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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

MLB, union stopped blood testing for HGH due to pandemic

Major League Baseball and the players’ association stopped blood testing for Human Growth Hormone because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Blood testing for HGH began in 2012, and 412 samples with no positive results were collected in the year ending with the 2020 World Series. MLB and the union never publicly announced the stoppage in blood testing but its absence was revealed Monday when Thomas M. Martin, the independent administrator of the joint drug program, released his annual report.

The decision to interrupt blood testing during the pandemic was made because drawing blood is more invasive than urine testing and requires additional collectors who would have increased the number of people coming into contact with players and decreased social distancing. MLB and the union plan to resume blood testing next season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 30, 2021 at 12:35 PM | 492 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hgh, peds

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   201. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 26, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6058670)
Tweet with link to study on 'Long Covid'

SARS-CoV-2 Induces cell death by apoptosis in neurons. A slow loss of neurons by this mechanism may be causing neurological features now been reported in Long-COVID.

   202. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: December 27, 2021 at 10:39 AM (#6058730)
1/3rd of the doctors at my wife's practices called out with COVID for today. All but one are vaxxed and doing telehealth this week. The one that's isn't vaxxed is too sick to do remote visits.

Post-Christmas these next few days are going to be a disaster.

We went to both my parent's house Christmas Eve. Got to my dad's and he's coughing and hoarse. Turns out he started feeling bad that morning but hadn't been able to get a test. Didn't think to tell anyone ahead of time. We stayed about 30 minutes and at a distance from everyone. Felt bad they were mad at us, but it's not a time to play right now.


Thankfully he got tested Saturday and it was negative.
   203. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 27, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6058735)
1/3rd of the doctors at my wife's practices called out with COVID for today. All but one are vaxxed and doing telehealth this week. The one that's isn't vaxxed is too sick to do remote visits.
How are there still doctors who refuse to get vaccinated?? Aren't there boards that can revoke their certification to practice medicine?
   204. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: December 27, 2021 at 12:14 PM (#6058741)
That sounds like me asking you lawyers how John Pierce and Lin Wood are allowed in a courtroom.
   205. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 27, 2021 at 12:32 PM (#6058744)
That sounds like me asking you lawyers how John Pierce and Lin Wood are allowed in a courtroom.
In that case, there is a long disciplinary process that has to play out regarding whether or not their conduct was egregious enough to warrant disbarment (Narrator: "Yes, it was."). Seems like a medical board could much more easily implement a binary vaccine requirement.
   206. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2021 at 08:32 PM (#6058884)
The US is hitting daily case records this week. New one today, along with a new high 7-day average.
   207. bob gee Posted: December 28, 2021 at 09:54 PM (#6058889)
I've been watching Covid videos from this person:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Campbellteaching

from the UK. He tends to focus on data, and public comments from officials, with usual caveats presented.

Your mileage may vary,.

EDIT: One thing I am optimistic about is that the rate of hospitalizations (NY state, NOT city but not rural) has not spiked as hard as positive cases, even adjusting for lag in hospitalization time. That is a positive...I just wish all were vaccinated / boostered.
   208. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 28, 2021 at 10:37 PM (#6058894)
Hospitalizations will definitely not spike to the same extent as cases, mainly because omicron infects those who have been vaccinated or have a prior infection much easier than delta. Vaccination and prior infection reduce severity of disease in those who get infected.

This effect is so strong it's very hard to tease out of the data how much more mild omicron is than delta in the immune naive or in the vaccinated, if indeed omicron is milder at all. Due to the much higher transmissibility, people in the US are in much more danger with omicron than they were with just delta, at least in the short run. This is especially true for vaccinated people, who for the most part would have avoided delta entirely but now stand a decent chance of getting omicron.

In the long run, IF omicron is milder and IF it supplants delta and IF it doesn't continue to be much easier to catch than delta and IF there are not more variants around the corner, than we may be better off with omicron than we were with delta. Thassaheckuvalotta ifs.
   209. Tony S Posted: December 29, 2021 at 08:25 AM (#6058903)
A NYC ER doctor recounts his observations.


"Every patient I’ve seen with Covid that’s had a 3rd ‘booster’ dose has had mild symptoms. By mild I mean mostly sore throat. Lots of sore throat. Also some fatigue, maybe some muscle pain. No difficulty breathing. No shortness of breath. All a little uncomfortable, but fine," Spencer wrote.

From there, it goes downhill - slowly, though.

"Most patients I’ve seen that had 2 doses of Pfizer/Moderna still had ‘mild’ symptoms, but more than those who had received a third dose. More fatigued. More fever. More coughing. A little more miserable overall. But no shortness of breath. No difficulty breathing. Mostly fine," he said.

For those who just had the one shot of the J&J vaccine and never took a booster, the situation isn't as good.

"Most patients I’ve seen that had one dose of J&J and had Covid were worse overall. Felt horrible. Fever for a few days (or more). Weak, tired. Some shortness of breath and cough. But not one needing hospitalization. Not one needing oxygen. Not great. But not life-threatening," he tweeted.


Not life-threatening, but you don't want long Covid, which can be life-ruining.

Before the antivaxxers high-five each other too much over omicron's emergence, they might want to consider this:

And then there are the unvaccinated, who by all data are being hospitalized at a rate 15x or more the vaccinated.


"And almost every single patient that I’ve taken care of that needed to be admitted for Covid has been unvaccinated. Every one with profound shortness of breath. Every one whose oxygen dropped when they walked. Every one needing oxygen to breath regularly," he said.

   210. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 02:49 PM (#6058925)

This effect is so strong it's very hard to tease out of the data how much more mild omicron is than delta in the immune naive or in the vaccinated, if indeed omicron is milder at all.


why is this some mystery? We have documentation of every person who's received two vaccines and the booster. We know the proportion of those. We should also know if they go to hospital and what the course of their hospital visit is.

I dont understand what you still have doubt that omicron is milder at least in the vaccinated There's tons of stories that say that Omicron is milder in those.

What is meant by "immune naive?" Those who've already had covid?
   211. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6058928)
At this point it seems like you're still less likely to get infected and much less likely to be hospitalized if you're vaccinated, but the rates of infection are much higher for both groups with Omicron than with Delta. We should get another week's worth of NYS data in the next day or so, which should give us a better view.

I think New York is the closest to publishing data on breakthrough cases in real time, of the various sources I've seen. The most recent NY data we have is for the week beginning 12/13 -- it's not clear whether Omicron represented a majority of cases at that point. The CDC had originally estimated that the ~73% of cases nationwide were Omicron for the week ending 12/18, but then they revised that down to ~23% and said Omicron was ~59% of cases for the week ending 12/25. All the figures have a pretty wide confidence interval, but it seems pretty likely that Omicron was a large majority of cases in NY for the week that is about to be released.

On the personal front, my symptoms basically went away after a few days, but I had a minor cough that lingered for about a week. Now I'm back to normal exercise and running with no issues. I finished my quarantine period, and have found that PCR tests still come back positive but antigen tests come out negative. After reading about it, apparently PCR tests can still come back positive up to 90 days after you recover from COVID, even though you're not still believed to be contagious.
   212. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 03:31 PM (#6058937)
why is this some mystery? We have documentation of every person who's received two vaccines and the booster. We know the proportion of those. We should also know if they go to hospital and what the course of their hospital visit is.

I dont understand what you still have doubt that omicron is milder at least in the vaccinated There's tons of stories that say that Omicron is milder in those.


"We" don't have that data. Someone may have it, but it's not like you can just download the data from a big public database and play around with it.

