On March 15, 2020, the first case of Covid-19 was detected on Guam. Nearly 600 days into the pandemic, there remain people who believe Covid is fiction. The reality is that, like other viruses, Covid-19 is here to stay.
Since the third wave of infections hit the island in August, triple-digit positives have become so routine that we have become desensitized to this grim reality. Guam has the highest number of breakthrough infections at 31 percent.
Another disturbing development is the rise of pediatric cases on the island. And then, there is a three-word acronym that made it into our daily vocabulary-DOA: dead on arrival. The Department of Public Health and Social Services released data on recent Covid deaths, and 30 of them are classified as DOA.
As of the last week of September, Guam had more than 14,000 positive cases, with a death toll running close to 200. With 87 percent vaccination rate, why this high infection rate?
A computer analogy can explain the Covid vaccine. Typically, Windows-based personal computers come preinstalled with antivirus software to help protect data and ultimately allow users to binge-watch undisturbed by annoying malware pop-ups.
Some viruses are a source of irritation; others are catastrophic. For example, data loss, identity theft and chances of infecting everyone in the user's address book. Antivirus programmers get blindsided by new code that they have to catch up to in order to mitigate the damage.
The delta variant is like that. Everyone thought that the end of the pandemic was in sight; then here comes a new code that our current antivirus, a.k.a. vaccine tech, isn't quite ready for yet. They designed the vaccines for the OG (original gangster) alpha variant. The delta variant is Covid 4.0.
Where current vaccines are lacking in halting transmission, they mitigate hospitalization, according to health authorities. Simply put, if someone gets infected, they have a higher chance of recovering.