Coronavirus Outbreak: Part 2

None of us are neutral. We all have personal views on this stuff. That’s my point.

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With masks, my community is pretty much down the middle. I’ve always worn them where required and tend not to if not required. I personally do not like breathing through cloth if I don’t have to and would prefer to be maskless if I’ve reasonably assessed that I am of no danger to anyone in my vicinity, which has been like 99% of the time. I’d rather do that assessment often than mindlessly do something that I feel is often not making a difference and that I find uncomfortable.

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I’ve pretty much stayed out of this thread for quite some time. But I have to comment on the mask/ clothes issue. Facial expressions are a very important part of human communication. Seeing you completely naked is not necessary for communication when going into a store or meeting with your friends, unless you live in a nudist colony. One of the things I feel is really missing is seeing others facial expressions when out in the community. There is no longer smiling amongst strangers, smiling at babies in line in the cart in front of you (my DH always loved to make funny faces at babies to make them smile or laugh and that hasn’t happened in over a year) and you really can’t tell if someone is joking or being serious unless they straight up tell you, if you can hear them through the mask. I wear masks in public and will as long as it is mandated, so I’m not an anti masker. But for some people, we are really missing a lot of the basics of human communication. Trying to compare that to wearing clothes in a store is not really the same thing in my opinion. Not to say there aren’t people who have some other reasons for being an anti masker.

Now I will return to my lurker status.

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My community is pretty diverse also when it comes to wearing masks. All places in town have signs on their door requiring masks, but owners from many places are neutral and therefore do not enforce. In the small grocery store, some do and some don’t. The good thing is, I have seen nothing but respect. I’ve been tending to not wear it lately because I had covid in January. DW doesn’t like it. She said, "If you don’t wear a mask then put a sign on your forehead that says you had covid and recovered and are not dangerous! :joy: :wink:

I can understand your position. I’m wondering more about people who are vehemently anti-mask … refusing to wear them in stores that choose to require them and/or verbally attacking those who elect wear masks or require them at their private business.

It is particularly hypocritical to proclaim one’s freedom as a reason for not wearing a mask and then not respecting a business owner who elects to require masks at his/her business or verbally attacking a person who exercises their freedom to wear a mask.

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Ha!

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I used to do that too … but alas, I have not been inside a store since late February of last year.

I can’t speak for the types that won’t ever wear one and get that angry about it. I suppose from the start they equated them as a symbol of oppression and loss of freedom, as you imply. I don’t share that level of anger but kind of distantly see where they’re coming from. I’m for freedom, to the greatest extent possible, but agree that can be taken too far. And yes, I think there’s plenty of hypocrisy all around this country too.

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For those of us living in areas with wide ranging attitudes towards compliance with safety measures, this study probably provides a realistic look at school transmission.

Notably this, which concerns me about kids going back to school if they have vulnerable household members, particularly those that may not be able to be vaccinated.
“Sixty-nine household members of persons with school-associated cases were tested, and 18 (26%) received positive results.”

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I finally got caught up on WH Task Force briefings from the last 1.5 weeks.

Videos are on the WH youtube channel, transcripts are here:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/

Here are my highlights from Wednesday:

While still high, new daily cases continue to decline and are now below last summer’s peak. New hospitalizations and deaths also declining.

14.5M doses were allocated to the states this week, with an additional 2.1M doses allocated directly to pharmacies. [Side note: DH says he has several co-workers that have successfully gotten appointments through CVS and their site is a lot more user friendly than most of the government ones, if anyone knows someone eligible and still trying to schedule.]

7 day average of vaccinations administered is 1.4M/day, down from 1.7M/day the week before due to weather. Shipping delays due to weather are now caught up, so hopefully vaccination sites will catch up as well.

Federal government is providing vaccinators and support staff to try to expedite administration.

If the J&J vaccine has its EUA approved 3-4M doses could be allocated next week (same formula as current allocations) and 20M doses by end of March. 100M doses by end of June, back end loaded, but they are trying to provide support to expedite.

Variants:
B.1.1.7 (UK) ~1900 cases in 45 states
B.1.351 (SAfrica) 46 cases in 14 states
P.1 (Brazil) 5 cases in 4 states
Working on increasing surveillance

NIH has launched a new initiative to study long term symptoms, designated PASC (post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection). These range from mildly annoying to incapacitating and can occur even in those not hospitalized during the acute phase. Fauci referenced this study:
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2776560

One of the key goals of the NIH initiative is to better understand the biological cause (pathogenesis) of the ongoing symptoms to improve treatment guidance.

Additional 2/22 highlights:

Regarding updating treatment guidance for the variants. “We already know particularly that the South African variant is, in fact, obviating the effect of several of the monoclonal antibodies that people have developed.”

They are working on behavioral guidance for individuals that have been vaccinated. (I think @Beth33 had asked about this.) Community level guidance will still need to be followed (masks, distancing), but there may be places it is appropriate to alter personal behaviors. (They highlighted that there is one instance already in CDC quarantine guidelines: “People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease within the last three months and show no symptoms.”) More likely to come after post-vaccination transmission is better understood. Timeframe expected to lengthen as trial data continues to come in.

