By Dr. Anthony Policastro

One of the things I have written about in the past is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It is from a book by Steven Covey. One of the items in the book is what he calls the scarcity mentality.

This relates to the fact that sometimes we are jealous of other people’s success. If they win an award, we think it was not deserved. If they get a promotion we think they did not earn it.

However, what Steven Covey points out is that thinking this way is not productive. If you were not in the running for the award, then what difference should it make to you personally? If you were not in the running for the promotion, what difference should it make to you personally?

We see something similar to that in terms of reacting to COVID precautions. It upsets us when someone else does not follow the precautions. That is fair if they are in a position to infect us for their negligence.

However, often we see it on television. Or we see on social media. Or we hear stories in the media. None of those impact us personally.

But, often we see that we get angry at the individuals. The anger is not going to do us any good. It is not going to change their behavior. They do not even know we are angry.

So, that leads to the question why do we have that anger. In a way it is related to a grief reaction. We are following the guidelines. We know the consequences. They are not. They might not believe in the consequences. However, they are still facing the consequences of their actions. That is their business.

Grief reactions follow a predictable pattern. The first response is I can’t believe they did that. That is followed by anger at the situation. This is how many of us react to things.

How can someone not wearing a mask be a loss that we suffer? It is more about what we perceive as fairness. We do the right thing. We sacrifice. They do not. It is not fair. It is almost like we have lost something.

It is similar to the scarcity mentality. We do not think those individuals deserve to avoid infection due to their poor practices. That does not mean that we are going to suffer. It just means that we are jealous of their ability to flaunt avoiding restrictions.

We need to remember it is not about them. It is about us. We need to do what protects us. What others do is irrelevant unless it impacts us directly. In most cases it does not.

Our anger is not going to change anything they do. Steven Covey would not have been proud of some of this type of behavior.


The number of new cases nationally continued to remain low. There has not been a day with more than 146,000 new cases since January 31st. Sussex County numbers also continue to remain lower than they were.

The variant strain in South Africa does show some resistance to the current vaccines. That is not a surprise. Viruses frequently mutate. The good news is that there is enough protection from the vaccines to prevent severe cases of the virus.

The most likely long-term outcome is that COVID vaccine is likely to become like the flu shot. There would be boosters from time to time to address the newer strains.

Total doses of vaccine administered does not account for countries with small populations. The U.S. has administered the most vaccines. However, it also has a large population.

A better measurement is how many doses have been given per 100 people. That tells what percent of the population has received a vaccine. We already know that Israel is the world leader in that regard. They have administered the vaccine to 64.26 per hundred (64.26 percent) of their population.

The number for herd immunity is theoretically above 70 percent. So they are close. The U.S is in 4th place with just over 12 percent of the population immunized. That means we still have a long way to go.

How is Delaware doing?

Delaware is doing well in this regard. It is the 9th highest state in number of people immunized. So far 10 percent of the total population has received the first dose of the vaccine (Alaska is first at 15 percent). And 2.5 percent have received the second dose.

Delaware has also been steadily moving down in the rankings for deaths per 100,000 people. We had gone from 21st to 28th. We now sit at 44th. So we have had less deaths than most states.

Side effects

One newer finding about the vaccine is related to side effects. Apparently individuals who have had natural COVID infections have a higher incidence of side effects from the vaccine.

That is not a huge surprise. Their previous infection will call forth more antibodies so the reaction will be stronger.


As we learn more about the virus some recommendations change. One recommendation is related to how long an ill individual is infectious.

We know that evidence of the viral infection can last for weeks. That does not mean the individual is infectious that entire time.

Recent studies have suggested that the window is much shorter than that. It appears that the average patient with a mild infection stops being contagious after 7 days. Those who are sick enough to be hospitalized appear to continue to be infectious for up to 12 days.

The bottom line is that a quarantine needs to be a minimum of 7 days. It might need to last as long as 12 days.

Operation Warp Speed

Some people have been bragging about Operation Warp Speed providing us with a vaccine in a timely manner. If that were actually the case, we would have been the first country in the world with the vaccine.

Russia had already approved its Sputnik vaccine on September 4th. However, that was after Phase 1 and 2 studies.

Phase 3 results had not yet been obtained. The Phase 3 results have just been published. It is over 90 percent effective. At least 20 countries worldwide are planning to use it. China started using Coronavac in October. They approved the Sinopharm COVID vaccine on January 2nd.

The United Kingdom was first to approve the Pfizer vaccine. It was followed by Bahrain and then Canada. The U.S. was fourth in line. The vaccine was going to be made quickly with or without Operation Warp Speed. So it is nothing to brag about.

In addition, we also have the 7th highest death rate in the world. If you take credit for good results you also have to be accountable for the bad ones.

We have more reason to be ashamed of the high death rate than to be proud of a vaccine that was coming anyway.