During the last twelve months, Covid has changed and, consequently, Covid numbers recorded this year do not represent true changes from the Covid numbers of 2020.
In 2020, the Delta variant did not exist. The Delta variant is everywhere today. It is more transmittable than the Covid strains that caused Putnam County’s active case numbers to climb from 30 in August 2020 to more than 1,000 in December 2020. The Delta variant is more deadly than the Covid strains of 2020.
No one is thankful for the Delta strain. But everyone should be thankful for the Covid numbers which the Delta variant is producing.
Last year’s weaker strain of Covid saw a dramatic increase of active cases during the weeks leading up to and following Thanksgiving. There were 778 active cases in Putnam County on the Tuesday before last Thanksgiving. This year, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving active case number was 229 and dropping.
The weaker Covid strains of 2020 produced an infection rate of 69 per 100,000 population during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. The stronger, much more infectious, Delta variant produced an infection rate of 43 per 100,000.
Last year’s weaker strains produced 279 new cases during the 7-days prior to Thanksgiving week. The Delta strain produced 100 fewer new cases in the equivalent 7-day period.
Delta is worse than the strains of 2020 in every way — more contagious, more severe, more deadly. Delta numbers, however, are dropping during a period which case numbers rose in 2020.
Delta’s wings have been clipped by Moderna, Fizer, and J&J vaccines. Delta is decreasing during a period in which it was expected to increase.
Without the vaccines, Putnam’s numbers would be far worse. We have cause to give thanks.