I’ve watched the US fall into the same “pit” as much of the rest of the world, with the resurgence of COVID-19, some of it in places close to me, i.e., the Mid-West. Missouri, in particular, Springfield, Missouri, is leading the sad, indeed devastating race to the apparent “end” with 41% vaccinated, daily cases approaching 225, hospitalizations at 271 (www.springfieldmo.gov, Springfield – Greene County Health, Official Website, 07.24.21)
My website, www.fivetribestherapy.com, states that I’m a born–and–raised Kansan. I left that state for the great state of California in 1986. Much has changed in the 35 years I’ve been gone. I don’t know if I’ve changed, or if my home state, my home region, has changed. I would guess that it is both.
So. The Delta Variant. First I want to say that I’m supportive of the name change from The India Variant, based on the country where the variant seems to have begun, to The Delta Variant, based on the Greek Alphabet. Calling it “Delta” is much less confusing and difficult than calling it B.1.617.2, the scientific name. Calling COVID the China Flu, Kung Flu, the Wuhan Flu has been very destructive globally, leading to overt racism. Changing the Variant names to Greek Alphabet letters seems to have significantly ameliorated the racist rants.
Second, I want to say that It’s Scary and Confusing.
SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19, Wuhan).
Alpha (B.1.1.7., United Kingdom).
Beta (B.1.351., South Africa).
Delta ( B.1.617.2., India).
Lambda (C.37, Chile).
Third, I want to say that this is just a very small sampling of the COVID-19 virus variants. I’m listing 11 variants just because it’s easier and it’s less confusing. BUT it’s not less frightening. The Lambda Variant, identified earliest in Chile, is thought to be significantly more contagious than the original COVID, and scariest of all, possibly resistant to the vaccines.
I’m writing this blog, with COVID-19 the decidedly unsexy subject, BECAUSE it’s that important. There are many reasons to get one of the vaccines, i.e., to protect yourself from COVID, to protect loved ones from COVID, to reach herd immunity, but the most significant reason to get one of the vaccines is to stop the variants! Each time the COVID-19 virus mutates (that’s what the variants are…mutations…) it becomes MORE contagious, and MORE resistant to the existing vaccines. …BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT VIRUSES DO…THEY ARE SIMPLE BUT EFFICIENT KILLERS…THEY MUTATE, BECOME “MUTANTS” – MAYBE THEY ARE THE TRUE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE. Now I’m “mostly” joking about the zombie apocalypse, but, it’s depressingly apropos, as there have already been numerous mutations, with the original SARS-CoV-2 becoming more virulent with each subsequent mutation/variant.
Per www.covid19.ca.gov, on June 15, 2021, Governor Newsom declared the state “open” with restrictions put in place such as:
Wear a mask indoors if unvaccinated.
Stay away from big events.
Wear a mask on public transit or traveling.
Maintain sanitizing protocols established during the height of COVID.
Maintain testing protocols established during the height of COVID.
Now, my current state of California is doing better than most, with San Diego County doing very well indeed, which makes me quite pleased as it’s my home County.
Vaccinations administered: 43 million.
Positivity Rate: 0.8% on 06.01.21. 5.0% on 07.20.21.
Hospitalizations: 1,330 on 06.01.21. 3,000 on 3,051 on 07.23.21.
However, as the statistics show, even California, who has a robust COVID-19 response, is doing worse since the Delta Variant came to visit…and kill. An increase of more that 4% in California’s positivity rate is VERY concerning. And hospitalizations nearly tripling in the same number of weeks is also VERY concerning.
I know that nobody wants to hear this. I know that everybody is getting SO tired of this, but, these data points show that COVID-19 is NOT going away, and as long as the variants are out there, and the virus continues to mutate, NONE of us are really safe.
I also know that there is an untoward amount of false, inflammatory information out there. Social Media is responsible for much of the just “wrong” information. I get it…I too check in on my facebook feed every day. I also check Instagram, Twitter, and sometimes, even Tik Tok (although Tik Tok not so much… 😉 And I depend on these sources. BUT, as I wrote earlier in this blog, I am the obsessive researcher. I NEVER take one source as being the truth. I do MY due diligence, researching various sites, verifying information, gathering data, because…just because it says so on facebook (or substitute Twitter…Instagram…etc) doesn’t mean it’s true.
Now that we have an administration in place in the US that supports and consults with scientists and organizations such as the CDC, WHO, NIH, or my dearly-loved Dr. Fauci, I check with THESE sources, because I may be a scientist, but I’m a SOCIAL SCIENTIST, and I depend on actual professionals to tell me what’s actually going on.
Also, I know that our previous administration often spoke of FAKE NEWS. I am encouraging people to do the same with the news. Watch/listen to PBS, or NPR, or CNN, or MSNBC, even Fox, if you MAKE sure that you are actually watching journalists on Fox News, like Chris Matthews, NOT Sean Hannity, or Tucker Carlson, because they are not actually journalists; they are hosts of opinion shows. I actually rely on global news, such as the BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, etc., because global information is best researched and presented on global news sources.
I also read Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter RELIGIOUSLY, as she is actually a Ph.D. historian, and examines today’s news and issues through the lens of HISTORY, which is eminently important and appropriate.
So, I suggest, NO, I implore you to do YOUR due diligence. Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take any one person’s or entity’s word for it. Gather information from multiple sources. And question EVERYTHING!
Now, stop looking at your social media today. Stop watching or listening to news today. Spend time with your loved ones, and remind yourself that THEY are the reason why we MUST beat COVID-19…NOT POLITICS.
More Mental Health Musings coming next week!