Is the Covid-19 pandemic really ‘over’?
But older people, the immunocompromised, people with certain disabilities or underlying health conditions remain at higher risk for serious illness and may still need to take more precautions.
While some have interpreted Biden’s comments as a cynical intervention ahead of the upcoming US midterm elections, it follows a trend of other optimistic comments from global health leaders. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, suggested last week that the end of the pandemic “is in sight,” noting that the number of weekly reported deaths was the lowest since March 2020. “We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic,” he said.
Shortly afterwards, a photo widely circulated on social media showed the bus driving at night, with the driver wearing a full hazmat suit with only his eyes uncovered. Another photo showed the crushed truck being sprayed with disinfectant by a hazmat suited worker. According to government data, only two people have died of the virus in the province since the pandemic began, raising further questions about China’s uncompromising policy.
And while China and the US continue to take radically different approaches to the pandemic, a report by the Lancet Covid-19 Commission condemned the world’s response to the disease, calling the death toll — which the WHO says is more than 6.4 million — “both a profound tragedy and a massive global failure at multiple levels.” They cited poor government preparation, poor global collaboration, and the influence of disinformation on citizens who resisted public health precautions.
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Q: Is there a link between Covid and mental health?
People who self-identified as having anxiety, depression or loneliness, or who felt extremely stressed, were more likely to experience long Covid, according to the study, published this month in the medical journal, JAMA Psychiatry.
Symptoms of long Covid can include breathing problems, brain fog, chronic coughing, overwhelming fatigue, changes in taste and smell, and difficulties in performing daily life functions that can last months — even years — after the infection has cleared the body.
That’s because the virus continues to pose a risk to people in this age group, who have been disproportionately affected by severe Covid outcomes.
Between April and June, people 50 and older accounted for the vast majority of Covid-19 hospitalizations (86%) and in-hospital deaths (96%), according to a CDC study published Thursday.
Additional CDC data shows that even for those 50 and older who got two of the original boosters, risk of hospitalization was less than a quarter of what it was for those who were unvaccinated in July. A single dose of the updated Covid-19 vaccine is recommended at least two months after completing the initial two-dose vaccine series or your most recent booster.