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There is a lot of talk, and fear mongering, about the "Delta variant" of COVID-19. Especially here in Louisiana.

First of all, it is true that COVID cases are increasing in the state. But don't let that fool you into thinking everything is going back to where we were 14 months ago. This isn't the same situation we saw before, and there are facts to back that up.

Right now, any talk of "lockdowns" or "restrictions" need to be stopped right away. There's no rational way to suggest that our current scenario would call for those kind of draconian measures. Especially when you look at the statistics for countries that have already gone through "Delta variant" spikes.

But before we get there, let's look at who's actually testing positive right now.

Across the country, and especially in Louisiana, almost 100% of all new cases and deaths from COVID-19 related causes are from those who are unvaccinated. Dr. John Vanchiere from LSU Health in Shreveport told KEEL News that the COVID vaccines prevent you from getting severe COVID, even from the "Delta variant". Meaning that you can prevent yourself from getting ill, even from the "Delta variant", by getting vaccinated. So you can manage your own risk. Which is unlike 14 months ago.

That part alone, being able to manage your own risk, is enough to argue that "lockdowns" and "restrictions" are unwarranted.

But even beyond that, just focusing on COVID cases, statistics from another country can show us why there's really no worry.

In Scotland, they have already dealt with a "Delta variant" spike. They saw cases jump in June before coming back down in July. But as they saw cases jump extremely quick, hospitalizations didn't follow. In fact, unlike the first two major case spikes in the pandemic, hospitalizations didn't move at all.

Credit: BBC Source: Scottish Government
Credit: BBC Source: Scottish Government

Going along with hospitalizations is usually deaths related to COVID-19. Deaths are usually a "lagging indicator" but mostly mirror hospitalization numbers. But even the deaths in Scotland seemed to be slower than hospitalizations.

Credit: BBC Source: National Records of Scotland
Credit: BBC Source: National Records of Scotland

These facts have led the Scottish Government to change their approach when it comes to COVID-19 tracking. In fact, the country is still going to lighten COVID restrictions next week, and complete life them all by early August still. Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has revised the country's framework for monitoring COVID, which deemphasized COVID cases as a tracking metric.

Scotland isn't alone either. The World Health Organization has also instructed world leaders to shift away from watching cases. Publishing a large paper on the subject in June.

Based on the guidance of the World Health Organization, and the evidence in Scotland, using COVID cases to justify any movement in COVID restrictions is absolutely unfounded.

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