Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Omicron burning out in Wisconsin? It might be, it could be...

As February dawns, some of the gloom from COVID may be fading in Wisconsin. After a sharp spike between Christmas and the middle of January, we are back down at the case levels that we were at when 2022 began, and falling fast.

While these are still disturbingly large numbers, it's worthy to note that the trends are going the right way. And while deaths have risen this winter, it is nowhere near the peaks that we saw at the end of 2020 and early 2021. Deaths exceeded 30 a day for a couple of weeks in December, but have declined slightly from there since then.

And if hospitalizations are a future indicator of death rates, these numbers should fall further, as the Wisconsin Hospital Association says the number of COVID patients are at their lowest levels in 2 months.

This is a clear endorsement of how vaccination reduces the amount of serious illness resulting from COVID. And the gap between more-vaxxed and less-vaxxed areas of the state continues to be apparent. Here's the NY Times records of average daily totals in Wisconsin over the last 14 days, sorted by the top 9 counties for death rates in the last 2 weeks.

And there is a definite red-blue and educational attainment correlation in how many deaths have happened since the start of the pandemic.

We are also seeing strong evidence that being boosted makes omicron a mere annoyance over something serious (especially for the non-elderly/vulnerable). So do your part, play it smart, and we might be back to relative calm by the middle of this month.

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