Springtime for Killer Kate

With all the people getting vaccinated against Covid, you'd hope to see the case numbers trending downward here in Oregon. But that's a long way off, apparently. The past six weeks have seen a substantial increase in cases, and an increase in hospitalizations. My charts, showing 10-day rolling averages for each day since February 1, are at the bottom of this post. The trends are in the wrong direction, especially here in Multnomah County.

Our governor, "Killer" Kate Brown, has decided not to shut activities down in the face of this trend. We need to strike a balance, she says, between saving lives and saving businesses. If you have choose between preserving Cheesecake Factory and preserving Grandma's life, remember: "balance."

But in this latest wave of the virus, the victims seem to be more Moms and Dads than Grandmas. Apparently the seriously ill include more 20-, 30-, and 40-somethings than ever. And many folks that age don't get to queue up for their shots until next week at the earliest.

You can't tell me that reopening the schools isn't a big cause of the latest uptick. I can understand why there was so much pressure to do it, but come on. To sit kids three feet apart, and then expect them to wear masks properly and stay six feet apart once they get up from their desks, isn't realistic. Some of them are spreading it, and others are bringing it home.

Whatever the cause, the governor and the building permit guy are warning us to brace ourselves for some rough numbers between now and Memorial Day. Let's hope that that's the last surge of any consequence.