From a pandemic perspective, we are in a precarious place as a country. Some states are giving up their safeguards while infection and death rates are not on a straight downward trend. Published reports show a new variant in New York City that may make vaccines less effective. Other reports discuss how obesity affects vaccination levels, hospital stays, and more.
A total of 14 states have no mask requirement. Texas and Mississippi recently dropped theirs.
Texas is among the states with the most new cases listed in the New York Times daily Covid analysis, and the number continues to rise. Georgia, Idaho, South Dakota, and Alaska are also on this list; They too have no mask restrictions. The others on the list, including New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, have mandatory rules for wearing masks. Texas, Idaho and Alaska are among the states with rising death rates. The Times analysis spans the past seven days.
While Texas has fewer deaths per 100,000, 25 per, alongside high-ranking New Jersey state, 38 per, it also has 7 of the hardest-hit communities out of 20. Alaska, in second place, has 3 in the Times analysis.
As of this morning, March 5th, approximately 520,200 people have died from Covid. The Times map shows Ohio removed its death list.
The federal government is not satisfied with the state lifting of restrictions. It’s not the right time, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “I know people are tired. They want to get back to life, to normalcy, ”she said in comments to the New York Times. “But we’re not there yet.”
Exposing the dangers
In this week’s weekly Mortality and Morbidity Report, the CDC examined how case and mortality rates are affected by nationwide mask mandates and local food. They noted a decline in both new cases and deaths within 20 days of the mandates coming into force. The effects of eating were split over two time periods, with growth increasing 41-100 days after reopening and deaths occurring 61-100 days later.
Up-to-date weekly reports of mortality and morbidity can also serve as a reminder of what this virus is capable of.
In August, a group of sports enthusiasts took part in a high-intensity indoor workout at a Chicago gym. Of the 81 people, 22 were already infected. Some had symptoms on the day of exercise or shortly before. When everyone left the gym, another 27 people tested positive and another 6 were likely infected but not interviewed by public health officials. Were these people infected in the gym? The report’s authors admitted that they couldn’t definitively say that everyone was infected while exercising because not everyone at the gym granted an interview and because the DNA was not extracted to check who had what exposure.
The facility itself was Covid-aware, according to MMWR on March 5. The classes were only open to a maximum of 15 people, a quarter of the usual capacity. Masks were required on the door; Temperatures were measured and a symptom test was carried out.
However, the facility allowed participants to remove their masks during training. At least three-quarters of the participants did just that, most of whom were already infected.
Research has shown that this virus can be transmitted well in deep exhaled air, especially if the person is overweight.
Obesity occurs time and again as a significant problem with Covid.
New research results – not yet reviewed by experts – suggest that even with Covid-19, some old findings on immune responses apply. If you are female, younger, and thinner, you are likely to be better vaccinated than older, heavier men.
Other research published by the World Obesity Federation has found obesity to be an ongoing threat to recovery from Covid. According to the authors, of the 2.5 million people who died of Covid on February 28, the vast majority, 2.2 million, lived in countries where at least 50% of the population is overweight.
This report, released March 3, compiling information from Johns Hopkins, the World Health Organization, and other sources, compared countries with at least 50% overweight populations with the number of deaths from Covid-19. The result: the higher the patient’s weight, the higher the risk that the person will be admitted to the intensive care unit and require a respirator. This report included studies that were remarkably similar around the world: Spain, obese Covid patients 51% more likely to die; Sweden, three times as likely; and in Mexico, 75% more likely to die.
Staying vigilant will remain important in the months ahead, and scientists are still learning new things about Covid-19, how it spreads, and how it affects the body. The pandemic is not over yet.