The best data that I've seen so far is the study from England. Here's what they say:

Overall, we find evidence of a reduction in the risk of hospitalisation for Omicron infections relative to Delta infections when averaging over all cases. The extent of reduction is sensitive to the inclusion criteria used for cases and hospitalisation, being in the range 20-25% when using any attendance at hospital as the endpoint, and 40-45% when using hospitalisation lasting 1 day or longer or hospitalisations with the ECDS discharge field recorded as “admitted” as the endpoint (Table 2). However, these reductions should be balanced against the much larger risk of infection with Omicron, due to reduction in protection acquired from both vaccination and natural infection.


Stratifying hospitalisation risk by vaccination state reveals a more complex overall picture, albeit consistent with the unstratified analysis. Most intriguing is an apparent difference between those who
received AstraZenca (AZ) vaccine versus Pfizer or Moderna (PF/MD) for their primary series (doses 1 and 2). Hazard ratios for hospital attendance with Omicron for those who received PF/MD as their primary vaccination schedule are similar to those seen for Delta in those vaccination categories, while Omicron hazard ratios are generally lower than for Delta for those who received AZ as their primary vaccination. Given the limited samples sizes to date, we caution about over-interpreting these trends, but they are compatible with previous findings that while protection afforded against mild infection from AZ was substantially reduced with the emergence of Delta, protection against more severe outcomes was sustained (2,3). We would also emphasise that these are estimates which condition upon infection; overall vaccine effectiveness against hospital attendance may not vary between the vaccines, given that PF/MD maintain higher effectiveness against symptomatic infection with Omicron than AZ (4)


High historical attack rates (and observed reinfection rates with Omicron) means it is necessary to correct hazard ratio to accurately quantify intrinsic differences in severity between Omicron and Delta, and to assess the protection afforded by past infection. We developed a method for making such corrections and hence derive adjusted estimates which account for reinfection under ascertainment. The resulting adjustments are moderate (typically less than an increase of 0.2 in the HR for Omicron vs Delta and a reduction of approximately 0.1 in the HR for reinfections vs primary infections) but significant for evaluating severity overall. Using a hospital stay of 1+ days as the endpoint, the adjusted estimate of the relative risk of reinfections versus primary cases is 0.31, a 69% reduction in hospitalisation risk (Table 2).


So based on this study, it seems that (a) incidence of hospitalization is lower under Omicron than Delta, (b) once you control for vaccination status, it's less clear. The results seem to hold up, but differ based on vax/booster status and which one you got. For those who got Pfizer/Moderna, hospitalization rate was about the same for Omicron and Delta. For those who got AstraZeneca, hospitalization was lower under Omicron. (Note that the more buckets you slice the data into, the smaller your sample sizes get and the less reliable the results become. So I wouldn't overinterpret the above comparison.) (c) Controlling for previous infection also reduced the apparent difference between Omicron and Delta, although not enough that the differences didn't hold.

I am way outside my lane here, and the above study has not been peer reviewed, so take this all with a grain of salt.
   213. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 29, 2021 at 05:18 PM (#6058951)
Yeah the best data so far that has been made public is the Imperial College study comparing omicron apples to delta apples cases by vaccination and prior infection status for omicron and delta. Unfortunately it was not based on many cases. It showed only a modest 11% reduction in likelihood of being hospitalized for omicron (v delta) once controlling for prior infections. It also showed only a 2% reduction (v delta) if you include "Pillar 1" cases.

Controlling for vaccination status, it showed a 24% reduction (v delta) among those never vaccinated (I believe trying to control for prior infection) and essentially no reduction (v delta) in those who received two Pfizer shots.

There's a lot of misleading information going around, but to date we have seen little evidence, controlled for prior infection and vaccinations, to show that omicron is significantly less virulent for any cohort of people. At the moment it seems probable that it is a little less virulent, but pretty unlikely that it is less than half as virulent.

So why is no one dying from it? First, in South Africa, they are dying, and each day more are as it works its way through the older population. Best estimates right now are probably in total 10%-20% as many deaths as the delta wave. (Gauteng is already at 5%, and seems likely to double that number by the time the wave finally peters out for death counts in 2 months or so, and Gauteng appears to be on the low end for South Africa on comparisons to delta.) Second, 60% of people over 50 in South Africa were vaccinated prior to the omicron wave, versus about 5% prior to the delta wave. Third, the very recent delta wave probably infected at least 30% of the population, and maybe a lot more. Most of these were probably people that had no prior infection history. When the omicron wave hit, there were likely very few people over 50 left in South Africa that had no vaccine or prior infection history, something that was certainly not true in the delta wave. A lot of these were recent vaccinations and/or recent infections, resulting in a comparatively very immune population. Finally, a large portion of the most vulnerable people have already died in South Africa, so omicron has fewer easy targets.
   214. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 06:27 PM (#6058955)
Thanks for putting that together, I will have to study that at length. Thanks again.
   215. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 07:10 PM (#6058961)
Post-Christmas these next few days are going to be a disaster.

Buckle up, Texas! Here is the official state COVID hospitalization count since 12/18 where the state had been bouncing around 3000 since early December:

12/18 3054
12/19 3086 +1.0%
12/20 3156 +2.3%
12/21 3251 +3.0%
12/22 3376 +3.8%
12/23 3523 +4.4%
12/24 3583 +1.7%
12/25 3731 +4.1%
12/26 3965 +6.3%
12/27 4431 +11.7%
12/28 4917 +11.0%

   216. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 11:31 PM (#6058989)
The NY State data for the week starting 12/20 is out now. They continue to show case rates and hospitalization rates much lower in vaccinated people relative to unvaccinated. Vaccine effectiveness is estimated at 75% in terms of preventing cases and 93.5% in preventing hospitalizations. But the breakthrough cases and hospitalizations are a lot more common when overall cases are as prevalent as they are.

Link

Walking around the city today there were a lot of people out, but a lot of folks wearing masks even out on the street. Seems like a lot of people are going about their lives but taking some extra precautions. That’s probably not going to be enough to reduce the spread and I would expect we’ll see cases and hospitalizations continue to increase until a little after the New Year.
   217. Tony S Posted: December 30, 2021 at 10:56 AM (#6059007)

Maryland's case reporting system is back up after the system hack:

Daily case numbers before the hack (Nov 29 - Dec 2) : 1244, 1142, 1828, 1700.

Daily case numbers post-hack (Dec 26 - Dec 29) : 5376, 6574, 10873, 14316.

These are *reported* cases. The test-kit shortage probably understates them considerably.

I can't believe there are people who still blithely go about as if nothing was happening.
   218. base ball chick Posted: December 30, 2021 at 11:30 AM (#6059010)
210. sunday silence (again) Posted: December 29, 2021 at 02:49 PM (#6058925)


This effect is so strong it's very hard to tease out of the data how much more mild omicron is than delta in the immune naive or in the vaccinated, if indeed omicron is milder at all.

- why is this some mystery? We have documentation of every person who's received two vaccines and the booster. We know the proportion of those. We should also know if they go to hospital and what the course of their hospital visit is.

I dont understand what you still have doubt that omicron is milder at least in the vaccinated There's tons of stories that say that Omicron is milder in those.


