Yes, we are all sick of covid and want to get back to living our lives in a normal way. However, as others have said, covid is not done with us.
Although not nearly as severe as in the past couple of years, covid infections are on the rise. Hospitalizations among seniors are nearing the peak from the Delta surge and rising fast. What’s more, the age gap has never been wider. Since October, the Covid-19 hospitalization rate among seniors has been at least four times higher than average.
Even during the first winter surge in 2020, when Covid-19 took a devastating sweep through nursing homes, there was never more than a three-fold difference.
The fact is, between shots and prior infections and combinations thereof, younger people are doing pretty well. But the immune systems of people of advanced age are not as strong.
The current rate of deaths does not come close to what it was in 2020, before the vaccines, or even when the omicron variant took over last winter. But more than 300 residents a week have been dying recently in nursing homes and that number is likely to rise as holiday gatherings and cold weather fuel an uptick in infections.
In the total U.S. population, elderly people have been hit hardest this season, with people 75 and over making up 71 percent of all covid fatalities in November, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Immunity from the original round of shots has waned over time. The new boosters do not prevent all infections, but they are effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths, according to the CDC. The agency said the bivalent boosters cut the risk of covid hospitalization by at least half.
We urge you, once again, to get your covid booster shot if you have not already done so. There is plenty of the vaccine available and it is as easy as it has ever been to get the shot.