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Thread: The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

  1. #1921
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Given the situation, with a variant that vaccines are less effective against, at least in terms of the risk of infection, I wonder why they made different guidelines for vaccinated people. Here the assumption is that everybody in public places should be masked and maintain distance (though people don’t follow the distancing so well).
    I suspect there are two reasons.

    One is that a lot of those guidelines in the US were made before the Delta variant was dominant in the US, and so it did seem that vaccinated people did not need to mask. And even now, there I think there is a huge difference in the risk to vaccinated and unvaccinated people who do not wear masks.

    The second reason is that I think it was done to motivate people to get vaccinate; the carrot was that if you got vaccinated, you didn't have to wear a mask. I know in the company I work for, that is the situation. The difference is that we have to show HR our vaccination card if we want to not wear our mask. But most entities in the US are doing it by the honor system, and I don't think that is working (as I've noted in some of my previous posts).

    At this point, there is such a significant portion of the US population that is anti-mask and anti-vaccine, and it has become such a political issue (with some states outlawing mask mandates), short of catastrophic levels of infection, I do not see the US going back to mask mandates, except in very limited locations.
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  2. #1922
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I suspect there are two reasons.

    One is that a lot of those guidelines in the US were made before the Delta variant was dominant in the US, and so it did seem that vaccinated people did not need to mask. And even now, there I think there is a huge difference in the risk to vaccinated and unvaccinated people who do not wear masks.

    The second reason is that I think it was done to motivate people to get vaccinate; the carrot was that if you got vaccinated, you didn't have to wear a mask. I know in the company I work for, that is the situation. The difference is that we have to show HR our vaccination card if we want to not wear our mask. But most entities in the US are doing it by the honor system, and I don't think that is working (as I've noted in some of my previous posts).

    At this point, there is such a significant portion of the US population that is anti-mask and anti-vaccine, and it has become such a political issue (with some states outlawing mask mandates), short of catastrophic levels of infection, I do not see the US going back to mask mandates, except in very limited locations.
    The pressure to start wearing masks again may come from major retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club, Home Depot and Lowes, and regional grocery chains. I keep checking the mask signs as I enter these places but so far it's still on the honor system. While mask mandates might be prohibited in government facilities (e.g. schools) or by local governments, those restrictions don't seem to apply to non-government entities which can do as they see fit.

  3. #1923
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    How about the market near the docks ( I am unable to remember the name)?
    Pike Place? I have no idea. I'm about an hour south of Seattle and haven't been to Pike Place since a year before lockdown.
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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  4. #1924
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    The pressure to start wearing masks again may come from major retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club, Home Depot and Lowes, and regional grocery chains. I keep checking the mask signs as I enter these places but so far it's still on the honor system. While mask mandates might be prohibited in government facilities (e.g. schools) or by local governments, those restrictions don't seem to apply to non-government entities which can do as they see fit.
    You may be right (I too always have a mask with me and check the location before I enter), but that will still mean very patchy compliance, and will still get a lot of push back from some people.

    And even in places where I don't have to wear a mask, I'm starting to rethink that.

    By the way, I just flew on an airplane for the first time in 18 months, and I observed no fights over masking, though I do have to say some people seem to have trouble keeping it over their nose.
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  5. #1925
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    I have to put tucks into the elastic of some of our masks before school starts, or else custom-make some in Sandy's actual size, because she can't keep it over her nose. But she is four. That she is better at following instructions than a lot of grown-ups and has a greater understanding of medical safety is . . . depressing.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  6. #1926
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    I'm a few days into a road trip to visit family timed so that we're all fully vaccinated and new cases in our province are at a minimum. But at my current location I'm staying in a hotel. Strangers stand close together. Only some wear masks. Breakfast was uncomfortable.

    We've exceeded 80% for first doses and 58% for second doses in this province of 5.1 million. So one in five haven't had a shot and these are likely also the least concerned about their and others' safety. Meanwhile, restrictions and guidance have been relieved. No wonder our seven day average of new cases has doubled in a week and we've gone from a recent low of 20 daily cases to 112 yesterday. I suspect I'll feel relieved when I return home. Sigh.

