COVID-19: The New Champ

It’s time to Break It Down!

Once upon a time, most knowledgeable observers believed the !918 Spanish Flu held an insurmountable lead on all subsequent would-be contenders for Americans dying, courtesy of a pandemic. That time is history. On Monday of this week, the number of Americans who died due to coronavirus eclipsed 675,000, and in doing so, superseded the 1918 contagion for deaths in America.  

A country of roughly 328 million people, that death toll means that roughly 1 in 500 of us (Americans) have died from Covid-19. The naysayers and deniers may argue that because we were a much smaller country a century ago, that pandemic was more virulent. And they’d have a point. But seriously, when does the retort, people die, get old, and more aptly, unacceptable? Since the emergence this summer, of the Delta variant, we’ve devolved to the point about 2,000 Americans per day are being taken out by this pandemic.

In many corners of the U.S., the question being hotly debated is whether a booster shot is needed. This, notwithstanding the fact, over 36% of Americans have yet to receive a shot…many of whom insist, they will never get one. Meanwhile, according to a CNN analysis, the average rate of coronavirus deaths in the 10 least vaccinated states was more than four times higher over the past week, than the rate in the 10 most vaccinated states.

In the least vaccinated states, the data revealed that roughly 8 out of every 100,000 residents died of Covid-19 over the course of the past week, compared to only about 2 out of every 100,000 people in the 10 most vaccinated states. The news organization used research gathered and provided by John Hopkins University and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its analysis. Not surprisingly, less vaccinated states also tend to have higher hospitalization rates. In fact, this finding has shown that coronavirus hospitalizations are a significant contributor to the unavailability of hospital beds for emergencies and needed major surgeries.  

The Red/Blue Divide persists. As of September 13, 2021, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that 52.8% of people in counties that voted for Biden were fully vaccinated compared to 39.9% of Trump counties, a 12.9 percentage point difference. While the rate of vaccination coverage has slowed in both county groups, the gap has widened, not lessened, over time. This is disappointing, but not at all surprising. Trump and his surrogates are almost as famous for being vaccine antagonists, as they are for being propagators of the big lie…and since they have been doing it longer, one might impute they are better at the former than the latter. And they have surely been amazingly consistent and effective at the latter.

With a couple of notable exceptions, the vaccine resistant leaderboard will most likely not surprise you. The Top 10 are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming. The only wonder is how did Florida and Texas escape the list. Their alternate universe is occupied by Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

At the end of the day everyone must be from somewhere. It’s been said, we don’t get to choose our parents, and as such, we don’t get to choose our birthplace. However, know this; well over 90% of people who have either died, or been hospitalized for serious coronavirus illness since January 1, 2021, have been unvaccinated. If you’re an adult who believes in the potency of the vaccine to lower your chances of contracting coronavirus, or of suffering greatly or dying if you do, and you happen to be looking for a vacation spot, or to relocate, consult these two lists. “Covid-19: The New Champ!”

I’m done; holla back!

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