Dr Fauci was recently confused as to why Texas lifted restrictions on masks and indoor dining and then Texas had reduced cases while New York had maintained restrictions and had cases increase. The reason is that variations between 20-40% restrictions and 60% mask compliance versus 80% mask compliance are not meaningful. Also, most of the mask compliance is kabuki mask compliance. 90% of the people are not wearing masks properly or have for show masks that are not effective.
The COVID policy differences within the US are like the differences between wearing a t-shirt versus wearing a sweater when seeing if they stop a bullet fired from a 9-millimeter gun.
You can try to parse the daily state by state pandemic statistics but the disease is ebbing and flowing on its own. “COVID Policy” and differences in indoor or outdoor dining are meaningless.
Going Through the Motions Restrictions Versus Actual House Arrest for Pandemic Zones
Retail and recreation mobility is only 5% below normal. Work mobility is 31% below normal and mass transit is 19% below normal.
The Work mobility varies from 20%-40% below normal. Retail and recreation mobility varies from 0-10% below normal.
The lockdowns or restrictions are at a minor difference in actual behavior. The actual LOCKDOWN level that would be needed to halt the pandemic is a China-style lockdown where everyone is forced to stay at home for about 2 months and where 2-4% of the people would be making food deliveries to people who are basically under house arrest.
As part of initial efforts to contain the outbreak, the Chinese government announced a cordon sanitaire for the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, starting on 23rd January 2020, one day before LNY holidays. This intervention restricted all non-essential movement into and out of the city. Services at airports, train stations, long-distance bus stations, and commercial ports were all suspended. Several studies have focused on assessing the effectiveness of the cordon sanitaire in Wuhan and other domestic travel restrictions in China in the context of COVID-19 control.
Out-going traffic from Wuhan was reduced by 89% within two days of the cordon sanitaire, according to data from Baidu Huiyan, an internet service company in China that uses location targeting to provide services to users. Baidu’s Location-Based Service (LBS) provides travel fluxes between prefectures in China during the annual Chunyun period to allow monitoring of movement of people using their services.
During the Wuhan restrictions in February and March 2020- Each household could send someone out for necessities just once every three days. Many residents do not venture outside at all, for fear of infection. The government barricaded most of the 11 million residents in their homes.
After 2 months of complete house arrest for about 80 million people, the pandemic was stopped within China in 2020. 90-100% restrictions in local movement that were strictly enforced versus 0-40% below normal. 0-40% below normal is enough to be annoying and economically damaging and to take the edge off overrun hospitals but not enough to truly impact the overall course of the pandemic.
If the US or European COVID policies were truly effective in any region, we could hear news reports like “governor XXX announces 60 straight days without any COVID cases”. Clearly, any location would have no travel from outside or they would have complete enforced quarantines with contact tracing.
No State or area in the US or Europe is going or did go to the actual use of truly locking down. Thus the US and Europe have chosen to reduce spread over two years and to see if vaccination without hard enforced lockdown, masking and distancing will work.
The COVID policies in New York and California are not generating superior results to Florida and Texas.
We will also see if taking 6 months to reach 70-85% vaccination levels at national levels will be sufficient. Clearly, it can reduce hospitalization levels by 5-10 times for a few months. What will happen after a few months? Will global vaccination taking 2 years work? Especially with the need for one to four booster shots or entirely different vaccines? This may prove to be a recipe for generating new virus variants that achieve immune escape. Immune escape is when the virus mutates around initial immunity.
It will likely be necessary for the world to live with different versions of COVID for many years. Living with COVID for years will mean upgrading ALL building ventilation with virus-grade air filters. Other infrastructure changes would be needed to make reducing disease spread by 20 times automatic. This level of intervention would be about $1000-10,000 per building. $100 billion to $1 trillion of actual direct infrastructure targeted at the pandemic. This would be instead of the $2 trillion infrastructure bill targeting roads and bridges which would not be targeting reducing all disease spread.
UK Variant Dominant in USA Now
There was significant travel and gatherings during spring break and Easter.
33% of Americans have received at least one dose of vaccine and 20% are fully vaccinated.
The vaccines are about 60-70% effective against the UK variant.
SOURCES- Nature, NY Times, CDC
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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