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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Dodgers Albert Pujols Hits the COVID-19 Injured List

As it turns out, Pujols, the future Hall of Famer, was feeling the effects of his second shot of the COVID-19 vaccination. This injury was for the greater good. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had the update.

“It’s a covid IL. He got his second shot and he just didn’t feel good after getting it. As far as playing in a Major League game. So just to kind of give him a day to see where he’s at tomorrow, it was an easy move to activate Cody [Bellinger].”

This is normal for most COVID-19 vaccinations, thankfully. Some people feel worse after the first shot, some after the second. The probability is that Pujols should be back giving his teammates hugs by Wednesday or Thursday.


I intend for this to be the new COVID thread.

Lassus Posted: September 30, 2021 at 06:24 PM | 223 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: albert pujols

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   101. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: October 06, 2021 at 10:37 PM (#6044191)
florp
   102. SoSH U at work Posted: October 07, 2021 at 12:16 AM (#6044343)
OK, 99 and 100, but what about Idahoans other than the lieutenant governor?
   103. smileyy Posted: October 07, 2021 at 12:42 AM (#6044379)
oh dear lord that's enough shade to cool off in on a 100 degree day.
   104. Tony S Posted: October 07, 2021 at 10:24 AM (#6044433)
Los Angeles is done coddling the antivaxxers.

Los Angeles leaders on Wednesday approved one of the nation’s strictest vaccine mandates — a sweeping measure that would require the shots for everyone entering bars, restaurants, nail salons, gyms or even a Lakers game.


Almost makes me want to root for the Dodgers. But naaahh, some bridges are just too far...
   105. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 07, 2021 at 12:49 PM (#6044478)
In news that only I really care about, from the Guardian liveblog:

German vaccination coverage better than previously thought - Germany has vaccinated millions more people against coronavirus than previously thought, the country’s health minister announced.

Almost 80% of adults in Germany are fully vaccinated and about 84% have received at least one shot, according to the country’s disease control centre, the Robert Koch Institute. That’s some 3.5 million people higher than previously stated . . . vaccinations of employees at big companies and those given shots by mobile vaccination teams in nursing centres and elsewhere, in particular, may not have been fully reported.


Early on in the pandemic Germany had a difficult time linking up the case/hospitalization data from across its individual states; it looks like it didn't really solve that problem for vaccination. But it was weird that Germany was lagging behind its neighbours in vaccination rates, particularly with Delta not appearing to take advantage of the apparently vulnerable population.
   106. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 07, 2021 at 05:49 PM (#6044574)
The World Health Organization released diagnostic criteria for long covid, a perplexing condition that has affected survivors of covid-19. Among other things, the WHO notes that patients can experience symptoms months after their initial infection and that these symptoms can be severe enough to impact their daily functioning.
...
The short-and-sweet version defines long covid as something that occurs in people with a history of probable or confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection, usually three months from the onset of their original case. The symptoms include but are not limited to fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction, often called brain fog. The symptoms can be persistent since the acute infection or emerge later, and they can fluctuate in severity over time, but they should be ongoing for at least two months before a formal diagnosis is made. Importantly, there should also be no alternative explanation that could fit a patient’s illness better.
   107. Lassus Posted: October 08, 2021 at 07:49 AM (#6044711)
I'm not going to link it, but there's some new study today out of Qatar that states Pfizer goes down to 20% effective after just 4 months and also states it only ever makes it up to 76%? I'm.... probably kinda calling bullshit on that?
   108. Tony S Posted: October 08, 2021 at 09:07 AM (#6044718)
Here's a more positive study, out of Italy.

Seven months after the second dose, there is no reduction in the efficacy of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in the general population in Italy, while a slight decline is seen for some specific groups, the National Health Institute (ISS) said on Wednesday.

The report led by ISS and the health ministry examined data up to Aug. 29 from more than 29 million people who had received two doses of an mRNA vaccine such as those produced by Pfizer and Moderna.

It said that in the general population, effectiveness against infection after seven months remained at 89%, while against hospitalisation and death, this time six months after the second dose, it remained at 96% and 99% respectively.


The article goes on to point out that Italy has strong mitigation measures in place, which might leak into the results.
   109. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 08, 2021 at 09:29 AM (#6044723)
#107 the LA Times had an article the other day about a study saying that Pfizer effectiveness at preventing infection declined to 47% after 5 months, but it remained 90% effective at preventing hospitalization. Of course, the LAT headline and social media posts focused on the infection aspect and you had to read the paywalled article to see the part about hospitalization.

And then they run editorials wondering why vaccination uptake is low.

Pfizer vaccine’s protection wanes over time, and not because of Delta, study says

Research conducted in Southern California has confirmed the dramatic erosion of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine’s protection against “breakthrough” coronavirus infections.

The new study, one of the largest and longest to track the effectiveness of a vaccine in Americans, found that the vaccine’s ability to protect against infection stood at 88% in its first month, then fell to 47% after just five months.

But even as the Delta variant became the predominant strain across the Southland, the vaccine’s effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 hospitalizations held steady at close to 90% for as long as six months. What’s more, it maintained that power across vaccine recipients of all age groups.


   110. Greg Pope Posted: October 08, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6044724)
Do different studies use different indicators? Like they can test for antibodies. And my doctor told me something about titers which I don't really know what that is. But then there's also T-cells and B-cells (which I know basically what they are but not the difference). I don't think they can test for those.

