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seasonal expression, not vaccine prevalence is the driver of covid
winter is coming and it will not spare those many have claimed have vaxxed their way out of pandemic.
people are making all sorts of aggressive claims about what the EU and US data tells us right now.
are we better off than last year? worse? are vaccines working or are they failing?
the best answer i can find is “wow, you can cherry pick this any way you like if you just pick a few countries or states.”
but what i really see is seasonality.
those who want to claim “the vaccines work!” can easily focus on southern europe where the weather remains nice.
we see little to no rise in covid there.
you then point to this chart and say: “see! it was the vaccines!”
there is, of course, un pequeño problema with this claim.
we can look at the countries to the north and see the opposite.
vaccine rates (apart from poland) are all broadly similar
but all are seeing rapid upturns as a longish summer now turns cold up north.
all in, europe looks to just be getting a bit of a late start to covid season, but with 4.83 deaths per mm (7 day MA) it’s basically indistinguishable from last year this time despite a vaxx rate over 60%.
the answer to the question of “will the south wind up joining the north in new spikes?” looks all but forgone.
in the US, it’s the north taking over for a south that has gone into off season.
the pattern is clear if you look.
and the big population centers in the northeast will be coming into season soon.
nationally, were currently 3.64/mm on covid death vs 3.23 last year and the seasonal rise looks to be taking hold.
this would also imply that early fall trough was MUCH higher this year.
seasonality varies a little by weather each year, but the simple fact is this: everyplace that’s coming into season this year is seeing spikes, many worse than last year.
this is true in highly vaxxed places like israel who looked little different (though slightly better) than last year
and places like washington state (82% vaxxed 12 and over, 97% 65 and up)
and vermont (91/99%)
all are seeing worse outbreaks than last year.
this was entirely predictable.
many of us (including certain internet felines) have been predicting this for months.
places in the US south, like florida, were the auguries here.
their summer season was a harbinger of things to comes for the north when it went into season.
also note that contrary to what many seem to think, florida is a highly vaxxed state with 80% of 12 and up and 99% of 65+) so this “it was lack of vaxx” argument never really held water there.
summer seasonal hospitalization and deaths were worse than 2020.
i’m just not seeing the case for vaccines having helped overall and the whole “iT’s tHE vArIANts!!!” as some sort of exogenous cause argument is not really holding water. there is at least as strong an argument that variant acceleration is CAUSED by the leaky vaccines. i find it far more compelling, plausible, and consistent with the known underlying science.
the better argument here seems to be that the vaccines are not working or are working against us all. they seem to fail when seasonality arrives and CFR for covid was already risking in OFF season UK when it should have been falling. (see above)
i’m actually struggling to find anyplace highly vaxxed that has come into season and has done much better than previous season.
i’ve seen places like connecticut and massachusetts that still seem low, but this seems like a function of lovely warm fall weather so far. my bet is that, like france and italy, they are low now, but will come into line with more northerly peers in coming weeks.
seasonality is the big driver here and the vaccines seem to be having little to no effect on it.