Watch Out for this Third Wave

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

You’re probably tired of hearing about it, but we’re clearly in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you remember, that was predicted back in the spring, when this all started. So it’s really not surprising that it has come home to roost.

About the only good thing I can say about this is that the actual fatality rate has dropped from four percent down to three, both worldwide and here in America. That’s a huge difference and it’s one backed up by numbers, not just some talking head’s opinion. If you take the number of deaths and divide it by the total number of closed cases, that’s cases where the person has either died or gotten better, it comes out to 3.3% for the US. So, while we’re showing more than a half million dead so far, less people are dying than before. That’s good news.

But I’m concerned that part of the problem might be that people are just plain tired of taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others. There have always been those who didn’t take COVID seriously and those who have objected to wearing masks. That’s not who I’m talking about. I’m talking about those of us who are taking it seriously, but are getting tired of dealing with it.

Sadly, there’s no good news on the horizon. Dr. Fauci has come out saying that at least some of the precautions we are taking are going to have to continue on until sometime in 2022. I’m not particularly surprised by that, as I’ve been saying it for months, but this is the first time anyone official has come put publicly with a statement that stretches that far into the future.

Keep in mind that Fauci’s prediction is taking a vaccine into account. He still has high hopes for a vaccine and apparently the medical industry is getting close to success on that score. But success in this case isn’t the same as with smallpox or the measles. Apparently the success rate is considerably lower than with those other vaccines and there’s still the question of how long the vaccine will be effective for.

Patients who overcome COVID only have antibodies in their bloodstream for a few months. Does that mean that they can get COVID again, once the antibodies are gone? That’s something we don’t know yet. So, even if they do start vaccinating people, it is yet to be seen how effective that will be.

But all that isn’t my purpose in writing you today. My concern is how tired we’re all getting, from dealing with this pandemic for eight months now. A few months ago, I was complaining about all the people going about their daily lives, not wearing masks, as if there was nothing wrong. Now I see all those people going about their lives, wearing masks… or at least pretending to wear masks… as if there is nothing wrong. But the difference is, I’m seeing people who were being cautious before act as if they don’t have to be cautious if they’ve got a mask on.

The mask is not a magical protection, as much as I wish it was. Wearing one doesn’t mean that we can touch anyone around us, shaking hands and slapping backs. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need to maintain social distancing. It is just one more layer of protection, added to social distancing, washing our hands whenever we are in contact with others, and staying home as much as possible.

About the only measure I’m not taking today, which I was taking before everyone started wearing masks, is that I’m not sterilizing everything I buy in the store. Before, I was doing that, before I brought things into my home, because of the possibility of someone in the store coughing or sneezing and inadvertently getting the virus on the package. But with everyone wearing masks, that risk has been greatly reduced.

But that’s the only place where I can see the risk of infection being lower than it was before. If anything, it’s higher. They’ve finally proven that asymptomatic people can still spread the disease, and if anything, there are more asymptomatic people today than ever before. So that means that there’s a higher risk of becoming infected than ever before. Fortunately, everyone wearing masks helps reduce that risk.

The good news is that our medical community has learned how to better handle COVID, allowing more people to survive. That’s why we’ve dropped from a high of 36.56% of people dying of COVID, back in the spring (the first time I calculated it), to the current rate of 3.31%. Thank God for that.

So keep your masks on, keep washing your hands and stay away from others. Just consider it part of the things you do, like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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