COVID-19 Houston update

(source, as always:

We seem to have reached a plateau in terms of hospitalizations. I hope this is true, but I suspect it may be a mirage. I expected more of a spike after Christmas. Its absence leads me to wonder if we’re yet to see the full downstream effects of all that travel and all those family reunions. I hope I’m wrong, but I fear this is a momentary respite and we’ll start climbing again.

ICUs remain full but we still have overflow capacity, so if you need medical attention you’re likely to get it. This is much better than the alternative, but -as always- I want to remind you that being in an ICU gasping for air is a horrible, horrible experience that causes PTSD and years of nightmares. Avoid getting this disease. Wear your mask; wash your hands; keep social distancing.

Houston schools remain open, and remain an obvious transmission/dissemination route for the virus. See their own dashboard, and note the stark upwards trend in confirmed cases in HISD. There’s spikes, yes. But around the 2 in “Jan 2021”, the curve bends upwards.

This isn’t surprising. Keeping kids – with their triple-whammy of less self-discipline, and being packed indoors for hours, and a tendency to have less-symptomatic infections, makes for a simmering infectious mess.

Parents’ selfishness doesn’t help. My own kids’ elementary school recently saw a spike thanks to people who sent their symptomatic kids there every day for a week. Even the day they took them to get COVID-tested, and the next day while they awaited results. Bone-headed, at least, and deeply irresponsible and uncaring at worst. And -without any data to back it up- I suspect this problem repeats itself all over Houston, the state, and the country.

Schools are unlikely to be closed any time soon. They provide food security and a stable environment to many children, and enable adults to go to work. I may wish things were different, and I do, but it’s reality. There are no approved vaccines for children, either, so this will be a concern for a while.


  • Please get all adults in your house vaccinated as soon as possible. Don’t second-guess whether someone else would be better off, etc. Just do it.
  • Please be extremely careful, to avoid passing this virus to your children, and indirectly killing someone else’s parents or grandparents
  • Avoid all social situations unless they’re properly socially distanced and masked
  • And even then, avoid them if you can
  • Don’t go out to dinner, much less indoors
  • Work remotely if you are able to
  • Virtual-school your children if you are able to
  • Don’t fly places on vacation

We need everyone’s best efforts so we may all survive, and thrive despite the virus. Things will eventually go back to normal, but we can’t rush it.