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*** OFFICIAL *** COVID-19 CoronaVirus Thread


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Just now, Leeroy Jenkins said:

They vaccines offer protection against the variants, but maybe not at 95% effectiveness.  So you still can slow things down and keep folks out of the hospital.  Then we can get an updated mRNA vaccine that covers these protein spikes better at a later date.

Do they? I thought they didn't

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Just now, Leeroy Jenkins said:

They vaccines offer protection against the variants, but maybe not at 95% effectiveness.  So you still can slow things down and keep folks out of the hospital.  Then we can get an updated mRNA vaccine that covers these protein spikes better at a later date.

Yep. Gotta keep in mind there are still a large percentage of people out there who are vulnerable to being a vector. If one of these variants increases the already high rate of infection, community spread could jump right back up (which would also introduce the possibility of still more variants which could evade the vaccine). Also, people who have been infected but not vaccinated have varying degrees of protection, which will all begin to wain in the coming months, adding more people back to the possible vector pool. 

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As a point of reference, only ~7% of Louisiana's population have had confirmed positive cases at this point. A good percentage of that is from last spring, and are now vulnerable again. Even if you factor a large number, say 33%, of our population that had unconfirmed cases, that's still well below HALF the state that is vulnerable.  I don't know how other states' numbers stack up to that, but it's pretty sobering to me. 

Hospitalizations, while dropping (which is awesome of course), are just now back to the numbers we had...in November, which were still at that time the highest to date along with the increased wave in July. Point being, lower numbers, but they still aren't GOOD in the grand scheme, and wouldn't take much of a flip right now to get them right back to terrible. 

I remain hopeful, but we aren't out of the woods just yet. 

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FWIW, I had my yearly physical with my doctor the other day and he was very optimistic about the path forward and the science of the vaccines. He said he expects the J&J vax to be approved by the end of this month and for me to expect to be vaccinated by the end of March. He said the J&J vax will probably be the one I get, as with most of the young(ish), healthier population. I would prefer the PFE one, but whatever. His belief is that the vaccines, including the J&J, will prevent almost all the serious illness and the trajectory of Covid is something akin to the common cold. Cases won't go away, but he believes the severity of illness will be greatly diminished.

I've been holed up for a year and will wait to be vaccinated, but after that I will just live my life. If they don't prove effective I'll probably start licking door knobs and just be done with this one way or another. Life is too short and will just take my chances.

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1 hour ago, ericttspikes said:

If they don't prove effective I'll probably start licking door knobs and just be done with this one way or another. Life is too short and will just take my chances.

Let's not start licking each others' knobs just yet.

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1 hour ago, jobarules said:
1 hour ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

They vaccines offer protection against the variants, but maybe not at 95% effectiveness.  So you still can slow things down and keep folks out of the hospital.  Then we can get an updated mRNA vaccine that covers these protein spikes better at a later date.

Do they? I thought they didn't

Yes, generally. The UK variant is not an issue regarding vaccines. The SA variant seems to "evade" the vaccine-produced antibodies for longer than other strains, but not to a point where the current vaccines are thought to be useless. A vaccinated person getting infected with the SA variant might be 50-50 (or a little worse) to actually come down with symptomatic illness, but the vaccine keeps that illness from getting severe.

In the near future, COVID vaccines will change periodically. Flu vaccines currently combine two or three vaccines against two or three strains ... COVID vaccines could be done the same way.

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8 minutes ago, The Z Machine said:
1 hour ago, ericttspikes said:

If they don't prove effective I'll probably start licking door knobs and just be done with this one way or another. Life is too short and will just take my chances.

Let's not start licking each others' knobs just yet.

I would've been satisfied with some freeze-dried Taster's Choice ... and Z springs this serious gourmet schmidt on us. What flavor is this?

Edited by Doug B
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3 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

The issue is if we only get 50% penetration and these variants spread fast without the vaccines being as effective.  We need big penetration and people adhering to restrictions until we hit that point so we can tamp down the variants and be ready for booster shots this fall to combat them potentially,  Then this thing can turn into a common cold issue with 12-24 month vaccination along with your flu shots yearly.  While maybe people wear masks on public transit from October to March, wash their hands better, and stay/work from home when feeling slightly off.  

