COVID-19 Is Killing D.C.’s Most Dependent: We Are Failing

Regular readers of my daily and weekly cataloging of the apocalypse in D.C. probably will have send a trend: COVID-19 related deaths in D.C. are skyrocketing. Between October 1 and December 31, D.C. had 164 COVID-19 related deaths, five of whom were in nursing or assisted living facilities. Between January 1 and January 30, D.C. had 125 deaths, 31 of whom were in nursing or assisted living facilities.

Because positives aren’t linked to individuals, and there’s a lag between testing positive and death–and that lag isn’t constant, it’s hard to know the exact rate, but it looks like it’s at least 20% of those who test positive, give or take.

The majority of deaths are still older people outside of these facilities, but the carnage is now hitting these facilities (mostly the nursing facilities). Some of this might be associated with a large post-Christmas surge in staff cases. It’s entirely unclear what testing protocols actually are in place at these facilities (i.e., are staff tested daily? Weekly? Only when symptomatic?). It’s not like the D.C. Council is holding hearings on this so we could find out.

It is clear, however, that when COVID-19 surges outside these facilities, it ultimately winds up in these facilities. As some asshole with a blog has been saying for months now, we need to lower the prevalence. It’s that simple. Certain policies that make sense when prevalence is low and falling are murderous when prevalence is high.

But by all means, let’s keep opening things up, even if a kinder, gentler Trump administration policy really isn’t kinder or gentler.

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2 Responses to COVID-19 Is Killing D.C.’s Most Dependent: We Are Failing

  1. ProNewerDeal says:

    Hi Mike,

    You are both a biologist & a voracious news reader, perhaps you may have some insight on my questions, so I am reposting this comment I wrote on nakedcapitalism. Thanks for your blog.

    What is the status of non-MRNA COVID vaccines in the US? I heard on car radio that the adenovirus type vaccine from Janssen may be the next approved vaccine in the US. Is the low 66% effectiveness in preventing symptomatic COVID sufficient? Is there a mininum X% effectiveness to be worthwhile taking, as opposed to waiting some months for higher Y% effective vaccine to become available?

    I am curious if experts like IM Doc have concerns about non-MRNA COVID vaccine types, or any specific vaccines that may possibly be approved in USA before 2022.

    Inactivated virus type like Coronavac is afaict the most mature vaccine type (same type as influenza & polio vaccine), but is not among the 6 vaccines that USA has purchased (source: launchandscalefaster dot org/COVID-19 )

    Are adenovirus vector type like Janssen or protein subunit type like Novavax low risk?

    Could one take the 66% effective Janssen when available & then take another different vaccine like Novavax some months later? I doubt this approach is wise since such a 2 different vaccine combination was not tested in clinical trials.

    Thanks for any insights. Perhaps I may be missing something, but I find it hard to find info on this COVID vaccines in USA topic. All focus seems to be on the 2 existing approved mRNA vaccines, their safety, & their crapified distrubtion.

  2. Pingback: The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: Fewer Cases, More American Carnage | Mike the Mad Biologist

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