I had really hoped that I was done with these updates on the Coronavirus, but the Delta variant of this virus had other plans.
Just a couple of months ago, things had looked relatively hopeful, between the number of people vaccinated and the low rate of infection. However, infections have increased drastically over the past few weeks, to the point that the United States is averaging over 100,000 cases per day. It is no different in New York City, where we have gone from averaging just over 200 cases per day a few weeks ago to now averaging nearly per day.
Even more disturbing is that there are increasing stories of so-called “breakthrough cases,” or cases where people who are fully vaccinated have tested positive for the virus. What this means is that vaccinated people, such as myself, can get Delta and spread it, potentially–an especially big concern as some kids are going back to class for school (and of particular concern among the under-12 population that is not eligible to get vaccinated yet).
With this combination of news, I concluded that unfortunately, it was time to relaunch my weekly updates. In this set of weekly updates on the Coronavirus in New York City, I hope to document both how I/my family is doing with the situation, how New York City and/or New York State is doing, and how the United States is doing as a whole. These updates are my way of conveying how things are like where I am, and it is also my way of making sure that certain messages that need to be conveyed about this virus are conveyed.
Speaking of conveying information, I should convey that one of the best things people can do to protect themselves and others is to get vaccinated. Research is suggesting that vaccinated people who get Delta are infected for a shorter period of time than the unvaccinated, which means the potential for less spread. Data also suggests that breakthrough cases account for only a tiny fraction of COVID hospitalizations and deaths–showing that even with the Delta variant, the vaccines are highly effective in preventing one from getting a severe cases of the virus. So if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I beg you to get vaccinated! It is for your own good, as well as the good of those around you.
However, we should be mindful of the fact that we should do more than make sure we are vaccinated. As much as some people may hate to read my saying this, I think we need to mask again–both indoors as well as times we encounter crowds outdoors. I also think we should start to (again) limit the extent to which we are around large and tightly-packed crowds, both indoors and outdoors (so this so-called “Homecoming Concert” that’s being held in my city in a couple of weeks is a big mistake, in my personal opinion). We should (again) practice social distancing as much as we can, and we should (again) make sure to avoid poorly-ventilated indoor spaces as much as we can.
This is annoying, and I want this virus to be over as much as anyone else, but we need to do all we can to protect the vulnerable, whether it be immunocompromised people or children or people still with COVID symptoms who are therefore unable to get vaccinated.
 People should, first and foremost, listen to public health experts. However, I recognize that people also listen to other people they trust, whether it be politicians they trust, friends they trust, and writers they trust. As such, while I am not a scientist, I feel a big responsibility to make sure that accurate information regarding the science of the virus is conveyed to my readers.
 Hopefully people won’t be treated to a paywall, but if so, you are warned, because The New York Times sometimes has a paywall: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/08/10/us/covid-breakthrough-infections-vaccines.html