- because "mild" means not getting ADMITTED to the hospital. it says zero about how long people who catch it who do not go to a doctor are sick, like my own sons. at least here in texas, huge numbers of people have no ins and do not get medical care, like my sons.

and the govt has decided that it doesn't care about long covid, only about hospitalizations/death. and people who can't function or work count and they should not be called "recovered" because they are not. and when they die they are not considered covid deaths when they die because they are not positive at the time of death

i haven't heard one word about long covid with omicron. long covid people are getting swept under the rug by basically all govt and statistics people regardless of red/blue bullspit
   219. bob gee Posted: December 30, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6059011)
I think, in terms of long covid, that there is a lot of incomplete information regarding the first wave (alpha) of it. Given that delta and omicron are far more recent, I am not surprised there isn't concrete information about them.
   220. Ron J Posted: December 30, 2021 at 11:56 AM (#6059014)
Australia looks to be the best place to get info about Omicron's true severity. Roughly none of the complicating factors mentioned by Bea. They've gone from a zero covid strategy before Omicron to full speed ahead.

Decent vaccination numbers but that's it.
   221. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 30, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6059017)
Scaling back my personal goals from 'try very hard not to get Delta' to 'try to make sure that, when I get Omicron, it's not in January or February'. It's just that transmissible, and after boosting, I'm a) giving myself the best chance of staying out of hospital, and b) giving myself the best chance, if I need hospital care, of there being a bed there and medical professionals to staff it.
   222. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: December 30, 2021 at 06:51 PM (#6059058)
Follow-up to [215] for Texas hospitalizations:

12/26 3965 +6.3%
12/27 4431 +11.7%
12/28 4917 +11.0%
12/29 5523 +12.3%

Peak hospitalization for Texas was 14,218 on Jan 11, 2021. If we can keep up this double-digit growth average, we'll pass it in 9 more days.
   223. Tony S Posted: December 31, 2021 at 09:37 AM (#6059091)
A tool to determine how strained your local hospitals are.

The data is a few days old. I can't imagine things are any *better* today.

   224. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 31, 2021 at 11:33 AM (#6059101)
The new headlines today say South Africa has passed through its omicron wave, but that's also highly misleading. As we are now seeing across the world, the virus quickly spreads through younger populations, sending cases skyrocketing but hitting a peak fairly quickly and then (at least in South Africa) also coming back down quickly. What hasn't come down quickly, in fact at all outside of Gauteng yet, is hospitalizations. South Africa's hospitalizations are peaking right about now, about 2 weeks after the case peak. People on ventilators, as well as deaths, have not yet peaked outside of Gauteng, which was 1-2 weeks ahead of the rest of the country. The reason seems to be that those who are older and/or more vulnerable are harder for the virus to reach because they are being more careful, so the huge first couple weeks of almost all mild cases paints an overly rosy picture of the mildness of the virus. We've seen this same pattern play out in several jurisdictions prior to omicron, but in omicron it's even more exaggerated due to the breakthrough/reinfection capabilities.
   225. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: December 31, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6059106)
South Carolina has 15,000 positives the last 2 days.
With the low vaccine rates, I have a feeling hospitals will be getting slammed the next few weeks.
   226. base ball chick Posted: December 31, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6059125)
224. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 31, 2021 at 11:33 AM (#6059101)

The new headlines today say South Africa has passed through its omicron wave, but that's also highly misleading. As we are now seeing across the world, the virus quickly spreads through younger populations, sending cases skyrocketing but hitting a peak fairly quickly and then (at least in South Africa) also coming back down quickly. What hasn't come down quickly, in fact at all outside of Gauteng yet, is hospitalizations. South Africa's hospitalizations are peaking right about now, about 2 weeks after the case peak. People on ventilators, as well as deaths, have not yet peaked outside of Gauteng, which was 1-2 weeks ahead of the rest of the country. The reason seems to be that those who are older and/or more vulnerable are harder for the virus to reach because they are being more careful, so the huge first couple weeks of almost all mild cases paints an overly rosy picture of the mildness of the virus. We've seen this same pattern play out in several jurisdictions prior to omicron, but in omicron it's even more exaggerated due to the breakthrough/reinfection capabilities.


- gee, i am shocked SHOCKED to find out that the young and healthy who "got a cold" managed to spread it around because they "feel fine."

there are no rapid covid tests to be bought these days in yewstn and the wait list for testing is a few days. makes it hard to find some doctor who will prescribe you the new pill you gotta take within the first 5 day of any symptom
   227. Greg Pope Posted: December 31, 2021 at 06:44 PM (#6059161)
there are no rapid covid tests to be bought these days in yewstn and the wait list for testing is a few days.

North Chicago suburbs here. All of the pharmacies have signs saying "we are out of COVID tests". Right next to the signs saying "limit of 4 COVID tests per person".

Testing is free if you can go stand in line without an appointment. The wait varies from 15 minutes to an hour in my experience. Mrs. Pope and daughter just went and got one today. But they do take a couple of days to get back to you.
   228. Tony S Posted: December 31, 2021 at 06:53 PM (#6059164)
But they do take a couple of days to get back to you.


Which means that, two days ago, you didn't have Covid. Given the way this variant is spreading, that information is of limited value, unfortunately.

Not that I have any better ideas. I'd just say that if you get sick, just assume it's Covid and protect yourself and those around you accordingly.
   229. bob gee Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:03 PM (#6059165)
I'm in mid-state NY, and there were no Covid home kits available at any of the major chains. However, I went to a small pharmacy that is in an off the path town, and they had plenty, but they were priced up and behind the counter.

Also, no testing availability at any of the usual CVS-type places.

   230. Greg Pope Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:34 PM (#6059174)
Which means that, two days ago, you didn't have Covid. Given the way this variant is spreading, that information is of limited value, unfortunately.

Not that I have any better ideas.


Yeah, I know. It does seem like Omicron presents itself more quickly, though. Not that I've seen any data on it. But one of the big problems with OG COVID-19 was that you didn't present symptoms for as many as 14 days after being exposed. So you could transmit for over a week without even knowing that you were sick. Lately it seems that people show symptoms within a couple of days, which in theory should help slow down the spread.
   231. Tony S Posted: December 31, 2021 at 07:43 PM (#6059177)
Lately it seems that people show symptoms within a couple of days, which in theory should help slow down the spread.


That makes all the sense in the world. In theory. But the spread is actually faster -- *much* faster.

Maybe all the Christmas get-togethers turned out to be a massive counter-force.
   232. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 01, 2022 at 01:09 AM (#6059207)
I took a COVID test at one of the free sites they had set up on the street near my apartment in Manhattan on Monday. As of today, I still have not gotten the results back. They said it would take at least 3 days but they’re still behind schedule. This is a company that recently got a letter from the state AG telling them to stop being deceitful in their advertising of quick turnaround times.

In the interim, I paid up for an expedited test at another location, and got the results back same day.
   233. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 01, 2022 at 01:25 AM (#6059209)
Cases have skyrocketed in Canada (previous high for 7-day average for all of Canada was 8,700 (mid-April 2021), and right now it is 32,500), but the provincial governments are sending out mixed messages. They are limiting sporting/entertainment events to zero people again (or less than 1000, depending on the type), but also announcing that public schools will only be delayed 2 days before restarting (January 5th), and that those that are vaccinated or under 12 only need to isolate for 5 days after a positive test (instead of 10). Unvaxxed people need to continue isolating for 10 days.

I get the feeling that trying to avoid the omicron variant will be something like this...
   234. Tony S Posted: January 01, 2022 at 09:16 AM (#6059220)
*reeled back*


   235. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 01, 2022 at 11:38 AM (#6059232)
That makes all the sense in the world. In theory. But the spread is actually faster -- *much* faster.


It just seems to be much more transmissible. And you’re still likely infectious for a few days before developing symptoms. Also, anecdotally, people just aren’t quarantining as readily even when they have symptoms, to the extent they ever were.