But then there are also studies that just track infections, severity, hospitalization, etc. Those seem less scientific since you don't know who might have had asymptomatic infections.

I'm sure the experts know what they're doing and what they're studying, but in my experience they publish things and the public (including me) doesn't really understand the results.
   111. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 08, 2021 at 09:42 AM (#6044729)
The study described in #109 was funded by Pfizer itself and published in Lancet, for what it's worth.

It looks like they tracked 3.4 million patients in the Kaiser Permanente system and monitored for positive PCR tests as well as hospitalizations in their medical records. They didn't do antibody testing of the entire population or anything, but I don't think that would skew the results (at least, not against the vaccine's effectiveness).

Probably the most promising aspect of the study was this part:

By showing that waning immunity, not the Delta variant, was the likely reason for the rise in breakthrough infections, the study suggests it may not be necessary to reformulate a Pfizer-BioNTech booster that specifically targets Delta. For now, at least, a third shot identical to the first two would probably extend the vaccine’s early record of protection against all strains, including Delta, Tartof said.
   112. bunyon Posted: October 08, 2021 at 09:53 AM (#6044732)
Greg, medical studies in general are really hard to do and rely on a lot of statistical maneuvering. Sufficient sample size is hard to get and it is never homogenous. In reality, we're all samples of one.

My understanding of vaccine studies is that they're harder than most because of the difficulty in assigning a measurable. I'm no expert but talking to friends/colleagues who are (at least more than me), be sure you're including the error bars in all the numbers. If someone says a vaccine wanes from 91 to 89 percent effective, it doesn't wane. Going to 47% means, yes, it wanes, but how significant? Smaller studies and studies done by folks less experienced should be heavily discounted.


It's murkier than measuring defense in baseball is what I'm getting at.
   113. Lassus Posted: October 08, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6044734)
By showing that waning immunity, not the Delta variant, was the likely reason for the rise in breakthrough infections

God, I hate when I become one of the people I mock; but this seems oddly questionable to a layperson. There were plenty of NON-pharm studies that showed Delta was blasting through due to increased transmutability. But. It really wasn't?
   114. Greg Pope Posted: October 08, 2021 at 10:10 AM (#6044737)
Thanks, Dave and bunyon. That's pretty much what I was getting at. It's got to be hard to pin these things down. And releasing them to the general public has its downside.

I'm not saying that we should keep information away from the general masses, but it's problematic. When you ask a scientist "Can you get COVID from the delivery guy who handled my mail?", the scientist isn't going to say "No". He's going to say something like, "It's possible, we haven't studied it. Based on everything we know about similar viruses it's extremely unlikely". Which leads the public reading that comment to think that they need to spray their packages. Or "We studied it and there may be a small trace of virus on the package, which theoretically could infect somebody". Which also leads to a general panic.
   115. DCA Posted: October 08, 2021 at 10:17 AM (#6044739)
increased transmutability.

Don't you mean transmissability? I mean delta is different than alpha, but it's not continuously mutating.

Transmissabiliy leads to more infections, period. Breakthrough and non-breakthrough. Which would be an adequate explanation of the data. Doesn't mean it's correct, but it definitely could be.
   116. bunyon Posted: October 08, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6044744)
increased transmutability.

Don't you mean transmissability?


The story of COVID takes a sudden turn when it's revealed that some long covid patients have the ability to transmute elements. In other news, the $1 trillion platinum coin now valued at 89 cents and the USA has defaulted.


(Sorry, Lassus, not laughing at you. I just love the word transmute in all its forms).
   117. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 08, 2021 at 10:59 AM (#6044750)
Many many people in this country want to see everything in binary terms. The vaccine better offer 100% immunity for the rest of my life, or it is worthless. Masks aren't 100% effective, so they're worthless.

Science is so much nuance and shades of grey.




   118. Greg Pope Posted: October 08, 2021 at 11:11 AM (#6044753)
Science is so much nuance and shades of grey.

Right, that's my point. And a scientist isn't going to ever say 100%.
   119. Hank Gillette Posted: October 08, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6044754)
Why do we have waves during an epidemic? Apparently, no one knows.
   120. Greg Pope Posted: October 08, 2021 at 11:28 AM (#6044758)
Why do we have waves during an epidemic? Apparently, no one knows.

It seems like none of the normal answers is actually significant enough to cause the waves. Complacency, boredom, weather, etc. aren't enough to explain it.
   121. Hank Gillette Posted: October 08, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6044760)
Moderna seems to have a small but real advantage over the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in retaining the ability to prevent infection. Possible reasons include the larger dose of the Moderna vaccine, and the one-week longer delay in getting the second dose.

I got the Moderna vaccine. At the time, I was a little disappointed, because the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine seemed superior at the time. I am feeling pretty good about it now, even though I don’t know if it is working for me (my immune system may be compromised, and yes, I already got the third dose).
   122. Tony S Posted: October 08, 2021 at 11:56 AM (#6044761)
Antivax cops in LA are coming up against the vaccination deadline for city employees.

Seeking to curb infections, Los Angeles has imposed a mandate that city workers get vaccinated by October 20th, as a condition of their ongoing employment. But many officers still aren’t budging. According to city data, 2,651 LAPD employees have notified the city of their plans to claim a religious exemption to the mandate, with another 368 planning to request a medical exemption. (No major world religion has called on its followers to avoid Covid vaccines.) Briggs notes that almost all officers had to show proof of vaccination for things like chickenpox to join the force, and calls these exemption demands “specious.”


