Coronavirus pandemic non-socio-political discussions

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May 4, 2011
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Charleston, SC
No more than with E. coli I would think.
This is my wife's area (shockingly she doesn't want to post on a board like this) and it's a tough call. No major evidence yet, but there are some concerns about imported produce, but she already refused to buy anything from Mexico because as she says "their safety enforcement and compliance is crap". She apparently has to deal with recalls all the time from there. She's good with basically anywhere else and the new food safety laws and enforcement should help with that some (think workers now having bathrooms and not having to poop in fields).
 

RxCowboy

Has no Rx for his orange obsession.
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May 15

Covid-19: Friday update

1. A new study was released accompanied by headlines that will make a lot of noise so I want to tackle that right away. The headlines say things like, "Physical distancing didn't reduce the disease" and other such things that imply the use of quarantine didn't work. It is a pre-print study (so not yet peer reviewed or accepted for publication) But what the study actually said was: social distancing and quarantine slowed the spread but it merely stabilized the process. Just a reminder that that is precisely what we were after. The study reports that pre-quarantine the rate of spread was doubling every 3.31 days. After quarantine it was doubling every 100 days. Obviously that is a significant improvement. I posted a chart a week or so ago that showed the impact in visual form for anyone who missed it. I can share that again if needed. The researchers went on to say that when we open things back up we are going to see that gap (the 3.31 to 100 days) start to shorten or lose ground and we need to be aware of that. I believe we all are but if not, please note that when we reopen we fully expect to see an increase in cases. If we reopen well that increase will be manageable.

2. A positive, asymptomatic man in Germany attended a face to face meeting and spread the virus to 11 of the 13 people in attendance.

3. A third person has developed the disease after an extended incubation period. This one was a man in China who went into quarantine after possible exposure and developed the disease 38 days later. He had remained in quarantine the entire time. This is the 3rd such known case globally. This has significant implications if we continue to see cases such as this.

4. Herd Immunity continues to be something people suggest. The idea is we would just get infected to produce herd immunity. Let's discuss how this would look. Herd immunity means enough people have had the disease and developed immunity that it protects the most vulnerable. Herd immunity is most commonly achieved with vaccination. If enough of us get vaccinated for something, we protect those who can't or won't. But how many of us need to be immune for it to work? That varies by disease and we currently have no idea what the level would need to be for Covid - we can only use science and math to make a hypothesis. Some diseases only require about 75% of us being immune because they don't spread that easily (this level is very low and uncommon). Most diseases require higher more in the upper 80's to mid 90's range. So let's use 90% as our marker. In order to achieve herd immunity, 90% of us or more (remember we don't know the actual number) would need to get and survive the disease. People who die won't count toward the 90% Spreading it around is no problem, the virus is quite efficient at spreading. So infecting 90% of us would be easy. But remember, 20% have severe complications with 5% dying and those who die don't count toward the 90%. So we can't just infect 90%, we need that number to be higher to accommodate those who won't make it. When the influx of so many of us having the disease at once hits, medical facilities will become overrun and unable to care for so many at once which will actually lead to greater deaths than 5%, which will lead to the need for more infections to keep the 90% threshold. To complicate this plan, as of 2017 (the last year for which data is available) 16% of Americans are 65 or older, that number grows each year. So we can't avoid exposing the most vulnerable or we will never reach the 90% mark. To further complicate this plan, we don't know how long immunity lasts. We think perhaps a year or two but that too is a current scientific estimate. Either way, in a year or two we may need to do it all over again although, we should see less deaths each time as our bodies become better at fighting it off. Also, we don't know if everyone who gets it, regardless of severity develops the same immunity or if that varies by age etc. There are a lot of unknowns to rely on this as a strategy. Herd immunity was never intended to work this way. It is an effect and a protection for the vulnerable, not a battle plan. After 9/11 we had conversations about vaccinating against Smallpox in our country. We were concerned it could be weaponized and released as an act of terrorism which would decimate the country. But when we ran the numbers we concluded that 250-1000 people would die if vaccinated. (for example, someone who doesn't yet know they have HIV). That number, 250-1000 was deemed to great a loss of life by our Government and the American people, so we didn't do it. Herd immunity as an approach to Covid19 will result in at least 15 million lost American lives, that is a few more than 1000.

FINAL THOUGHTS: We have survived another week. Oh sure we had to give up hand sanitizer shots to do it - but in exchange we had dessert and wore masks out in public. Friday night is a great night for pizza, board games and ridiculous tv shows you would never otherwise watch. Dial up some friends on Zoom, or gather up your household. Then grab a snack or beverage and get social. On Monday, I would like to hear about someone who had a legendary game of charades via Zoom!
 