Interesting article suggesting that Omicron infections are focused more in the upper respiratory tract than the lungs, which may be why it’s milder (to the extent it actually is). I don’t know whether I had Omicron, but that’s consistent with my symptoms.
   236. Jack Sommers Posted: January 01, 2022 at 12:25 PM (#6059238)
If anyone is interested in Arizona Data, Andy Flach@AndyfromTucson on Twitter is a great follow. He publishes an updated Google sheet almost every day, with great charts and tables covering cases, testing, Hospital/ICU census, and deaths, organized much better than the State Website, where he draws the data from.

Check it out HERE

One thing that really sucks here is that our state website does not offer any info on Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated. Arizona is of course a total non mitigation state and has been for a while. 3rd highest Death's per million in the USA since start of Pandemic behind only Mississippi and Alabama. And more tellingly perhaps, the highest percentage of expected deaths of any state both in 2020 and 2021

Based on the math done by some other data scientists I follow it looks like we will peak at 20-25K cases per dayin about a week and are 3 weeks out from AZ hospitals being completely underwater.

   237. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2022 at 10:03 AM (#6059413)
With omicron so hard to prevent, there has been renewed emphasis on declaring that the Great Barrington Declaration was right after all. The idea is that we can't have zero covid so "focused protection" (i.e., of the vulnerable, while let 'er rip amongst the rest to achieve herd immunity) was the way to go after all. Even if we pretend for a second the fact that the "focused protection" touted by the GBD wasn't always just an impossible pipe dream, the GBD was still crazy pants insane:

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

...

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.


First, in the US we barely had measures that could be deemed "lockdowns". Second, herd immunity was already suspected to be impossible when the GBD was written, and is even more clearly impossible now. Most damning of course, the GBD came out just 2 months before vaccines were announced as ready, and 3 months before they really started to be rolled out.

The idea that somehow omicron retroactively legitimizes the GBD is revisionist history of the worst kind. What really seems to be happening is the usual suspects are stepping up again to make the case again that the economy not be compromised in the face of omicron.

The good news is (at least for the US), with vaccines widely available to all now, there really does seem to be a lot less at stake than there was when the GBD first came out. Still hospitals are filling up and a significant number of people will get seriously ill and die, mostly due to vaccine resistance stupidity.
   238. Tony S Posted: January 03, 2022 at 11:02 AM (#6059416)
Binary thinking is the main reason we're still here.

A mask mandate for public places is a repressive freedom-killing total lockdown.

The vaccines don't work 100% of the time, ergo, they're useless.

Since everyone is getting covid anyway, it's fruitless to try to slow down the pace of transmission and give our health care infrastructure some relief.

Binary thinking is stunted and juvenile, and we're stuck with a large portion of leadership whose minds work that way. That is a big part of the problem.
   239. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 03, 2022 at 12:09 PM (#6059428)
That one of the principal authors of the GBD thinks citing Dilbert is evidence of anything is probably all you need to know.
   240. RJ in TO Posted: January 03, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6059430)
The province of Ontario has moved all schools online until at least the 17th of January (and it will be for longer than that), and shut down in-person dining, gyms, and stopping all non-critical medical procedures in hospitals. I believe they've also slapped on further capacity limits to other stores and such, in an attempt to slow down the spread of Omicron so that it doesn't overwhelm the medical system. This comes after their Friday announcement that schools would be starting in-person learning on Wednesday, based on claims about them having enough N95 masks for all teachers and HEPA filters installed in all schools, which were untrue. So they're again reacting too late, giving parents no chance to plan for how they'll handle remote learning again, and just generally ####### things up at the last minute rather than planning in advance.
   241. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 03, 2022 at 12:55 PM (#6059438)
The Pfizer booster has been approved for 12- to 15-year-olds. They've also shortened the booster wait from 6 months to 5 months.
   242. catomi01 Posted: January 03, 2022 at 08:41 PM (#6059508)
So, close to home update. Our office (~25 people), falls under the essential category, and generally leans right wing.....so we were open through the entire pandemic...with about 1/2 the staff working from home in Spring 2020, and fully on-site otherwise. With that we managed to scrape through until now with only 2 known positives - both relatively serious, but short of hospitalization.

Vaccine uptake was better than I expected, but lower than I'd hoped (probably around 60-75 %), while mask usage was a lost cause from the beginning...best I could do was shuffle everyone around to their own private offices and ban meetings of more than two people (a virtue beyond covid mitigation I think.)

Since Christmas we now have 3 confirmed positives, and 5-6 presumed positives from exposures...only a matter of time it seems before this things whips through the entire office I think...so far we've been lucky, but 2 of the exposures were in our warehouse, where isolation during the day is more difficult, and happened to two of the more entrenched "covid is overblown, no vaccines for me, masks are for sheeple" crowd, so I'm definitely nervous our luck is running out.
   243. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 04, 2022 at 02:34 PM (#6059615)
There is now quite a bit of evidence around, of various quality, that omicron should be at least a little milder intrinsically than delta.

One interesting data point is the more or less direct apples-to-apples Denmark data. In Denmark, prior infections are not a major issue since relatively few, maybe 10% or less prior to omicron, ever got infected with prior strains (though to the extent it is an issue, omicron numbers should be adjusted up). They also test and sequence exhaustively, and compare cases and hospital admissions over the same time period, including trying to control for those admitted "for" versus "with" covid.

They show a 25-30% reduction in chance of being hospitalized for omicron versus other strains (0.8% v 1.1%), but that doesn't control for vaccination status.

In the unvaccinated, they have 641/21736 (2.9%) for delta as hospitalized, versus 109/4187 (2.6%) for omicron, for a reduction of about 10%.
In the once or twice vaccinated, they have 656/67232 (.98%) v 263/40841 (.64%) for a reduction of about 50%.
For the boosted, they have 116/2258 (4.3%) v 82/2693 (3.0%), for a reduction of around 40%. (It's likely that these boosted hospitalization percentages are higher than for the above categories because they mainly had boosted only the old or otherwise compromised by mid-December.)

For deaths, there was a 60% reduction among all vaccination statuses, with a relatively small number of deaths. The actual reduction would be implied to be less, due to the higher portion of unvaccinated cases in the omicron group.

Put it together and the Denmark data is implying something like a 20-50% reduction in intrinsic virulence. If you assume almost all the deaths are from the unvaccinated (there's no breakdown, but this may not be the best assumption due to age stratfication...), you get almost no reduction in severe outcomes among the unvaccinated.
   244. Jack Sommers Posted: January 04, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6059632)
Texting with my younger Brother's best friend the last few days:

My whole family got COVID over the holidays. We are all triple vaxxed. Our son got it from someone on his swim team around Christmas. Triple vaxxed with Pfizer, had mild symptoms for a day. Then my father in law and I got symptoms right on New Year’s Eve. Triple vaxxed with Moderna. I had mild symptoms (sore throat, some muscle aches) for 2 days, fine now. My father in law is still in bed but I hope he’s better soon. My mother in law is just very tired. My wife has no symptoms. They are also triple vaxxed with Moderna. Hopefully we can get over this soon. So glad we are all vaccinated, it could have been much worse.

Goes to show that no matter how careful you are, it’s very difficult if not impossible to avoid COVID. Several kids on my son’s swim team have had it now, some had worse symptoms than his. No idea who was vaxxed or not. Which is why vaccines are the best protection. You just cannot hide indoors and hope to avoid it. Just get vaxxed and hope to overcome it. Hopefully my father in law pulls through, and the rest of us keep hanging in


The next day:

I’ve basically recovered. Just a little congested now. Father in law is still quite sick but I hope he’ll finally get better soon. My wife and mother in law are showing mild symptoms now . Father in law is the big worry but his temperature is not too bad (just under 100 degrees) and his oxygen > 90%.

