Here we are in another covid surge in the US even though there are no shortages of masks or vaccines.Neither is there a shortage of people who oppose the use of vaccines and masks nor is there a shortage of people seemingly ignorant of the seriousness of the Delta variant driven surge and stress placed on the health care system.
Neither is there the previous official ignorance about the basic transmission mechanisms of Sars Cov2 spread.
It was not until April/May 2021 that the CDC and WH0 finally abandoned the primacy of the 100 year old dogmas put forth by Charles Chaplin which said that the basic mechanisms of respiratory disease spread were by droplets and fomites.
By September 2021 it is well established that Sars Cov 2 can spread in pre symptomatic and asymptomatic people by the aerosol route and that measures directed at droplets and fomites will not suffice. Well fitted high grade masks ( eg.N95s) are needed as well as mitigation efforts directed along the lines of ventilation, and air flow, air filtration and air exchange in indoor settings to complement a vaccination and testing program.
So we know more and should be better prepared and yet in some parts of the country we are seeing high deaths and hospitalizations. We see parts of the country in which mask wearing is much less than it was in the 2020 surges.Parts of the country that had mask mandates in 2020 now have "anti mask mandates" that prohibit local authorities from imposing mask mandates. Anti mask and anti covid 19 vaccine advocacy flourish on social media and right leaning radio and tv. We know what to do to mitigate the spread of covid 19 but many are defying those measures and apparently many others seem indifferent.
Watching the Astros on TV play at home on in Dallas the optics are the same, virtually no one in the stands wear a mask. even though Covid is surging in Texas.
Whatever effect anti mitigation efforts may or may not be having on the magnitude of the spread of the Delta variant, its increased infectiousness has to be considered a primary cause of the latest surge.Delta is clearly more infectious and there is growing evidentiary support for the claim that it is more capable of causing serious disease than were earlier variations. At a time when a more contagious variant is surging we are also seeing surges in ignorance, indifference and political ambition all of which make the magnitude and speed of spread even worse.