RxCowboy

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May 15

Kim Harris Fletcher

Its now the middle of May and we are now 8 weeks into the coronavirus pandemic so let’s take a data dive and see what we find...

The number of COVID infected Oklahomans (red) has increased 2.5% to 5086. We registered 6104 tests performed in the last 24 hours. Of those, we have 124 new positives. 65 of those are from Texas county (+51%). Only 19% of the 124 are from the OKC metro -including OK (+22), Canadian (+1) and Cleveland (+1) counties. Yeah, Norman and Moore, you read that right... 1 positive case in the last 48 hours. (If you’re keeping track from yesterday??)

Our current hospitalizations sit steady at 217 and cumulative hospitalizations (purple) increased by only 5 patients statewide to a total of 863.

We can report that 74% of our positives have now recovered (green), adding 141 to that list since yesterday. And also we only have to add 1 more to the list of those who never recovered (yellow) , which is certainly good news.

Reporting the number of new positives against the number of new total tests performed shows a promising trend as well. We started at about 11% positives and today we sit at 2%. This shows that we have really increased testing statewide and are not just testing the symptomatic patients. A raw rolling 7 day average of 94 cases/day looks a little alarming when you don’t consider the increase in overall testing and the outbreak in Guymon/Hooker. Bearing those things in mind makes that number manageable.

I’m encouraged at this 2 week mark, and frankly, I hoped I would be. Now Guymon/Hooker should *not* be opening, and I sure hope their mayor is addressing this locally. As far as the OKC metro, I have no issue with continued safe opening. Please wash hands, mask in crowded spaces, go out and get some sunshine (if we get any) and play ball! ??

p.s. this <baseball> mom is available all weekend to cheer on anyone who needs to borrow a loudmouthed mom! Chair, cooler, sunscreen, and first aid kit included.
1589630296225.png
 

RxCowboy

Has no Rx for his orange obsession.
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May 18
Covid-19 Monday May 18th

1. Vitamin D remains in the news. Studies are being done around the world to determine if having enough vitamin D prior to infection could help reduce the severity of disease should you get it. So far the studies are conflicting each other (some say yes, some say no). This is how research works. We just keep researching until we know for sure. However, in Ireland some researchers are calling on the Irish government to make an official recommendation to the public. To recap, having adequate vitamin D cannot hurt you and may possibly help with Covid-19. Taking too much could become toxic and cause you harm.

2. A study in the UK looked at which comorbidities put people at highest risk for dying from Covid-19. They reviewed 22k people who all died in the hospital between the end of March and May. 26% of them had diabetes (either type 1 or type 2), 18% had dementia, 15% had respiratory issues and 14% had kidney disease. This did not consider age as a factor. In a separate study of children with covid they found that over 1/2 of those hospitalized had at least one underlying health issue.

3. There is a headline in the news about a person who attended a Mother's Day Service and exposed 180 people. I have seen the headline in lots of news stories and in every case, the headline is sensationalized. Exposure and infection are not the same. The real story is that someone in the congregation was covid-19 positive so now everyone that attended is being tested and quarantined. The number of people, if any, who tested positive from that congregation have not been released as far as I could find.

4. Tests are still unreliable. We are seeing lots of false negatives in active cases and lots of false positives in serology tests (the tests that tell us if you had it in the past and are therefore immune). So this means we are telling some people they don't have an active case when they do, and telling others they are immune when they aren't.

5. Sweden continues to be touted as a nation that did "nothing" and is doing fine so I decided to check in on them. First, it should be noted that Sweden didn't "do nothing." They just didn't order closures etc. The government asked them to socially distance and implement precaution measures and they did. Not to the extent of other nations, but they did implement social distancing protocols without shutting down the country. In looking at the numbers, the United States deaths per million is 257. Sweden's is 349.

