ONE2021 ends with record number of new COVID-19 cases in Florida and the country in generalClaudia Espinosa intends to spend New Year’s Eve quietly with her family in their Tampa house.
“I’ll be in my house, probably going to bed early,” she told The Daily Beast.
But she knows that even though Florida reports 46,923 cases in one day, many people will gather to ring in 2022 as if the paramedics didn’t suddenly return.
“I know that nobody cares,” said Espinosa, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the University of South Florida. “More people will get together and then we will have more cases. That’s just the way it’s going to be. ”
She added, “It’s not recommended because we’ve been here again, just the same.”
Less than a month ago, COVID-19 in Florida appeared to have sunk into a manageable threat. Nearly two-thirds of Floridians have been vaccinated. More than 4 million people in the state have been infected and tested for immunity.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis remained upbeat during a December 17 press event even as a new COVID variant with a “Frankenstein mix” of mutations is spreading from South Africa to the US. He suggested that anyone with the disease could simply receive a monoclonal antibody transfusion like President Trump received after injecting COVID. The governor’s newly appointed surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, mocking countries looking to fight the virus with mandates on vaccines, face coverings, and testing.
“It’s a trio,” Ladapo said. “It’s insanity.”
But neither DeSantis nor Ladapo had much to say when two of the three main monoclonal antibody treatments — REGEN-COV and Bamlanivimab/etesevimab — were soon shown to be ineffective against the Omicron variant. .
“We can’t use them anymore because they don’t work,” Espinosa noted on Wednesday.
A third treatment, Sotrovimab, seems to be effective but is in short supply.
“Right now, we’re trying to prioritize and only give it to people who are most likely to die,” Espinosa said. “And those are people who are immunosuppressed, or people who have multiple risk factors. Those are the only people we can use these drugs for [on], because we have to be very conscious of how we use the resources. “
At the same time, Omicron has been shown to be able to circumvent some of the protective power of the stab.
“The vaccine doesn’t seem to work,” Espinosa said. “So that was scary. There are a lot of breakout cases.”
The vaccinated patient is still getting better.
“Those who are vaccinated, they have less time to get infections, less chance of going to the hospital and dying,” she notes. “So it’s a good thing to just go ahead and do it.”
The reward for breakthrough cases seems to have more to do with economics and science, with the CDC halving the recommended quarantine period for vaccinated people from 10 to five days. The CDC recommends wearing a mask for a period of 5 days, but those who don’t cover their face are likely not to comply.
As such, Espinosa saw few masks as she headed back to Tampa.
“Very rarely,” she said. “People mostly don’t have masks.”
She was still bewildered by the resistance of performing such a simple public task.
“No one should have a problem doing that,” she said. “I don’t understand that. I mean, come on, people, after two years, it’s going to be like a no-brainer, isn’t it? I don’t know what we have to fight about that. We do it in the hospital. I don’t know why people don’t do it everywhere. Why don’t kids do it in school. I mean, that doesn’t make sense. “
Her family did it as a matter of course.
“We go out and we just use masks,” she said.
Last month, DeSantis enacted a law banning the wearing of masks in schools. Espinosa’s 11-year-old daughter – who was vaccinated the first week of eligibility – nevertheless continued to do what common sense required.
“She still goes to school with her mask on and she still doesn’t take it off,” Espinosa said. “I didn’t even have to tell her. She knows she doesn’t want to get sick. She’s not sick and she doesn’t want to be there. And so she did it herself.”
Espinosa plans to spend New Year’s Eve with her daughter. She will then continue in 2022, inevitably treating sick children because their families ignore the simple precautions that are everyone’s civic duty. She fears that the coming days could see other variations emerge from places where too many people don’t even have a chance to get the shot.
“There will be another category unless everyone in the world is vaccinated,” she said. “In places where there are not enough vaccines like in Africa or anywhere else where vaccination rates are not good, or they are not readily available, mutations happen. It will be sooner or sooner, but we will have it. “
She looked back on the past year and ahead of what was to come.
“It’s really unsettling, the full view right now,” she said. “But, you know, we just have to keep working.”
And as Espinosa works with critically ill patients, DeSantis can answer calls from Orlando County Mayor Jerry Demings and other local officials that he’ll do more to make sure there’s enough testing. COVID. People in Orlando have been lining up for up to five hours this week.
In a more perfect Florida, DeSantis will also rethink its position on face coverings. He used an 8-year-old girl who opposed them as a prop when he signed a law banning regulations in schools. Espinosa’s 11-year-old is someone for all of us to emulate.