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Thursday, September 02, 2021

Why the US Covid Delta surge may not burn out as quickly as it did in England.

 The rapid uptick and downtick of Delta observed in England has been thought by some to predict  a similar course for the US but the opening of schools may b ae wild card and the Delta surge may not end as quickly as it did in England.

Both Dr. Michael Osterholm and  Dr.Larry Brillant offer a more pessimistic prediction because of their concern that the opening of schools across the country will provide fertile ground for spread and also  offers a platform for virus mutation.

In numerous areas of the country students will not be masked and only a small percentage of high school and primary school kids will be vaccinated. In several states there  has been a concerted effort by the governors and sometimes that state legislatures to issue executive orders and pass legislation  the effect of which is to limit the use of masks and certain other virus mitigation measures in schools and to restrict the right of a private company to  use  " vaccine passports".  

Osterholm in, a recent interview said that a multi layered approach is necessary ..Ventilation is important ( i.e 5-6 air exchanges per hour),as are HEPA air filters and use of proper masks ( e,g, N95 or KN95). Testing students,staff and teachers  several  times a week and removal of positive cases. The importance of airborne transmission makes the popular plexiglass barrier not very effective and may be more for show than efficacy.

The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatricians recommended  masks for school kids.Governor Abbott and Governor Desantis have issued executive orders forbidding local school boards to issue mask mandates.

Another reason that the US might not echo the path taken in England may relate to the different sequencing of vaccination doses.England had a longer period between shot one and shot 2 which has been offered as an explanation for the greater time related decreased in vaccine efficacy in the US versus England and Canada who also opted for the longer time between the 2 doses of the mRNA vaccine.

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