Everybody still knows somebody who has Covid, and maybe even some with long-term symptoms
Numbers in the USA are coming down a little but they remain otherwise resilient. The USA and Washington State still see more deaths than Germany or France.
Germany is getting its number down. But waste water virus levels are up, meaning there will be an upswing of new cases in the coming weeks. Death numbers are the lowest they have been since the last lockdown, which is a very good sign.
France's incidence is growing again but death numbers have eased considerably and are now in the range of the last lockdown in July of 2021. Thus, the disease is still rampant but causes less severe damage. That is, other than the long-term effects of Covid-19, but these are rather diffuse and are not recorded properly.
Tunisia's numbers are comparably low and thus, for better visualisation, I shifted the graphs up by a factor 1000. But even with this visual trick, numbers still look better than the other four graphs. India and possibly many other developing countries have equally shown a resilience to Coronavirus, and scientists have speculated why this might be. These include: having been exposed to similar viruses before and thus having a basic immunity that was lacking in other, possibly more developed countries; this basic immunity then allowed every Tunisian citizen to be infected twice, with fewer of the grave consequences seen up North.
With public pressure on hasty publication easing and with more, dependable, data arising, we are now beginning to understand the virus, how to protect ourselves and what long-term consequences arise from an infection.
In the last three months I have used the Remarks to talk about these new data. Here are two more:
It seems as if Covid-19 were able to cause long-term gastrointestinal symptoms and conditions (ars technica, PDF). People with SARS-CoV-2 infection are at increased risk of gastrointestinal disorders in the post-acute phase of COVID-19. And it the authors recommend that post-Covid care should involve attention to gastrointestinal health and disease.
This is not as bad as the other long-term effects I have reported before (stroke, diabetes and other Post-Covid symptoms, such as the loss of smell), but it it is something to be reckoned with.
German scientists have shown (PDF) that in older people in Bavaria, a higher level of immunity was associated with substantial, but possibly somewhat decreasing over time, protection against death during the omicron wave.
This is again proof that Covid-19 vaccines work and that vaccines work in the elderly population, who have naturally weaker immune systems.