School year 2021-22, Week 8
One quarter down, three to go
For the 7 days of October 7 to 13, 2021:
New COVID Cases
(Editor’s note: I took last week off to spend with my father, who succumbed to leukemia on October 10. He was a big fan of this little website and our efforts to discuss our world from a factual and integrated place of truth, and so this week’s post is dedicated to him.)
Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Can you believe it? We’re already one-quarter of the way through the school year! Just two more weeks until the Halloween Party COVID Kickoff series. Hopefully, enough of us will have learned from our experiences over the past year that we’ll be able to minimize the impact of all the upcoming large indoor gatherings. (There will be an impact, it’s unavoidable. But maybe this time we won’t 3x-4x our disease burden.)
COVID case numbers throughout Johnson County have leveled off to a slow burn — roughly 75 to 100 new cases per day, which is much better than the 250+/day we were seeing back in September. But to be clear, that’s still a really ridiculously high amount of community disease compared to something like, oh, the flu: The 2017-18 flu season was by far the worst flu season of the past decade, with 6,942 confirmed flu cases in Johnson County.
We’ve had 24,601 COVID cases in 2021 in Johnson County.
Now, flu isn’t a mandatory reporting disease and so there’s a good amount of undercounting of the flu. But 25k for a partial year vs. 7k for a full year are obviously different beasts.
I expect there will be many efforts to weaponize both the COVID and flu data for the upcoming winter, to either prove that “COVID’s no worse than the flu” or “COVID is so much worse than the flu” depending on your echo chamber. (Full disclosure: I’m in the “much worse than the flu” camp, obviously.) But the other interesting dimension here will be comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated, vaccine-boosted vs. not-boosted, vaccinated vs. natural immunity from a prior COVID infection, etc. We still don’t have any long-term data about how this virus will behave over the course of multiple years, and we’re going to learn a lot about that through analyzing case data.
- go get your flu shot, if you haven’t already;
- go get your COVID vaccine, if you haven’t already;
- go get a COVID booster, if you’re eligible;
- get ready to vaccinate your kids ages 5-12 in two or three weeks.
After all, if we’re going to weaponize the data, we might as well weaponize it in favor of not getting sick.