Learn What Went Right and Where There Was a Lack of Effort in Managing COVID-19

The pandemic that wreaked havoc in the last two years may have slowed down, but it has not spared us completely. You can look at the average number of infections occurring in California. The American state witnesses 137,680 new cases a day. Today, it may not look bothersome, but if you saw this figure back then, when COVID-19 was in its most devastating form, you would have panicked. According to CDC data, this rise is at least four times more than the breakout’s first season. It didn’t report so many case counts even in the latter part of November 2020.

One of the reasons people don’t seem bothered about this new surge is they no longer feel concerned after spending almost two years under its raging effect. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, a notable CDC public health official, persuades people to get booster shots. Despite all the efforts, barely 47% of the eligible candidates have gone for it. According to MyBioSource.com, places like Colorado (12%), Louisiana (15%), Montana (31%), and some others showed growing resistance toward the COVID-19 policies. The public is also not adhering to the mask mandates of the state and local health centers that urge everyone to mask up in indoor public places. The reason could be that covid has caused burnout in people, making them look for ways to lead a normal life.

On the other side, the Omicron variant is having its third wave in the state, but the rate of hospitalization and death are controllable. Still, you cannot ignore the number of people dying. California reported almost 30 cases of death every day for over a week. However, this was avoidable as the mostly unvaccinated population has been more vulnerable, as shown by the health officials’ data.

What is different this time than the early times of the outbreak?

The previous episodes of the coronavirus were unmanageable because of the lack of tools. Things have changed today. We have more powerful tools than the old mandates requiring people to stay indoors or avoid crowded spaces. Of them, the vaccine is the most relevant. 72% of Californians have completed their vaccination, and 58% have gone for one booster dose at the minimum. After infection, many people have developed immunity. About 95% of the population has coronavirus antibodies due to different factors, such as recovery from illness, vaccination, and others, as per the CDC data. With this, you can also find test kits and antiviral medicines. You may have heard about treatments using IV medicine Veklury (remdesivir), Paxlovid, etc.

After providing care to millions of covid-infected people, healthcare professionals, including respiratory therapists, nurses, and doctors, have also become more experienced in dealing with these cases.

Barbara Ferrer of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department remarked that vaccination, testing, and therapies had played a key role in controlling the pandemic. It was clear from the beginning that these steps would be the game-changers.

What is the other side of the story concerning the pandemic?

While there has been sufficient progress, some believe that America is not doing enough to combat the pandemic. The vaccine drive of the country has not improved beyond 67%, though it may increase as children under five years of age can also take shots now. But booster doses have reported a poor adoption rate. There is a sense of complacency and surrender taking over slowly and gradually.

Another area of concern is the relaxation or cancellation of the mask mandates that no more apply to even crowded settings of bars, music stadiums, etc. Also, the lack of effort from health officials in encouraging people to go for their booster dose to thwart Omicron is a cause of worry for some. Those who believe there has been a compromise on the side of official covid measures comment that one cannot blame private companies for not implementing preventive measures when the government is not serious about the issue. Despite the mask rules, only a handful of stores ask their customers and employees to wear one. Even New York City’s Broadway theaters have also relaxed their mask policies.

As per a study by the Health Affairs, public health funding hasn’t seen much improvement from 2008-2018. The state health divisions faced massive cuts after the economic downturn, and that amount didn’t enter even when the pandemic broke loose. As a result, the system could not respond to the pandemic efficiently. Only programs targeting injury prevention have done better in this respect.

Amidst all these views and debates, it is essential to note that three factors constitute the status of covid cases in a county. These include new cases of infection in a week, the rate of hospitalization of the new patients in the same period, and the occupancy rate of the hospital beds among COVID-19 patients. A combination of different variables reveals whether a specific state has a higher level of covid infection. You can track them to understand how your city or state is doing.