Looks like the Delta variant has a R-value of between 5 and 8 (the higher number is based on not doing much to stop it, e.g. no lockdowns or mask mandates, low vaccine uptake, etc.).
Alpha was 2.5-3. Some reports have it as high as 4 or 5 (https://www.bbc.com/...health-57431420). A typical seasonal flu strain is ~1.3, so it makes sense that the flu took last season off thanks to lockdowns, masks, and distancing. Now that many are giving up on those measures and pretending that the pandemic doesn't exist we'll probably end up with the combined COVID/flu nightmare many were worried about last year.
It cannot be overstated how bad that news is, and on the cusp of so many "reopenings" with mass-gatherings at concerts and such, plus Sturgis Superspreader v2.0 is right around the corner too.
The "Spanish flu" went through a few variants and waves before the especially deadly one struck. COVID may well be the same, since it doesn't give a fuck about how burnt we are on putting up with what it would've taken to truly stop it.
At least the GQP is starting to wake up to the fact that their base seems to be in deep shit thanks to Delta (and whatever comes next might be even worse), which is probably why the talking shitheads are suddenly openly in favor of getting vaccinated and are ncouraging their viewers and listeners to as well.
It might already be too late though, once the dust settles from COVID in a few years (if it ever does) they're going to have to gerrymander the hell out of Districts even more than they already have to remain electable at all as so many die-hard Trumpublicans will have died hard by then, and dead people can't vote very often.
At this point we're all stuck on the same runaway train together. We could've worked together to slow it down or stop it, but we didn't and now we all have to ride this shit out wherever it goes. At least there will be a lot fewer reactionary, stridently anti-science "choose your own reality" meatheads around when it's all said and done.
Anyway, it's not all bad news; I bet that anyone in the market for a used Harley will be able to get screamin' good deals in a few months (or maybe it's "coughin' good deals," or "coffin good deals," even).