Pandemic Part Deux

So, how are people coping with what seems now like the never ending pandemic?

It's frustrating, for sure.

My son, who lives with me, may have been exposed recently, so he has to get himself tested. And then maybe me. I thought that by now this sort of thing would be over.

I can't find the words to express the anger I have with the anti-vax/anti-mask camp - both the individuals and the politicians who enable them. We have a way out of this disaster, but they're stopping us.

I think we're at the point where some kind of Federal vaccination mandate has to be put in place. Though I have no idea what that might look like. 


Yes.  You need to be tested if you came in contact with someone who may be infected, especially if that person is a family member who lives with you.  A vaccination mandate is not workable unfortunately.  We each need to make the decision to protect one another while realizing it is ourselves we are protecting in the end.  


My eldest child just turned 12.  I discussed the vaccine with him, and he understands why it is important, and also that he’ll still have to wear a mask indoors even after he is fully vaccinated.  He is getting his first Pfizer shot later today.  My other two still have to wait a few months.  Initially they said that age group would be eligible at the end of August.  Then it was fall.  Now they’re hoping the under 12 set can get the vaccines in early winter.

Kids wearing masks doesn’t bother me that much, it is the separation and keeping them at their desks which is causing behavioral issues with the younger set.  I understand that they have to do this for safety, but I just wish they would have a little more understanding of how hard it is on the younger ones.  Last school year I received two phone calls from the principal in regards to my kindergartner’s behavior, and another kindergartener was actually suspended for a week.  That child had gone through two years of pre-k in the school with zero behavior issues, but once they basically locked the kids to their desks all day long that child also couldn’t cope.  I can’t even begin to think of what a kindergartener could have done to deserve a week’s suspension. 


I understand that the physical separation of children in the classroom is necessary.  I just wish the school would find better ways of dealing with younger children who are understandably stressed by this and acting out from it.


First, a seeming bright spot not being reported.  Check the transmission rate tab on this site.   https://covidestim.org/.  Seems to be going down in almost all states and is under the magic number "1" in most.  Some of the really "bad" states have really turned the corner on the transmission rate.

I'm a pro-vaxxer and long mortified by the irrational-ism of the anti-vax crowd but I don't agree with the idea that if we had just X% more vaccinations, the current situation could have been avoided and we'd be in the clear.  Israel was highly vaccinated and really had Covid beat yet due to some combination of the Delta and the waning effect of vaccinations, it came back with a vengeance there.  Their recent per capita case numbers there were really bad.  They've gone full bore with boosters and it's working.

Re boosters, I'm all for them.  Scientists can debate whether we "need" them, which is a question of degree.  There's no black and white answer because breakthrough cases are up and vaccinated people are getting sick even though they slap the label "mild" on them if thy don't go to the hospital.  This is not just  a health crisis but an economic and psychological one as well.  Policy needs to err on the side of aggression to get us out of this.


I don't know when the pandemic, in the strict sense, will "end," but as an era we're living through I believe it'll end once children under 12 are eligible for vaccines. The risk to those actively looking to reduce their risk won't go to zero, but I believe we'll collectively decide it's "low enough" -- in the same way that the flu is a serious disease that kills lots of people but we've decided the risk it presents is "low enough." There will not be a federal mandate, but enough businesses and institutions will require vaccination that the effect will be largely the same; more a "grass roots" mandate.

I think by the spring people will either be vaccinated and have successfully resisted getting infected, been vaccinated and had a non-critical breakthrough infection, not vaccinated and recovered, or moved beyond the realm where these questions matter. I would be so, so happy if we can get the kids eligible for vaccines faster than that, though I'm torn between wanting the FDA to be thorough in their testing and requirements and wondering "what part of 'emergency' are they not understanding".


I just read an interesting blog post that raised an issue I hadn't really thought about, which is checking if the staff of your health provider is vaccinated.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/09/curbing-my-enthusiasm

Has anyone bothered to ask this question of your doctor's staff? Does it matter to you?

I would personally look askance at any medical office worker not being vaccinated, and consequently, the entire office.




Ed Young, staff writer on the Atlantic, was on the Brian Lehrer show. Podcast date is 8/30. He makes a lot of sense. Did not yet read the current article to which he refers. But here is the link: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/08/delta-has-changed-pandemic-endgame/619726/


Per Fauci, the Pfizer boosters should roll out as expected.  Moderna boosters may be delayed 2 or 3 weeks.  Not terrible.


PVW said:

I don't know when the pandemic, in the strict sense, will "end," but as an era we're living through I believe it'll end once children under 12 are eligible for vaccines. The risk to those actively looking to reduce their risk won't go to zero, but I believe we'll collectively decide it's "low enough" -- in the same way that the flu is a serious disease that kills lots of people but we've decided the risk it presents is "low enough." There will not be a federal mandate, but enough businesses and institutions will require vaccination that the effect will be largely the same; more a "grass roots" mandate.