It’s awful. We are all triple vaxxed, and struggling. Those who are not vaxxed are going to get absolutely effed. Almost everyone I know, including co-worker, family and friends has it or it just recovered from it. NY/ NJ are absolutely slammed. I called 2-3 of the ERs in my area. They are packed. Hours of wait times. Told me unless we thought we were going to die at home to not even try to go there. No beds. And many doctors and nurses are also out with COVID already. Gave them the vitals for my father in law and they said they wouldn’t even admit him as he’s not severe enough
   245. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 04, 2022 at 04:39 PM (#6059637)
That's terrible. I hope he, and all others like him, get better soon.

6% of the entire population of NYC has tested positive over the past 3-4 weeks, so the actual numbers must be much higher. Probably not much over 30% though, since we are expecting at least as many people to test positive on the way down, too, and not everyone will get it. Still, anything less than 15% already seems highly doubtful.

There are currently more covid cases in the hospital in NY state (and city too) than at any time except for the massive wave of March/April 2020 when covid first hit. ICU is not quite as bad yet as last winter, but is very likely to at least match it. I'm sure NJ is similar.

Some are saying that it's going to be even worse in other less-vaccinated states in the next couple weeks. That may be the case, but I'm actually not so sure since many of these places, like Florida, already got recently absolutely walloped by delta so may have a lot of recent previous infection immunity.
   246. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 04, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6059643)
#244 I hope they're ok. I noticed that the hospitalization rate among vaccinated people in NYC declined last week. That seemed strange to me given the case rate has gone up so much, but I realized that they are being more selective now in terms of who they admit, given the limited availability of beds. And the unvaccinated have more severe cases.
   247. Jack Sommers Posted: January 04, 2022 at 06:09 PM (#6059648)
That could be a reason Dave. Kinda makes sense.
   248. Jack Sommers Posted: January 04, 2022 at 06:16 PM (#6059650)
By the way, I did find some data at AZDHS about vaxxed vs. unvaxxed after I commented in #236 above. They don't put it on their main dashboard in simple form with drop downs like NYC does. It's buried in a PDF report format I found through google. (of course)


HERE IS THE LINK. Data goes through Mid-late November, so all Delta of course.

They came up with 4X the risk of testing positive, 15X the risk of dying. They have breakout graphs by age group
   249. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 04, 2022 at 06:30 PM (#6059651)
#248 that is pretty consistent with California, which just puts the data on the front of the main dashboard -- they found 5.2x higher risk of infection, 14.5x the risk of hospitalization and 15.0x the risk of death. The case data is more recent and likely reflects some Omicron, while the death data is older and is probably just Delta.

   250. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: January 05, 2022 at 06:33 AM (#6059694)
Couple Qs for the smarter folks here.

How has the holiday period impacted the data we have on omicron? Not the spread itself, but our data on it. Given the proportion of vaccinated people testing positive with mild or no symptoms, it seems unlikely that so many of them would have bothered getting tested if they weren’t travelling or planning to attend a family/social gathering. (This might also help explain the drop in vaxxed hospitalisation rate noted in 246?) So I’m wondering if the number of cases will ‘drop’ in January even if the spread continues, just because people aren't looking for it as much — or maybe omicron has gathered enough steam where tracing/close contacts keeps people testing.

Also — how long does it take post-infection for the rapid antigen tests to detect antigens?
   251. Tony S Posted: January 05, 2022 at 08:59 AM (#6059700)
Our hospitals are bursting at the seams in Maryland. Gov. Hogan just declared a state of emergency.

Omicron might be "milder", but a small percentage of a very large number is still a large number.

A good friend of mine had emergency knee surgery for an infection about two weeks ago. If it had happened today instead, he wouldn't get a bed.
   252. greenback needs a ride, not ammo Posted: January 05, 2022 at 10:09 AM (#6059703)
How has the holiday period impacted the data we have on omicron? Not the spread itself, but our data on it. Given the proportion of vaccinated people testing positive with mild or no symptoms, it seems unlikely that so many of them would have bothered getting tested if they weren’t travelling or planning to attend a family/social gathering. (This might also help explain the drop in vaxxed hospitalisation rate noted in 246?) So I’m wondering if the number of cases will ‘drop’ in January even if the spread continues, just because people aren't looking for it as much — or maybe omicron has gathered enough steam where tracing/close contacts keeps people testing.

Is your premise that more people are showing up positive simply because more people are getting tested? If so, I would counter that they also track positivity rates, and those have sky-rocketed in the last six weeks or so. NYC, for example, has gone from a pretty consistent ~1.5% positivity rate to 30+%. California isn't quite that dramatic, but the graphs clearly convey that #### tons more people are infected now versus a month or two back.

On a different note, my mom has drawn a line in the sand over a booster. I managed to convince her to get vaxxed back in March, but she's certain she had some sort of blood clotting as a side effect. Of course, she won't actually go to a doctor to discuss the blood clotting, or to get the doctor's opinion about a booster. However, she did have the time to pass along a story that Betty White got a booster three days before she died, a claim that the AP (and Snopes) have now shot down as false.
   253. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: January 05, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6059705)
Is your premise that more people are showing up positive simply because more people are getting tested?

Not "simply", no. That's why I distinguished between the spread itself, and our data on it. Obviously there are #### tons more people infected now versus a month or two back -- I don't think I wrote anything that suggested otherwise, but apologies if so.

My premise is that the holidays led more people to get tested than would have otherwise; I don't think that's really in dispute. My question is how much that impacted the data we have on the current very-real, very-scary spread -- and in turn, how much the lack of "could you please get tested before aunt ginnie's do on Saturday" will impact the numbers going forward.
   254. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 05, 2022 at 10:25 AM (#6059706)
#250 I think right now the lack of testing availability is a bigger issue than holiday travel-driven testing. What I mean by that is the average daily number of tests hasn’t changed all that much nationally since the peak of the Delta wave. You can see that avg daily tests are up like 30% from early November but the positive test rate went from ~5% in early November to >30% right now. The challenges of getting a lab test are well documented. So the recent rise in cases may be understating the growth, rather than overstating it. If we were identifying 1 out of every 3 cases before it may be more like 1 out of every 4-5 now. (There are also people who test positive with a home test only and ever show up in the statistics, so I don’t want to imply that all of the missed cases are themselves unaware of it.). This is just my personal speculation.

I think if you watch the positive test rate, the total case numbers and the hospitalization numbers you’ll get a pretty accurate sense of when things are actually dropping.

I don’t know the answer on antigen tests.
   255. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 05, 2022 at 12:02 PM (#6059716)
South Africa latest excess death data is in. The excess deaths have reached 30% of the delta peak, on a weekly basis. Over the full wave in South Africa I estimate they will reach about 20% just eyeballing the numbers. On reported deaths it might be a little less, but likely over 15%.

These numbers are again generally consistent with omicron being more mild than delta, but not by all that much, once you adjust for the much higher percent of over 50s vaccinated, and for recent prior infections.

   256. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 05, 2022 at 01:30 PM (#6059724)
Howard Forman, one of the more even-handed people on covid twitter, is now talking about this as well. (I say even-handed because like very few others he doesn't seem to make a conscious effort to only display one-sided information.)

