June 23, 2021
Last night, I went to my first in-person school board meeting since the start of the pandemic 15 months ago. Earlier in the day, I saw the guy behind the counter at our local convenience store without a mask on for the first time (so THAT’s what he looks like!). But while Vermont (rightfully) can congratulate itself on achieving an 80% vaccination rate, which has ended all COVID-related restrictions, it doesn’t mean that the global pandemic is over.
In fact, according to this article from CBS News, the worldwide death toll from COVID for 2021 has already exceeded all of the deaths in 2020, largely because of the spread and intensification of the virus in Asia and Latin America. Worldwide, COVID is accounting for about 9,000 deaths a day.
Meanwhile, recent data suggest that vaccines are significantly less effective after one dose against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant first identified in India. The second dose, however, provides strong protection.