And a new strain of coronavirus that spreads easier has also surfaced in Southern California. It’s something that worries UC Irvine epidemiologist Andrew Noymer. “It’s giving me sleepless nights,” Noymer said. “It makes the herd immunity threshold higher and cases even more widespread. It probably makes casual masking less effective.”
Dr. Andrew Noymer, a professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine, says the amount of excess mortality in the United States evidences the severity of the coronavirus pandemic regardless of disagreements on how to tally COVID-19 deaths. The latest excess mortality number for the United States is 19%, meaning 19% more people died of all causes in 2020 compared to an average of the previous five years, according to Our World In Data. “You can play all the games you want with the causes of death, but it doesn’t change the alive or dead number,” Noymer said.
“In the first wave we had first waves, plural. We had the Northeast, the Midwest and California all peaking at different times. The Northeast in April, and California in July and the midwest towards September,” said UC Irvine epidemiologist Andrew Noymer in a Friday phone interview. … “The second waves are more in sync. So we’re seeing absolutely scary numbers nationwide and the ability of the county to transfer patients to other counties or states to transfer patients to other states is really pretty constrained,” Noymer said.
Andrew Noymer, a UC Irvine associate professor of population health and disease prevention, said deaths will rise a couple of weeks from now. “I guarantee it,” he said. “There’s no cases without deaths.” … Availability of beds is not as much of a problem as staffing them with the necessary medical personnel, Noymer said. “You could rent all the motels in Orange County and have the beds, so it’s not the bed itself — it’s the staff,” he said.
UC Irvine Dean of Public Health Bernadette Boden-Albala said the virus is so widespread in the community, that various activities are contributing to the increased spread like restaurants, crowded malls and private gatherings. … Public health experts like Boden-Albala and [UC Irvine epidemiologist and public health expert Andrew] Noymer suggest residents only go shopping for essential needs and stay away from people who are not from the same household.
Health officials also reported 1,208 new coronavirus cases and one additional fatality Wednesday. … “In the last two days, we’ve picked up 84 in hospitals,” said Andrew Noymer, a UC Irvine associate professor of population health and disease prevention. “That’s like a 50% increase. It’s getting worse before our very eyes.” “We can’t take much more than the 722 we had in July,” Noymer said. “It’s going to get worse is the problem. It’s going to exceed 722. We’re pushing into unknown territory,” Noymer said.
It’s too early to interpret the data on Covid-19, in part because nobody knows how many people have been infected – and there are many other factors in the mix, such as the changing age profile of the patient population and improvements in care – but we may already be seeing viral evolution in tumbling death rates. As epidemiologist Andrew Noymer of the University of California, Irvine, has pointed out, this would happen anyway, in time. But here’s the thing: we can accelerate it, if we choose to. We probably already are, in some parts of the world.