On just Tuesday of this week, more than 4,400 citizens of the United States died due to COVID-related causes. It was the highest single day of pandemic deaths in our nation ever recorded and to help you get your arms around the magnitude of rampaging virus, Tuesday’s death count was 1,597 more than those who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 (Sept. 11, 2001). There is no reason for the experts to not believe the death number yesterday wasn’t worse, and today’s coronavirus deaths will topple that.
Here's the pattern: on Tuesday there were 229,712 new cases (yes, in just one day) in America – that’s a 37% increase over 14 days earlier.
The daily death rate had jumped 49% in the same two weeks to 4,406. In short, COVID is at a ferocious all-time high in the nine months it has been watched with horror and yesterday, the Hamilton County Health Department received a shipment of 500 doses of the life-saving vaccine. That is not enough to offer at a drive-thru clinic.
This is not meant to scare anybody and those who get mad or “lose their grip” are defeating the purpose of knowing the facts. No, there is no great pile of vaccine in some Nashville warehouse that is being denied the public. You also need to be aware that the scenery of our counter-strategy changes by the hour.
It is incomprehensible to me that no health department in America knows when the vaccine will be available until a shipment is delivered to the loading dock. Just as Hamilton County has rebounded like a champ from a botched beginning, the state of Arkansas will not administer the first dose until next week. It’s all good when our Dr. Fauci says the Feds are releasing 40 million doses but when? Where? Who?
The most encouraging news in Hamilton County is that hopefully by Friday the new “by appointment” system will be engaged. Yesterday in Atlanta a man told TV reporters he had tried to call the appointment number 132 times “and nobody ever answered the phone.” Since last week, systems engineers and software techs have been charged with creating a call-in network that won’t log-jam or wilt under what we all know will be a mad rush.
Listen, if cars begin lining up at 4 a.m., fully aware the inoculation center was not going to open until 9 a.m., what study in patience, sportsmanship, or hair-trigger anger would you advise? The appointment system will work if cool heads and calm voices will allow it.
Depending solely on “vaccine supply,” the health department hopes to have several locations ready by the first of next week. And, if the county gets enough vaccine, the so-called “strike teams” can be scheduled to appear at recreation centers, school gymnasiums, and at easy-access facilities. In addition, the state will soon name “partners” in Hamilton County where convenient appointments can be made.
Starting next week, the “second round” vaccines will be available. Both vaccines now being given require two injections, spaced 21 or 28 days apart. Those who received the first dose several weeks ago (First Responders, MDs, front-line workers) will be contacted with an appointment time. After what is believed to be a week after the No. 2 shot, the vaccine will prayerfully ward off the COVID flu in 95 percent of those who are vaccinated.
* * *
HAMILTON COUNTY STAYS AT AGE 75-PLUS
Secretary of Health Alex Azar announced on Tuesday that new Federal Guidelines will allow anyone over the age of 65 to now receive the vaccine but the suggestions were not binding. Obviously, those who are 75 and up are far more susceptible to the virus so Hamilton County health official will remain “75 and up” for the time being. Understand, the worry is that the oldest who need the vaccine the most will be crowded out. There are approximately over 50 million Americans over the age of 65. The Health Dept. will drop the age to 65-and-over as soon as it is feasible.” Again, the whole thing is dictated by “supply.”
* * *
THIS FROM THE NY TIMES CORONA DASHBOARD
“At least 146 new coronavirus deaths and 3,849 new cases were reported in Tennessee on Jan. 12. Over the past week, there has been an average of 6,690 cases per day, an increase of 23 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
“As of Wednesday afternoon, there have been at least 649,746 cases and 7,941 deaths in Tennessee since the beginning of the pandemic, according to a New York Times database.
* * *
HOW DO YOU PRIORITIZE ‘PRE-EXISTING’ CONDITIONS?
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, those with “pre-existing conditions” are at a far-greater risk when COVID strikes. ‘Obesity’ affects 40 percent of Americans, along with diabetes, cancer, chronic lung, and heart disease, and such. Blacks struggle with more pre-existing problems than whites, yet many blacks do not trust the vaccine and have indicated they will not take it. Nothing is more dangerous than fear, but America has seen more than 23 million cases and over 380,000 deaths. A dear black lady in Birmingham has lost ten members of immediate family. Hispanics are also at a greater risk. “Whether you trust it or not, please take the shot.”
* * *
JOHNSON & JOHNSON’S ONE-TIME VACCINE
In August pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson entered into a $1 billion (with a ‘b’) contract with the Federal govt. to supply 12 million doses of its highly acclaimed COVID vaccine by February, and ultimately 100 million doses by June. Now J&J is admitting production problems but say they will have “some” amount of vaccine available in several weeks. What makes the J&J vaccine so desirable is that it is a one-dose vaccine and can easily be stored in a refrigerator for an extended time. (Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require sub-freezing temperature storage and are much more demanding.)
* * *
OUR CONGRESS IS “A SICK BUNCH”
It is being reported that when Congress voted to impeach Donald Trump, no less than 60 of the voters had tested positive for the virus.
* * *
HUNDREDS WITH VACCINE RUSHED TO E.R.!
That’s what the headlines blare but actually that is not unexpected. After you get the truth, you will find that people are notorious when it comes to “exaggeration” in front of news cameras. According to the nation’s efficient Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, there have been 308 adverse reactions, according to emergency room data, while 4.8 million doses were given by January 5.
That equates to a 0.0064 risk factor. I’m just saying …