Who would have known there were so many Christian Scientists among the LAPD ranks?

It appears that the cops who refuse the vaccine are very likely to be the same cops who see police work as some kind of power trip, and get off on bullying citizens. So if they do walk off the job, this sounds like a win-win.

   123. Hank Gillette Posted: October 08, 2021 at 12:08 PM (#6044769)
Antivax cops in LA are coming up against the vaccination deadline for city employees.


I just don’t get this. I saw a similar article about members of the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol people are also complaining about being exposed to people crossing the border who may be infected.

You would think that people whose job consists of continually having to interact with strangers at close quarters would be lining up to get vaccinated.

The idea of claiming a religious exemption is ridiculous, and anyone who needs a medical exemption really shouldn’t be on this type of job anyway. How did we as a country get so stupid?
   124. Lassus Posted: October 08, 2021 at 12:13 PM (#6044771)
Sorry, Lassus, not laughing at you

Well, you oughtta be.

Yes, transmitabilitamissabilitamissibly!

Or something. Yes, contagiousness.

But I don't want my original question lost, as I am still curious:
By showing that waning immunity, not the Delta variant, was the likely reason for the rise in breakthrough infections

God, I hate when I become one of the people I mock; but this seems oddly questionable to a layperson. There were plenty of NON-pharm studies that showed Delta was blasting through due to increased [bunyon's mom]. But. It really wasn't?
   125. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 08, 2021 at 12:18 PM (#6044772)
I just don’t get this. I saw a similar article about members of the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol people are also complaining about being exposed to people crossing the border who may be infected.

You would think that people whose job consists of continually having to interact with strangers at close quarters would be lining up to get vaccinated.

The idea of claiming a religious exemption is ridiculous, and anyone who needs a medical exemption really shouldn’t be on this type of job anyway. How did we as a country get so stupid?

this is a reasonable place to start looking.
   126. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 08, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6044774)
But I don't want my original question lost, as I am still curious:
por que no los dos
   127. Tony S Posted: October 08, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6044775)
God, I hate when I become one of the people I mock; but this seems oddly questionable to a layperson. There were plenty of NON-pharm studies that showed Delta was blasting through due to increased [bunyon's mom]. But. It really wasn't?


No quick answers, but consider that new infections are ebbing now, at the same point where you'd think that (theoretically) vaccine-induced immunity is wearing off in more and more people. That would point the finger at Delta finding fewer hosts to set up shop in, rather than at the vaccines waning all that much.

I wouldn't quickly floccinaucinihilipilificate that study, but it does seem to go against the patterns we're seeing.
   128. bunyon Posted: October 08, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6044778)
Actually, she's lost a good bit of weight recently.
   129. bunyon Posted: October 08, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6044780)
I go back to: It's all very complicated. Pandemic math/science mixes and multiplies many common problems in medical science and population surveys.

I suspect that the current vaccines ARE less effective against Delta. But also they're effective enough to be very useful and enough that re-formulating is not worth the time/money when it's likely/possible we WILL need to re-formulate against the next variant.

Modeling the pandemic is pretty much modeling chaos. We know there will be waves. But their peaks and frequency are probably impossible to know ahead of time.
   130. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 08, 2021 at 12:48 PM (#6044787)
125, might I recommend Hofstadter's classic The Paranoid Style in American Politics?
   131. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 08, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6044799)
Here’s how it works: First, you identify a politically vulnerable minority. Then you accuse that minority of deviant behavior. You depict these people as a threat to everyone else, and you blame them for the country’s troubles.
...
It took a right-wing Southern Republican, Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama, to shatter this culture of vaccine liberalism. On July 22, exasperated by her state’s surge of infections and its paltry uptake of vaccines, Ivey unloaded on people who remained unvaccinated. “The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks,” she said. “These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle,” she added, using the kind of rhetoric conservatives had long applied to gay people and unwed mothers. “It’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”
...
The president squarely blamed that minority: “Unvaccinated people spread the virus. They get sick and fill up our hospitals. And that means if someone else has a heart attack or breaks a hip, there may not be a hospital bed for them.” He warned vaccine holdouts that they would “find the patience of businesses and the patience of a lot of other people running thin.”
...
In subsequent appearances, Biden has continued this line of attack. “That distinct minority is causing … an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country,” he complained last week. He blamed vaccine refusers for “causing unease around the kitchen table” and potentially “slowing economic growth, costing jobs. … Their refusal has cost all of us.”

link
   132. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 08, 2021 at 01:59 PM (#6044810)
New economist excess death numbers are out. Based on these numbers and latest reporting cases/deaths. North Macedonia has likely now passed Peru as the country with the most excess deaths (over .6% of the population), with Bulgaria not far behind. Peru is much younger than North Macedonia, so it's still been hit much, much harder.

By the CDC's numbers, the USA is over 950,000 now (if you count through the end of this week, and adjust for delays). Using a slightly higher baseline, you get something close to 900,000. There's pretty much no way it's less than 850,000 right now, under any reasonable baseline. 1,000,000 excess deaths by the end of 2021 seems very likely now.
   133. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 08, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6044844)
How did we as a country get so stupid?

I don’t think we’ve gotten stupider, but everyone now feels like they need to have and express an opinion about everything. And they have the means to do it now. And the least informed people seem to have the strongest opinions and the loudest voices.