6. The disease spreads easily from person to person. It kills about 5% of those who get it. You are at highest risk if you have other health issues and/or are older. There are some basic precautions you can take to protect yourself and others - like hand-washing, keeping your distance from others when possible and wearing a mask in public. We hunkered down to slow it down and it worked. Now we are are ready for phase II - re-opening. And this situation really is that simple.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think we can all agree this situation is no ones idea of fun. I would like to continue advocating for facts not fear. We have to figure out just the right way to re-open and it may be bumpy and I am sure we won't get it 100% right in 100% of places. But we will learn from those mistakes and try again. I would also like to remind you that the average American has an 8th grade math level, yet "experts" in epidemiological statistics are emerging from every living room. And when the Pew institute studied how well we understand science, people scored very poorly (19%) with the vast majority of Americans having little to no understanding of research and only limited general science knowledge. And yet the number of "experts" currently analyzing and strongly advocating the science and research behind the outbreak would imply we are a nation of scientists. But we don't have to do that. We don't have to "prove" this isn't so bad to say we don't like quarantine. We don't have to "prove" we are all going to die to say we think it is too soon to exit quarantine. We should be able to simply voice our opinion - "I don't think I'm ready to go back into public" or "I can't take anymore of this, I need to get back out." You shouldn't need to belittle the 90k deaths in the United States to say you miss going to church and you would really like to get back to normal. You shouldn't need to say masks are a violation of your rights to say you don't want to wear one. You shouldn't need to convince everyone this is a huge conspiracy to say you are over it. You don't have to be right and you aren't any less valuable if you are wrong. And those behaviors incite fear, confusion, distrust and anger. Let's humble ourselves enough to let each other speak and to hear each other out. Let's take a step back and remember we are going to get through this. Let's be people who let others be honest when they are with us.
 

Bowers2

Stackin' Joe's Cups
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6. The disease spreads easily from person to person. It kills about 5% of those who get it. You are at highest risk if you have other health issues and/or are older. There are some basic precautions you can take to protect yourself and others - like hand-washing, keeping your distance from others when possible and wearing a mask in public. We hunkered down to slow it down and it worked. Now we are are ready for phase II - re-opening. And this situation really is that simple.
us.
How official is this?
 
May 4, 2011
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Charleston, SC
If she says it I would take it for truth until proven otherwise.
Also being friends and working with epidemiologists (and doing some occasionally similar public mental health research), she's likely referencing the current CFR which is about 5%.

That said, you shouldn't take that to mean that you have a 5% chance of dying if you get a positive test result back right now. That varies based on a whole bunch of factors, many of which she lists above (obviously). Rx, I know you likely know this, but as someone who occasionally estimates prevalences for a living, I'll say for other that might be reading that it also depends a ton on testing. That is overall testing as well as max testing capacity during the peak portion of the outbreak. If your max testing is low relative to the size of the outbreak, a positive result will likely confer a higher probability of death. This is easily seen in comparing NY to basically everywhere else. Nebraska, where I live currently, just went through what we hope is our peak, but we were better able to get tests to more symptomatic people. So our CFR is between 1% and 2% (even if you only use cases from a week ago and before to account for the necessary lag in deaths) whereas NY is around 8%. Very sadly for NYC, getting a positive test result at their peak meant on average people had a 10% or higher risk of dying.
 

wrenhal

Territorial Marshal
Aug 11, 2011
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May 18
Covid-19 Monday May 18th

1. Vitamin D remains in the news. Studies are being done around the world to determine if having enough vitamin D prior to infection could help reduce the severity of disease should you get it. So far the studies are conflicting each other (some say yes, some say no). This is how research works. We just keep researching until we know for sure. However, in Ireland some researchers are calling on the Irish government to make an official recommendation to the public. To recap, having adequate vitamin D cannot hurt you and may possibly help with Covid-19. Taking too much could become toxic and cause you harm.

2. A study in the UK looked at which comorbidities put people at highest risk for dying from Covid-19. They reviewed 22k people who all died in the hospital between the end of March and May. 26% of them had diabetes (either type 1 or type 2), 18% had dementia, 15% had respiratory issues and 14% had kidney disease. This did not consider age as a factor. In a separate study of children with covid they found that over 1/2 of those hospitalized had at least one underlying health issue.

3. There is a headline in the news about a person who attended a Mother's Day Service and exposed 180 people. I have seen the headline in lots of news stories and in every case, the headline is sensationalized. Exposure and infection are not the same. The real story is that someone in the congregation was covid-19 positive so now everyone that attended is being tested and quarantined. The number of people, if any, who tested positive from that congregation have not been released as far as I could find.

4. Tests are still unreliable. We are seeing lots of false negatives in active cases and lots of false positives in serology tests (the tests that tell us if you had it in the past and are therefore immune). So this means we are telling some people they don't have an active case when they do, and telling others they are immune when they aren't.

5. Sweden continues to be touted as a nation that did "nothing" and is doing fine so I decided to check in on them. First, it should be noted that Sweden didn't "do nothing." They just didn't order closures etc. The government asked them to socially distance and implement precaution measures and they did. Not to the extent of other nations, but they did implement social distancing protocols without shutting down the country. In looking at the numbers, the United States deaths per million is 257. Sweden's is 349.

