Among the numerous virus experts anticipating our future, Michael Osterholm, Director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, was likely the most vocal in June, expressing alarm about new COVID variations and low vaccination rates.
As it turns out, he was justified in his concern: The delta variety has wreaked havoc on many Americans, 65 million of whom are vaccine-eligible yet refuse. So where does it leave us, and will we have to worry about another surge? Osterholm discussed these issues on his podcast, including which states are in risk. Continue reading for six critical bits of advice—and, for your own and others' safety, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
"We must be more prepared," Osterholm cautioned. "Last March and April, with the arrival of the Alpha variation, we saw what that variety was capable of, which was so very, very different from anything we had seen previously. And, given the large gaps in our vaccine coverage—as well as the fact that there were still many, many people who had not yet been infected and thus would not have had any immune protection against the infection—I stated at the time that I believed we were still in for some of the pandemic's darkest days. That was the last thing anyone wanted to hear. I take no comfort in having said that, but the variation data simply demonstrated and convinced me that this was almost certainly going to be the case. We observed what happened in June, July, August, and September, as well as the cost of living in this country.
Thus, I return to that point: there are still at least 65 million Americans who could be vaccinated today based on current vaccine recommendations. Many of these individuals have never had an illness. And, as I've repeatedly stated, and I'm sure you're tired of hearing it, we still have a lot of 'human wood' available for this Coronavirus forest fire to burn. So let's begin at that point right now, with the surge we're currently experiencing, which is gradually diminishing across the country. This is not the last time this virus has been detected in this country."
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