Sunday, November 28, 2021

Holiday Transmission

      There's a new coronavirus variant -- or at least new to the people who keep track of them.  There have been a whole lot of news and commentary items discussing it, but the takeaway at this point is that nobody knows much about it.  Oh, the folks in big labs say they are seeing a whole lot of mutations on this one, in locations that may not bode well, but how that might translate into how much trouble the blame thing is for people, no one knows.  We will find out the hard way, because that's the only way there is.

      The coronavirus appears to be getting seasonal, in an odd but predictable way: it has gotten worse during long spells of staying-indoors weather, and ebbed when people are comfortable being outdoors.  The hottest part of Summer in the South saw an increase of cases and as Fall gives way to Winter in the North, cases are ramping up.  Look, I'm not telling you how to live your life, but having your holiday party outdoors around a roaring bonfire is a safer bet right now than cramming a few dozen friends and relations across three or four generations into three small rooms for the better part of a long afternoon.  (It's also easier to toast marshmallows and make s'mores outdoors around a fire, which is my personal preferences showing.)

      Noodling around with numbers, some 59 percent of the U. S. population has been vaccinated and something between 14 and 33 percent of us have had the virus.  That would be a comforting total, if this were a simpler world--  No one is tracking the overlap between those numbers and you can play "choose your own results," trying to find out what kind of immunity last longest and offers the broadest protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in all its variations.  All of it helps and past that, a lot of people know a little but definitive answers are not forthcoming yet.

      Just be careful.  There is still no need to panic or scoff (TV and online pundits, I'm giving all of you well-deserved side-eye).  Be sensible in your celebrations.

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