they want to do.

    “No mandates for anything, these are individual choices,” DeSantis said.

    The governor said the uptick in cases should not be a surprise.

    “I made comments at the end of April or beginning of May, I said ‘look, this is a seasonal pattern, we knew it was going to be low in May and it was low, and we knew when we got to the end of June, July, it was going to go up, and it was because that’s what it did last year and it’s not unique just to Florida,” DeSantis said.”

    Because he’s smarter than the Faucists. Oh this is just plain sick:

    “The gear includes $21 T-shirts and $12 drink koozies that say, “Don’t Fauci My Florida.” Some pieces include the tagline “Keep Florida Free.” There’s also a beverage cooler that reads, “How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?” — which is a quote from DeSantis, himself.”

    That’s the capitalist way— commodify your callous disregard.

    Meanwhile over 38000 have died in Florida and positivity jumped from 3.3% to 11.5% in the past month. ‘Own the libs (cough, cough, croak)!’

  6. hemidactylus says

    I guess the silver lining, if it could be called that, is Florida may become a blue state due to attrition. Own goals.

  7. raven says

    The pandemic never went away.
    What it did was split into two US pandemics.

    One among the vaccinated is almost gone, with just some embers here and there from the other pandemic.
    The one among the unvaccinated.
    Which never went away and is now increasing again.

    Wait until the fall for this subset to really get hit hard.
    In the fall, the children will be back in school, the college students back to the universities, and as the weather cools, more people will spend more time inside.
    We don’t really vaccinate children yet, so there will be outbreaks of Covid-19 among them. Which they can take home to their parents and other family members.

  8. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Recently saw a clip of a Fux person complaining about the government’s emphasis on getting everyone vaccinated.
    Pandemic, pandemic, why don’t they just let it go???? She says with a head tilt.
    I will say it here, because I have to somewhere,
    That it is pretty frikkin obvious the emphasis on vaccines is PRECISELY how we will drop the pandemic from headline news.
    By getting rid of it entirely, using the vaccine against it. The vaccine can only do that by being universal, giving the virus no safe breeding grounds.
    NB how all current cases, 97%, are in unvaccinnated people

  9. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re #3:
    yes, it’s like complaining about spending money on every town establishing a fire department when nothing is burning at the moment after seeing Chicago burn to the ground (century old reference).

  10. Artor says

    Here in Oregon, most people have stopped wearing masks in public. I still wear mine when I go into crowded places, because it’s really a trivial measure to not be part of the problem. The people who think we are out of the woods are idiots. How many have to die before people get a fucking clue? I’d have thought 600K was enough, but apparently no, we need more bodies piled up.

  11. microraptor says

    Yesterday at the gym, I overheard a couple of old guys complaining about how there were so many new Covid infections. And then on the same breath they started complaining about how vaccines might be dangerous and how mask rules were Marxism. Complete lack of self-awareness.

  12. says

    Regarding the people who refuse to get vaccinated, I have a fairly simple, free market solution.
    If you are able to get vaccinated but don’t, then if you get Covid and have ACA or no insurance, you aren’t covered. Pay for it yourself, in advance.

    And if you DO have insurance coverage, the insurance company can charge you a large premium surcharge to cover Covid. And if you don’t buy the additional coverage before getting Covid, again, you pay for it yourself, in advance.

    It’s the free market, baby! And no subsidies.

  13. says

    @11 Artor
    I’ve given up at this point. Blue AF Portland, where I live, we’ve been at 70% for a month. The people who aren’t vaccinated, aren’t going to get vaccinated. They are suicidal lemmings and there’s nothing left to do about it. Many of them are going to get sick and die. Let them die. A few less Trump voters in 2024 no longer bothers me.

    What saddens me is we made every effort to save their dumb asses. We did every thing we could but they are completely and voluntarily reality blind and I’m out of things we can do. Short of imposing martial law and forcing them to get vaxed there’s nothing else for it.

  14. arkmay says

    It’s sobering that so many Reich wingers would rather risk death than let Biden have a “win” for controlling the pandemic that The Former Guy ignored.

  15. says

    @15 arkmay
    You know, this makes me think of the massive government overreach after 9-11. GWB got a hell of a blank check. 600K people die from a virus? Well we all know how 2020 went. If we had real leadership early on we could have prevented this but we had the TOP (Trump Old Party). Science denying white supremacists. You gotta play with the cards you’re dealt and 2020 dealt us the worst hand we could have had.
    King high with no other face cards. And it turns out we got the suicide king.

