I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About September and October

Because the wastewater data for D.C. and its environs aren’t looking good. While I think wastewater data aren’t very helpful in assessing personal risk, they do give some indication of what’s happening in the larger community*. Here’s what Biobot has for Alexandria, VA and the mainland colony of the District of Columbia**:

Screenshot 2023-07-21 at 8.36.32 AM

And D.C.:

Screenshot 2023-07-21 at 8.37.05 AM

For context the maximal values for Alexandria and D.C. during the January 2023 peak were 1,306 and 1,222 respectively, while the current values are 243 and 404 respectively.

While I’m uncomfortable about converting these data into prevalence, my hunch is we’re probably looking at about 0.6% of people who are currently infected. But what’s very disturbing is both municipalities have had three consecutive weeks of increases, and this coincides with some new ‘Omicron’ variants.

I hope I’m wrong, but, depending on the timing, I could see a scenario, starting in September, where waning immunity (both from boosters and from previous infection), combined with back-to-school patterns, and a new variant leads to dramatic increases in the fall, and gets worse in winter. I don’t think this will result in tens of thousands of deaths per week, but, if I’m correct (and, again, I really hope I’m not***), then we’re going to see a lot more infections–and long COVID, especially as reinfections increase. Of course, we would likely also have increased influenza and RSV too.

But maybe we’ll get lucky this time (and the monovalent XBB-based vaccines can’t come soon enough).

*My suspicion is that waste water is largely giving us the number of ‘sooper poopers’, which will be correlated with the number of infected people, but often not that well.

**No other D.C.-area governments are still collecting these data via Biobot.

***Like everyone else, I have to live with this crap, so it’s not like I enjoy thinking about COVID. I fucking hate COVID.

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1 Response to I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About September and October

  1. Pingback: I Guess I Was Ahead of the (COVID) Curve? | Mike the Mad Biologist

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