A lot of people who weren’t politically engaged before, are now. And every issue is made political, so these factors compound each other. The first one of those isn’t necessarily bad — civic engagement is good — but a lot of people decided that engagement just meant having an opinion, not doing the work to form an educated one.
   134. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 08, 2021 at 04:15 PM (#6044854)
I don’t think we’ve gotten stupider, but everyone now feels like they need to have and express an opinion about everything. And they have the means to do it now.

I don't think the need to express has changed, only the access to media that amplify those opinions. And the odd media culture of we have to respect the idiots and repeat what they say without criticizing them.
   135. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 08, 2021 at 06:22 PM (#6044893)

Florida weekly update:

New cases are down 32% from last week and 83% from the peak. The positive test rate was 4.8%, compared 6.6% last week and 20.6% at the peak.

There were 1,368 new deaths reported, or 195 per day, a 21% decline from last week and 44% decline from the peak. That's still a very high level -- New York, with a similar population, is currently averaging 31 per day -- although given the relatively low case totals, it probably mostly reflects people who were infected several weeks ago or more.
   136. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 08, 2021 at 06:27 PM (#6044895)
a lot of people decided that engagement just meant having an opinion, not doing the work to form an educated one.
Even worse, a lot of people have decided that "doing the work to form an educated one" means watching Hannity and clicking on links from Facebook. They actually do think they have an "educated opinion."
   137. Tony S Posted: October 08, 2021 at 06:29 PM (#6044896)
There were 1,368 new deaths reported, or 195 per day, a 21% decline from last week and 44% decline from the peak. That's still a very high level -- New York, with a similar population, is currently averaging 31 per day -- although given the relatively low case totals, it probably mostly reflects people who were infected several weeks ago or more.


Is Florida still doing that backfilling thing with its deaths? Just wondering if these numbers have that baked in.
   138. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 08, 2021 at 06:59 PM (#6044901)
The numbers above are consistent with how I have been describing the weekly reported deaths in this thread. A week ago, they had reported n total deaths. This week, it’s n + 1,368. (I’m on my phone and don’t remember what n was last week). It doesn’t matter when the people died.
   139. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 08, 2021 at 07:02 PM (#6044902)
I don't think the need to express has changed, only the access to media that amplify those opinions.

Well, about 30 million more people voted in 2020 than 2012. That’s not just a social media phenomenon, it’s real world political engagement.
   140. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 08, 2021 at 09:23 PM (#6044927)
True, but that brought us to a percentage of the voting-age population participating similar to 60 years previous. (We don't have Eligible-voter numbers previous to 1980.)
   141. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 08, 2021 at 09:30 PM (#6044929)
#140 — fair point.
   142. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 11, 2021 at 12:43 PM (#6045482)
This weekend, over 2,000 reported Southwest Airlines cancellations brought untold thousands of passengers to their knees. The airline has the boring reason: “weather.” Conservatives have a more thrilling one: a working-class rebellion against Joe Biden’s vaccination tyranny. So victory against Democrats is weary masses forced to stand in line for hours at dawn, sleep on the floor, and make TikToks, while baggage piles up around the conveyor belt.
The union attempted to put “sickout” theories to rest in a press release, writing: “SWAPA is aware of operational difficulties affecting Southwest Airlines today due to a number of issues, but we can say with confidence that our Pilots are not participating in any official or unofficial job actions.” In an email to Gizmodo, Southwest, too, wrote that the disruptions “were not a result of Southwest Employee demonstrations.”

“Bad weather and ATC issues in Florida, a large operation for us, on Friday night created significant flight disruptions throughout our network and we spent the weekend working to recover from the high number of displaced Crews and aircraft,” they said.


link
   143. Eudoxus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6045519)
More numbers: the worldwide rolling 7-day average for daily deaths has now dropped to 6734, down from a recent peak of 10264 on August 25. Looking back over the whole worldwide death curve, we're more or less coming down from the fifth wave:

Wave 1: Italy/Spain/NYC, spring of 2020 (peak of 7309 on April 18)
Wave 2: The miniwave of summer of 2020, the "now it's everywhere" wave (peak of 6387 on July 27)
Wave 3: The big big wave of winter of 2020/21, "now it's everywhere and bad, especially in South America" wave (peak of 14817 on January 26)
Wave 4: Delta hits India (peak of 14018 on April 29)
Wave 5: Delta hits generally-vaccinated countries (peak of 10264 on August 25)

(Mini-moral: waves peak late in months.)

I think another six weeks and we might drop under 5000 a day worldwide, which we haven't seen since roughly April 1 of last year. The current decline is abetted by the US at least not continuing to climb -- I think over the next six weeks the US might be able to contribute ~500 to the needed ~1700 to get below 5000/day. I'm pretty sure Mississippi-Alabama-Louisiana will be 1-2-3 in per capita deaths by then. Eventually we might have the whole contiguous block of Florida-Georgia-South Carolina-Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana-Arkansas as the top seven, with Texas and Oklahoma contenders to join the block.