6. The disease spreads easily from person to person. It kills about 5% of those who get it. You are at highest risk if you have other health issues and/or are older. There are some basic precautions you can take to protect yourself and others - like hand-washing, keeping your distance from others when possible and wearing a mask in public. We hunkered down to slow it down and it worked. Now we are are ready for phase II - re-opening. And this situation really is that simple.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think we can all agree this situation is no ones idea of fun. I would like to continue advocating for facts not fear. We have to figure out just the right way to re-open and it may be bumpy and I am sure we won't get it 100% right in 100% of places. But we will learn from those mistakes and try again. I would also like to remind you that the average American has an 8th grade math level, yet "experts" in epidemiological statistics are emerging from every living room. And when the Pew institute studied how well we understand science, people scored very poorly (19%) with the vast majority of Americans having little to no understanding of research and only limited general science knowledge. And yet the number of "experts" currently analyzing and strongly advocating the science and research behind the outbreak would imply we are a nation of scientists. But we don't have to do that. We don't have to "prove" this isn't so bad to say we don't like quarantine. We don't have to "prove" we are all going to die to say we think it is too soon to exit quarantine. We should be able to simply voice our opinion - "I don't think I'm ready to go back into public" or "I can't take anymore of this, I need to get back out." You shouldn't need to belittle the 90k deaths in the United States to say you miss going to church and you would really like to get back to normal. You shouldn't need to say masks are a violation of your rights to say you don't want to wear one. You shouldn't need to convince everyone this is a huge conspiracy to say you are over it. You don't have to be right and you aren't any less valuable if you are wrong. And those behaviors incite fear, confusion, distrust and anger. Let's humble ourselves enough to let each other speak and to hear each other out. Let's take a step back and remember we are going to get through this. Let's be people who let others be honest when they are with us.
Wonder why so her examples in the final thoughts are from people wanting to open up and telling them it's ok if they are wrong, and inviting anger, etc...? I know many people on the other side inviting anger, fear and, confusion that need to settle down as well.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

RxCowboy

Has no Rx for his orange obsession.
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Also being friends and working with epidemiologists (and doing some occasionally similar public mental health research), she's likely referencing the current CFR which is about 5%.

That said, you shouldn't take that to mean that you have a 5% chance of dying if you get a positive test result back right now. That varies based on a whole bunch of factors, many of which she lists above (obviously). Rx, I know you likely know this, but as someone who occasionally estimates prevalences for a living, I'll say for other that might be reading that it also depends a ton on testing. That is overall testing as well as max testing capacity during the peak portion of the outbreak. If your max testing is low relative to the size of the outbreak, a positive result will likely confer a higher probability of death. This is easily seen in comparing NY to basically everywhere else. Nebraska, where I live currently, just went through what we hope is our peak, but we were better able to get tests to more symptomatic people. So our CFR is between 1% and 2% (even if you only use cases from a week ago and before to account for the necessary lag in deaths) whereas NY is around 8%. Very sadly for NYC, getting a positive test result at their peak meant on average people had a 10% or higher risk of dying.
She explains that in a response to her Facebook post.
Wonder why so her examples in the final thoughts are from people wanting to open up and telling them it's ok if they are wrong, and inviting anger, etc...? I know many people on the other side inviting anger, fear and, confusion that need to settle down as well.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
Ask her. But I'll tell you, if that's what you're seeing you need to reread it.
 
Feb 11, 2007
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Oklahoma City
May 18
Covid-19 Monday May 18th

1. Vitamin D remains in the news. Studies are being done around the world to determine if having enough vitamin D prior to infection could help reduce the severity of disease should you get it. So far the studies are conflicting each other (some say yes, some say no). This is how research works. We just keep researching until we know for sure. However, in Ireland some researchers are calling on the Irish government to make an official recommendation to the public. To recap, having adequate vitamin D cannot hurt you and may possibly help with Covid-19. Taking too much could become toxic and cause you harm.

2. A study in the UK looked at which comorbidities put people at highest risk for dying from Covid-19. They reviewed 22k people who all died in the hospital between the end of March and May. 26% of them had diabetes (either type 1 or type 2), 18% had dementia, 15% had respiratory issues and 14% had kidney disease. This did not consider age as a factor. In a separate study of children with covid they found that over 1/2 of those hospitalized had at least one underlying health issue.

