Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Skyquake87
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

Post by Skyquake87 »

^Me too.

We're back to masks in the office at work now Omicron (Wasn't that the name of the colony where Depth Charge's friends got murdered by Protoform X?) is getting the government a bit more interested in public health. Shame 'please wear a mask' and it being mandatory in shops/ public transport has met with general disinterest. Hardly surprising given the stellar handling of CV-19 we've had over here.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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We've gotten new "COVID exposure in the school" emails every other day for the last few weeks, and this morning my son's teacher got a positive test result. His whole class was pretty much home sick already, by then. All three of us were under the weather, too. We ended up spending 7 hours waiting to get tested because our government declared victory in the summer and closed a bunch of test sites.

Yay?
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Thanks to fears of catching Covid, my Christmas plans got cancelled again. And thanks to one of the guys who works for me doing something with his sister a few days ago, he called out sick Tuesday with what sounded like general cold symptoms only to get a call from his sister that evening to tell him she had Covid. His grandmother, a nurse, told him to mask up. I made him put a better mask on. But I may have been exposed already.

I can't win. At least I've been boosted.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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So, a week after we went for our tests, my wife and son's results came back positive for COVID. Mine came back negative...but after spending seven hours in a car with two COVID-positive people waiting to get tested, it's zero surprise that I wound up being sick four or five days later. We're all mostly better now, though.

Our government is literally just saying "don't get tested unless you're dying, just assume you have Omicron and stay home" because of how long the lines are, so I'm not going to be able to get another test to confirm that...but whatever. I don't have anywhere to go for the next week anyway.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Testing does seem pretty pointless if it takes a week to get results. If you have no/mild symptoms, you're almost recovered by the time you get results back. If you have major symptoms, you're seeking medical care before you get results back.

I got a couple at home covid tests for Christmas, one as a stocking stuffer, one from the family Christmas party. They're both QuickVue, which I believe is the same brand that gave my uncle a false positive.

Rhode Island has a statewide mask mandate at grocery stores/Walmart again. Apparently not at Domino's, though, since I didn't see a sign and the two employees were unmasked. They also screwed up my order (again), giving me a thin crust when I'd ordered regular.

Cloth masks may not be good enough against Omicron, which is annoying. If I'm only going to be in a store for a few minutes, it's easy to put on a cloth mask, then hand wash it when I get home. It's not worth throwing out a disposable/surgical mask for a few minutes. But, if I don't throw it out, I have to keep track of how long I've worn it. Otherwise, I'll be a couple hours into my work day when I realize my current disposable mask is on its last legs. Maybe I'll just get a second box of disposable masks to keep at work.

Warcry's post about his son waiting for hours in the ER due to all the covid patients reminded me of Daniel Wilkinson, a Purple Heart recipient who dies of a gallstone because his local hospital doesn't have the resources to treat that. Usually, they just transfer gallstone patients to another hospital. But, those were all full of covid patients. By the time an opening was found, it was too late, and Daniel Wilkinson died.

I've read a few articles about hospital staff being physically exhausted by treating the quantity of unvaccinated covid patients, and being berated by them for not administering whatever hoax cure Joe Rogan is currently hyping. But, I haven't seen any about the emotional impact on hospital workers having to walk past sick kids and dying veterans with everyday problems to do so.

Maybe the best thing to do is stop admitting willfully unvaccinated adults into hospitals for covid treatment. Let them stay home with their horse paste. If they know so much more than the medical professionals, I don't know why they go to the hospital, anyway. Save the covid meds/treatment for breakthrough cases, people who medically can't be vaccinated, and minors who aren't making their own medical decisions.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Tantrum wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:06 pmTesting does seem pretty pointless if it takes a week to get results. If you have no/mild symptoms, you're almost recovered by the time you get results back. If you have major symptoms, you're seeking medical care before you get results back.
Agreed. It's also pointless from a public-policy standpoint: the 1500 positive test cases they announced yesterday are people they tested around Christmas Day. And the huge delay is also going to discourage people from getting tested (as is, you know, the government actively discouraging you from going to get tested) which means that it isn't even an accurate reflection of the case count at the time anyway.

