I have been scaremongering about Delta, saying it is more transmissible, causes more severe cases, and is transmitted more in schools. I apparently need to back off a little bit.
Delta is more transmissible, that’s uncontestable.
This very interesting tweet thread says that the data does not support there being more transmission in schools. The author (who also worked on that specific Public Health England data, so he knows what he’s talking about) says that with case counts being lower, it has been possible to do more intensive scrutiny in schools, so it shows up in the data more. He does not say that there is not higher transmission in schools, he is saying that the data doesn’t support it. (That thread is also interesting from an epistemological standpoint, recommended.)
Meanwhile, hospitalization stays are now shorter than they were during the England’s second wave (which was mostly Alpha). It’s a little tricky to tell because:
- It’s still relatively early in the Delta wave (compared to how long it takes people to die), so they don’t have a lot of statistics yet.
- Vaccination skews older, so the people who have been going to hospital tend to be younger, and thus have milder illness than older people. (I was thinking that because the UK has been vaccinating hard for so long that their age cohorts were way ahead of us, but no. Three weeks ago, the age eligibility was 30+. The 18+ only became eligible for vaccination in England three days ago. By contrast, BC opened bookings to 18+ on April 23, over 8 weeks ago.)