Cobb COVID case rate now a whopping 7.56 time the threshold of high community transmission

coronavirus image -- a white sphere with red corona spikes emanating outwardThis illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. (public domain image)

Like most news organizations, we tend to be careful in the use of superlatives in hard news articles. But the latest number on COVID-19 in Cobb County from Cobb & Douglas Public Health deserves words of alarm.

The community spread of the coronavirus continues its relentless upward trajectory, and the latest 14-day cases per 100,000 has now reached 756, or 7.56 times the threshold for high community transmission.

A rate of 100 or more is cause for alarm.

Douglas County’s numbers are even worse, at a staggering 14-day rate of 835 per 100,000 of population.

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There is a bit of good news though

There is a bit of good news, though.

The FDA has given full approval to the Pfizer vaccine.

In a press release announcing the approval, the FDA announced:

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

“The FDA’s approval of this vaccine is a milestone as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. While this and other vaccines have met the FDA’s rigorous, scientific standards for emergency use authorization, as the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated. Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.” 

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1 Comment on "Cobb COVID case rate now a whopping 7.56 time the threshold of high community transmission"

  1. This is such a beautiful example of propaganda, I’m going to download it and use it in my literature class when we study the history and methods of modern propaganda. The headline propagandizes right off the bat — declaring that 756/100k cases is a “whopping” number. Sure, I’m a literature prof, but I can still do a little math: we’re supposed to be stunned, shocked that we have 0.008 percent of the population that has tested positive for a disease that has a 98.9% recovery rate. No need to think that through, though, as the author has already done that for us — 8/10ths of a percent of positive tests (regardless of whether they are symptomatic or hospitalized or not) is apparently a “whopping” number. This uses the propaganda technique known as “card stacking” — a deliberate omission of important facts in drawing a conclusion.

    Then we’re told that the upward climb is “relentless”. Like the Nazis invading Europe, or the Westward expansion of those evil Europeans in the Americas. The end of civilization as we know it. The author is setting the stage for the next declarative statement: “A rate of 100 or more is cause for alarm.” Period. Final answer. Everyone is scared, so you should be too — this uses the “bandwagon” propaganda technique. If everyone else thinks something, you should too, because it must be true; just follow the rest of the herd.

    And don’t even think about the validity of that statement, because the CDC has decreed it. Where did they come up with the number? Well, as an MD friend of mine explained, “they pulled it out of their behinds.” There is not even a claim at a scientific basis. They said it, so it must be so. This is the propaganda technique known as “appeal to authority” — the idea that just because an authority declares something, that makes it true. Thinking people understand this to be patently false, but propagandists make regular use of this technique.

    Use of the terms “staggering”, “alarm”, “worst”, “relentless”, “emergency” and more are all used freely, despite the author’s claim that this rag “is careful in its use of superlatives”. One can only hope that the author recognizes the irony. That combined with words like “high quality”, “rigorous”, “scientific”, and “confidence” while talking about the pro-mitigation/vaccine view paint “glittering generalities”, a classic propaganda technique meant to sway minds without allowing room to think.

    Despite being vaccinated and being balanced in my approach to social interactions, I can see the techniques used here are designed to suppress critical thought and free dialog. But maybe I’m giving the author too much credit — maybe he’s just a product of the dysfunctional society we now live in and doesn’t even realize he’s just a tool of the propaganda machine.

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