This thing is over.  It's already R0 <1 in the UK and Israel where they've rolled the vax out.  The hospitals are emptying out so fast now in Texas they are worried about revenue.  The way the vax is rolling out to target the most vulnerable is working better than anyone could have imagined.  These variants are a complete nothingburger and even the worst case variant scenario has this thing dead to rights in May, not 12-24 months from now.  

Get over this whole people wear mask thing, you'll see that disposed of as soon as memorial day, forever.  It will be like Polio.  Not AIDS. 

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Due to winter weather (mainly ice), SA has already moved Monday second doses out to Friday. My second dose, already delayed two weeks, is schedule for Wednesday, which has a 40% chance of wintery precip. For those who aren't aware, SA totally closes down for ice an snow. I truly fear my first does is in serious danger of becoming for naught. I'm worried, but more because I'm afraid I'd have a fight on my hands if I need to "start over." I could easily see the city saying "Yea, it's been ten weeks, but you already had one so... only one more. Sorry."

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1 hour ago, culdeus said:

This thing is over.  It's already R0 <1 in the UK and Israel where they've rolled the vax out.  The hospitals are emptying out so fast now in Texas they are worried about revenue.  The way the vax is rolling out to target the most vulnerable is working better than anyone could have imagined.  These variants are a complete nothingburger and even the worst case variant scenario has this thing dead to rights in May, not 12-24 months from now.  

Get over this whole people wear mask thing, you'll see that disposed of as soon as memorial day, forever.  It will be like Polio.  Not AIDS. 

You are far more confident than most, it seems. You're in TX right?  One of the epidemiologists I follow is also in TX and was far less convinced than you. She did mention that several areas in TX were looking much better as far as hospitalizations and ICUs, but some areas were still very much strained. I *think* it was El Paso among the few that she mentioned specifically, but can't recall for certain. I will try to find what I read (it was last weekend or earlier this week) and link it up. 

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12 hours ago, ericttspikes said:

I'm still not sure I understand the variants. Fauci says that uncontrolled community spread creates the variants. If that is the case, the variants probably originated in the US based on our global domination of cases and deaths from this thing. South Africa cases have just plummeted since the South African variant hysteria started, with deaths following down. UK cases are also trending down seemingly faster than other European countries. Perhaps the UK and South African variants are misnomers, kind of like the Spanish Flu? If they truly did originate in the UK and South Africa, their progression doesn't look any worse than any other place in the globe, and seem to be receding faster than other places. Don't really get it.

Variants can occur anywhere. While it’s true uncontrolled spread increases the odds, ultimately mutations occur by random chance, and accumulate with time.

As to the caseload in the UK and South Africa, it’s possible the variants spread more effectively but cause less severe disease; with fewer symptoms/more asymptomatic cases, people are less likely to be diagnosed.

I’m just speculating, but it’s a pretty common phenomenon that mutated viruses are less virulent.

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15 hours ago, Nathan R. Jessep said:

You are far more confident than most, it seems. You're in TX right?  One of the epidemiologists I follow is also in TX and was far less convinced than you. She did mention that several areas in TX were looking much better as far as hospitalizations and ICUs, but some areas were still very much strained. I *think* it was El Paso among the few that she mentioned specifically, but can't recall for certain. I will try to find what I read (it was last weekend or earlier this week) and link it up. 

I mostly follow the Texas information, because well, that's where I am.   

https://covid-texas.csullender.com/

This breaks out each hospital area by area.  DFW https://covid-texas.csullender.com/?tsa=E for example shows hospital rates have cut in half since Jan 10th.  There are pockets where this hasn't quite happened, but none are still just overwhelmed.  El Paso (https://covid-texas.csullender.com/?tsa=I) seems to have hit a plateau, but is well off it's peak.  

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15 hours ago, Nathan R. Jessep said:

You are far more confident than most, it seems. You're in TX right?  One of the epidemiologists I follow is also in TX and was far less convinced than you. She did mention that several areas in TX were looking much better as far as hospitalizations and ICUs, but some areas were still very much strained. I *think* it was El Paso among the few that she mentioned specifically, but can't recall for certain. I will try to find what I read (it was last weekend or earlier this week) and link it up. 