Their policy is now "don't come for a PCR test if you're vaccinated, unless you get a positive on a rapid test", but they have no infrastructure for distributing rapid tests, so you have to go to the PCR test place to get them. This has led, as you might expect, to people just doing the rapid test, showing up positive and not bothering to get the PCR unless their job demands it.
Tantrum wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:06 pm Cloth masks may not be good enough against Omicron, which is annoying.
Have cloth masks ever really been good enough? The more we learn about how COVID spreads, the more it feels like nothing but N95 or equivalent does much good. It's just more obvious with Omicron because it's so much more transmissible. Most governments' masking regulations still seem to go back to the days when we thought the virus spread was spread by droplets and contaminated surfaces, rather than the airborne virus we now know it is.

(Guess what else my local government has done their best to make unavailable? Then they eventually distributed boxes of KN95s "free with purchase" at government-owned liquor stores. Said masks, as it turned out, were past their best-before date.)
Tantrum wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 6:06 pmMaybe the best thing to do is stop admitting willfully unvaccinated adults into hospitals for covid treatment. Let them stay home with their horse paste. If they know so much more than the medical professionals, I don't know why they go to the hospital, anyway. Save the covid meds/treatment for breakthrough cases, people who medically can't be vaccinated, and minors who aren't making their own medical decisions.
That's about where I'm at, too. If medical care needs to be rationed because of an explosion of life-threatening COVID cases in unvaccinated people, then why in the world would those unvaccinated people be a priority for treatment? Here in Manitoba, we now have a 150,000 procedure backlog (out of a population of 1,000,000 people!) because of all the resources been vacuumed up by the willingly unprotected. When you're 10 or 20 times more likely to wind up in the hospital with COVID than someone who took the shot, that comes with consequences and if anyone suffers because of it, it should be the antivaxxers themselves and not some innocent person who got hit by a car and can't get treatment because the ICU is full. It's horrible that this is even a topic of discussion, but at the same time I'm pretty sure an active alcohol abuser wouldn't exactly be at the front of the list for a new liver, you know?
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Discussion I had with a colleague at work:

"I know you think the jabs are full of microchips and poison, but just out of interest, have you had your MMR, Tetanus and Polio shots?"

"Well, yes."

"So what's the difference with the CV-19 jabs...?"

*walks off in a huff*

I got my booster just before Christmas - although that was a farce. The big walk in centre in town said they weren't doing them until you'd had at least 6 months from your second jab. Ditto my GP surgery. Didn't get an answer from either about why this was different from the guidance announced by the government and news stories showing huge queues at vaccination centres. Thankfully, Private Eye shed some light on that explaining that as usual, our current government makes these announcements and proclamations without informing the folk delivering services about the change, so much of the NHS and its network of volunteers were caught on the hop and suddenly had to find extra batches of vaccines and staff to cope with demand. Didn't stop me picking up Covid though (if it wasn't on the bus or at work, then the only other place I could have picked this up was at the Chemists where I got the booster...) so I had to isolate all over Xmas. As mentioned above, getting a PCR to confirm my lateral flow result was fun. You either go to a testing centre, thereby risking infecting others (my nearest is in the town centre) or get a mail order kit. I did mine mail order - results take a week either way - and pretty much had no symptoms by the time the results came through. I was a bit confused about what to do next. Guidance from the PCR was that I only needed to isolate until Boxing Day, but the NHS app was telling me I had to isolate until 30th. I settled for taking a couple of lateral flow tests once I started feeling better and then just WFH and sticking to the 30th. As this felt fairly mild (he says), I'm guessing this was Omicron? Only symptoms I had were aching muscles (everywhere!), some shortness of breath and terrible sweats. The timing of this was crap though - started feeling off day after my booster and just put it down to side effects... as a lot of the side effects are the same as having Covid!
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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I've finally picked up some FFP2 masks to stick under a cloth one. They're not a particularly good seal but definitely let less air through the way I normally breathe (which is fairly shallowly, having lived with smokers).
Warcry wrote:When you're 10 or 20 times more likely to wind up in the hospital with COVID than someone who took the shot, that comes with consequences and if anyone suffers because of it, it should be the antivaxxers themselves and not some innocent person who got hit by a car and can't get treatment because the ICU is full. It's horrible that this is even a topic of discussion, but at the same time I'm pretty sure an active alcohol abuser wouldn't exactly be at the front of the list for a new liver, you know?
Yep. Redefine triage and **** 'em. If there's any spare capacity then treat, but priority should go to the few that genuinely can't be vaccinated / the vaccinated in whom it isn't effective and still risks respiratory or other system failures, and progressive disease that requires swift intervention like cancers.
back to the days when we thought the virus spread was spread by droplets and contaminated surfaces
I'm not sure people with any sort of clue ever put much credence in the idea that a respiratory illness primarily spread by contact. The problem is that health organisations wouldn't put weight behind it until proven, even when initial research did just that. As far as I'm aware, firm evidence for fomite/contact transmission hasn't really materialised because it isn't separated from situations in which droplet and aerosol transmission can also have taken place. And the difference between droplets and aerosols is size, which for clusters of microscopic virus particles is irrelevant. It's certainly possible that contact transmission could occur in some circumstances (refrigeration makes it more likely viable material will survive, for instance) but parallels should have immediately been drawn with polio rather than flu. A respiratory illness that doesn't just affect the lungs but vascular, immune and nervous systems -- which affects some people far worse than others, but at its dangerously random worst if it doesn't kill then disables. Basically airborne cancer. The same with media coverage that immunity is effective and persistent, rather than new strains and reinfections being likely to cause cumulative damage.