  16. fishy says

    Give them more free stuff. They like free stuff. I’m not talking about a beer or a box of doughnuts. I think it has to be a little more substantial.
    If Florida is a problem maybe the federal government could team-up with cruise companies to offer a free journey to those willing to get vaccinated onboard.
    Maybe airlines could offer a free round-trip ticket.

  17. Jazzlet says

    26 300 new cases a day? You’re not even trying, we’ve go 54 670 odd new cases a day, and we’re around a fifth of your size. And our Health Secretary has it even though he’s fully vaccinated. And we’re still going to open up completely on Monday.

    weeps quietly

  18. birgerjohansson says

    Ray Ceeya @ 17
    Do not bring the poor lemmings into this.
    Like most boreal and arctic rodents they suffer population collapses (which lead to wild speculations of the cause), but they were never offered vaccines, nor do they commit suicide (despite the rigged Disney “documentary” from the 1950s).
    As for anti-vaxxers – some can never be reasoned with.
    There may be a group that can be brought over with free stuff: Cruise tickets, tickets to popular sports venues etc.
    In my experience many elderly are bargain-hunting. Give them coupons for discounts. Hire psychologists to guide us to ‘hack’ the unwillingness to take a shot, and solve it.
    Completely OT – my cat had run away, but we found her after some traumatic hours. I do not want to spoil the day by repeating the “let them die” cry by Mitt Romney’s fans of 2012.
    We must try to save the stupid, but the priority is reaching those who can be reasoned with. Every hard-line anti-vaxxer that is brought around is an unexpected bonus.

  19. tacitus says

    26 300 new cases a day? You’re not even trying…

    Give us a chance! We’re just getting started over here! 10 days ago the number of cases was still falling in over half the states. Now they’ve more than doubled in the last two weeks in half the states. The Delta variant has only just passed 60% of all current cases. You have been at 99% for weeks already.

    Someone posted a comment elsewhere saying the death-per-case is about 10 times higher in the US than it is in the UK at the moment. I don’t know how accurate that is, but given the UK has vaccinated over 85% of everyone over 50 (it’s 90% for over 65), and it’s mostly young Brits and kids who are getting infected, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the death toll per case is far higher in the US this time around.

  20. wzrd1 says

    Ah,but you forget the Great Words of wisdumb from the god-king trump, “Grab them by the-“, oh,wrong quote, “We know it’ll get better in May, when it warms up, it’ll be gone like magic”. We only have to watch out for the winter months of July and August.
    Or something.

    So, TOP governors are working full court press efforts to reinstate the one true leader of this nation, COVID-19.

  21. tacitus says

    Given how virulent the Delta variant is, the virus is going to hit a lot closer home for many of the unvaccinated this time around. I’ve lost count of the number of comments on UK forums where people are saying they’ve never had so many friends and relatives infected at the same time.

    They’re already seeing a significant rise in the number of daily vaccinations in Florida as the Delta variant spreads, so there’s definitely still a significant number of the unvaccinated out there who can be reached, and regardless of what these people might claim, fear is an effective motivator.

  22. tacitus says

    Well we all know how 2020 went. If we had real leadership early on we could have prevented this but we had the TOP (Trump Old Party).

    I’m beginning to wonder. Given what’s transpiring today in the red states, if we’d have had President Clinton instead, would the Republican leaders have acted any better?

    Yes, the federal government would have be far more competent in their pandemic response overall, but decisions like closing the border to China are inherently political, and it still wouldn’t have been an easy one for the Clinton administration to get them all right. Confusion over masks and social distancing early in the pandemic weren’t confined to the US.

    If anything, the response in the red states could have been even worse than it was last year with Clinton in the White House, just so the Republican governors, several of who may have been running for the Republican nomination when it started, could “stick it to Clinton” and burnish their credentials in the eyes of their voter base.

    We’ll never know how many lives could have been saved, but I suspect it’s a significantly fewer than most people would think, given that a large reduction in casualties in the blue states might have been offset by a larger death toll in the red states.

  23. tacitus says

    Did you know 20% of the new cases in the US are in Florida?

    Do the Floridians even know? DeSantis’ administration dropped reporting daily numbers months ago, and counties are not even allowed to break out the number of Covid deaths from the over all number of fatalities, so nobody is getting a true and up-to-date picture of what’s going on with the pandemic in Florida. They have also stopped reporting non-resident statistics altogether.

    DeSantis is running for president in 2024, and has done everything he could to prevent bad news about the pandemic from derailing his bid for the Republican nomination. Hence Floridians have been kept in the dark and people are dying as a result.

