100 Million New COVID Cases This Fall
Everyone has had COVID by now or knows someone who has and achieved some level of natural immunity. Most people have been vaccinated. People who contract COVID these days are generally not getting very ill or winding up in the hospital. This has led to a nearly normal existence after two years of anything and everything being abnormal.
However, the White House COVID Response Team and many members of Congress are warning of upcoming spikes and variants causing massive infections. According to the White House response spokesperson, Dr. Ashish Jha, we could see 100 million new COVID cases this fall and winter.
The CDC is modeling different scenarios where the omicron variant is more transmissible and has a greater vaccine and immunity evasion rate. Other countries where they are already seeing an exponential increase in cases makes it seem plausible that we could see the same thing in the US. Both the White House and the CDC are sounding the alarm that we need to be cautious and prepared.
Increases in transmissibility seem almost a certainty as more, if not most, people return to social gatherings and large events without any social distancing or precautions. Further, most of the data on mask-wearing and shutdowns illustrate that these measures did very little to prevent the spread anyway.
One thing you can gather from this discussion is we are not done with COVID, and maybe never will be. The potential for more variants and infections seems a never-ending fear which we all have to respect, at least on some level.
The WH has asked Congress to approve $22 billion in COVID response preparedness which is another huge chunk of money in a system where so much has already been spent, at least partly responsible for record high inflation.
Senate lawmakers on Capitol Hill have offered as much as $10 billion in a bi-partisan compromise, but it is unclear if even that amount would pass the House. Some democrats want to increase the amount spent for other country’s response to COVID indicating they think we need to help the whole world battle COVID. A failure to do that may come back to haunt us later. It is unclear what a vote would looks like in the House but it seems the Senate will move forward with the 60 votes needed to approve the $10 billion.
It is prudent to be prepared for whatever we might encounter in the future and if the money isn’t spent maybe some of it can be saved for the next crisis. There is the old adage: “Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.”
Every American can do their part by being vigilant and cautious. If nothing else, COVID has taught us to be responsible for ourselves and our loved ones.