I'm recently back from dropping off Child in the UK to start college ("uni"). Once past sixteen straight hours of mask wearing through airports and airplanes, England itself seems to be basically free of any COVID-related restrictions. Nice for college purposes, if not obviously the wisest possible course. (Also not obviously not the wisest course, though.)
   144. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 11, 2021 at 06:32 PM (#6045555)
Allen West, a tea party firebrand who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for governor of Texas, has been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19. The former Republican congressman from Florida is unvaccinated and has vehemently opposed vaccine mandates
...
While in the hospital, West sent a series of tweets in which he criticized vaccine mandates while he also promoted unapproved treatments for the coronavirus. “Our bodies are our last sanctuary of liberty and freedom,” he wrote. In one tweet, the 60-year-old West said he had taken the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine and the anti-parasitic ivermectin, neither of which have been approved to treat COVID-19. West also received monoclonal antibody treatments
...
Despite his hospitalization, West wrote on Twitter that he’s now “even more dedicated to fighting against vaccine mandates” in part because they end up “enriching the pockets of Big Pharma.” But, as the Washington Post points out, monoclonal antibodies are actually far more expensive than vaccines. Monoclonal antibodies cost around $2,100 per dose while the most expensive COVID-19 vaccines are around $20 per shot

link
   145. smileyy Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6045582)
Aren't monoclonal antibodies also under EUA?
   146. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:28 PM (#6045584)
I hadn’t really been following this topic until yesterday, but it seems like every study supporting Ivermectin as a COVID treatment has been plagued by questionable or outright fraudulent data. You can look up the articles.
   147. smileyy Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:21 PM (#6045603)
What, do my own research?
   148. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:29 PM (#6045608)
That'd be awful smileyy; yes, MCAs are also under EUA.

And in today's lunacy, Gov Abbott's outlawing even private mandates. Running to the right of Allen West.
   149. Tony S Posted: October 12, 2021 at 07:03 AM (#6045732)
With this long and virtuous record of pro-life advocacy and strict adherence to small-government principles, especially when it comes to non interference in the decisions of private businesses, how could Abbott possibly lose?
   150. Tony S Posted: October 12, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6045752)
It's very American to skip cheap, effective prevention measures in favor of costly after-the-fact treatments, as Mr.West has chosen to do.

What's disturbing is that his utterly nonsensical Big Pharma argument will actually work with certain elements. Enough of them to have a (negative) effect.

Welcome back, my friends, to the pandemic that never ends.
   151. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 12, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6045785)
And in today's lunacy, Gov Abbott's outlawing even private mandates. Running to the right of Allen West.
the NRA had to pay tens of millions of (russian) dollars to get this kind of support from republicans.

   152. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: October 12, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6045805)
Well, a prominent tea party guy in SC died after refusing all scientific treatment about 2 months ago and it just caused anti-vaxx horse lovers to dig their hooves in more.

There's no amount of them that can die that will convince any of them to act rationally.

And yes, I'm using THEM with all the invective you can imply.
   153. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 12, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6045828)
England itself seems to be basically free of any COVID-related restrictions
Cases in the UK won't fall, and in fact are almost at their highest point (7-day average) since coming off the very high delta peak in late July. Vaccinations appear to still be working well though, as very few people, relative to the case load, are dying.

It's going to be interesting to see what happens to the caseload in the UK as we move into winter. I would not have imagined it could go higher, but I'm not so sure about that anymore.
   154. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 12, 2021 at 03:26 PM (#6045845)
It's going to be interesting to see what happens to the caseload in the UK as we move into winter. I would not have imagined it could go higher, but I'm not so sure about that anymore.


Flu season is going to be a potential disaster - it's often taxing in the UK, with several hospitals declaring "major incidents" in an average year. But the combination this year will be a health service already on its knees from Covid, with exhausted staff and low stockpiles of equipment, a large waitlist of non-Covid patients needing attention, and the ongoing leakage of overseas staff due to Brexit, Covid, and the general hostility to immigrants that the current government seems keen to foster.

Covid numbers may be low in winter - certainly compared to 2020-1 - but sadly the UK may not be out of the woods yet. The UK does test a LOT, which helps explain the case count, but the death rates are also a lot higher than France, Germany, and other comparable large European nations.

My next trip back to the UK is likely to be later this month, where I'll have an early pseudo-Thanksgiving with the folks and see some friends, and then I think I'll be staying away over the winter. Fuel shortages, overtaxed health systems, and supply chain worries could make it a miserable holiday season over there.
   155. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 12, 2021 at 11:26 PM (#6045981)
To fully appreciate the genius of Gov. Abbott's anti-mandate decree, it was something he could do only under the emergency powers he is granted for a disaster, in this case the all-county disaster declaration the state is under for ... COVID.
Genius!
   156. Tony S Posted: October 12, 2021 at 11:50 PM (#6045997)
If Abbott had been the British PM in 1940, he would have mandated London street parties every night.
   157. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: October 13, 2021 at 09:09 AM (#6046042)
Question: I am about 6 months from my 2nd pfizer vaccine shot. Can i just go back to the CVS where I got them with my vaccination card and say I need a booster? Or, do I have to lie and say I haven't been vaccinated yet?
   158. Lassus Posted: October 13, 2021 at 09:45 AM (#6046044)
Question: I am about 6 months from my 2nd pfizer vaccine shot. Can i just go back to the CVS where I got them with my vaccination card and say I need a booster? Or, do I have to lie and say I haven't been vaccinated yet?

Probably depends. I did mine at Walgreens. I went and they were calling it the THIRD SHOT for immuno-compromised, somewhat prior to the official booster notification, I guess? Both of my doctors said not including Type I diabetics was stupid, so I simply lied checking a box on the questionnaire. I believe it's not strictly governed.
   159. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 13, 2021 at 09:54 AM (#6046045)
Russia continues to set new daily records in Covid deaths, approaching 1000/day at the moment. Only about 1 in 3 Russians have received even a single vaccination, and we're only in October - like the UK, this could be a recipe for a very unhappy winter unless the promised herd immunity is about to be reached.

