Thursday, March 10, 2022

Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan

One year ago, I observed One year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan. It's time for the two year check-in on the state of Michigan during the pandemic, beginning with WXYZ asking Return to normal-ish: Is Michigan entering the endemic phase of COVID-19?

At the popular Cantoro Italian Market & Trattoria in Plymouth, curbside pickup and cross-trained employees have become seamless parts of operating thanks to the pandemic.
This looks like what passed for "good news" in SciShow explains what the Omicron variant means for the pandemic's future and ASAPScience asks 'When Will COVID End?'
The pandemic may finally end, but COVID-19 may always be with us, as another common cold virus, although I think it will be an "uncommon cold" in its effects for years, if not decades, to come if it becomes endemic. That's not reassuring. I expect to be wearing masks during cold and flu season and getting annual booster shots for new strains for the foreseeable future. Sigh.
Even so, people, including those in state and local government, seem to be optimistic and are acting on that optimism, as Fox 2 Detroit reported in At 2-year mark of Covid in Michigan, health expert thinks we've turned corner.

State health officials withdrew their indoor mask guidance recently signaling a change in the fight against COVID-19.
WXYZ responded to this same news when it asked To mask or not to mask? How CDC community levels impact our masking decision.

The CDC has categorized most of Michigan in the low or medium risk COVID-19 category. These categories can help us decide if we need to mask up.
I live in a "green" county, which means it's up to me. I'm going out for a haircut for the first time in three months today and I'm still planning on wearing my mask despite my being vaxxed and boosted. I still think the rate of transmission is on the high side and my health condition puts me at risk.

That's the good news. Follow over the jump for the bad news.

WXYZ may have trumpeted a "return to normal-ish," but it also uploaded at least three clips about the lasting bad effects of the disease and the response to it. I begin with Many still struggle with mental & emotional recovery 2 years after COVID-19 pandemic.

This has been hard on people, although I'm finding people's responses to the pandemic, particularly the partisan reaction, to be more dispiriting than the isolation. My wife and I manage to get enough social interaction remotely, but we're fairly introverted. I'm sure that extroverts have been suffering. So have racial and ethnic minorities, as WXYZ documented in Michigan COVID-19 task force on racial disparities releases new recommendations.

The Michigan Coronavirus Racial Disparities Taskforce is releasing new recommendations to protect communities of color from the spread of COVID-19 nearly two years after the first cases were confirmed in Michigan.
I found Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist statistic about the proportion of deaths relative to infections among African-Americans in Michigan absolutely stunning.

Another group that has suffered are young school-aged children, although not physically. WXYZ reported Covid 19 impacts reading abilities.

My students seem to be doing O.K. with remote instruction, but they're in college. I can accept that remote instruction just isn't very effective for primary school students. The sooner they can be vaccinated and back in class, the better.

Finally, WDIV/Click on Detroit has some disturbing news in W.H.O urges monitoring of white-tailed deer in Michigan.

Tuesday (March 8) night, the World Health Organization urges nations to keep a close eye on where COVID is still spreading. Not only in humans but also in animals. Our Dr, Frank McGeorge is here to explain why there's concern.
So much for what I wrote first in November 2021: "I certainly found this news worrisome, but as long as the deer don't get sick and die or pass it back to humans, I'm not going to panic. Again, may it stay that way." It didn't stay that way. I'm not panicking, but I'm even more worried now.

That's it for the pandemic for today. I'll certainly return to it when the U.S. passes one million dead from the disease, which will happen by the end of April, if not earlier. Until then, stay tuned for the eleventh anniversary of the Fukushima triple disaster tomorrow.

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