After the "it's mainly spreading through touch" and "masks aren't needed because coincidentally there aren't enough" bullshit wider economic selfishness took over -- masks that are anything but medical grade are for passing through areas, they're not effective protection for transport, retail, teaching or any other staff who're in poorly ventilated premises for any length of time. The only possible saving grace is that ongoing low-level exposure is a crude and less safe version of vaccination, if no pre-existing medical conditions and exposure never increases past a point the immune system can cope with. The lack of coverage of viral load as a factor, closely tied to ventilation as a risk factor, has been one of the more damaging failures of public health messaging.

If an activity can be done outside or with all of the doors/windows/etc open without being near other people, it's generally safe. If it can't it isn't. And unchecked mass transmission means variants that may or may not be be more dangerous, whether to one demographic or all. The UK's public health policy makes it more likely that this is going to be the part of the world that contributes another variant that eg is more vaccine resistant than Omicron and/or particularly likely to kill and disable kids.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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As I recall, N95 masks are the only thing providing significant protection to the wearer. Other masks provide some protection to the wearer, but are mostly to stop particles from leaving the wearer's mouth and infecting those around the wearer. Which is to be expected. After all, surgeons wear surgical masks to protect the sliced open patients from them, not the other way around. If everyone wears such a mask, everyone is safe. If.

I also remember the surface cleaning being about people from touching things, then touching their faces. This could introduce the virus via the respiratory system, or the eyes. Is infection via the eyes still a concern?


Back in April 2020, RI had 400 cases a day and shut down almost everything. Now, we're at 4,000 cases a day and everything's open. I've seen state mask requirement reinstated at the supermarket, Walmart, and other stores, but not at Domino's or a local take out place. Maybe those are exempt because few people are ever in there at once, and the customers aren't in there very long?

The 4,000 a day may be due to making up for less case counting over the holidays. But, it's not like the cases reported over that interval were lower then previous weeks. Plus, we're only part way through detecting the new cases that were transmitted over the holidays.

We are the 2nd most vaccinated state, at 76% of the total population fully vaccinated, and a few more partially vaxxed. Vermont (and Guam) are ahead of us at 77%. This sounds like the basis for a bet, like when Governors wager a case of their state's well-known crop over the World Series. If we reach 85% vaxxed before VT does, we each get a free scoop of Ben & Jerry's. If they reach 85% first, they get some Hasbro stuff.