Additional 2/19 highlights:

Additional FEMA mega vaccination sites coming:
PA-Philadelphia-6k/day
FL-4 in Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and Tampa-total 12k/day
[side note: Houston FEMA mega site went fully online today and administered 5.6k vaccines. Dallas and Arlington sites also online this week.]

Vaccine safety monitoring highlights
Approx half of people don’t feel well after second dose. Plan to take it easy. [Side note: Don’t get same day as your spouse if you can help it so you aren’t both down at same time.]
4.5 cases of anaphylaxis per million doses (roughly in same range as other vaccines)
There have been 113 reports of death after COVID-19 vaccinations not believed linked to the vaccinations, and those are statistically consistent with the all-cause mortality rates for the relevant populations (2/3 were in LTC facilities).

Went into details of lower age trial timelines, but the gist of it is that 12-16 year olds will hopefully have a vaccine available in the fall, and then 5-11 years old in Q1 2022.

Revisited the one dose vs two dose approach yet again. They are concerned about the durability of only giving one dose of a two dose regimen, especially given that optimal protection may be needed due to variants. Also concerned that a sub-optimal dosing regimen could lead to a greater number of variants. (Immune response to second dose is 10x the response to the first dose.)

Additional 2/17 highlights:
Lots of talk about “breakthrough infection transmission” for those already vaccinated and the viral load studies coming in (which should correlate) if anyone wants to read details. More studies underway.

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Oh, I meant to add the link to the vaccine safety data if anyone wants to see it:

Also, two studies on the MMWR yesterday regarding exercise facilities and spread. Anecdotally, DS16 had a dentist appointment yesterday. His dentist mentioned she caught Covid in November and is pretty sure it was at the gym.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/Novel_Coronavirus_Reports.html

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Ok, so my rapid test likely wasn’t a false negative. Still testing negative for antibodies.

DH, DD19, her BF, DS16 all got it. DS11 twins never showed symptoms so that’s undetermined. Such a quirky thing!

Last year there was some speculation that different blood types were more prone to infection. I may go back and read on that a bit more. I’m O+.

Curious if those of you that have had it only hit part of your households see any pattern with blood types?

ETA:
Link to study.
https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-4511

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I’m convinced I didn’t have it when my wife and all the rest of my wife’s family (in our bubble) had it. I didn’t have (identifiable) symptoms and I am the only one who didn’t lose my sense of taste or smell (some still haven’t fully recovered theirs over 2 months later). For that alone, I am glad I continued to wear my mask when around my wife’s family, even though it seemed futile since I was living with someone who tested positive!

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That really is a mystery how you didn’t also catch it with your family. I’m guessing the chance of a false negative on both your rapid test and this antibody test this far out from when the infection would have occurred is very close to zero, and that you did somehow dodge it. I’m not sure how much there is about the blood type effect, but that’s worth having more data on.

I don’t know off the top of my head what all our blood types are, but when 4 of the 5 of us initially were infected around the same time and one DD wasn’t yet, I think it was mostly due to the fact that she keeps more distance anyway with a room on a different level of the house than everyone else’s. She insisted on trying to stay negative, and we had a good system and tried our best to respect her wish even though part of me said let her get it and get it over with, but she did then get it almost a week after the rest of us despite our efforts. Fortunately she was only mildly sick for about a day.

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One would think, right? That was my thinking as well.

But I’m actually having a hard time finding any meta-study on what percentage of those that test positive for live virus actually develop antibodies. (Which isn’t false negatives, where the antibody test fails to detect antibodies. It’s where the antibodies simply aren’t there.). I’m finding one-off studies that say anywhere from 60-95%. It seems like this would be something we’d know by now???

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I thought the historical information shared in this piece was interesting. What Science Forgot About Airborne Pandemics - The Atlantic

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I have an obsession with ventilation!

I wish the measure of fresh air was promoted as much as masks and distancing. I feel like this should’ve been pushed from the beginning too. I’m sure I only became aware of the importance of ventilation at the tail end of last year.

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I thought I read about schools having outdoor classrooms fairly early on. Kids bundled up etc. Over the years I’ve worked in too many buildings w/ NO working windows. It always bothered me and now I can justify it LOL

That was certainly mooted here, although our school never did that despite saying they would.
I thought it was a space issue rather than a fresh air one though (ie go outside to space out more).

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Places were moving outdoors for safety at least as early as the summer of 2020.

The PreK-Grade 1 private school my children attend in Spring 2020 went virtual for the year in starting in March of 2020, but when they returned for summer camp they used tents instead of the indoor classrooms as long as the weather allowed it. This was for safety reasons. During the 2020-21 school year, they have used tents when feasible, again for safety reasons. Unfortunately my DS is in Grade 2 this year and we moved to public school, and in our district tents are not being used. I miss their old school! Though a neighboring town’s public school is using tents.

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