Mississippi doc: ‘Mid-January is going to be a disaster’ with COVID-19 spread

Published 5:02 pm Friday, December 11, 2020

In the nearly nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vicksburg and Warren County have already experienced one wave of the virus and is in the midst of another. It is for that reason, a local doctor is praising the leadership of city officials and urging residents to take this virus seriously.

“This is not the time to take the foot off the brake,” Vicksburg family practitioner Dr. Randy Easterling said at Thursday’s meeting of the Vicksburg mayor and aldermen. “This is the time to emphasize wearing your mask, social distance, wash your hands and don’t have social meetings. It’s imperative, important, to wear masks. That’s science. Social distancing is very, very important and wash your hands.

“We’re in the midst of the second wave right now,” he said. “The first wave was this summer. We’re in the second wave right now and it’s going to be worst than the first wave. Buckle your seatbelts because mid-January is going to be a disaster.”

One reason for the potential increasing January numbers, Easterling said, is the holiday parties between Thanksgiving and New Years’, which he said will help spread the virus.

And social gatherings, he said, need to be avoided.

“If you are in a social gathering outside your nuclear family with 10 people, there’s a 19.6 percent chance that one of those 10 people are shedding the virus. If that number goes up 20, there’s a 36 percent chance someone’s getting the virus,” Easterling said. “How do you protect yourself against it? Don’t have the thing to begin with.”

Ten to 12 days ago, Easterling said, the U.S. hit the highest number of COVID-related deaths in the country with 3,100. By comparison, he said, 2,977 people died in the attack on the World Trade Center on 911.

“For the last two weeks in the United States we have exceeded or been close to 911 every day for the last two weeks; that’s 2.2 Americans every two minutes,” he said.

Wednesday in Mississippi, he said, the state had 2,746 new cases with 24 deaths; Thursday’s total was 2,283 with 42 deaths this morning. Friday’s report from the Mississippi State Department of Health announced 2,327 new cases and 41 deaths.