I hate to rain on the knob-licking parade, but I think all the celebration may be a little, umm, premature.

Yes, things are trending in the right direction, but one must consider vaccine coverage for the global community, which still has a long way to go. And we’re still losing roughly triple the number of people per day than our historic number one killer, heart attacks.

I think mid-late summer is a good target for some semblance of normalcy, but hope a significant chunk of the populace doesn’t forget the importance of NPIs moving forward.

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21 hours ago, Terminalxylem said:

I hate to rain on the knob-licking parade, but I think all the celebration may be a little, umm, premature.

Yes, things are trending in the right direction, but one must consider vaccine coverage for the global community, which still has a long way to go. And we’re still losing roughly triple the number of people per day than our historic number one killer, heart attacks.

I think mid-late summer is a good target for some semblance of normalcy, but hope a significant chunk of the populace doesn’t forget the importance of NPIs moving forward.

:goodposting: 

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22 hours ago, Terminalxylem said:

I think mid-late summer is a good target for some semblance of normalcy, but hope a significant chunk of the populace doesn’t forget the importance of NPIs moving forward.

When you say this ... what direction are you thinking of?

a) The U.S. picks up East Asian masking norms when sniffly/coughing, and also picks up a firm ethic to not work through colds (IOW, treat common-cold symptoms like nausea where "everyone understands" why you stayed home and aren't milking it). Hard coughing on public transportation, say, is treated like puking onto the bus floor -- you move heaven and earth to avoid it.

or

b) 6-foot social distancing and double-masking in public forevermore -- absolutely never a return to "2019 normal."
 

Or something else?

I can foresee some level of change ... at the same time, it's hard to imagine that a sense of "2019 normal" never, ever returns to American society.

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5 hours ago, parasaurolophus said:

Saw that 10 MLB parks are serving as vaccination sites and 150k a week being vaccinated combined. 

I feel like i saw that either yankee stadium or city field were only vaccinating 200 people a day.  which just sounds insanely low.

Found it.  City Field.  https://nypost.com/2021/02/10/citi-field-opens-for-covid-vaccinations-elderly-turned-away/

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I've been to Marlins Park three times to get tested (nasal swab). Two of those times I was sitting in a line for 2+ hours in my car until I got to the front, despite having an appointment. The third time took maybe 20 minutes tops.

Went to get tested again on Saturday (16 yo son had to quarantine and get tested due to possible exposure at school) at a different park here in Miami. We had 8:30am appointment. Was done by 8:45a (oral swab).

The plus  side of Marlins Park and nasal swab was that I had  the results within 30 minutes of taking the test. 

Still waiting on yesterday's results although I am expecting them today. 

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10 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

Wisconsin hospitalizations below 400. Peak was 2277. 

Dont let the door hit ya covid. 

We've cut hospitalizations in half since Jan 28th. Hopefully the Super Bowl parties or new strains don't come along and screw it up.

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Just now, DallasDMac said:

We've cut hospitalizations in half since Jan 28th. Hopefully the Super Bowl parties or new strains don't come along and screw it up.

I dont know your area, but i have been hearing those warnings for a long time in WI. 

Our peak was before thanksgiving, which came and went. Then xmas, then new years. 

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27 minutes ago, DallasDMac said:

We've cut hospitalizations in half since Jan 28th. Hopefully the Super Bowl parties or new strains don't come along and screw it up.

The UK strain already came through IMO, we've only begun to catch up on the genome testing the rest of the first world has been doing for months.

 

Why haven't we had any US variants? Because we haven't been looking for them.

Edited by Dezbelief
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49 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

I dont know your area, but i have been hearing those warnings for a long time in WI. 

Our peak was before thanksgiving, which came and went. Then xmas, then new years. 

We had pretty big spikes for all of those.

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17 hours ago, Doug B said:

When you say this ... what direction are you thinking of?

a) The U.S. picks up East Asian masking norms when sniffly/coughing, and also picks up a firm ethic to not work through colds (IOW, treat common-cold symptoms like nausea where "everyone understands" why you stayed home and aren't milking it). Hard coughing on public transportation, say, is treated like puking onto the bus floor -- you move heaven and earth to avoid it.

or

b) 6-foot social distancing and double-masking in public forevermore -- absolutely never a return to "2019 normal."
 

