Whidbey Corona Virus February 2 2021

Did you hear it? A metaphorically collective sigh of relief is passing through the community. The vaccines are on the way! Or not. But, hey, good news is beginning to bubble up as we approach the one year anniversary of the pandemic lockdown.

Let’s deal with the bad news first. The spike that happened over the holidays was worse than the initial spike. There was a bit of good news in there, too. The worries about the tourist season are seen to be very small in comparison to whatever caused the surge in cases over the holidays. Perhaps the first spike caught us by surprise and before we knew what to do. Perhaps the tourist season was busy, but many of them stayed in the places they rented. Perhaps pandemic fatigue or traditional socializing or whatever caused the holiday spike. 

Island County Public Health

Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. 

The main things we’ve learned are the simple things that have been true since the start: wash your hands, wear a mask, keep socially distant. 

If only the vaccines would mean we won’t have to continue these new rituals. Eventually, that might be right. In the meantime, even if you’ve received a vaccine, you might still be able to transmit the virus, infecting other people.  

The improvements are showing up in the data, too. The US might, might, be just past its peak; 

but Washington State can state that more emphatically. Of course, mutations, doubters, and logistics may mean delays of months, possibly into next year. The country has to spin up from no plan to vaccinating hundreds of millions, so some further delay won’t be a surprise.

According to the first graph, Island County is also arguably past the second peak, but caution and persistence continue to be necessary considering the upswing at the end of 2020.

Those logistical issues are already revealing themselves on the island. People signed up for the vaccine (yay) were told their appointments were cancelled or postponed (ugh) caused by supply and logistical issues. Stay tuned.

It is human nature to express frustrations about a problem, and then express frustrations about a solution. There will always be frustrations, but the data encourage optimism and the possibility of planning for a time when we get back to smiles and hugs, dances and festivals, and generally being social beings again. Eventually.

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