By Stan Welch
Amid the growing clamor about the delta variant of the Covid – 19 coronavirus, the Journal reached out to a voice of reason and a source of actual data.
Anderson County Director of Emergency Management David Baker. declined to confirm or debunk actual numbers of cases currently hospitalized at AnMed, for the simple reason that he had not seen the latest numbers when he was interviewed. But he did affirm that the number of cases is growing rapidly, with an average of a hundred new cases a day. He also acknowledged that AnMed is experiencing an increase in patients requiring hospitalization. Another source with the county earlier told the Journal that here were currently eighty one people hospitalized for Covid, with twenty of those patients in intensive care.
As stated, Baker would not confirm those numbers based on his slightly lagging information. “I can confirm that of the patients hospitalized, the percentage who are not vaccinated, or not fully vaccinated approaches ninety per cent.” He also stressed the speed with which the variant has moved through the population. “Over the course of a few weeks, our numbers went from the level we saw last July to the numbers we saw the previous November, when we were still really getting into the pandemic. He offered some encouragement, however. “Reports from around the region and the country indicate that this variant peaks quickly and falls off just as quickly. Hopefully, we’re looking at a surge of two to four months.”
He reiterated that, while there is currently no mask mandate in Anderson County, his office continues to strongly encourage maintaining the basic precautions of social distancing, conscientious sanitation, and wearing the mask if you are comfortable doing so; especially during a prolonged event where there are crowds. He also strongly urges vaccination.
“I understand that the vaccines do not assure you of not getting Covid or of infecting others. What I do know that it does is to mitigate the effects of the virus if you do get it anyway. Is the vaccine a failsafe? No. No vaccine is. But there are real benefits to vaccination. I urge people to do their own research and make their own decision. As to which vaccine to take, I suggest taking the one most readily available.”