I think by the spring people will either be vaccinated and have successfully resisted getting infected, been vaccinated and had a non-critical breakthrough infection, not vaccinated and recovered, or moved beyond the realm where these questions matter. I would be so, so happy if we can get the kids eligible for vaccines faster than that, though I'm torn between wanting the FDA to be thorough in their testing and requirements and wondering "what part of 'emergency' are they not understanding".

 for the vaccinated adults who don't have children, we are already approaching the point of acceptable risk, IMHO.  We're seeing that overwhelmingly, serious illness is emerging among the unvaccinated.  So I agree entirely that the vaccination of children under 12 will bring us around to a point of accepting the risk if our families are vaccinated.

the risk won't be zero but for the vaccinated it will probably be the kind of risk we accept every year from the flu.  


The more of us who are eligible for vaccination who get vaccinated, the lower the risk for everyone else. Those of us with family members under five years of age will still need to be super vigilant since it will be some time before a vaccine is approved for that population.


For those of us who are immune-compromised, even if we’re fully vaccinated, it’s still terrifying. Yep, even in a relatively low-risk region like where I live. 
I’ve always had a horror of people breathing on me, in my face. Now I can’t stand the thought of being in a medium-sized space with more than 4 people, especially if I don’t know them and they’re not wearing masks. 
Had to see the family doc yesterday re a possible melanoma on my face, was terrified to take off my mask and just breathe. 
Visiting MOL, and weekly shopping, represent the height of my carefree social life cheese


edited to correct grammar


Can't exactly "Like" that post, joanne, but here at a distance i'll hold my breath, face away from you, and hug hug pat pat.  It really is fortunate that we have MOL/remote options.


The way this virus is mutating, the vaccine is NOT enough. It’s really baffling how people really sit and believe that if the whole world gets vaccinated that this will somehow end the pandemic. It WON’T. It’s worse than it was when it started and yet we’re opening up and forcing the kids back into the schools. The elementary school is an example of what is going on in the world today. If the percentage of people vaccinated need to be higher than those that are not then why in the HELL are we sending 400 or so elementary school kids unvaccinated into a school with maybe 100 vaccinated adults?! It simply won’t help them as they outnumber the vaccinated. Am I missing something? If so PLEASE ENLIGHTENED ME


actually, if the whole world got vaccinated, the pandemic would pretty much be over. kind of by definition.


well, Biden has followed my advice regarding mandates.  cheese

It remains to be seen how successful they'll be of course. Red states are probably already writing up their lawsuits. Plus he's receiving some criticism on the cutoff point for the size of business effected - only companies with more than 100 employees affected. That means millions are left out.

I would have liked him to issue mandates on public employees of all types, not just Federal employees - particularly for the police, who are pretty much uniformly against vaccinations - forced or otherwise. Enforcement could be through the withholding of Federal funds.

Anyway, Biden deserves a lot of credit for this. It's a politically risky move.


drummerboy said:

actually, if the whole world got vaccinated, the pandemic would pretty much be over. kind of by definition.

 This would be true if the vaccine prevented infection and transmission.  Alas, it does not.  


drummerboy said:

well, Biden has followed my advice regarding mandates. 
cheese

It remains to be seen how successful they'll be of course. Red states are probably already writing up their lawsuits. Plus he's receiving some criticism on the cutoff point for the size of business effected - only companies with more than 100 employees affected. That means millions are left out.

I would have liked him to issue mandates on public employees of all types, not just Federal employees - particularly for the police, who are pretty much uniformly against vaccinations - forced or otherwise. Enforcement could be through the withholding of Federal funds.

Anyway, Biden deserves a lot of credit for this. It's a politically risky move.

 And less than a year ago you were saying you were against government tyranny.


PVW said:

I don't know when the pandemic, in the strict sense, will "end," but as an era we're living through I believe it'll end once children under 12 are eligible for vaccines. The risk to those actively looking to reduce their risk won't go to zero, but I believe we'll collectively decide it's "low enough" -- in the same way that the flu is a serious disease that kills lots of people but we've decided the risk it presents is "low enough." There will not be a federal mandate, but enough businesses and institutions will require vaccination that the effect will be largely the same; more a "grass roots" mandate.

I think by the spring people will either be vaccinated and have successfully resisted getting infected, been vaccinated and had a non-critical breakthrough infection, not vaccinated and recovered, or moved beyond the realm where these questions matter. I would be so, so happy if we can get the kids eligible for vaccines faster than that, though I'm torn between wanting the FDA to be thorough in their testing and requirements and wondering "what part of 'emergency' are they not understanding".