Excess deaths appear to be a higher multiple of reported deaths in the omicron wave versus other waves in South Africa. This may indicate little as just a data artifact, or it may indicate that the non-respiratory problems omicron are as severe for prior variants, even if the respiratory problems are milder.
   257. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 05, 2022 at 06:40 PM (#6059815)
Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic may not be able to defend his 2021 title after his visa to enter Australia was canceled, Health Minister Greg Hunt said in an interview with local media Thursday.

Djokovic "failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements for Australia and visa has been subsequently canceled," he said.
The 20-time grand slam champion from Serbia traveled to Melbourne on Wednesday after receiving a medical exemption -- according to tournament organizers -- to play in the season-opening grand slam. But he is reportedly being held at the airport after applying for a visa that does not permit medical exemptions for being unvaccinated, Australian news outlets reported.

WTF. Just get vaccinated already.
   258. Ron J Posted: January 05, 2022 at 08:18 PM (#6059828)
#257 He's notoriously stubborn. I honestly don't know what the organizers thought they were doing (though they said the approval process was done without names being provided to the people reviewing the application). There was precisely a zero percent chance that the politicians would not get involved.

EDIT: He's just been ordered to leave. And as I understand it, any appeal will have to be done from outside Australia.

EDIT2: Quoting from the Washington Post story: The federal government, however, is responsible for international borders and visas and did not participate in the process for considering exemptions.

Strikes me as stupid not to bring them into play since they have veto power. And are notoriously reluctant to make exceptions -- particularly when those exceptions are guaranteed to have bad publicity.
   259. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: January 05, 2022 at 08:30 PM (#6059831)
So on 12/27 I commented about my wife's docs having COVID with 1 unvaxxed. That was 9 days ago.

Today was the first day the unvaxxed one was able to do televisits and she said he lasted about 1/3 of the day. He's mid-40s and otherwise was the normal annoying, doc who ran half marathons.
   260. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 06, 2022 at 01:51 AM (#6059873)
Nate Silver really not covering himself with glory in the covid era. The last few weeks he has been minimizing the omicron wave, selectively posting borderline junk (witness, e.g., his cherry picked post a week or two back implying that hospitalizations weren't really increasing in NY, when it was to everyone that they already were, and he could have seen that by looking at the NYS website. How'd that one work out?)

Today he has these beauties.
Suppose you think that school closures were a disastrous, invasion-of-Iraq magnitude (or perhaps greater) policy decision. Shouldn't that merit some further reflection?
...
Yeah, I think depriving tens of millions of school children of an in-person education for a year or longer is absolutely on that magnitude. No question.


Then, when all of the twitterverse jumped down his throat, he played dumb about his truly nasty comparison and essentially used the JAQing off excuse:
I'm saying the magnitude of societal impacts from these decisions is extremely large and it's ridiculous to suggest it's offensive to talk about that.

There are a bunch more tweets as well. He couldn't leave it alone. A truly pathetic display.

(I actually generally like Silver and 538, but his deep dislike of the covid world we have right now is making him lose perspective and objectivity.)
   261. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 06, 2022 at 08:31 AM (#6059879)
Massive catch-up day reported for deaths in South Africa, it seems. Now the reported deaths are already just under 10% of the delta wave, so potentially could reach as high as 20%. That just brings them in line with the excess death report that we saw yesterday (accounting for South Africa's normal massive underreporting of deaths which has bee seen in evident in every wave so far). Weekly peak reported deaths are 25% or so of peak delta, which is now not far off from the 30% for excess deaths.

We are probably at around 10,000 deaths (total, including unreported) in South Africa from omicron now, so the unvaxxed US shouldn't be celebrating lack of serious problems just yet.
   262. Tony S Posted: January 06, 2022 at 08:39 AM (#6059880)
(I actually generally like Silver and 538, but his deep dislike of the covid world we have right now is making him lose perspective and objectivity.)


That's happened to a lot of heretofore respectable people. Problem is that there really is no way around this that DOESN'T involve major life disruptions to *somebody*.

Either we physically open up schools, and expose children and teachers to a potentially life-threatening or life-altering disease and strain our health-care infrastructure to the breaking point, or go back to virtual learning, with its own massive limitations and unpleasant effects on children and parents. No matter the decision, a large group of people is going to be negatively impacted.

It's that feeling of powerlessness, across all sectors of society, that is causing many to lose their rational moorings and lash out.

It's a big reason why so many cling to the theory that this virus was synthesized in a Chinese lab. It's GOT to be somebody's fault. The idea that something that has caused so much worldwide suffering arose naturally shakes some people's belief systems to the core.
   263. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: January 06, 2022 at 09:12 AM (#6059883)
One of my nieces tested positive, so I can't say no one in my family orbit has tested positive (nieces/nephews/sisters/parents/inlaws). Although she's pretty estranged from the family, so maybe we won't count her. She's 17 and vaxxed, so. It too worried, but the rest of school will be fun.
   264. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 06, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6059954)
Another week of data from New York State on vaccine effectiveness:

Even with the alarming rise in breakthrough cases over the past week, vaccine effectiveness continues to hold up, with the vaccines being 78% effective against confirmed cases and 92% effective against hospitalization. Basically, it looks like Omicron is much more contagious than prior strains for both the unvaccinated and vaccinated. 1.6% of unvaccinated NYers tested positive last week (which is a pretty astounding stat), compared to 0.2% of vaccinated NYers (which is still really high).

You'd still much rather be vaccinated rather than unvaccinated, but if you were worried about being in a room full of unvaccinated people a month ago, you should feel similarly worried about being in a room full of vaccinated people today, as the case rates are similar.
   265. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: January 06, 2022 at 05:00 PM (#6060019)
In the last week, about 1 in 100 people in SC have tested positive and numbers are still going up. This strain better be much less virulent to avoid the hospitals being completely overrun.
   266. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 06, 2022 at 07:09 PM (#6060062)
SC is right around the national average. Hospitalizations rising rapidly just about everywhere, although anecdotally it sounds like the proportion of hospitalized people in ICU or on ventilators is lower than in previous waves.
   267. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 07, 2022 at 09:24 AM (#6060131)
The USA as a whole is about to set a new record for number of people currently hospitalized with covid. ICU numbers are indeed lower per hospitalization, but it's not unlikely that a new record for people currently in ICU for covid will be set as well. All 50 states here.
   268. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: January 07, 2022 at 11:07 AM (#6060145)
And now my wife tested positive at work. Said she was feeling a little off so decided to test. Since I sleep next to her every night I have to assume I have it. Only somewhat worried as I'm true vaxxed, but still overweight.

Feel bad for my daughter. She's supposed to have surgery next week and this weekend was supposed to be her last gymnastics meet, maybe ever.
   269. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 07, 2022 at 11:11 AM (#6060147)
I am sorry to hear that. I hope she will be fine, and you as well.
   270. Greg Pope Posted: January 07, 2022 at 11:43 AM (#6060153)
Ugh. Just tested positive this morning on a home test. Daughter tested positive earlier in the week but she went back to school so there was some hope that she didn’t spread it at home.

Like Bret, I’m vaccinated and boosted but right on the edge of obesity.
   271. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 07, 2022 at 11:51 AM (#6060156)
Best of luck with your health as well, Greg.

   272. glitch Posted: January 07, 2022 at 02:45 PM (#6060184)
That's horrible, Bret! My daughter's gym couldn't keep its competition team going due to the lockdown.

