Portal, AZ - Rodeo, NM

Serving The Communities Of Portal and Rodeo  (www.portal-rodeo.com)

Coronavirus Update


Part 1 - Prepared By Dr. Howard Topoff

For some time, I have maintained that the pandemic will end, not when the CDC says it’s over, but when people start behaving like it’s over. Take a look around - in the supermarket, at indoor sporting events, in restaurants. What do YOU think? We may be in for a shock this fall!  


 Do Vaccinations Really Help?

Look how similar the graphs of Covid cases are for Hong Kong and New Zealand (left). Now check out the deaths for both countries (right). WHY the huge difference. New Zealand authorities report that 100% of residents 75 years and older are fully vaccinated. In Hong Kong, only 30% are fully vaccinated.

The CDC posts a very simple web site, indicating the severity of Covid, county by county, with advice on mask wearing. Check ity out at:

Rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States as of
May 19, 2022, by state (per 100,000 people)

Arizona improves a bit, now ranked at #11. New Mexico is much better at #29.

First it was wash your hands and apply sanitizer. Then came face masks. Now, one of the key words in the fight against COVID is VENTILATION. This low effort advice - just open windows and doors on opposite sides of a room to allow for cross ventilation - can significantly lower the viral load indoors. And, it’s getting warm enough to do it!

                                   From The New England Journal Of Medicine - April, 2022

Protection by a Fourth Dose of BNT162b2 against Omicron in Israel


Rates of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe Covid-19 were lower after a fourth dose of BNT162b2 vaccine than after only three doses. Protection against confirmed infection appeared short-lived, whereas protection against severe illness did not wane during the study period.

Local Cases May 19, 2022

Cases: Hidalgo County: 1,104

Cochise County: 31,675

Rodeo: 27  Animas: 141  Lordsburg: 935



Part 2 - Prepared By Dr. Eskild Petersen

Thursday 5/19/2022

This page is updated once weekly on Thursday to include the weekly Arizona report

One million Covid-19 deaths – many could have been avoided

It is not over. Brace for a troubled fall unless Congress does something about funding for Covid preparedness. 

New cases have more than doubled in the past month. It is also back in our local community. Hospitalizations are rising. Numbers of new deaths have reached 1 million of which many were unnecessary thanks to our disastrous response in the Spring of 2020 and the falsehoods propagated by anti-vaccine advocates.

“The United States is now amid a new wave related to Omicron variants BA.2 and BA.2.12.1 with over 90,000 confirmed new cases a day and a 20% increase in hospitalizations in the past 2 weeks. That belies the real toll of the current wave, since most people with symptoms are testing at home or not testing at all; there is essentially no testing for asymptomatic cases. The real number of cases is likely at least 500,000 per day, far greater than any of the US prior waves except Omicron. The bunk that cases are not important is preposterous. They are infections that beget more cases, they beget Long Covid, they beget sickness, hospitalizations, and deaths. They are also the underpinning of new variants.”

The BA.2 variant continues to cause a rise in new cases and hospitalizations in the US. 

As of last week,43% of new cases were attributable to BA.2.12.1and this subvariant had reached dominance (>50% of cases) in only one region of the country. BA.2.12.1 is out-competing BA.2 with its 25% higher transmission rate, which foretells its further rise to dominance across the US in the days and weeks ahead.

There are new variants BA.4 and BA.5 causing a surge in South Africa. In BA.4 and BA.5, the spike protein is like the one inBA.2, except for six mutations. The spike protein is the part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that anchors to receptors onhuman respiratory cellsand allows the virus to infect the cell. BA.4 and BA.5 are able to escape immunity in previously infected or immunized people, but they do not get serious disease. In unvaccinated people the story is different they have no protection at all and will get serious disease with high mortality.

We can expect another 100 million cases in the Fall with resultant hospitalizations and deaths

Covid has had a major effect on our lives. Life expectancy has decreased in the US for the last 2 years. In 2020 it disproportionally affected minority groups caused by their lack of access to medical care. In 2021 it was white unvaccinated persons that accounted for the decline. 

About 234,000 COVID-19 deaths since June 2021 could have been prevented with vaccinations

The unvaccinated are not just a risk for themselves but they also pose a risk to the vaccinated. A Canadian study recently published in CMJ: 

Unvaccinated People Increase Risk of Covid Infection Among Vaccinated

We are learning to live with a bat virus that spilled over to humans in 2019. SARS-CoV-2 originated in bats, spread via animals as the vendors at the Huanan market sold SARS-CoV-2-susceptible live

mammals, including Asian raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides), hog badgers (Arctonyx albogularis), and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), in November and December 2019.

Complications from Covid

·It is not just deaths that matters as there are numerous unwarranted and late effects of Covid-19 infection. 

·Even mild infection causes long term brain changes

·More than three-quarters of Americans diagnosed with long Covid were not sick enough to be hospitalized for their initial infection, anew analysisof tens of thousands of private insurance claims 

·While two-thirds of the patients had pre-existing health conditions in their medical records, nearly a third did not, a much larger percentage than some experts expected.

·Nearly 35 percent of the patients were between the ages of 36 and 50, while nearly one-third were ages 51 to 64, and 17 percent were ages 23 to 35. (Six percent of the patients were 65 and older, a proportion that most likely reflects the fact that patients covered by the regular Medicare program weren’t included in the study.)

·Children were also diagnosed: Nearly 4 percent of the long Covid patients were 12 or younger, while nearly 7 percent were between ages 13 and 22.

·Coronavirus patients are at “substantial” risk of heart disease one year after their illness, increasing the odds of clots, arrhythmias, heart failure and related conditions.Those who had had covid-19 had a72% increased risk of heart failure, 63% increased risk of heart attack, and 52% increased risk of stroke compared with controls

·Those who suffered from severe COVID-19 were six times more likely to experience long COVID-19 symptoms

·Long Covid is another dreaded complication where symptoms linger on for months

Researchers at the University of Cambridgerecently found that about 70% of long COVID-19 patients strugglewith neurological issues after infections.

·In fact, 75% of people infected with long COVID-19 symptoms can’t work because of how debilitating their symptoms are


Arizona and New Mexico data

Both Arizona and New Mexico are starting to see the impact of BA..2 Cases and deaths are increasing.

There have not been any new cases in Portal or Rodeo for more than a month. 


Arizona now only reports weekly- on Wednesdays