  7. #1927
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    This week, I'm due to drive to Arizona (from Oregon) to compete in a golf tournament. With cases rising, I'm having seconds thoughts. My usual road trip practice is to hit up brewpubs along the way but I think this time it will be takeout only.

  8. #1928
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    [duplicate]

  9. #1929
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    I just learned that golfer Jon Rahm has tested positive and will have to withdraw from Olympic competition. This is noteworthy beyond that he is the second-ranked player in the world because a couple of months ago Rahm tested positive during a tournament and had to withdraw. He subsequently got himself vaccinated with the J&J vaccine. So, here's a person that contracted the disease - thus gaining whatever immunity you get from that - then was vaccinated and then still contracted covid a second time. There's a possibility of a false positive though.

  10. #1930
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    It seems, at least anecdotally, that vaccinated folks can be infected asymptotically. This is caught by routine testing in the sports world, but ordinary folks probably would never know.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  11. #1931
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    It seems, at least anecdotally, that vaccinated folks can be infected asymptotically. This is caught by routine testing in the sports world, but ordinary folks probably would never know.
    Do you mean without symptoms? That is the given reason why UK visitors to France Still have to isolate and get tested days 2 and 8 on return to UK. (At their own expense)
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  12. #1932
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    Yes. Infected, but wouldnít know it except for routine testing. The big question is whether such people can infect others.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  13. #1933
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    I just learned that golfer Jon Rahm has tested positive and will have to withdraw from Olympic competition. This is noteworthy beyond that he is the second-ranked player in the world because a couple of months ago Rahm tested positive during a tournament and had to withdraw. He subsequently got himself vaccinated with the J&J vaccine. So, here's a person that contracted the disease - thus gaining whatever immunity you get from that - then was vaccinated and then still contracted covid a second time. There's a possibility of a false positive though.
    Not that it matters hugely, but the sequence of events was that he first got vaccinated, but less than fourteen days later (and so in the absence of a full immune response from the vaccine) tested positive for Covid at the Memorial Tournament and had to withdraw while in the lead. That was seven weeks ago.
    I'm sure someone will be doing the genomics on this, but we know that some people can recover from a Covid infection, test negative, and then start having positive PCR tests again. Remember those people early last year who were stuck in isolation (in Korea, IIRC) for weeks on end, because they had persistent positive PCR tests? Eventually the authorities did viral cultures on them, and grew nothing--for some reason they had continued shedding fragments of viral RNA, but no live virus.
    So it would be interesting to know if Rahm's PCR shows the same virus he was originally infected with, or a different variant.

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  14. #1934
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Not that it matters hugely, but the sequence of events was that he first got vaccinated, but less than fourteen days later (and so in the absence of a full immune response from the vaccine) tested positive for Covid at the Memorial Tournament and had to withdraw while in the lead. That was seven weeks ago.
    I'm sure someone will be doing the genomics on this, but we know that some people can recover from a Covid infection, test negative, and then start having positive PCR tests again. Remember those people early last year who were stuck in isolation (in Korea, IIRC) for weeks on end, because they had persistent positive PCR tests? Eventually the authorities did viral cultures on them, and grew nothing--for some reason they had continued shedding fragments of viral RNA, but no live virus.
    So it would be interesting to know if Rahm's PCR shows the same virus he was originally infected with, or a different variant.
    It will be an interesting situation if a person is technically free to travel places because of a vaccine passport but then continues to test positive on PCR tests.
    As above, so below

  15. #1935
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    There have been positive cases, and apparently a few deaths, from an organization a lot of the people who do our Ren faire are also in. As in, they have happened this summer. Faire is in a week and a half. We will not be requiring proof of vaccination; we will not be allowed to require customers in our booth to wear masks. I made the decision not to go, and I'm deeply worried about my boss and my best friend, who will be there.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  16. #1936
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Not that it matters hugely, but the sequence of events was that he first got vaccinated, but less than fourteen days later (and so in the absence of a full immune response from the vaccine) tested positive for Covid at the Memorial Tournament and had to withdraw while in the lead. That was seven weeks ago.
    I'm sure someone will be doing the genomics on this, but we know that some people can recover from a Covid infection, test negative, and then start having positive PCR tests again. Remember those people early last year who were stuck in isolation (in Korea, IIRC) for weeks on end, because they had persistent positive PCR tests? Eventually the authorities did viral cultures on them, and grew nothing--for some reason they had continued shedding fragments of viral RNA, but no live virus.
    So it would be interesting to know if Rahm's PCR shows the same virus he was originally infected with, or a different variant.

