Massachusetts breakthrough deaths are minimal [OPINION]

You have no doubt heard that even one death is one death too many. I agree, especially when it comes to COVID-19. After watching my old friend and colleague Chris McCarthy struggle to stay alive for much of the past seven months, it doesn’t take much to convince me that this virus and all of its variants should be taken seriously.

But let’s keep it in perspective.

All over the country we are going COVID hello. People’s livelihoods are at risk for refusing to receive a COVID vaccine. Seriously? Thousands of healthcare workers, state police and others right here in Massachusetts are facing the decision to get the shot or be fired. Truly? Who will replace all these people if they are made redundant? Has anyone thought of that?

We keep hearing about the Delta variant and how it is wreaking havoc on society as we know it. Even those who are vaccinated receive Delta. No one is safe. The so-called “breakthrough” cases are alarming – unless, of course, you look at the numbers. And when you look at the numbers, you start to wonder what’s going on here.

According to Boston Herald, Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports there were 36,723 confirmed breakthrough cases in Massachusetts last week. That’s not a lot, considering that there have been over 4.6 million people vaccinated to date.

Of the 36,723 breakthrough cases, there were 254 deaths. That’s 0.006% of the fully vaccinated population. The average age for sudden death is 82.3 years. Seventy-one percent of all major deaths were from people with pre-existing health conditions.

Only 1,156 Massachusetts breakthrough cases resulted in hospitalizations. That’s 0.03 percent, and 59 percent of them had pre-existing conditions.

Health experts claim that the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are the most vulnerable and are more likely to become a breakthrough case. They urge anyone in these categories to get vaccinated and get vaccinated.

COVID is serious business, but let’s keep calm, look at the numbers and understand that this is not the apocalypse. Oh, and turn off the wired news.

Barry Richard is the host of the Barry Richard Show at 1420 WBSM New Bedford. It can be heard on weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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