I know it's next to nothing in the grand scheme of Covid, but it still kills me to watch the kids who worked so hard at a sport they love having it come to an end like that. The 2020s on my son's high school baseball team got a few games into their season and then... no more baseball. It's gotta be even worse for gymnasts - so much conditioning and practice goes into it, and there's not some beer league softball equivalent to take the edge off when it's gone.
   273. Tony S Posted: January 07, 2022 at 03:03 PM (#6060187)

Really sorry to hear that, Bret and Greg. Hope you and your families get through this quickly with minimal symptoms.
   274. SoSH U at work Posted: January 07, 2022 at 03:16 PM (#6060190)
I know it's next to nothing in the grand scheme of Covid, but it still kills me to watch the kids who worked so hard at a sport they love having it come to an end like that. The 2020s on my son's high school baseball team got a few games into their season and then... no more baseball. It's gotta be even worse for gymnasts - so much conditioning and practice goes into it, and there's not some beer league softball equivalent to take the edge off when it's gone.


My son lost his entire senior season of HS baseball in the spring of 2020, then my daughter lost her entire senior season of college soccer in the fall. It sucked for them, and for me.

And best of luck Bret and Greg.
   275. base ball chick Posted: January 07, 2022 at 05:21 PM (#6060201)
262. Tony S Posted: January 06, 2022 at 08:39 AM (#6059880)

(I actually generally like Silver and 538, but his deep dislike of the covid world we have right now is making him lose perspective and objectivity.)

's happened to a lot of heretofore respectable people. Problem is that there really is no way around this that DOESN'T involve major life disruptions to *somebody*.


- about a million people got permanent major life disruptions and this is not counting all the ones still suffering from major life disruptions due to actual infections who won't never be the same as they used to be

- except for the introverts who hate leaving their place, WHO does not have a deep dislike of covid disruptions that are not infections??!! pretending it does not exist does not make it "normal"


Either we physically open up schools, and expose children and teachers to a potentially life-threatening or life-altering disease and strain our health-care infrastructure to the breaking point, or go back to virtual learning, with its own massive limitations and unpleasant effects on children and parents. No matter the decision, a large group of people is going to be negatively impacted.


- i mean, EVEN if people under 18 had never got sick from this, the adults associated with schools sure do and so do the families of those children. you CAN'T escape the problem. and n this country, i think it is like 2/3 of ALL adults are overweight and half of those are obese and LOTS of them got high blood too - and a lot of people who have not got diagnosed do too. like i keep saying at least here i think it is like 1/4 males over 18 (citizens) got no doctor/no ins/no health care at all


It's that feeling of powerlessness, across all sectors of society, that is causing many to lose their rational moorings and lash out.


- lashing out at who/whatever is in range is what toddlers who need a nap do. nate and a lot of others need to GTFU. i am tard of all them temper tantrums. ive got close to accepting that i will be wearing masks out in public for years and Husband had better. nd no 0ne can come in this house not wearing a mask. until they got a vaccine that protects against long covid from any variant


It's a big reason why so many cling to the theory that this virus was synthesized in a Chinese lab. It's GOT to be somebody's fault. The idea that something that has caused so much worldwide suffering arose naturally shakes some people's belief systems to the core.


- yeh
like we've all decided it's the pope's fault plague happened back in 13/1400 because he wanted all cats killed off because God let satan create cats to be his followers and we all know that killing rodents is satan's thing or something. like this explains how plague happened in places where the people didn't follow the pope. since like when has God not created nasty diseases that wipe out zillions?? syphillis killed something like 1/3 of the european population after columbus brought it back from the bahamas.

i know all about the belief (trust me on this i hear this PLENTY) that SOMEONE (democrat/republican/chinese/mad scientist) created this virus and either on purpose or accidentally let it escape. don't ask me why on purpose because i can't get no good answer to that one

p.s. bret and greg pls do not get real too sick. thank yuo


   276. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 07, 2022 at 09:26 PM (#6060225)
Bret and Greg, hope you and your families are all ok.

BBC how are your kids doing?
   277. base ball chick Posted: January 07, 2022 at 10:20 PM (#6060228)
kidz

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

#1 son seems to have recovered, #2 son is still having headaches although they both insist they are fine. young males are invincible they think. da bull caught it too natcherilly, so i made him isolate which made him seriously Up Set. I told him he could go and live at someone else's house it they wanted him and his virus but somehow he stayed home anyhow. trouble is that they all now think they are permanently protected from any more covid and i told them - um, no. just like getting the flu last year don't protect you from the flu this year. i am trying to get them to get that the vax may not stop you from getting it but it pretty much stops you from being dead/hospitalized from it. i am not sure if #2 has mild long covid because he is evasive because he can't admit that mami was right about something somehow for once. getting a test here is massive lines and waiting for it and waiting to drive through and i'm glad i got a bunch of at home kits BEFORE the covid really slammed us. it's INSANE here and i am surprised theres any HCW left. no new number until monday morning, but i know the hosp are packed and the childrens hosp is full of sick kids from covid. not kids admitted for broken leg who just happen to test positive

i am SO happy you are ok. have lost too many people
   278. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: January 08, 2022 at 04:50 AM (#6060234)
All the best to those fighting off the latest surge. My wife and I both got pinged as having high exposure to a positive case a couple of days ago, which was a bit weird, since we haven't been doing much of anything socially recently. Best guess is that the app is struggling with the apartment block we're in and there was a positive test on the floor above or below. Luckily the test shortage doesn't seem to have hit this part of Germany, and we were able to test negative quickly.

Same day, we got acceptance on our offer to buy a house out in the country, which I guess would have been ideal at the start of this thing, but at least it means that our big dog acquisition plans finally move forward.
   279. Tony S Posted: January 08, 2022 at 08:38 AM (#6060235)

I'm glad your kids are doing better, bbc. I really, really hope your second doesn't have long covid.

I have a couple friends (schoolteachers) who went out and got their fourth shot last week. Vaccines are easier to come by than tests, and their boosters are several months old by now.
   280. Greg Pope Posted: January 08, 2022 at 10:55 AM (#6060237)
Two days in and it’s not too bad. I know for unvaccinated, the worst is usually about about a week after it starts but since I’m boosted I’m hoping this is as bad as it gets. It’s more like a cold than a flu, although I do have joint aches.
   281. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 08, 2022 at 12:09 PM (#6060242)

BBC, I had a few days of headaches after I recovered too. Whatever caused them, they eventually stopped. Hope your son has a similar experience.
   282. SoSH U at work Posted: January 08, 2022 at 12:58 PM (#6060245)
My daughter, who lives in the far northern reaches of Vermont, just tested positive, though she's only feeling slightly congested to this point.
   283. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: January 08, 2022 at 08:20 PM (#6060270)
Well ####, 3x vaxxed and I caught it. At least it's been mild. Low fever one day, slept until 12:30 this afternoon. Strangely no cough. Other than that, a lot like having a cold.
   284. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 09, 2022 at 07:11 AM (#6060292)
Ugh, sorry to hear that Ziggy and SoSH. Everyone please keep us posted on how you’re doing.
   285. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 09, 2022 at 09:00 PM (#6060358)
So my family caught covid in late October. My wife had it the worst, my daughter was medium, I was the mildest. Wife had a bad sinus infection that took forever and multiple steroids to go away. Apparently the infection moved to her teeth, and she is having a tooth extracted tomorrow. The one next to it had less infection, and they're hoping to save it with a root canal, which will happen next week.

When we caught it in October, we were just about 6 months after our second shot, not yet boosted, in retrospect the lowest point of our immunity. So that sucks.

   286. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 09, 2022 at 09:05 PM (#6060359)
On the covid good news front, my Dad has been home since early October and it has turned out to be successful. It hasn't been easy, and he requires twice-a-day caregivers, but he is in much better shape than he was when he finally left care facilities after being in them 15 months.