    Grant Hutchison
    Thanks for clarifying. It wasn't clear what he meant when he said he'd been vaccinated after the Memorial tournament situation. So, help me understand further please: if someone receives the vaccine but then contracts covid prior to the time when the vaccine gains full effectiveness (as with Rahm), what is their vaccination status later on? Does the virus in any way reduce the future effectiveness of the vaccine?

  17. #1937
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Thanks for clarifying. It wasn't clear what he meant when he said he'd been vaccinated after the Memorial tournament situation.
    The story is fairly clear in news reports at the time he was forced to withdraw from the Memorial. For instance:
    Rahm, speaking ahead of the U.S. Open this week at Torrey Pines, said he was partially vaccinated when he was pulled off Muirfield Village with a positive coronavirus test. He wasn’t out of the 14-day window required after receiving his final dose.

    “I guess I wish I would have done it earlier, but thinking on scheduling purposes and having the PGA and defending Memorial, I was just — to be honest, it wasn't in my mind,” he said. “I'm not going to lie, I was trying to just get ready for a golf tournament.
    "If I had done it in a few days earlier, probably we wouldn't be having these conversations right now. It is what it is. We move on.”
    (The Boon Companion is a great golf fan, so I absorb a lot of passive golf news, and that story stayed in my head.)
    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    So, help me understand further please: if someone receives the vaccine but then contracts covid prior to the time when the vaccine gains full effectiveness (as with Rahm), what is their vaccination status later on? Does the virus in any way reduce the future effectiveness of the vaccine?
    I dunno. On the face of it, it seems like two exposures to virus antigen in rapid succession should be a good thing, but the immune system is kind of weird in that regard. For two-dose vaccines, vaccinologists talk about the "prime-boost interval", and there's an optimum time for the second dose, with the immune response being reduced at either shorter or longer dosage intervals. Hence (in part) the longer dose intervals used in the UK from the start of the vaccination programme.
    But of course J&J is (currently) a one-shot vaccine (that's under review). It seems unlikely to me that reexposure to antigen would actually lessen its effect, but I don't have any data on that, and I acknowledge that the situation is complicated enough that I shouldn't be opining outside my area of expertise.

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  18. #1938
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The story is fairly clear in news reports at the time he was forced to withdraw from the Memorial. For instanceThe Boon Companion is a great golf fan, so I absorb a lot of passive golf news, and that story stayed in my head.)
    I was certain I read that Rahm got the J&J, which as you mention, is a one-dose vaccine. So his being within the 14 day period after 'the final dose' didn't make sense. Of course, I get a lot of my golf news from some rather sketchy Instagram feeds, such as Golf Digest. I can't find the one that mentioned J&J now of course.


    I dunno. On the face of it, it seems like two exposures to virus antigen in rapid succession should be a good thing, but the immune system is kind of weird in that regard. For two-dose vaccines, vaccinologists talk about the "prime-boost interval", and there's an optimum time for the second dose, with the immune response being reduced at either shorter or longer dosage intervals. Hence (in part) the longer dose intervals used in the UK from the start of the vaccination programme.
    But of course J&J is (currently) a one-shot vaccine (that's under review). It seems unlikely to me that reexposure to antigen would actually lessen its effect, but I don't have any data on that, and I acknowledge that the situation is complicated enough that I shouldn't be opining outside my area of expertise.

    Grant Hutchison
    Thanks, and I understand your reticence.