There was also a news article today that Russia's losing people - on top of Covid deaths. People continue to leave the country faster than they can be replaced, and as is often the case in these situations, it's the people with valuable skills who have the option of leaving.
   160. Nasty Nate Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6046049)
Question: I am about 6 months from my 2nd pfizer vaccine shot. Can i just go back to the CVS where I got them with my vaccination card and say I need a booster? Or, do I have to lie and say I haven't been vaccinated yet?
It might depend on what state you live in. Here in Massachusetts, eligible people are:

People 65 years and older
Residents of long term care settings
People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions
People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions
People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting

I haven't done it yet, but I assume it is like before - you schedule an appointment and attest to your eligibility. My 6 months is also approaching. Is there any conceivable reason for me to not get the third one?
   161. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:49 AM (#6046055)
Russia continues to set new daily records in Covid deaths, approaching 1000/day at the moment. Only about 1 in 3 Russians have received even a single vaccination, and we're only in October - like the UK, this could be a recipe for a very unhappy winter unless the promised herd immunity is about to be reached.
The official numbers in Russia have little correlation with reality. Most other countries have a trajectory for reported deaths that matches the trajectory of excess deaths, even in cases where there is a vast undercount. For Russia, even this seems not to be the case. The economist articles on excess deaths talk about this. So it's very unclear as to whether the pandemic is worse there now than it was two months ago, for example.

Russia is estimated to have close to 750,000 excess deaths by now, versus its official tally of 220,000.

   162. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 13, 2021 at 11:21 AM (#6046073)
Even Rosstat has Russia at 660,000 through the end of August, and the economist has it at probably a little over 700,000 through then. With 60,000+ per month right now in Russia, that's pushing, and potentially well over, 750,000 by now.
   163. Eudoxus Posted: October 13, 2021 at 11:22 AM (#6046074)
My next trip back to the UK is likely to be later this month, where I'll have an early pseudo-Thanksgiving with the folks and see some friends, and then I think I'll be staying away over the winter. Fuel shortages, overtaxed health systems, and supply chain worries could make it a miserable holiday season over there.

This was briefly making me feel a bit iffy about leaving Child in the UK for college, but then I realized that Texas was likely to do worse along each of those dimensions. (I guess Texas can replace "fuel shortages" with "power shortages despite having plenty of fuel".)
   164. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 13, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6046075)
The UK just recorded its single biggest case day since the height of its delta wave. It's not an increase in testing, because while testing is indeed very high in the UK, it's actually come down a bit since September, and is lower now than it has been in most of 2021. Is this due to a change in behavior, for example, school starting, or is it due to winter? If the latter, US states without high vaccination rates could suffer again in a winter wave, especially if they are doing little else to combat the virus.
   165. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 13, 2021 at 12:13 PM (#6046083)
Here's a fun site for calculating excess deaths. It's important to set the "Reference Level" to "Week-specific trends" to adjust for the fact that people are living longer every year and the population is getting older. (The site doesn't seem to use age bands, so this is just a rough estimate of a more precise calculation.)

Using the reference period as 2015-2019 for the US, it shows 490,000 excess deaths in the US for 2020 (weeks 13-53), which is pretty much exactly what I would have calculated. 21.8% increase over expected. It's too early for this dataset for 2021, as it is not capturing the delta wave in the US yet.

It also shows that Sweden had about 9000-10000 excess deaths in 2020, pretty much right in line with its reported total, and a 15-18% increase over what was expected. Not a particularly good showing, but not as bad as the US. If you just use averages without adjusting for trends, Sweden shows very few excess deaths. The trends toward people living longer are even more pronounced in Sweden than they are in the US.
   166. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 13, 2021 at 12:14 PM (#6046084)
This was briefly making me feel a bit iffy about leaving Child in the UK for college, but then I realized that Texas was likely to do worse along each of those dimensions.


They should be fine, I think (assuming they're vaccinated) - I'm more worried about bringing something home to my immunocompromised wife here in Germany, and about my grandmother back there. Sorry if I sounded overly pessimistic!

The official numbers in Russia have little correlation with reality. Most other countries have a trajectory for reported deaths that matches the trajectory of excess deaths, even in cases where there is a vast undercount. For Russia, even this seems not to be the case.


That's a good point. If we assume that numbers are being manipulated, then that would be weird, since Russia's governing party would presumably have little reason to inflate the numbers to be the highest they've ever published after Sputnik V was made available. I suppose it could be used as a tactic to drive more Russians to vaccination?

Alternatively, the link between actual deaths and reported deaths in Russia is just fundamentally broken with no correlation.
   167. Lassus Posted: October 14, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6046284)
Does anyone know of a source for positive test percentages by TOWN in CA? I'm going to be in Palm Springs at the end of the month and generally use that figure as an overall risk guide. But with Riverside County running from Riverside to freaking Blythe, I'm finding that rate generally unhelpful. I can find case number by towns within the county on the County website, but not testing percentages. Has anyone run into anything for CA like what I'm looking for, or at least for some localized areas?
   168. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 14, 2021 at 01:01 PM (#6046290)
All Palm Springs offers is cases/deaths for the city and other Coachella Valley cities. The good news is they're dropping across the valley
   169. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 15, 2021 at 01:23 PM (#6046679)
The UK just had its two highest single day case counts since the peak of the delta wave. Only for 5 days was it higher before. That's a bit ominous for the US.