Or something else?

I can foresee some level of change ... at the same time, it's hard to imagine that a sense of "2019 normal" never, ever returns to American society.

Hopefully at least a) + more working from home.

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I gotta say that the vaccine rollout happened at just the right time. I’ve had numerous people tell me that they were going wait to get the vaccine until a friend got it or saw how overloaded the hospitals were. I don’t if demand would have been so high if the rollout would have happened now with numbers falling drastically after the holidays. It’s still a worry that demand may fall off but at least we got a lot of the highest risk population vaccinated which should keep hospitalizations and deaths on a downward track.

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TL:DR - wife has COVID, still symptomatic, mom/dad tested positive but doing better, me and kids negative

-----------

Whew.  Been a whirlwind of a week or so in the nirad3 household.  As I mentioned way upthread, my wife was given a positive test result and has been feeling lousy since.  Mainly just fatigued, but still has no taste/smell.  She can actually taste grapes, of all things, though. 

She started to feel a bit better, so we decided to move forward with our trip to the SoCal mountains (Big Bear) to stay at my buddy's cabin.  I had informed him of my wife's diagnosis and he was OK with us staying there.  Shrug.

So last Wednesday we head up (2 hour trip) and halfway up the mountain my wife starts to get anxious about going.  She realizes the thinner air up in the mountains could be a bad thing.  So we took her home and I turned around and headed back up with my kids.  All three of us had no symptoms at all (except for one day my daughter felt a little "sniffly") so we figured we could stay away from my wife for a few days and enjoy the snow.  My wife had bought snowboarding lessons for my almost-10-year-old daughter and really wanted her to go and experience it.

And then turns out both my mom and dad tested positive.  Not good, especially since my dad's in chemotherapy.   We gave thought of coming home Thursday but none of us felt bad at all (yes I realize you can be asymptomatic).  Decided to stay.  

Wife started feeling a little better.  Still fatigued and loss of taste/smell, but better.  Mom and dad also started feeling better.

Get home on Saturday and I start getting a bit of a headache and congestion.  Uh oh.  I got tested Sunday, and got the kids rapid tested yesterday.  They were both negative, and I just got my results:  also negative.  

Probably a good idea that I got my kids out of the infected house for four days.

So glad my dad - especially - is feeling better.  Doctor gave him and my mom z-packs for their symptoms, and those helped tremendously.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

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My round 2 shot delayed again, this time until Sunday. That puts me within three days of the six week CDC limit. Admittedly I am worried about if I will truly have 95% protection after 5 1/2 weeks between doses. Of course if the entire Texas grid crashes, it may not be a factor.

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1 hour ago, DallasDMac said:

My round 2 shot delayed again, this time until Sunday. That puts me within three days of the six week CDC limit. Admittedly I am worried about if I will truly have 95% protection after 5 1/2 weeks between doses. Of course if the entire Texas grid crashes, it may not be a factor.

Pfizer or Moderna? Just curious because I hadn’t heard the 6 week limit before.

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8 hours ago, nirad3 said:

TL:DR - wife has COVID, still symptomatic, mom/dad tested positive but doing better, me and kids negative

-----------

Whew.  Been a whirlwind of a week or so in the nirad3 household.  As I mentioned way upthread, my wife was given a positive test result and has been feeling lousy since.  Mainly just fatigued, but still has no taste/smell.  She can actually taste grapes, of all things, though. 

She started to feel a bit better, so we decided to move forward with our trip to the SoCal mountains (Big Bear) to stay at my buddy's cabin.  I had informed him of my wife's diagnosis and he was OK with us staying there.  Shrug.

So last Wednesday we head up (2 hour trip) and halfway up the mountain my wife starts to get anxious about going.  She realizes the thinner air up in the mountains could be a bad thing.  So we took her home and I turned around and headed back up with my kids.  All three of us had no symptoms at all (except for one day my daughter felt a little "sniffly") so we figured we could stay away from my wife for a few days and enjoy the snow.  My wife had bought snowboarding lessons for my almost-10-year-old daughter and really wanted her to go and experience it.

And then turns out both my mom and dad tested positive.  Not good, especially since my dad's in chemotherapy.   We gave thought of coming home Thursday but none of us felt bad at all (yes I realize you can be asymptomatic).  Decided to stay.  