  19. #1939
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    An interesting paper in Frontiers in Sociology, looking at the correlation between loneliness in older people and their access to virtual socializing (telephone, video conferencing) during lockdown. The most striking finding is that older people (over 60) with more frequent virtual contacts felt lonelier than those with fewer virtual contacts. It chimes with the experience of a friend of mine, who suffered through endless Zoom calls from her children and grandchildren, which she found deeply depressing, but continued with because it seemed to make the younger ones happy.

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  20. #1940
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    84,534 new US cases reported yesterday according to Worldometer. That's worse than a year ago.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  21. #1941
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    My wife and I are thinking about doing a short (maybe a week at most) vacation in September to West Virginia, to see the new national park at New River Gorge. It is only about a 4 to 5 hour drive for us. But I am getting increasingly concerned about the Delta variant and restrictions that might be coming. The only thing we have to do in advance is reserve a motel room, and the only risk if we decide to cancel is probably a one night deposit, so we'll probably go ahead and make the reservation (we already talked with our cat sitter). And we are both vaccinated, so there is at least a considerably decreased risk to us if we do go (at least that's my interpretation of current data). But I'm also increasingly thinking maybe it is a bad idea.
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  22. #1942
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    Only 39% fully vaxxed in WV. And you may run into people who object if you wear a mask.

    68,569 new cases on 7/29. Of 2020. This year, it was 92,485. This is not a good thing.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  23. #1943
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    The only unvaccinated people at my sister's wedding today will be my children, who would love to be vaccinated if they were allowed. But I'm going to be worried about my best friend and the rest of our faire booth for the next six weeks--the three weekends after this one are going to be spent for them at what I'm certain will be a superspreader event. I couldn't justify going even by myself for a day trip because of the theoretical possible risk to the kids.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  24. #1944
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    Very good judgement on your part, Gillian. I won't be going to my Pumpkin Pitch either, but that's because they decided to cancel it. It's in a community that was the site of the USA's first superspreader, way back in March 2020.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  25. #1945
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    We have a family picnic and a memorial service to attend next weekend. Both were delayed, and scheduled for August with the expectation that COVID infections would be low.
    The reality is, of course, that they are on a rapid upswing.

    The memorial service is for the father of Mrs. Extravoice's best friend. The friend will be returning to the east coast for the event, and has recently been diagnosed with a recurrence of liver cancer. So there is no way we will skip meeting with her.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  26. #1946
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    I finally got my first shot a few days ago (like some other countries in the Pacific region, the rollout has been a bit slow). So Iím still in that purgatory of the semi-vaccinated. But even after I get my second shot I donít plan to assume that I will be able to act any differently, and definitely do not plan to treat other vaccinated people any differently than unvaccinated people. With the delta variant, it just doesnít seem worth the risk.

    One thing I do find relieving is that nobody ever looks at you funny for wearing a mask. People used to wear masks during flu season even before COVID, so itís something people are used to.


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  27. #1947
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Very good judgement on your part, Gillian. I won't be going to my Pumpkin Pitch either, but that's because they decided to cancel it. It's in a community that was the site of the USA's first superspreader, way back in March 2020.
    I have Feelings about the fact that faire is happening at all. Goodness knows my boss, and doubtless most of the other merchants and performers as well, need the money, but . . . .
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  28. #1948
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    My son just texted that he'd got his first shot today. Ahead of me in the queue for medical reasons.

    I texted I was proud of him, and he replied he didn't think it was praiseworthy. I reminded him it was a choice (and the right one for sensible people).


    Meanwhile my employer is getting in on the scheme where large employers will get staff vaccinations organised, as they already do for the yearly flu shot. (Around 200 companies have signed up.)
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.

  29. #1949
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    New US covid cases have exceeded 100,000 for the past three days, more than double the same days a year ago. I've been planning a wonderful trip for next summer to Yellowstone Park and Wyoming, where the vaccination rate is 36.7%. I'm having second thoughts and have not yet booked rooms in the Park.

    Thanks a bunch, idiots.
    Last edited by Trebuchet; 2021-Aug-06 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Omitted "not".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #1950
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    I'm really hoping our reported numbers are an error--we went from getting a dozen or two cases in my county a day to getting over two hundred listed yesterday.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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