Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
The United States continues to see a decline in COVID cases. Nationally, cases have fallen 20 percent in the past two weeks to an average of fewer than 40,000 cases per day. Hospitalizations are also decreasing in most states, but have ticked up in recent weeks in much of the Northeast.
The number of deaths remains persistently flat, at just under 400 a day.
We are still watching closely to see if the U.S. will follow western Europe in beginning to show early signs of a fall/winter outbreak. Wastewater viral load continues to fall in our community, but that is not the case nationally, with increases recorded in the Northeast and Midwest. Best thing you can do is to get the bivalent booster. Wait time is two months after your last COVID vaccine or booster. The bivalent will help protect you against the Omicron variant which has taken over as the dominant COVID-19 strain.
In this week’s video, I spend some time on a report by Dr. Eric Topol that contrasts the pandemic outcomes between Japan and the United States. While Japan has a much older population than the United States (25 percent over 65 compared to 15 percent), Japan has the least cumulative deaths per capita of any major country in the world. I think you will find the reasons for the contrast between the two countries to be very informative.
We are calling awareness to several issues this week – domestic violence, breast cancer and cybersecurity; and recognizing our Medical Assistants who contribute so much on the patient care team.
Finally, Monday is Diwali, the festival of lights, which commemorates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Have a happy and safe Diwali.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO