June 10, 2023

Senior News Line: COVID still here

As of this writing, there are still between 1,500 and 2,000 COVID deaths per week in the United States alone. Pause a moment to consider that number.

Various charts, graphics and statistics for a recent period show a startling fact: We have more COVID deaths per capita than most of the rest of the world.

Charts that show deaths per million people rank us three times higher than Brazil, more than 24% higher than France, 75% higher than Italy and nearly three times higher than Germany.

In the United States, hospital admissions in 14 states are rising over the past week. Only five states showed no cases of COVID in the past week — because they did not upload their data.

No states showed zero COVID deaths, except for the ones that didn’t provide information.

For hospital admissions by age, those over age 70 are admitted three times more often than those in the 60 to 69 age group and 10 times more often than those under 60.

It’s been a long three years and, unfortunately, COVID has not vanished. At this point, we have a new subvariant, XBB.1.16, nicknamed “Arcturus.”

Keep an ear out for mention of this one in the news. It’s the most infectious of all the variants so far and the most resistant to vaccine.

One in 10 cases of COVID are this new variant. It’s the one that’s causing conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, plus other symptoms. At this point, it has shown up in over 30 states.

If you have symptoms of this variant and believe it’s probably seasonal allergies, consider taking a COVID test just to be sure.

And meanwhile, inquiring minds want to know: Where are our masks? Have you noticed that you, and possibly one or two others, are the only ones in stores still wearing a mask?

While the two largest hospital systems near me have now done away with the mask requirement, I have not.

Matilda Charles

© 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.