ALERT: SATURDAY WV COVID-19 REPORT: 321 NEW CASES, CALHOUN HAS RECORD 33 NEW CASES THIS WEEK - Polarized Conspiracy Theories Have Power Beyond Reason

By Bob Weaver

State health officials reported seven more COVID-19-related deaths in West Virginia on Saturday.

The state also added 321 new positive cases for the day. West Virginia’s active case total is at 7,012, down 63 from the previous day.

Calhoun has record 33 new cases this week, while Gov. Justice continues to eliminate mask wearing and the state struggles to get people to take vaccines.

Calhoun Middle-High School is closed to in-person education until May 17, also Pleasant Hill Elementary School.

Strangely, in the US, millions only took the first shot, with many supporting conspiracy theories and political positions against the virus.

In Appalachia, we tend to have an "us vs. them" cultural belief, not trusting those "on the other side of the mountain," and generally seeing few conspiracy theories they don't like.

Science remains in the back seat for many.

A number of the nation's epidemiologists believe that COVID-19 and its variants will continue for years, while politicos take positions not aligned with destructing the virus, mostly to keep them in office.

Some say the acceptance of COVID-19 will become normalized as part of everyday life as the country "opens up."

Strangely, in the last century, vaccines eliminated deadly diseases like polio, diphtheria, typhoid and many others.

Now, the power of social media and political sites, polarize citizens quickly.

Hospitalizations from the virus increased by five to 246 on Saturday. The number of intensive care admission dropped by one to 78 while the number of people on a ventilator decreased by five to 34.

Following is a breakdown of total cases by county: Barbour (1,422), Berkeley (12,279), Boone (2,004), Braxton (925), Brooke (2,192), Cabell (8,667), Calhoun (317), Clay (493), Doddridge (588), Fayette (3,426), Gilmer (826), Grant (1,272), Greenbrier (2,774), Hampshire (1,796), Hancock (2,788), Hardy (1,514), Harrison (5,677), Jackson (2,088), Jefferson (4,577), Kanawha (14,855), Lewis (1,179), Lincoln (1,459), Logan (3,083), Marion (4,399), Marshall (3,416), Mason (1,999), McDowell (1,554), Mercer (4,792), Mineral (2,844), Mingo (2,552), Monongalia (9,169), Monroe (1,125), Morgan (1,164), Nicholas (1,657), Ohio (4,191), Pendleton (700), Pleasants (871), Pocahontas (662), Preston (2,862), Putnam (5,107), Raleigh (6,723), Randolph (2,561), Ritchie (700), Roane (626), Summers (817), Taylor (1,224), Tucker (524), Tyler (705), Upshur (1,855), Wayne (3,075), Webster (475), Wetzel (1,319), Wirt (416), Wood (7,737), Wyoming (1,979).