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Mask Up, COVID-19 Is Still Among Us

First published in the April 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Another issue of the Glendale News-Press, another batch of photos of groups of people indoors without masks. Most COVID infections now are asymptomatic infections in vaccinated people, so many people are acting as if infections don’t matter.
However, the virus can only mutate in a host, and having a hundred times as many hosts means there are a hundred times as many mutations. The BA.2 subvariant surge is still in its early stages, but already there are newer subvariants spreading in central New York state. The BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1 subvariants are estimated to be 25% more contagious than BA.2, which in turn is more contagious than its predecessors. And there is nothing to keep subsequent variants from being more deadly, too.
The positivity rate in L.A. County is well over 1% and rising, but the infections are not evenly distributed. People who are in highly contaminated settings, such as indoors bars, restaurants, and parties, have a much higher infection rate. At a 4% infection rate, 1 in 25 people is infected, so it’s likely that every gala, banquet and party has an infected attendee.
The next time you’re thinking about going to an indoors event without an N95 mask, ask yourself a question. Do you want to be the virus host who creates the COVID variant that causes a deadly surge in vaccinated people?

Scott Peer

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