 Why do you feel its important for children under 12 to be vaccinated? 


terp said:

drummerboy said:

actually, if the whole world got vaccinated, the pandemic would pretty much be over. kind of by definition.

 This would be true if the vaccine prevented infection and transmission.  Alas, it does not.  

Vaccines Need Not Completely Stop COVID Transmission to Curb the Pandemic (Scientific American)

We’re Asking the Impossible of Vaccines (The Atlantic)


terp said:

 Why do you feel its important for children under 12 to be vaccinated? 

 You're not actually responding to what I wrote, which was about when I think the pandemic, as a social and political era, will end. My own views on vaccination aren't really the point here, or at least not beyond the fact that they likely bias my prediction despite my attempts to correct for that. If you want to respond to that, certainly I'd be interested in when you think the pandemic as an era will be over. Again, this is different from the question of one's own personal views; it's more trying to make a prediction about how one thinks other people will act.

As for your question about what I personally feel about vaccinations for children under 12 (again, different topic than I wrote about at the top of the thread), I do feel it is important for a few reasons.

- We don't really know why younger children are less prone to symptomatic infection and serious illness. To me, this suggests we also don't have a good sense as to what kind of change it would take for the virus to become much more likely to make children seriously ill. Is it the kind of change that's realistic for the virus to make, or not? Knowing that viruses mutate often and quickly, and not knowing if a mutation that can put children at greater risk is likely or not, we don't actually know the risk children face in the months ahead. So I don't actually find the observation that children aren't currently at great risk all that reassuring.

As children get older, their risk increases. The age of "12" feels a bit arbitrary; someone who is 11 years and 11 months old doesn't have an appreciably different risk profile from someone who's 12, but they're not able to receive the same protection as someone who's 12. The younger we can push the eligibility for the robust protection vaccines offer, the better, so that by the time they're approaching an age where they have greater risk, they've already been protected for some time.

While children are not currently as likely to become seriously ill, it does appear they can spread it. And while it is true that, as you note, the vaccine does not fully prevent infection and transmission, it does significantly lower it. It's a mistake to approach this in terms of all-or-nothing; we're looking to reduce risk, not eliminate it. So long as children under 12 cannot be vaccinated, that's a large number of people where we can't use one of our most effective tools for reducing (not eliminating) transmission.


terp said:

drummerboy said:

actually, if the whole world got vaccinated, the pandemic would pretty much be over. kind of by definition.

 This would be true if the vaccine prevented infection and transmission.  Alas, it does not.  

 The vaccine is highly effective at preventing infection.  The research is still ongoing about transmission but the evidence seems to point to a reduction both in likelihood of transmission and length of contagion period among vaccinated people that do become infected, especially if not symptomatic.  And, yes, the variants lower the efficacy somewhat, but it is still very high, much higher than many other vaccines.  And if the whole world got vaccinated, it would significantly reduce mutations (i.e. development of variants) so, over time, would end the pandemic.  That doesn't mean that the disease would be wiped out completely, just as we still have many serious diseases exiting in the world that are not pandemics at this time.  Not being a pandemic is not the same thing as total eradication, which is extremely rare.


terp said:

drummerboy said:

well, Biden has followed my advice regarding mandates. 
cheese

It remains to be seen how successful they'll be of course. Red states are probably already writing up their lawsuits. Plus he's receiving some criticism on the cutoff point for the size of business effected - only companies with more than 100 employees affected. That means millions are left out.

I would have liked him to issue mandates on public employees of all types, not just Federal employees - particularly for the police, who are pretty much uniformly against vaccinations - forced or otherwise. Enforcement could be through the withholding of Federal funds.

Anyway, Biden deserves a lot of credit for this. It's a politically risky move.

 And less than a year ago you were saying you were against government tyranny.

 and taxation is theft.

I know the drill.


PVW said:

terp said:

 Why do you feel its important for children under 12 to be vaccinated? 

 You're not actually responding to what I wrote, which was about when I think the pandemic, as a social and political era, will end. My own views on vaccination aren't really the point here, or at least not beyond the fact that they likely bias my prediction despite my attempts to correct for that. If you want to respond to that, certainly I'd be interested in when you think the pandemic as an era will be over. Again, this is different from the question of one's own personal views; it's more trying to make a prediction about how one thinks other people will act.

As for your question about what I personally feel about vaccinations for children under 12 (again, different topic than I wrote about at the top of the thread), I do feel it is important for a few reasons.

