NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Dr. David Aronoff, Director of the Division of Infectious Disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center says that doctors are seeing a disturbing new trend in the fight against COVID-19.
“We end up seeing people in the hospital, fighting and struggling for life, who were in the prime of their life prior to getting infected,” said Dr. Aronoff.
As the most vulnerable find protection in immunity, those waiting for a vaccine have become the new target for infection.
“The people who are getting hospitalized are sort of in that middle-aged age bracket between 30 and 60,” said Aronoff.
He attributes the rise in cases to several factors. Firstly, COVID variants are not only more contagious but appear to be more dangerous.
“Some of these new variants that are circulating seem to be better at causing symptomatic disease in younger people than the original SARS-CoV-2 that came out,” Dr. Aronoff said.
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
From availability to current phases, find vaccine information for every Tennessee county using News 2’s Vaccine Tracker map.
Secondly, as restrictions ease and more unvaccinated people gather, it becomes a pure numbers game. Even if death is less frequent in younger people, the younger people who get infected, the more we will see gravely affected.
“It becomes a bit of a game of Russian Roulette, where we begin to put more and more bullets into the chamber as more, and more, and more people are getting infected with SARS-CoV-2,” explains Dr. Aronoff.
During the pandemic, we’ve learned when case numbers rise other metrics follow.
“Deaths seem to lag behind new cases and hospitalizations,” Dr. Aronoff says, “And we will see an increase in deaths in the near future. In the next two to three weeks.”
It’s a reality for Dr. Marshall Hall, Emergency Room Medical Director for TriStar Skyline Medical Center. He urges anyone unvaccinated, who may not have been on high alert before, to fight pandemic fatigue.
“This last year has been heart wrenching, because we have seen so many people die of this disease. That has had a huge effect on our psyche as a society, and we want to get through it. But at the same time, we don’t want to do it prematurely and put more people at risk.”
Protect yourself which, in turn, protects others.