COVID19 Delta Variant to Become Dominant Strain … Lockdowns?

In January 2020 it was clear something was coming. China was shutting down cities, Chinese citizens I knew were buying all the n95’s they could find and sending them home. Today, in June 2021 we all know about COVID-19. What’s interesting now is that there is the COVID-19 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) quickly spreading and the vaccines appear less effective than other variants.

COVID-19 Vaccination Rate

At time of writing, Israel, United States and United Kingdom are some of the most vaccinated countries against COVID-19, with over half the population vaccinated.

Beyond the vaccination rate, at least 10% of the population has had COVID-19

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home

It’s likely a considerably larger number of people have actually had COVID-19. In April 2020 it was estimated between 3x – 20x more people had COVID-19 than was tested. With that in mind, it’s safe to say 70+% of the population has an immune response of some kind.

COVID-19 Delta Variant Growth Rate

Although there’s now a high level of trained immune responses, it appears the Delta variant is still growing fairly quickly in the UK.

The same also appears true in the United States, recall the Delta variant is also the B.1.6917.2 Lineage

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions

What’s more interesting is if you pull out the regions of the United States with increasing rates of COVID-19 cases. Below are the 7-day case rates per 100,000 in the United States.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesper100klast7days

More interesting than the rate of cases are the CDC’s “Community Transmission of COVID-19 by state map.

From that map, it appears region 8 – Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming appears to have some of the highest rates of transmissions. This also matches with the largest increases in the Delta variant.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions

In contrast, Region 5 – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin are having a lower level of community spread and also have a lower rate of the Delta variant within the community.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions

This trend continues through all the regions, effectively the lower the community transmission rate the lower the rate of the COVID-19 Delta variant within the community.

COVID-19 Delta Variant Lockdowns

Putting aside whether or not lock-downs are effective or a good idea (I’d argue neither are true), there does appear to be a trend —

Israel

Australia

United Kingdom

United States

  • Open for business.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/states-reopen-map-coronavirus.html

Are Lockdowns a Good Idea?

Are lockdowns a good idea? Almost certainly not, the economy cannot take it.

Further, it appears the number of doctor visits from COVID-19 Delta variant (in the UK) is significantly lower for the vaccinated (~50%). While it doesn’t appear to provide perfect protection, it does reduce the overall burden on the system.

Page 12, SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation

Perhaps more importantly, the case fatality rates are fairly low:

  • > 14 days, dose 2 – 0.64%
  • > 21 days, dose 1 – 0.11%
  • < 21 days, dose 1 – 0.02%
  • No vaccine at all – 0.09%

For reference, below are case fatality rates[1] for other known illnesses:

  • Seasonal Influenza – 0.1%
  • Malaria – 0.3%
  • Spanish Flu – 2.5%

I cover this data more in-depth in a prior article, if you’re interested. Yes, it does appear those who are vaccinated have a higher case fatality rate. That being said, we don’t know the age ranges for those who died or were hospitalized and without that information it’s unclear exactly how effective the vaccine is at reducing the mortality rate.

COVID-19 Delta Variant Implications

Today, it appears the following is likely true:

  1. The COVID-19 Delta variant will become the dominate variant
  2. The vaccine appears less effective against the COVID-19 Delta variant than other variants
  3. Lock-downs appear likely in the United States, given global trends
  4. The COVID-19 Delta variant is less dangerous than the flu (aka lockdowns are not reasonable)

Plan accordingly. I predict another round of lockdowns in the United States within the next 4-8 weeks (even if I disagree with how reasonable they are).

Related Content

One thought on “COVID19 Delta Variant to Become Dominant Strain … Lockdowns?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 characters available

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.