New COVID Cases Drop 33% in Florida…Fatalities Remain Relatively Low

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 Rotator Graphic for af.mil. (U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario "Charo" Gutierrez)

Florida reported 289,204 new cases of COVID-19 last week.  That’s a 33% drop from the record high we saw the prior week of 430,095 cases.  This may mean we’ve seen the peak of the winter COVID surge.

Fatalities did climb last week to 140 reported COVID deaths across the entire State of Florida.  That’s up from 111 reported COVID deaths the prior week.  We know that COVID fatalities peak a few weeks after the peak in the number of new cases. We expect to see the number of fatalities rise slightly, but we do not expect to be anywhere near the fatalities we had last summer during the peak of the Delta wave where over 2,000 people were dying for a couple of weeks.

COVID-19 Risk Factors

We share this data constantly so that everyone know what their COVID risk factor is like.  If you’re under the age of 16, you’re more likely to die from the flu than from COVID.  Only 34 reported COVID deaths in kids under 16 in the State of Florida over the last TWO years.  Thank God this disease was not like the Spanish Flu that was killing younger people at a much higher rate.

Obviously, the older you are, the more susceptible you are to dying from COVID.  We’ve lost nearly 48,000 seniors over the last two years to COVID complications according to the State of Florida Health Department.  The good news is that the Case Fatality Rate which used to hover around 9% for seniors is now down to 7.2%. This is thanks to several factors including the vaccine, improved treatments, and the weaker Omicron strain that is more infectious, but not as deadly.

The “Vaccine”

Folks, since the very beginning we’ve been consistent about this.  We recommend that people get the vaccine if they can.  You should always check with your doctor before getting the vaccine.  Certain health conditions, surgeries, medical ailments may lead a doctor to postpone or recommend against a vaccine.  Everyone should consult their physician and decide what’s right for your health.

That said, at the beginning we thought this was a true vaccine.  Get your shots and your done.  No different than a Measles shot.  You get it once and you’re done for the rest of your life.

Clearly, that is not the case with the COVID-19 vaccine.  The vaccine does not prevent you from catching COVID.  The vaccine does not prevent you from spreading COVID.  Those two assertions have clearly been debunked at this point.  However, the vaccine is very effective and boosting your immune response so that you are less likely to be hospitalized and far less likely to die from COVID.

The COVID shot is like a flu shot.  The flu shot boosts your immune system to prevent getting seriously sick or hospitalized from the flu.  The COVID shot and the annual or semi-annual boosters basically do the same thing.  They help prepare your immune system to better tackle COVID and prevent hospitalizations and death.

Natural Immunity

Many many many Miami Springs residents came down with Omicron variant of COVID this fall / winter.  (Myself included.)  Are we immune to other variants?  Do we have the so-called Natural Immunity?  And if so, how long will it last?  Do we still need booster shots?  The answer to all this is to speak to YOUR doctor.

I hope the CDC and NIH will look into natural immunity, especially after so many people caught the Omicron variant to let people know what kind of protection they might have going forward.

Masks

Folks, we live in Florida and if you want to wear a mask great.  If you don’t that’s fine with me.  I personally wear a mask whenever I’m with my 90+ year old grandfather.  I want to protect him.  I know he’s vulnerable.

Long term, I think we may all adjust to the Japanese model.  Well before COVID, people in Japan would wear a mask anytime they had coughing, sneezing, or other cold like symptoms.   I think this is a great volunteer model going forward.  Voluntarily wear a mask any time you have cold like symptoms.  It may not be COVID, but it’ll help reduce the spread of even the common cold in the future.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below or via social media.

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