  24. unclefrogy says

    all that is true but I do not see how that strategy could end up successful in the long run. running on enforced ignorance is a lot more difficult in this internet and headline hunting journalism age even with the proliferation of lying right-wing news propaganda outlets.
    it is very hard to keep everything controlled lots of things are happening at the same time most of which no aspiring candidate has any control over at all.
    death and disease do not listen to speeches nor faux news neither does the weather nor the business cycle

  25. DanDare says

    @17 fishy, give free cruises to the unvaxinated, but they can’t get off until they have had covid and either died or recovered.

  26. chrislawson says

    “It feels like we’re running a marathon and we’re almost giving up a couple miles from the finish line,” Nuzzo said in an interview with the Miami Herald.

    …and the finish line keeps moving.

  27. says

    People who are unvaccinated by choice, as opposed to by medical necessity, have made their choice. They’ve made their bed. So they’re gonna have to lie in it.

    And lots of them are gonna die in it.

    A pandemic which preferentially takes out people of one specific political persuasion (on account of those people refuse to take prudent measures against the disease): This is going to have serious downstream consequences.

  28. John Morales says

    cubist, I appreciate your sentiment, but seems to me that a situation where many are vaccinated yet also many are not is an optimal environment to allow for more vaccine resistant variants to proliferate, as that increases their relative competitive advantage over other variants.

    That is, bad for them, but could be bad for others too.

  29. hemidactylus says

    Please Fauci my Florida! This is horrific:

    “Asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta about the misinformation spread by Fox News regarding the Covid-19 vaccines, Fauci said, “We probably would still have polio in this country if we had the kind of false information that’s being spread now.””
    “”If you look at the extraordinary success in eradicating smallpox and eliminating polio for most of the world — and we’re on the brink of eradicating polio — if we had had the pushback for vaccines the way we’re seeing on certain media, I don’t think it would’ve been possible at all to not only eradicate smallpox, we probably would still have smallpox,” said Fauci.“

  30. komarov says

    “Imagine your community is threatened by a brush fire. Everyone rushes to put it out; they spend a whole bunch of money on fire-fighting equipment. They get it mostly extinguished, there are just some smoldering coals left on the ground, and at that point we all say, “That’s taken care of, everyone go home, take it easy.” ”

    That’s almost to the word of how I’ve been thinking of the constant lockdown-lockdown-ease cycles many countries have gone through. The fire is no longer quite so bad, so let’s send the fire trucks home. All those flashing lights are getting on people’s nerves.

    At least it takes out all the uncertainty we had to live with during the first wave. Now we know exactly what the future holds: wave #5. Special thanks to the great political leadership everywhere

  31. says

    Some pieces include the tagline “Keep Florida Free.”

    In a couple of decades, it’ll be “Keep Florida Unsubmerged”. But not by a republican, of course. They’ll have slogans like “Every Florida home a beachfront property”.

  32. unclefrogy says

    it really amazes me that so many people seem to think that there is a choice between doing the simple public health stuff we can do or having a growing economy. I can see that they do not seem to believe the evidence of what effect an uncontrolled pandemic can have on an economy let alone how it may effect personal freedom and yet. A hurricane or a blizzard restrict your personal freedom every bit as much though I admit not for the extended time as a pandemic but still it is not a political issue any where i ever heard of.
    this biological storm is still raging and is very persistent are we just in the eye of it?

  33. publicola says

    Matt @2: some people WON’T learn. Hemi @5: can’t someone hack that website and plant a virus that will destroy it and every computer it contacts? Another silver lining: with sea level rising, Fl. will be one of the first to sink. A third silver lining: maybe all the MAGA maggots will die off. Uncle @ 25: not a successful strategy? I refer you to the election of Trump in 2016. Meanwhile, Boris Trump…ah,that is, Johnson, has just thrown England wide-f’….in’ open. I just hope the English people are smarter than their leader.

  34. KG says

    I just hope the English people are smarter than their leader. – publicola@25

    Apparently a majority are (see “England lifts most remaining restrictions as poll suggests voters see it as ‘wrong’ by almost 2 to 1” @09.38). But probably enough are not to ensure an acceleration of the existing rapid rise in cases.

  35. jenorafeuer says

    And according to the CBC, as of Saturday Canada surpassed the U.S. in terms of percentage of population that is fully vaccinated, despite a rather slow start (due mostly to lack of supply at the time).

    Sadly, looking at the comments will make it clear that we have enough of our own idiots.

    (I just got my second dose on Friday.)