Its kind of incredible what I now consider a successful outcome for him. This whole thing sucks.
   287. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 07:38 AM (#6060391)
Sorry about your wife's difficulties, Barry. That sounds terrible. But I'm glad to hear that about your father. My dad had some serious health issues a few months ago and we had to move him to a nursing home. Before Omicron, I was visiting him a few times a week, but now with Omicron they are strongly discouraging visitors. I have still been there a couple of times but trying to test beforehand and not take any chances. They've already had a number of cases amongst staff and residents, although thankfully none have been serious.
   288. Lassus Posted: January 10, 2022 at 08:45 AM (#6060392)
I'm in mid-state NY, and there were no Covid home kits available at any of the major chains. However, I went to a small pharmacy that is in an off the path town, and they had plenty, but they were priced up and behind the counter.

Are you actually me, in Utica?


but at least it means that our big dog acquisition plans finally move forward.

WOOHOO! What kind? Or just any?


In personal COVID news, to our knowledge, neither myself or my wife have gotten it. She teaches dance, I work in an office. Rolling positive 7-day rate in Oneida County is at 16.1% as of 1/5/21, latest update. I honestly don't think I'm any kind of super-nazi, but I have been especially careful as I am concerned at least about MYSELF being one of the unlucky "other medical issues" hospitalizations/fatalities, as a T1 diabetic and being medicated for high blood pressure. I mean, I'm quite literally healthy as a horse. Despite those conditions, I'm never sick. Could lose some weight but not large at all. So maybe it's unfounded, but I still contend normal, CONSISTENT caution works. (Consistency is generally the hard part.) Having no social life probably helps.

My wife and I are really hoping for (and I do think it will happen) an east coast burnout by the end of January so I MIGHT be able to go out to dinner for Babe Ruth's birthday on February 6th. And someone else's, I guess.
   289. Lassus Posted: January 10, 2022 at 09:06 AM (#6060397)
A note on the positive rate above, our previous peak was actually 10.8% on 1/5/21. On 2/6/21 it had dropped to 2.1% on it's way to a general low of 1.1% on February 18th (the lowest rate was .2% on June 25th).

So, my hope above seems a bit... wrong, I guess. I highly doubt our county is at its peak, although the rate of increase has slowed at least.
   290. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 09:23 AM (#6060399)
Apparently the infection moved to her teeth, and she is having a tooth extracted tomorrow. The one next to it had less infection, and they're hoping to save it with a root canal, which will happen next week.

Moved to her TEETH????? Extraction? Root canal? Good Lord, I'm never ever ever leaving the house again! 99.8% survival rate, hurr durr durr.
   291. Lassus Posted: January 10, 2022 at 09:40 AM (#6060401)
Tsk. Date in #288 should say 1/5/22. Dates in #289 are correct, from a year ago, for comparison.
   292. base ball chick Posted: January 10, 2022 at 09:46 AM (#6060402)
ziggy
hope u and your wife stay OK

barry
am so HAPPY to hear about your daddy. i had thought he had passed last year and it is wonderful to hear he is alive and so much better!!!! i guess he is now under the 99% "survival" rate that is just like any other cold "survival" rate

your poor wife. how awful for her. getting teeth pulled like she would have to do after any other "cold" or "flu" - but hey, she "survived"

lassus,
am glad to hear you are still virus-free

tmc has not released any data from last week yet (we're always a week behind in info) so all i can tell you is the stupid virus is everywhere. not, as far as i know, in THIS house
   293. Tony S Posted: January 10, 2022 at 10:12 AM (#6060406)
No Covid here (as of now), but I did have a nasty fall in my home the other night (leg cramps -- BOTH legs at once) and thought for a few minutes I would need to go to the ER, which opened up the gates for a tsunami of anxiety. Got a couple of black eyes now, but after a virtual visit with my primary it looks like I'll be OK. Floors are hard...

I know quite a few people who have it or have had it at this point. I'm getting a lot of stuff when I go to the store now, just to minimize my visits.

Everybody here please get well soon.

   294. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 10:28 AM (#6060412)
tmc has not released any data from last week yet (we're always a week behind in info) so all i can tell you is the stupid virus is everywhere. not, as far as i know, in THIS house

The state dashboard shows Texas has gone from 4000 COVID hospitalizations to 10,000 in the span of the last 13 days, generally adding about 500 a day every day. Antigen positive tests have gone from 4% in mid-December to over 20% now. Molecular positives have gone from 8.5% in mid-December to 37% now.

So yeah, it is everywhere.

   295. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 10:33 AM (#6060414)

Even with the alarming rise in breakthrough cases over the past week, vaccine effectiveness continues to hold up, with the vaccines being 78% effective against confirmed cases and 92% effective against hospitalization. Basically, it looks like Omicron is much more contagious than prior strains for both the unvaccinated and vaccinated. 1.6% of unvaccinated NYers tested positive last week (which is a pretty astounding stat), compared to 0.2% of vaccinated NYers (which is still really high).


Wow, I just realized that 1.6% was the *daily* infection rate last week. Which means that 11% of unvaccinated people (give or take; I don't have a ton of faith in the precision of these numbers) in NYS tested positive last week. And that probably 30+% of unvaccinated people contracted it, if you assume that only 1/3 infected people are getting tested. Yeesh.

But it probably means this wave can't go on too much longer like this before it burns itself out.
   296. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 11:04 AM (#6060419)


Wow, I just realized that 1.6% was the *daily* infection rate last week. Which means that 11% of unvaccinated people (give or take; I don't have a ton of faith in the precision of these numbers) in NYS tested positive last week. And that probably 30+% of unvaccinated people contracted it, if you assume that only 1/3 infected people are getting tested. Yeesh.


Just to put the above numbers in context, in a typical flu season, <10% of the country has a symptomatic flu case. That's during the entire flu season. Since about half the country typically gets the flu shot, maybe 15-20% of unvaccinated people get a symptomatic flu case each year. Omicron just did that in a week in NY. So even if were as "mild" as the flu, it still seems to spread much more quickly.
   297. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 10, 2022 at 11:18 AM (#6060422)
Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Stay safe and help your friends and family get boosted.

Tooth extraction went well this morning. When they removed it, there was a hole to the sinuses(!!!), so they were able to suck out a lot of gunk. Hopefully that helps her.
   298. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: January 10, 2022 at 12:02 PM (#6060427)
but at least it means that our big dog acquisition plans finally move forward.

WOOHOO! What kind? Or just any?


My wife is keen on getting a Leonberger to be trained as a diabetic alert dog - she struggles with her levels at times, especially at night, and occasionally sleeps through alarms from her sensor. She grew up with Newfies so it should be pretty similar. I think that will be 'her' dog and we'll go to a nearby shelter and get a dog 'for me' - probably a large-ish mutt that likes long walks. There seem to be a lot of kangals/Anatolian Shepherds over here as well as the usual Alsatian/GSD population, so maybe something along those lines? Has to play nicely with ferrets and cats, whatever it is.

Do you have any experience with dogs trained for blood sugar alerting, by any chance?
   299. Lassus Posted: January 10, 2022 at 12:07 PM (#6060429)
Absolutely zero. Probably wouldn't hurt, I'm more and more asymptomatically hypoglycemic as the years go on and my (sample) monitor has some fritzing problems.

Leonbergers and Newfies are lovely dogs, I'd love to get one of those. Our pittie hates the water with a vomiting passion.
   300. Lassus Posted: January 10, 2022 at 12:13 PM (#6060432)
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