Just another week or so and the UK will have recorded more cases during the delta wave than for the entirety of covid before that. They are testing much more now than they were in 2020 and the first couple months of 2021, but it's still fairly remarkable.
   170. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 15, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6046702)
It's hard to know for sure, but it looks like the rising caseload in the UK is mostly driven by schoolchildren. Look at the charts by age and you see a huge rise in School Year 7 to 11 positive test rate. I wish they gave the raw case numbers and not just the positive test percentage, but this info is still helpful.*

Obviously if all the kids are getting sick they will spread it to others, and that's why the UK is still averaging ~140 deaths per day. But it gives me some confidence that the vaccines are actually working as intended.

* I still don't know why health authorities are so limited in the amount of data that they make available. It's been endlessly frustrating since this whole thing began.
   171. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: October 15, 2021 at 04:24 PM (#6046704)
My kindergartner’s class had 9 of 21 kids out sick on Wednesday. No one has yet tested positive, but we’re in a very red place (placer county near Sacramento) so it’s nice that they are being careful…
   172. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 15, 2021 at 05:02 PM (#6046714)
On a personal note, after being out and about much more than normal the past few weeks, I came down with something brutal a few days ago. Congestion, high fever, etc. First time sick in ~2 years. My family was sure it was COVID but after getting two negative tests and my wife also testing negative, I’m fairly certain it’s not. I also tested negative for the flu, so I guess it’s just a really bad cold.

If I had been this sick back in Jan or Feb 2020, I would probably be one of those people insisting that I’d had COVID before they were testing for it.
   173. Ron J Posted: October 15, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6046738)
#172 Sort of related 43,000+ potential false negatives from one lab

Not saying this is what's going on. Just a non-zero chance of systemic issues.
   174. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 15, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6046750)
#173, well, one of mine was a rapid test and one was a PCR test at a different location. Given that I'm vaccinated, the odds that I actually have COVID are pretty low but I realize they're not zero.
   175. Ron J Posted: October 15, 2021 at 09:56 PM (#6046786)
Right. The moment you get two locations and different tests then the odds of a false negative have to be quite low.
   176. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 16, 2021 at 01:43 AM (#6046842)
The UK just had its two highest single day case counts since the peak of the delta wave. Only for 5 days was it higher before. That's a bit ominous for the US.


Both the UK and the US have seen a real shallowing-out of vaccination rates over the last couple of months, while other countries that were previously a long way behind have charged ahead, particularly in Western Europe. Now it looks like Australia and New Zealand are following the same pattern - late start, rapid catch-up.

From the articles I've read, it looks like the carrot (free chicken in NZ is a winner) and stick (lockdowns only relaxing when a target level of vaccinated residents is reached) has been very successful. And while the procurement of vaccines has been politicised, with parties in power criticized for poor provision, the efficacy/desirability of vaccines has not. In fact, by using poor procurement as an attack line, you could argue that the desirability of vaccines has been boosted . . .
   177. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 16, 2021 at 09:02 AM (#6046847)
In the UK, 89.4% of adults have received at least one dose, and 84.2% have received both doses. So it’s natural that the pace will slow down. But they should really speed things up with the 12-17 set, since that’s basically the group with the most infections by far right now. Estimates are that 1/10 kids in School Year 7-11, which is roughly that same age group, had COVID this past week.
   178. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 17, 2021 at 02:13 PM (#6047014)
“What the advisors to the FDA felt is that, given the data that they saw, very likely, this should have been a two dose vaccine to begin with," Dr. Anthony Fauci tells @MarthaRaddatz booster shots authorized for Johnson & Johnson vaccine. https://t.co/0guMYoI4vj pic.twitter.com/KjPQy9ZGg0

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 17, 2021
“If you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated...you can enjoy the holidays. You can enjoy Halloween, trick-or-treating, and certainly Thanksgiving with your family and Christmas with your family,” Dr. Anthony Fauci tells @MarthaRaddatz. https://t.co/VUhaYdgpiG pic.twitter.com/R7qqYSvTSM

— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 17, 2021
eh.........not so sure about that one, hal
   179. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 17, 2021 at 06:25 PM (#6047025)
In August, unvaccinated persons had 6.1x greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 and 11.3x greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

Link

The vaccines are still working, despite what people claim.
   180. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 17, 2021 at 10:49 PM (#6047055)
Vaccines are working tremendously, only the willfully ignorant claim otherwise. We are truly lucky in how effective they have been.
   181. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:11 AM (#6047105)
There is an absolute mess of conflicting information out there when it comes to the effectiveness of vaccines waning over time, and it's not just coming from anti-vax folks. But a lot of those studies and press articles are about antibody levels waning over time, rather than actual outcomes. That CDC link shows outcomes, and demonstrates the vaccines still highly effective (or were in August, at least).

It even lets you view the results by age group, or by vaccine. It's very helpful and I don't know why they don't make it more prominent.
   182. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6047122)
Colin Powell has died of COVID at 84. He was fully vaccinated, had a breakthrough case. He had Parkinson’s and multiple myeloma, so was at particularly high risk.
   183. bunyon Posted: October 18, 2021 at 10:37 AM (#6047129)
181: Correct. The only true measure of vaccine efficacy is outcomes. You can't do a direct measure of immunity. You can infer it, but it will (as we see) have wide error bars.
   184. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6047186)
Cases in the UK continue to rise. 49,000 reported today, more than all but 2 or 3 days during the delta peak.