With 76% vaccinated, and 4,000 cases a day, we have to reach herd immunity soon, right? Even if being vaccinated is providing absolutely zero protection against testing positive (only against symptoms), that's still 1,000 unvaxxed people a day getting infected. There's only 250,000 unvaxxed people in the state. So, everyone should be either vaxxed, recovered, or dead in 250 days (mid September). Sooner if the the infection rate goes up, which you'd expect it to. Our hospitals are likely screwed until then, though.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Viruses can transfer and infect via mucuous membranes (nose/eyes/mouth) yeah. It's never a good idea to put fingers on those areas that aren't clean, and it's a habit people tend to find difficult to unlearn. But wash hands or sanitise first and the risk is greatly reduced.

Relatively speaking more virus particles are going to get into someone via the nose and lungs by breathing them in, but there's some exposure from walking around in a space where ventilation isn't sufficient to remove those particles from the air even with medical grade masks if eyes are uncovered. Wearing glasses might protect a bit from droplet spray or someone exhaling in a particular direction but the rest of the air is obviously moving around them. People also forget that even with ventilation, it takes time for the air in a room to be refreshed after people vacate it.

Ventilation's key. And heavily skewed by the number of people in a room, it's dynamic and not something that can just be calculated once; typically the recommendation is 10 litres of refreshed air per person per second (that's quite a large vent area requirement, or windows open quite a bit, if relying on passive ventilation). If air is being recirculated, there are standards for filtration. You can estimate the effectiveness of the refresh rate with a CO2 (not CO) monitor, but relying on cheap tat from eBay is inadvisable -- proper ones are around a hundred quid. You can also get active air filtration units, which UK govt has been promising to schools but haven't materialised and the number promised was pitifully small compared to the numbers that would actually be required. Those that have been recommended are pandering to Dyson rather than cost-effective;

https://www.tes.com/magazine/news/gener ... -purifiers
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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You have to scroll down a bit, but here the CDC is saying cloth masks are still OK against Omicron. Another link specified 3-ply cloth masks. I've gone back to double masking (cloth over disposable) in public, since I don't know if my cloth masks are high enough quality. I do know they provide a tighter fit for the disposables. I bought this box of disposables soon before my vaccination and thought, "This'll mostly be a waste, since we won't needs masks soon". Ha ha.

As of today, more than 1 in 4 Rhode Islanders has tested positive for covid-19. Technically, the number may be less since some individuals have likely been infected twice. On the other hand, others have probably been infected, been asymptomatic, and never got tested to be detected. Anyway, having over 250,000 cases per 1,000,000 residents makes us barely the worst state overall. We're by far the worst state for the past week. We are the second highest in vaccinations, though, just behind Vermont. Again, I'm wondering if this means we'll reach herd immunity soon.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Yeah, been seeing a lot of responses to CDC guidance changes, mostly in this vein... https://mashable.com/article/cdc-says-twitter-meme https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/arti ... memes.html
https://imgur.com/a/fuV0lNi

Since omicron is substantially different to delta and the vaccines were based on the original strain, herd immunity's nebulous at this point (it may not be possible with further mutation likely; the transmissibility of delta had already raised the % needed). Three shots of a vaccine -- more for people with compromised immune systems -- seems to give good protection against serious illness with current variants, but it's more a case of helping people fight off what's circulating than preventing infection. More tailored mRNA vaccines would help.

Hopes of sterile immunity and outright preventing reinfection have been given rose-tinted reporting and so has the fact that protection has exceeded expectations. Other coranaviruses mutate a lot -- eg requirements for annual flu variant vaccines -- so the chances of this one not were slim.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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I'm vaxxed, boosted, and have no comorbidities. So, if* I catch Omicron, my symptoms are unlikely to require medical attention. I wonder if fighting such an infection would cause my body to produce Omicron-specific antibodies, reducing my chances of getting reinfected with Omicron.

My big fear now, which is really a fear about a few years down the line, is what happens when covid forks into multiple strains. With the annual flu vaccine, the docs have to make an educated guess as to which strain will be dominant in the coming year, and focus vaccine development and manufacturing on that strain. If they're wrong about the flu strain, flu season is worse than usual that year. If they're wrong about the covid strain, is it 2020 all over again?

