Should vaccinated Americans panic about the Delta variant? 'Maybe panic a bit.'
Mask request Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images
The COVID-19 pandemic has now officially resulted in 200 million cases and 4.25 million deaths worldwide, and the extremely virulent Delta variant is undoing many of the gains made through time and remarkably effective vaccines.
"For public health officials and the Biden government, the Delta variant is the biggest communication problem we've seen in a while," writes Joanne Kenen, Politico health editor, in Wednesday's Nightly newsletter. “Don't panic, they tell us in one breath. Well, maybe a little panic, they tell us the next, urging us to put our masks back on and think twice about how, when, where and with who we're meeting inside. "This" 'panic / don't panic' puzzle "" , she writes, is exacerbated by the many, many things we don't yet know about the Delta variety.
What is clear is that "this recent surge, as public health officials remind us, is largely an outbreak among the unvaccinated," writes Kenen. "The best way to protect ourselves and others and contain the pandemic is to increase vaccination rates far." And until enough people in the US and the world are vaccinated, COVID-19 will be a problem for everyone.
U.C. Dr. San Francisco-based Bob Wachter may call this delta outbreak "the most confusing time in the pandemic." "The bottom line is my thinking has changed," he wrote on Tuesday evening in a Twitter thread. "Six months ago I felt I understood all the key variables related to the virus and vaccines" but "now I see that it is best to assume that almost every parameter is different - usually for the worse" - with the Delta variant.
In low-vaccinated, high-case states like Florida, Texas and Missouri, the unvaccinated majority are "no better protected from COVID than it was in early 2020," but the virus is now "2.5 times better at infecting people." “, Writes Wachter. "It is obvious what an unvaccinated person should do: get vaccinated as soon as possible" and be "very anxious" and "super safe" for two weeks after your second vaccination.
"What should a vaccinated person do? It's more difficult," admits Watcher. "Everyone must choose their own risk tolerance, which depends on your mental health and risk factors for a bad outcome," as well as the prevalence of COVID-19 in your area. “You make your own decisions, but don't underestimate Delta,” he adds. "As the CDC said, it's a new war."
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