So, the number of COVID cases are rising in the US, with an average of 20% increase in the last two weeks. Could this be the beginning of the next surge of COVID? In this article, I take a scientific look at the current data and make some sense out of it.
Hot Spots Of The New Surge Of COVID
States with the highest increase – more than 20% – include Michigan, Minnesota, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. States with 10 -20% increase include Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
The next tier in the descending order – 0 to 10% increase – include the states of New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Utah.
Then, there are states with a decline in the number of COVID cases in the last two weeks. The leader in this downward trend is the state of Alaska (-30%), followed by Idaho and Montana. The next tier – states with a less impressive but still downward trend include California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Hawaii.
Scientific Analysis Of The Data
When I look at these numbers as a non-political physician, most of the statements from political physicians don’t bear any water. For example, Vermont leads the nation in terms of vaccination, a whopping 72% fully vaccinated. Compare it to Alaska – the state with the most impressive downward trend in COVID cases – which has only a 54% fully vaccinated population. In addition, West Virginia is lowest in terms of vaccination – 41% – but still having a downward trend in the number of COVID cases.
On the other hand, Oklahoma has a low vaccination rate of 51% and cases are increasing as compared to California with a vaccination rate of 62% where cases are declining. Even more interesting, cases are declining in both Oregon and Georgia, but their vaccination rates are so different, 64% versus 49%.
It is obvious that the recent trends in the number of COVID cases do not necessarily follow the map of vaccination rates.
Could it be the cold weather that may explain this surge? Probably not, as cases are rising in Arizona and declining in Alaska. In addition, the last surge of COVID in the US was during the months of summer.
What is Reason For The New Surge Of COVID?
If you trace the behavior of this pandemic right from the beginning, you will see that the surge happens in a certain area, followed by a decline. Then, the surge happens in another region and is followed by a decline. A few months later, Coronavirus revisits the area that has been relatively inactive and ignites a new wave.
This pattern continues despite the weather, number of vaccinations, and socioeconomic factors.
Here is my take:
I think people start taking precautions (social distancing, masks, vitamin D, zinc, etc.) when a particular area is hot, which leads to a decline in the number of COVID cases. But then people let their guard down, often go back to more socialization, which leads to resurgence of COVID cases.
The Bottom Line:
The rise and fall of COVID cases parallels human behavior and will continue. As an individual, you can lower your risk of catching Coronavirus by staying vigilant and keeping your immune system healthy. You can optimize your immune system by taking the following steps: