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Massachusetts Covid-19 numbers going up in a straight line; set new daily record again

Latest Deer Island sampling numbers: Not good

Latest Deer Island sampling from the MWRA, which can predict future cases: Green is roughly north of Rte. 9; orange south of it.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health today reported 21,137 confirmed Covid-19 cases, a new state daily record, and the fourth new record in a week.

The state also reported a seven-day average positivity rate among Covid-19 tests of 16.44% up from the 13.58% reported last week.

The figures include 3,213 new confirmed cases reported in Suffolk County.

Hospitalizations continue to increase as well: The state reported 1,817 people with Covid-19 in Massachusetts hospitals, compared to 1,711 yesterday - still well below the far below the all time peak of 3,965 hospitalizations, reported for April 21, 2020.

The state reported 36 deaths, also well below the state's highest daily number of 198, recorded on April 24 of last year.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 viral fragments recorded at the Deer Island treatment plant rose at a near vertical rate this week, to levels never seen before. The samples represent Covid-19 viral particles excreted by people in greater-Boston communities served by the MWRA and have become a predictor of actual Covid-19 cases in seven to ten days, because people often begin excreting the virus before they know they are infected or need to get tested.

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This is the only indicator I really trust at this point. There's really no way to spin or sugarcoat that graph and it covers everybody. Many thanks to the MWRA for providing this data.

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the the shit will really hit the fan.

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Should have an icon on the left hand y-axis scale, or maybe at the top of peak values:


I also heard a new one last night. Woman had pulled her mask down in an area that clearly called for masks and someone called her a Deer Islander for whining when staff asked her to pull it up.

Voting closed 13

now you've encouraged the covid deniers to start shitting into buckets. Of course, they will be the ones with buckets of their own shit in their houses so I don't think that's a real win for them.

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We all get infected and it seems like the vaccines are doing their job of keeping people out of the hospital. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

The hope is it continues to mutate into more contagious strains that produce even milder symptoms. Then instead of just getting the flu shot each year we'll also get a COVID booster. Right? That's the only way we get out of this?

I have friends that I worry will never reemerge from their COVID cave. Over the summer when we were all freshly vaxxed and the deer island data were nearly at zero they still didn't even want to do a back porch visit. I can't see the end from here.

Happy New Year everyone*!

*Except for those dipshits on the East Milton Square I-93 bridge with their "go Brandon" signs. I almost envy them and their ability to live like children without a care in the world. Everything is like a football game rivalry in their mind.

Voting closed 20

Given the last comments, apparently it's all like a football game rivalry to you too.

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what the true "end" will look like, but however it happens, it will certainly be a scenario in which this virus is no longer filling up all of the hospital beds to the point that we cannot access routine, hospital-level medical care for weeks to months at a time. This is not a sustainable situation for us going forward.

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We might get unlucky and get a new variant that evades immunity strongly enough to be just as dangerous as the original, but it seems more likely to me at this point that we're on track for it becoming endemic and turning into a seasonal cold/flu. Probably with combined covid/flu shots each year to maintain/update immunity.

If they keep collecting this data, we'll continue seeing these huge surges (from vaccinated people getting mild infections), but without high hospitalizations. That's the best we can hope for, I think. Eradication isn't on the table.

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I do find it funny that we thought we could beat this thing for over a year. Just happy to get back to something normal. Covid isn’t going anywhere. Best we can do is manage it with vaccines.

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In March 2020 it was clear to me (based on government response, and how people behaved) that there was zero chance of containment or even proper management, and that it was going to go endemic. Our response *sucked*.

The only surprise was how long we managed to drag it out (with half-measures.)

Voting closed 10

We like to think that we are an advanced tech society.

We also like to think that problems have quick solutions.

The reality is that our technological advancement means that we developed vaccines, but we also developed airplanes and social media. And none of this does anything to compensate for our superstitious monkey brain nature.

Voting closed 13

Can anyone with the pertinent science cred chime in on this subject, which I'm hearing from various directions? Is there any evidence that future variants will trend in any direction? We've had one that is significantly worse (Delta) and one that is significantly more contagious (Omicron) but apparently not as bad symptom-wise.

I can "hope" all I want for a particular outcome, but I'd rather have a sober analysis of what to expect, particularly given that we will still have a hard time getting a good chunk of the country (and the world) vaccinated.

Voting closed 12

1. viruses tend to evolve in ways that support their transmission and survival
2. transmission and survival are favored by how well a variant out competes other variants
3. Outcompeting other variants depends on a viruses' ability to infect as many people as possible
4. infecting as many people as possible generally scales with how easily infection is transmitted
5. infecting as many people as possible also depends on free-range hosts associating with as many people as possible
6. The best free-range hosts are not debilitated or often aware of their infections.

One reason SARS-CoV-1 was relatively easy to squelch was that the illness was severe and debilitating, and did not become infectious until there were symptoms. Measles and chicken pox are so extremely dangerous because they are highly infectious, but also most infectious before there are obvious illness symptoms.

To sum up, the direction tends toward a milder virus and easier transmission because variants with those features spread and propagate most rapidly.

But a virus can be debilitating and still be highly infectious if it is transmitted before symptoms occur or there are people who are asymptomatically infected.

Four of the viruses that are classified as "common cold" viruses are coronaviruses. That may be a clue to the fate of SARS-CoV-2.

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