The pandemic isn’t over

A few of two child-size feet and a face mask dangling from a bench
A child dangles a mask while waiting outside of the Houston Methodist Hospital on July 16, 2021 in Houston, Texas. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said last week that cases are up more than 70 percent from the previous week.
Brandon Bell | Getty Images

We’re going backward.

Instead of climbing out of the pit of the pandemic, the U.S. is seeing a new surge. The highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant is causing new infections, new hospitalizations and new deaths — almost exclusively among the unvaccinated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said last week that cases are up more than 70 percent from the previous week. Deaths, a lagging indicator, have increased 26 percent. In almost every instance, it’s the unvaccinated getting sick and dying from the virus.

The good news? Vaccines work. The bad news? The U.S. needs more people to get vaccinated. And trying to convince the remaining hesitant will not be a fast or easy job.

What does this mean for breakthrough infections? Will cases continue to rise, and will mask mandates go back into place, as they already have in Los Angeles County? And what about kids — especially those 12 and under who aren’t yet eligible to be vaccinated? Do they face another year of wearing masks in the classroom? Kerri Miller tackled those topics and more Wednesday morning with two doctors who are on the front lines of pandemic research.

Guests:

  • Dr. Monica Gandhi is a professor of medicine and associate division chief of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at UCSF/San Francisco General Hospital. 

  • Dr. Tina Tan is a professor of pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and an attending physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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