- We don't really know why younger children are less prone to symptomatic infection and serious illness. To me, this suggests we also don't have a good sense as to what kind of change it would take for the virus to become much more likely to make children seriously ill. Is it the kind of change that's realistic for the virus to make, or not? Knowing that viruses mutate often and quickly, and not knowing if a mutation that can put children at greater risk is likely or not, we don't actually know the risk children face in the months ahead. So I don't actually find the observation that children aren't currently at great risk all that reassuring.

As children get older, their risk increases. The age of "12" feels a bit arbitrary; someone who is 11 years and 11 months old doesn't have an appreciably different risk profile from someone who's 12, but they're not able to receive the same protection as someone who's 12. The younger we can push the eligibility for the robust protection vaccines offer, the better

While children are not currently as likely to become seriously ill, it does appear they can spread it. And while it is true that, as you note, the vaccine does not fully prevent infection and transmission, it does significantly lower it. It's a mistake to approach this in terms of all-or-nothing; we're looking to reduce risk, not eliminate it. So long as children under 12 cannot be vaccinated, that's a large number of people where we can't use one of our most effective tools for reducing (not eliminating) transmission.

 Ah.  I disagree on both counts.  The pandemic behavior ends when we stop complying.  It has to be a political loser.  It will stop no sooner than that.  

If you are concerned about small children's health and you want them to get long lasting immunity the best bet may be for them to get infected when they are at an age where it is an extremely low risk.  


For some perspective the JVCI in England is not recommending vaccines for the young and healthy.


sac said:

terp said:

drummerboy said:

actually, if the whole world got vaccinated, the pandemic would pretty much be over. kind of by definition.

 This would be true if the vaccine prevented infection and transmission.  Alas, it does not.  

 The vaccine is highly effective at preventing infection.  The research is still ongoing about transmission but the evidence seems to point to a reduction both in likelihood of transmission and length of contagion period among vaccinated people that do become infected, especially if not symptomatic.  And, yes, the variants lower the efficacy somewhat, but it is still very high, much higher than many other vaccines.  And if the whole world got vaccinated, it would significantly reduce mutations (i.e. development of variants) so, over time, would end the pandemic.  That doesn't mean that the disease would be wiped out completely, just as we still have many serious diseases exiting in the world that are not pandemics at this time.  Not being a pandemic is not the same thing as total eradication, which is extremely rare.

 I don't think we really know how effective it is.  It is spreading in highly vaccinated countries like Isreal and the UK.


drummerboy said:

terp said:

drummerboy said:

well, Biden has followed my advice regarding mandates. 
cheese

It remains to be seen how successful they'll be of course. Red states are probably already writing up their lawsuits. Plus he's receiving some criticism on the cutoff point for the size of business effected - only companies with more than 100 employees affected. That means millions are left out.

I would have liked him to issue mandates on public employees of all types, not just Federal employees - particularly for the police, who are pretty much uniformly against vaccinations - forced or otherwise. Enforcement could be through the withholding of Federal funds.

Anyway, Biden deserves a lot of credit for this. It's a politically risky move.

 And less than a year ago you were saying you were against government tyranny.

 and taxation is theft.

I know the drill.

 We've gone from 2 weeks to flatten the curve to 3 jabs to feed your family.  And you are fine with this?


and your thoughts on the Delta variant?  Seems like this has been a major factor as of late.

Do you have stats on how many currently hospitalized are fully vaccinated?


I found one answer - on Fox no less.  Terp - what your thought on this:

https://www.foxnews.com/health/covid-19-hospitalizations-nonvaccinated


terp said:

drummerboy said:

terp said:

drummerboy said:

well, Biden has followed my advice regarding mandates. 
cheese

It remains to be seen how successful they'll be of course. Red states are probably already writing up their lawsuits. Plus he's receiving some criticism on the cutoff point for the size of business effected - only companies with more than 100 employees affected. That means millions are left out.

I would have liked him to issue mandates on public employees of all types, not just Federal employees - particularly for the police, who are pretty much uniformly against vaccinations - forced or otherwise. Enforcement could be through the withholding of Federal funds.

Anyway, Biden deserves a lot of credit for this. It's a politically risky move.

 And less than a year ago you were saying you were against government tyranny.

 and taxation is theft.

I know the drill.

 We've gone from 2 weeks to flatten the curve to 3 jabs to feed your family.  And you are fine with this?

 now you're babbling.

2 weeks to flatten the curve? who said that?


drummerboy said:

 now you're babbling.

2 weeks to flatten the curve? who said that?

 This was T****'s initial plan.  Then we would all be back in church for Easter.  Back when very little was known.


jamie said:

I found one answer - on Fox no less.  Terp - what your thought on this:

https://www.foxnews.com/health/covid-19-hospitalizations-nonvaccinated

 Its propoganda.  The vaccines help with hospitalization but going back to January means you are including numbers during the peak when almost nobody was vaccinated. 



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