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As the sewage forecast, Covid-19 rates now going up in a vertical line

Chart of Covid-19 cases in Massachusetts since 2020

Remember when last winter's surge numbers looked ominous? Source.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health yesterday reported 27,612 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, the latest in a string of record high one-day numbers for the pandemic.

The state also reported 54 new Covid-19 deaths. That is nowhere near the death rates seen at the start of the pandemic - the record is 190 on April 23, 2020 - it does represent another increase in daily death numbers for the current surge.

There were also 2,426 patients in Massachusetts hospitals with Covid-19, another increase for the current surge, although as with deaths, still nowhere near the numbers seen in the initial surge, but now approaching the peak seen in the previous winter surge.

As for the MWRA's Deer Island sewage testing samples, which predicted skyrocketing case counts? You don't want to know. But as Paul Levy, who oversaw construction of the plant back in the day joked this morning:

Wonder if the chart should be changed to a logarithmic scale so it could fit in more easily!

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Comments

It could B worse.

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Voting closed 11

Thankfully this is mostly killing the unvaccinated. Zero fucks left to give for people who are willfully unvaccinated at this point. Feel bad for doctors who are all probably at least mildly conflicted between their hippocratic oath and the fact that the willfully unvaccinated are causing these surges in hospitalization. Fingers crossed that all the "Omicron will help end the pandemic" thinkpieces are at least partially right, and also hoping maybe this shifts purple state politics blue via the different vaccination rates among dem and gop voters.

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Voting closed 43

There are people catching Covid and dying who are vaccinated - those at high risk, such as the elderly or immunocomprised or those with conditions such as diabetes. There are also those who are too young to get vaccinated. Then many kids who only recently became eligible for shots are not fully vaccinated and many people have had trouble getting appointments for boosters. Kids seem to be much more susceptible to omicron than previous variants - pediatricians are seeing alarming increases in cases.

Don't forget that even mild to moderate cases can lead to long Covid. It's not just the unvaxxed who are developing disabilities due to it. And don't forget that every hospital bed occupied by someone with Covid is one that's unavailable to people who need hospitalization for other reasons. The "elective" surgeries currently being postponed are often still urgent - biopsies, tumor removal, all sorts of things that aren't same-day emergencies but can affect if people live or die.

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Voting closed 52

Citation needed -- all I've seen is news articles about hospitals seeing more pediatric patients, but nothing about actual susceptibility; that requires both a numerator (# of hospitalization) & denominator (# of infections). We can't know the denominator, but at least some extrapolation would be a half-assed way of it. To date, haven't seen anything that supports this claim.

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about whether the Patriots will cover the points against the Dolphins this weekend, DM me guys

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Jesus said to the Foxborouese - Never, ever, ever, ever, bet the December game in Miami.

It is like taking bets on cockroach fights. Anything can happen and usually does.

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But it's January! WWJD?

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Anything can happen and usually does.

And it's usually bad.

I would NEVER count on the Pats to win that game.

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Why do the people who don't believe in vaccinations believe in hospitalization and all the drugs and invasive techniques, including novel ones at our teaching hospitals?

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When the going gets tough, the tough turn out to be pretty damn soft.

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The ratio of hospitalizations to waste water numbers is steadily falling with each peak. It was actually the highest in spring 2020. This means vaccines are softening the blow and/or omicron is relatively mild. Given the disproportionate number of unvaccinated in the ICUs, I'd say it's both. I find this encouraging.

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Voting closed 41

The measured RNA numbers are way higher than anything last year. A possible explanation is that Omicron seems to hit more in the throat & sinuses than previous versions so it could be shedding more into the digestive track leading to a much higher amount of the virus RNA ending up in the waste stream (both personal and municipal).

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I’m curious, are you saying this from a “I read a couple news stories and strung them together” perspective or a “I legit understand biology and the human body and know what I’m talking about perspective?” No shade, I’m just curious.

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I'm not someone in a degree field related to biology/physiology if that's what you mean. So it's probably closer to the latter in that case, but from other learning (and jobs) I'd at least say there's more background knowledge than just reading a couple of news stories.

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An easier explanation is that we have an unprecedented number of infected.

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for the fully vaccinated, at least, in this week's CDC MMWR:

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against COVID-19–associated hospitalization and death.

What is added by this report?

Among 1,228,664 persons who completed primary vaccination during December 2020–October 2021, severe COVID-19–associated outcomes (0.015%) or death (0.0033%) were rare. Risk factors for severe outcomes included age ≥65 years, immunosuppressed, and six other underlying conditions. All persons with severe outcomes had at least one risk factor; 78% of persons who died had at least four.

And that's largely looking at people in a time frame when the form(s) of the virus circulating are now believed to have caused more serious illness than our new, strongly dominant Omicron variant is generally causing.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7101a4.htm?s_cid=mm7101a4_w

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