Europe’s Delta COVID Surges Show It Can Be Controlled
Over the past few weeks, the Delta coronavirus variant has dashed hope of many Americans looking forward to celebrating a “hot summer” and the end of the pandemic.
As a health expert warning in junethe highly contagious Delta variant has been hit particularly hard in states with low vaccination rates, fill hospitals and morgues but back again to the darkest days of the pandemic. And unlike previous variants, the new data shows that some vaccinated people infected with Delta – while fully protected from severe illness – can still spread the virus to others. This has prompted the CDC to advise that people get vaccinated in areas with a higher chance of transmitting the virus. should continue to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
Big questions still about the extent to which cases of “breakthrough” are spreading Delta. But now there is growing fear that Delta will be an unstoppable force.
However, the message from experts watching the Delta wave in Europe is more encouraging, suggesting that the usual rule still applies: Vaccination and strategies like face coverings in public and Avoiding crowds can reduce the number of cases.
Meanwhile, some observers have look at what happened with Delta in the UK and India, where the variant was first discovered and speculated that Delta’s dire state in the US could be at least short-lived, whatever we do to limit its spread. In both countries, a sharp increase in cases was followed by a similarly rapid decline, suggesting that the fast-spreading Delta variant usually burns itself out fairly quickly.
There are two major problems with this view. First, if we just let Delta take our course, the cost of lives and overwhelmed hospitals will be very high.
Lauren Ancel Meyers, a computational epidemiologist at the University of Texas at Austin and director of UT COVID-19 model complex, told BuzzFeed News. “You’re going to overwhelm your healthcare system.”
Second, if you look at the variety of Delta curves across Europe, it’s far from clear that there is a typical fast-burning Delta wave. And in countries with rapid growth and decline, changes in people’s behavior – rather than the inherent characteristics of the Delta variant – seem to be a big part of what turned the tide. .
Dig deeper into the reasoning behind the various Delta waves seen across Europe, and a more hopeful message emerges: Scary, the Delta variation seems manageable. Vaccination is our best weapon, but the modest social distancing measures that have worked against other, less transmissible forms of coronavirus can still help significantly.