Weekend – still >9000 cases per day in Washington State, but that’s nothing compared to the peaks of a few weeks ago. Death rates are peaking, hospitalisation rates are falling. Warning that the next variant will "kill many more" as England drops all restrictions.
Friday – UK looking to eliminate all free testing – both PCR and lateral flow – to save money. All Covid regulations to be gone in two weeks in UK. Political rather than scientific.
Thursday – fast follow from yesterday; and outdoor mask mandates in Washington State for large gatherings will be gone next week. I expect indoor masking to be gone by end of month. In the UK Prince Charles has Covid for the second time; Queen has no symptoms. "Africa transitioning out of pandemic stage of Covid" – WHO.
Wednesday – I am somewhat hopeful for a return to the new normal this spring and summer. Locally there is a vast majority vaxxed and boosted; and the omicron cases have swept through quickly. Hospitals were stretched to breaking point, there were many deaths, there is loss and change everywhere. A "new normal" that we saw last summer/autumn isn’t bad: require proof of vaccination for indoor bars, dining and events. Use that as the carrot and the stick to slowly nudge people forward.
Tuesday – restrictions are being dropped across the US – as Omicron quickly tails off, and the number of vaccinated, boosted and previously exposed is relatively high. My prediction is for a late summer/early autumn booster to be produced, probably in conjunction with the annual flu shot. The next wave will really affect those who are unvaccinated and/or isolating.
Monday – potential exposure again, rapid lateral flow test shows negative. The advantages of having plentiful, cost effective, home tests are numerous. I wish the US had more lateral flow tests in the system back in November and December. Continuing anti-vac protests (and I question whether these are really astroturfing) in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand.
This time last year – coming out of the first big winter wave in Washington State and the US. Vaccination starting slowly. UK ahead of the vaccination curve with 21% vaccinated.
This time 2020 – still in the calm before the storm; this was the few weeks of cruise ships being the main vector of transmission, watching the Diamond Princess in quarantine off Japan, watching a tiny number of cases in PRC start accelerating, the novel coronavirus was named "Covid-19".
|The Guardian||The Seattle Times|