Is the US already into the 4th surge of covid pandemic?
Cases and hospitalizations and ICU admission are definitely trending upwards.
Physicians in Alabama,Mississpii,Arkansas and Louisiana are pleading with the public to get vaccinated as they see cases in their hospitals surge and young people are being intubated.
In California, mask mandates are back while in other states governors deny the need and at least one governor (Colorado) said no restriction or mask mandates are necessary until it is clear that hospitals are being over whelmed.
It is time already for masks to come back .The CDC mask lifting in May was premature and widely misunderstood and IMO has been in part, perhaps in large part,responsible for the rise in cases caused by the Delta variant.
The public experts interviewed on TV appropriately emphasize the importance of the unvaccinated getting the jab but if miraculously everyone rushing to the largely empty vaccination sites today it would be over a month before immunity would be obtained. Meanwhile the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated need to wear mask indoors and in congregate settings.
The Israeli data and British data differ significantly regarding the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine as regards preventing infection (33 %- 88 %) but agree as to a 90 Plus %value for prevention of death or serious illness. But in the worse case scenario many vaccinated persons can contract disease and likely spread the disease making in the short and intermediate term masks and social distancing a high priority. Fully vaccinated parents can contract the disease and spread it to their under 12 year old children who are currently not eligible for vaccination.
Unfortunately until the CDC makes important revisions in its mask recommendations businesses are not as likely to reinstitute mask mandates and masking is essential until a sea change occurs in the large segment of the population who continues to be vaccine "hesitant".
Dr. Scott Gottlieb tweeted "CDC has consistently been through,meticulous and late" and that they are not suited to provided quick solutions to emergent problems. He also said CDC's decision to tell the vaccinated that they could unmask was based in part on the demonstrated low risk of a fully vaccinated person to contract or spread the earlier variants of covid. That advice clearly does not apply to the Delta variant.