Wife started feeling a little better.  Still fatigued and loss of taste/smell, but better.  Mom and dad also started feeling better.

Get home on Saturday and I start getting a bit of a headache and congestion.  Uh oh.  I got tested Sunday, and got the kids rapid tested yesterday.  They were both negative, and I just got my results:  also negative.  

Probably a good idea that I got my kids out of the infected house for four days.

So glad my dad - especially - is feeling better.  Doctor gave him and my mom z-packs for their symptoms, and those helped tremendously.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

Glad that things aren't super serious for you and the family. 

Not trying to be a jerk here, but did you or your kids go out to the mountain, get snowboarding lessons, maybe rented gear or at least spent time in a lodge, even to visit the restroom without a confirmed negative test result?

I'm glad it seems that none of you were carriers because you may exposed many people otherwise. 

If you already had the negative test results before breaking isolation, disregard the above. 

Getting the positive case isolated was a good idea, but going out in public after a known positive exposure is a very bad idea. 

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Vaccines availability in pharmacies (and possibly other places) could be sporadic with the current plans. 

Until recently states received allotments from the federal government and distributed as needed. Last week the federal government started sending allotments directly to pharmacies to expand the reach, which undoubtedly is a good thing. Communication has been bad thus far and we really are not sure what to expect. We were in the first tier and received 100 doses last week but no word on this week.

Their expectation is that the doses sent will be used within 7 days. The expectation is that there will be regular weekly deliveries. The problem is that any delay will leave pharmacies without vaccine and unable schedule appointments ahead of time without the risk of having to cancel them. They do schedule an allotment for a 2nd dose in 4 weeks.  Our county is going to a similar requirement for any future. We will be supplied week to week with little flexibility.

We’re also seeing another difficulty that will come with retail locations and that’s the 2 dose requirement and limited appointment capacity. We just started our first full week of second appointments. On Thursday and Friday we added some 1st doses but other than that the next 3 weeks will just be 2nd doses. I had to tell my staff today not to send anyone to our scheduling site anymore because there would not be any appointments for awhile. We just lowered down to 65+ and we’re gonna need to send them looking elsewhere. This will be a continuous problem of finding a pharmacy that’s doing 1st doses.

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1 hour ago, Biff84 said:

Pfizer or Moderna? Just curious because I hadn’t heard the 6 week limit before.

Pfizer. 6 week max came right from the CDC page. Which is not to say I am even remotely confident in it. But it is what San Antonio Health is operating off of.

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4 hours ago, DallasDMac said:

My round 2 shot delayed again, this time until Sunday. That puts me within three days of the six week CDC limit. Admittedly I am worried about if I will truly have 95% protection after 5 1/2 weeks between doses. Of course if the entire Texas grid crashes, it may not be a factor.

Mine is set for Thursday, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to cancel it and hope they can get me in next week. More ice coming for us tonight and everything is already pretty much shut down. :censored:

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11 hours ago, DallasDMac said:

Pfizer. 6 week max came right from the CDC page. Which is not to say I am even remotely confident in it. But it is what San Antonio Health is operating off of.

I think that's likely based on what the Phase 3 data had for the bound on the 2nd dose.  I highly, highly doubt that you would be excluded from getting the 2nd dose outside of that 6 week window.  However, the efficacy of that treatment regime is unknown.  But, I would think that the efficacy of a late 2nd dose is still going to be better than no 2nd dose (not a doctor).

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10 hours ago, soothsayer said:

Now that the focus seems to be on COVID spread by droplets in the air, are fecal clouds no longer a concern? Haven't heard anything on that front for a while and was in a public restroom today. Fecal clouds? Anyone?

The probability is low, however aerosols from someone in there before you coughing or talking on their phone could linger.

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On 2/16/2021 at 10:58 PM, Nathan R. Jessep said:

Mine is set for Thursday, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to cancel it and hope they can get me in next week. More ice coming for us tonight and everything is already pretty much shut down. :censored:

Update. Called this AM and the store isn't even open, but they have someone manning the phones. Good news! They are holding the second doses for everyone and when they reopen they will be calling to reschedule those appointments. Whew!

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