Call it the Vermont problem: Why is the daily number of Covid-19 cases doubling and vaccination rates above 70% in New England? Also, what do you think about the coming winter?
Of all the states, Vermont has survived the pandemic best so far, with the lowest and highest rates of death in both fully vaccinated and boosted people.
Still, new cases of Covid-19 have skyrocketed in Vermont in recent weeks. The state had an average of about 200 new cases per day until October. By late November, that number had approached 350.
The situation is similar to nearby Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. All of these have vaccination rates of 71% or 72%, and recently the average number of new cases daily has almost doubled.
The surge in these well-protected states is causing another dark pandemic winter fear in the United States as the upcoming cold weather pushes people in and promotes virus transmission. Already across the Atlantic, new closures have taken place in Austria and the Netherlands, further destabilizing Europe’s economic recovery.
Investors have been worried in recent weeks and the S & P 500 index has been stagnant since early November after rising 7% in October.
The good news for the US economy is that high immunization rates mean that the winter surge here will not bring a blockade. Still, the increase in cases will probably be reduced to travel, spending and employment, causing financial turmoil after the holiday season.
Brett Ryan, senior US economist at Deutsche Bank, said: “If it gets serious enough, recovery will be slow, service recovery will be really slow, and everything will be confused for childcare.”
Winter waves, when they come, don’t look like the waves of the previous pandemic. The pandemic is not over and deaths between unvaccinated and some vulnerable groups of vaccinated people continue to accumulate, but the increase in case numbers was made months ago by them. Doesn’t mean that.
Dr. Howard Forman, a professor at the Graduate School of Public Health and the Graduate School of Public Health, said: “It’s hard to imagine that a pandemic will affect economic activity to the same extent as we’ve seen, but it could kill 200,000 or even 300,000 before the summer. It’s very possible, and it should be about people. “
Looking at data from states such as Vermont and Connecticut, we can see that what is happening in the northeast is a surge that is concentrated in unvaccinated people.
“There are highly vaccinated people here,” admits Dr. Jan Carney, Vice Dean of Public Health and Health Policy at the University of Vermont Lerner Medical College. But that doesn’t mean that everyone in the state is vaccinated, Kearney says. “It depends on the county and on the age,” she says.
As of November 23, more than 95% of Vermonters over the age of 65 were fully vaccinated, and the average number of new cases reported daily in states of that age group is actually the past week. It has decreased by 14%. On the other hand, the number of cases in people aged 25 to 49 has increased by 13%. For adults aged 22 to 29 in Vermont, the immunization rate is only 62.8%.
Even more surprising, Covid-19 hospitalizations in Vermont have increased by 25% in the past week for fully unvaccinated individuals and decreased by 23% in the past week for fully vaccinated individuals. doing.
The New York Times data show a similar story in Maine, where new cases haven’t surged as much as in some northeastern states, but hospitalizations have surged 29% in the last two weeks.
“Hospitals continue to tell us that 60% to 70% of patients are not completely vaccinated,” says Robert Long, Communications Director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Maine.
Overall hospitalization rates are starting to rise in the northeast, with the average number of people admitted to Covid-19 in Vermont increasing by 17% from November 16th to 23rd, unlike the Upper Midwest. .. Michigan, with a vaccination rate of 54%, currently has the highest Covid-19 hospitalization rate in the United States, and the Governor has called on the federal government for emergency assistance from the U.S. military to keep the hospital running. I am.
Most states have higher vaccination rates than Michigan, and vaccination rates continue to rise as vaccine approvals expand to include infants. For many of the countries, great economic turmoil is unlikely. “I think you’ll be back in a situation where forced masking indoors is the rule of the day,” says Forman.
Deutsche Bank Ryan compares what was down at the end of last summer when the delta wave hit. “You saw slow hiring, and that’s a risk, I think,” he says.
On the other hand, subsequent effects that are difficult to predict for a pandemic will continue to accumulate.take
(Ticker: MDT) Recent sales in the second quarter of the fiscal year have partially blamed the company for a shortage of nurses. Jeff Martha, CEO of Medtronic, attributed the shortage to burnout and early retirement. “During the height of Covid, the ICU bed was full of Covid patients,” Martha said. Barron’s.. “Now that’s not the case, but they don’t have enough ICU nurses.”
The Covid-19 pandemic will never end. Rather, it gradually disappears as it moves into the endemic stage. The potential for a winter surge is a step towards the future, where the virus continues to affect economic activity by attacking certain sectors and areas more violently than others, but not as devastating as it used to be. is.
Write in Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected]
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