This Year's Covid-19 Surge is Ten Times Less Deadly Than Last Year's
Using the last 6 weeks of data for LA County, there are 138% more cases than the same period last year and yet only 14% of the deaths
January 24, 2022
January 21, 2022 - Matters can always change over the next few weeks, but a comparison of the same 6-week period spanning the New Year shows 10 times less deaths for the number of Covid-19 cases this winter over last winter.
The surge of Covid-19 occurred over the same basic period of time last year as this year. Using a span of 6 weeks, approximately the length of time it could take a Covid-19 patient to move from diagnosis to death, the following numbers were recorded by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health:
6-week span of December 8, 2020 to January 18, 2021 (last winter)
Number of new cases: 557,869
Number of deaths: 5,936
6-week span of December 8, 2021 to January 18, 2022 (this winter)
Number of new cases: 771,368
Number of deaths: 847
The non-age adjusted death-to-case ratio last year was 1.1%. The non-age-adjusted death-to-case ratio this year during the same span is .11%. That is a ten-fold difference.
Last winter, vaccines were not yet widely available. This year, not only is 70% of the population fully vaccinated, but the Omicron variant has quickly wiped out the Delta variant. Today, LACDPH reports 99% of samples sequenced are Omicron.
According to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health, the lag between infection onset and death appears to be much shorter in people infected with the Omicron variant. The lag was four-five weeks and more with earlier variants, but with Omicron, it appears to be two-three weeks. Of the deaths reported yesterday, 80% had been infected after January 1 and 90% had been infected after December 25.
40% of new cases over the last 10 days were in vaccinated individuals. With vaccinated people comprising 70% of the county, this means the vaccinated enjoyed an overall 30% less liklihood of catching Covid than the unvaccinated. Hardly the 95% efficacy that was sold to the public.
The ratio of deaths to vaccinated cases over the last 10 days was .00164 as opposed to a ratio of .0148 for the unvaccinated. The county reports that the overall case fatality rate has dropped from 2% to 1%. A similar drop occurred during the surge last winter as a large number of non-vulnerable people became infected in a short period of time.
"Our advice is not really changing," Ferrer said at a media briefing yesterday. She advises against non-essential gathering, if you do gather, do so outdoors, and wear a medical-grade mask.