The Financial Times' Burn-Murdoch has a recent thread about what is happening in the UK versus the rest of Western Europe.

Here are the top-line stats:
• Cases among older people are 7x higher in UK
• Hospital admissions are 6x higher
• Deaths are 3x higher


So I hope we can now see that:
• Yes, mask-wearing has plummeted in England and reversing that would help
• But higher rates of crowded indoor mixing are likely a bigger issue
• And both are almost certainly dwarfed by UK’s much more acute [vaccine effectiveness] waning problem (as seen in Israel)


He also mentions that worse sick pay and more elderly in poverty could be factors, as well as fewer children vaccinated keeping the virus circulating.

edit: oh, and as usual, this could mean the US may not be out of the woods yet. I think we need to wait 2-4 more weeks to see if cases start picking up again here. I wouldn't be surprised.
   185. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6047203)

I'm not saying he's wrong, but I'm not sure how he concludes that vaccine waning is "almost certainly" a much bigger factor than crowded indoor mixing.
   186. smileyy Posted: October 18, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6047207)
IIRC, the presence of antibodies are only one indication of the immune systems ability to respond?
   187. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2021 at 03:42 PM (#6047211)
(Responding to 185...) It's a very fair question, especially based on this thread alone. It appears to be based on vaccine waning studies in terms of approximately how big of an effect you would expect to see, but it's not at all clear.
   188. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:06 PM (#6047266)
I was wondering when I should get a booster, having just hit the 6 month mark for having been vaccinated and then - boom! - positive test, asymptomatic case. (Kind of surprising, in that I have had minimal recent exposure to the outside world, outside of 2 vaccinated school aged children, both of whom are consistently testing negative.)
Anyway, I'm so thankful for vaccines - my biggest worries involve having to be in isolation and not being able to take as good care of my kids / having to cancel an upcoming daytrip with my lives-elsewhere partner.
   189. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:22 PM (#6047270)
but I'm not sure how he concludes that vaccine waning is "almost certainly" a much bigger factor than crowded indoor mixing.
• And both are almost certainly dwarfed by UK’s much more acute [vaccine effectiveness] waning problem (as seen in Israel)

To be less kind, because this is the conservative talking point that isn't backed by any real-world data, and you can read the horseshit baked into it in plain English. Especially because it also focuses on the snowflake-special UK's specific vaccine effectiveness waning problem, which makes no fucking sense.
   190. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 18, 2021 at 08:48 PM (#6047279)
Well the UK got more people vaccinated earlier and many of the early ones were with the AZ vaccine, whereas Europe has been predominantly Pfizer I believe. So it’s possible they could have a unique waning problem right now. I just don’t see how one could draw a strong conclusion that that is what we’re seeing right now, without more evidence.
   191. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 18, 2021 at 09:04 PM (#6047296)
And Nick Rolovich is out along with four of his assistant coaches. Idiots.
   192. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 18, 2021 at 09:08 PM (#6047298)
Josh Newman @Joshua_Newman
The best (worst?) part of this Nick Rolovich situation is he never had the guts to speak his mind on it. Garbage, nothing answers every time it came up, which was a lot. What a leader.

   193. Lassus Posted: October 18, 2021 at 09:13 PM (#6047300)
many of the early ones were with the AZ vaccine, whereas Europe has been predominantly Pfizer I believe

Ah. I can admit I misspoke here, then.
   194. smileyy Posted: October 18, 2021 at 09:15 PM (#6047303)
Someone had his bluff called.
   195. 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price Posted: October 18, 2021 at 09:27 PM (#6047307)
Someone had his bluff called.

if republicanism is a death cult (it is) and cults are a form of religion (they are), then why shouldn't republicans' political beliefs also qualify as "deeply held" religious beliefs?
   196. smileyy Posted: October 18, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6047310)
I always like the way you think, 57i66s...
   197. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 19, 2021 at 07:41 AM (#6047366)
Well the UK got more people vaccinated earlier and many of the early ones were with the AZ vaccine, whereas Europe has been predominantly Pfizer I believe. So it’s possible they could have a unique waning problem right now. I just don’t see how one could draw a strong conclusion that that is what we’re seeing right now, without more evidence.


This might also have had an impact: A private lab in the UK potentially issued more than 43,000 negative Covid PCR tests in error (UK lab investigated for false negative Covid tests is not fully accredited - Guardian) That could be a whole lot of people mistakenly mingling in the UK's fairly relaxed current set of restrictions.

Immensa Health Clinics Ltd was set up in May 2020 and received nearly £170m in NHS test-and-trace contracts. The company has been contacted for comment. Earlier this year, the Sun on Sunday found evidence for Immensa workers brawling, sleeping, playing football and drinking on duty while working at the firm’s Wolverhampton lab
   198. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:30 AM (#6047393)
Elsewhere, Russia is reportedly ordering its elderly to stay at home for four months as daily deaths pass 1,100. I'm not sure that Russian winters always incentivise lots of outdoor activities for senior citizens, but flippancy aside, that's quite an admission of failure - since Sputnik V was approved for mass distribution in Russia as far back as December 2020.
   199. greenback used to say live and let live Posted: October 19, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#6047400)
Isn't Russia's problem that the government has less trust than even ours does? IOW nobody is getting the vaccine.
   200. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 19, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6047410)
223 deaths reported in the UK--the most in 1 day (by a little, but still) since the end of the last winter wave. 7-day average of cases keeps rising. If it rises for another few days it will likely surpass the delta peak.
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