COVID-19 cases have increased dramatically over the last 4 weeks in the State of Florida. New cases jumped from about 16,000 weekly new cases to over 110,000 new cases last week. By all accounts, the new delta variant is far more virulent and able to spread more effectively. This helps to explain the sudden increase in cases over the last 4 weeks.
Florida has been wide open and mask optional since earlier this year. Furthermore, we have more people vaccinated against the virus now than we did in May or June. The point is this: there hasn’t been a public policy change that has caused this sudden increase. Rather the increase is due to a much more virulent strain of the COVID-19 virus.
The other noticeable item in the Florida Department of Health’s report is that COVID-19 deaths have not (at least yet) jumped up with the same increase in cases. Yes, hospitals are seeing big increases, but
The Florida Department of Health reports that 85% of the Florida population 65 and older have been vaccinated. That’s great, but seeing as this group is the most vulnerable, we need to work on ensuring the remaining 15% get the virus as quickly as possible.
As you can see in the chart below, the Case Fatality Rate for those 65 and older is 9.1%. That’s nearly 1 out of 10 people with COVID-19 who are 65 and older will die from the disease. Hence why we recommend highly that those 65 and older who have yet to get vaccinated to do it as soon as possible.
You can also see that of the 39,079 people who have died from COVID-19 in the State of Florida, nearly 32,000 were 65 and older. That’s why it’s always been important to protect seniors and especially senior centers. Note: The fatality rate has been very consistent since the beginning of this pandemic a year and a half ago.
Now, there have been COVID deaths in all age groups. Seven kids have died from COVID-19 over the last year and a half statewide. Putting that into perspective, it’s more dangerous for kids to be riding their bikes than it is for kids to not wear a mask. COVID-19 is rarely fatal on children. Usually, it’s with kids that have another underlying comorbidity. For most kids, COVID is a non event. This data alone supports kids being back in school with in person learning.
We’ve lost 160 young adults between the ages of 16 – 29 to COVID-19 over the last year and a half here in Florida. That’s not great, but obviously that’s a tiny number compared to the older age brackets. Furthermore, the depression and angst created by the lockdowns inevitably had an impact on drug use and drug overdose deaths. According to the American Hospital Association, Drug Overdose Deaths increased by 29% last year nationwide. That’s an increase from 72,000 deaths to over 93,000 deaths last year. That’s 21,000 new drug overdose deaths last year across the country.
Young people need to be able to live their lives. Lockdowns have been miserable for the youth in our society.
My advice. Get the vaccine. Especially if you’re older and/or have health issues.
If you’re young and healthy…We live in a free country. You decide what health risks you’re willing to accept. I wanted to protect my family and the elder family members around us. We got the vaccine.
We are blessed to live in a country with the greatest access to this vaccine. We are also blessed to choose among multiple vaccines. And we can also choose not to vaccinate. It’s still a free country.
Do what is right for you. But heed this warning. Nearly 100% of the people who are dying from COVID-19 are people that were never vaccinated. Nobody wants to die from a virus because they didn’t take the vaccine that was easily available and yet they chose not to get it.