* I realize that avoiding covid completely is probably off the table, and that I will catch it at some point. I'm just wondering if the variant I catch will be Omicron or a later one.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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I wonder if fighting such an infection would cause my body to produce Omicron-specific antibodies, reducing my chances of getting reinfected with Omicron.
Likely. It's safer to make it through to the general availability of a vaccine that includes Omicron, of course.

IIRC the flu vaccines used over here are based on tracking what's circulating in Australia some time earlier.

The thing is, the severity of covid in voting demographics and quite significant overlap with "healthy" ones -- including hypoxia, organ damage, hypercoagulation and all the rest -- makes it rather hard for governments to shrug off if there's evidence of a particularly nasty strain, and the reaction times to do something about it are measured in weeks. Several more years of highly visible public health failures are unlikely to do anyone's election prospects much good.

Don't get me wrong, the evil fuckers here are going to do their best to shrug, and there's a public reaction testing article in the Times this weekend about reducing access to tests, but I suspect that'll meet with significant backlash. People being actively blocked from protecting vulnerable other people is political dynamite.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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I just got my booster and I've been sleeping on-off all day. minus the time I spend half-heartedly making soup etc for the young'un in the microwave. I pre-prepped some veggies/snacks last night for her to snack on today, because I knew from the last two shots I was probably going to be wiped out. So yay.

My 8 year old is awesome, she threw a blanket over me at one point. She got cold and took it back about 15 mins later, but the fact that she gave it up at all was nice. :laugh:

I forgot I have lymph nodes in my collarbone area and spent the better part of 5-10 mins poking at it and wondering what that PAINFUL-ASS lump was before I decided to open my eyes, pick up my phone and google it. Now it's sore.

Macdonald's for dinner tonight, **** the kitchen.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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I've been reading a bit about N95 (and KN95) masks. Apparently, many/most KN95 masks found in America are counterfeit. Actual N95s must be fitted properly, which becomes less likely as the mask is removed/replaced due to stretching the elastic. I'm not sure it's worth the effort of learning to ID real ones, and maintaining them, over double masking with readily available cloth and disposable masks.

Either is infinitely better than the mask I saw one guy wearing at work yesterday. It was basically a flexible piece of screen door. He took it down to drink his coffee and I could see through it to the people behind him. The thing is, there is no reason for such a mask to exist other than to spitefully flout mask rules. Someone created a product specifically to make it harder to stem the pandemic because they thought there was a market for it. And they were right. Fortunately, that guy doesn't work in our group, so I'll probably never see him again.

RI passed 300,000 cases today. We reached 200,000 35 days ago. RI's population is 1,060,000. So, almost 10% of our population in about a month. Silver lining: our daily case count is at least 4 times what is was due to last holiday season, but our hospitalization numbers are the same. Our high vaccination rate, and omicron's lessened severity, are helping to mitigate this.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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Tantrum wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:28 am double masking with readily available cloth and disposable masks.
This is limited in effectiveness as well but it's better than cloth alone. There are websites that show you how to properly fit an N95 as well, though I think KN95's are easier overall. I'm lazy and sore and generally not motivated right now or I'd look up a comparison (had a recent chart saved somewhere) but I think they were almost as good if not as good as N95's.
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Re: Covid 19 / everybody PANDEMIC

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My vaccinated & boosted parents both tested positive for covid Sunday. They took home tests because they both have cold symptoms. The home tests have a fairly high false positive rate, so they planned to go to a testing site today (Monday), but they were closed due to snow. The odds that they both got false positives are pretty low. As are the odds that only one of them has covid and the other got a false positive.

This did not stop my dad from going to get his tire replaced today. The tire place screwed up and rescheduled him for tomorrow. I just wrote them and told them they need to isolate, reschedule with the tire place, and let them know that whoever spoke with my dad today has been exposed and should get tested.

I was worried about them. Now, I'm angry at them.

Side note: do not go to BJ's for tires.

Update: My parents got their full test results back, positive. They still have some cold symptoms, but no fever. They've also started taking quarantine seriously, and are having my uncle grocery shop for them.
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