3. There is a headline in the news about a person who attended a Mother's Day Service and exposed 180 people. I have seen the headline in lots of news stories and in every case, the headline is sensationalized. Exposure and infection are not the same. The real story is that someone in the congregation was covid-19 positive so now everyone that attended is being tested and quarantined. The number of people, if any, who tested positive from that congregation have not been released as far as I could find.

4. Tests are still unreliable. We are seeing lots of false negatives in active cases and lots of false positives in serology tests (the tests that tell us if you had it in the past and are therefore immune). So this means we are telling some people they don't have an active case when they do, and telling others they are immune when they aren't.

5. Sweden continues to be touted as a nation that did "nothing" and is doing fine so I decided to check in on them. First, it should be noted that Sweden didn't "do nothing." They just didn't order closures etc. The government asked them to socially distance and implement precaution measures and they did. Not to the extent of other nations, but they did implement social distancing protocols without shutting down the country. In looking at the numbers, the United States deaths per million is 257. Sweden's is 349.

6. The disease spreads easily from person to person. It kills about 5% of those who get it. You are at highest risk if you have other health issues and/or are older. There are some basic precautions you can take to protect yourself and others - like hand-washing, keeping your distance from others when possible and wearing a mask in public. We hunkered down to slow it down and it worked. Now we are are ready for phase II - re-opening. And this situation really is that simple.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think we can all agree this situation is no ones idea of fun. I would like to continue advocating for facts not fear. We have to figure out just the right way to re-open and it may be bumpy and I am sure we won't get it 100% right in 100% of places. But we will learn from those mistakes and try again. I would also like to remind you that the average American has an 8th grade math level, yet "experts" in epidemiological statistics are emerging from every living room. And when the Pew institute studied how well we understand science, people scored very poorly (19%) with the vast majority of Americans having little to no understanding of research and only limited general science knowledge. And yet the number of "experts" currently analyzing and strongly advocating the science and research behind the outbreak would imply we are a nation of scientists. But we don't have to do that. We don't have to "prove" this isn't so bad to say we don't like quarantine. We don't have to "prove" we are all going to die to say we think it is too soon to exit quarantine. We should be able to simply voice our opinion - "I don't think I'm ready to go back into public" or "I can't take anymore of this, I need to get back out." You shouldn't need to belittle the 90k deaths in the United States to say you miss going to church and you would really like to get back to normal. You shouldn't need to say masks are a violation of your rights to say you don't want to wear one. You shouldn't need to convince everyone this is a huge conspiracy to say you are over it. You don't have to be right and you aren't any less valuable if you are wrong. And those behaviors incite fear, confusion, distrust and anger. Let's humble ourselves enough to let each other speak and to hear each other out. Let's take a step back and remember we are going to get through this. Let's be people who let others be honest when they are with us.
Well said...remember too that most politicians who make these important decisions for us are attorneys. They have a very limited if any scientific background at all . By their nature they like to decide issues by argumentation. That is not how science works. Science works by making careful accurate observation of measureable events. Accurate identical measurements across our country with this virus is extremely difficult. We talk of "new cases" but do not describe what we call "cases". Do we mean symptoms? (there are no specific symptoms present in all cases) Do we mean cases confirmed by tests? ( there are now multiple
untested tests being done...and none have been extensively tested and compared with each other) So our definition of what is a comfirmed case is uncertain. Therefore we make all kinds of models and projections about this virus using numbers that we know can't be correct. Remember the old saying: "garbage in garbage out".
 

wrenhal

Territorial Marshal
Aug 11, 2011
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Also being friends and working with epidemiologists (and doing some occasionally similar public mental health research), she's likely referencing the current CFR which is about 5%.

That said, you shouldn't take that to mean that you have a 5% chance of dying if you get a positive test result back right now. That varies based on a whole bunch of factors, many of which she lists above (obviously). Rx, I know you likely know this, but as someone who occasionally estimates prevalences for a living, I'll say for other that might be reading that it also depends a ton on testing. That is overall testing as well as max testing capacity during the peak portion of the outbreak. If your max testing is low relative to the size of the outbreak, a positive result will likely confer a higher probability of death. This is easily seen in comparing NY to basically everywhere else. Nebraska, where I live currently, just went through what we hope is our peak, but we were better able to get tests to more symptomatic people. So our CFR is between 1% and 2% (even if you only use cases from a week ago and before to account for the necessary lag in deaths) whereas NY is around 8%. Very sadly for NYC, getting a positive test result at their peak meant on average people had a 10% or higher risk of dying.
She explains that in a response to her Facebook post.
Wonder why so her examples in the final thoughts are from people wanting to open up and telling them it's ok if they are wrong, and inviting anger, etc...? I know many people on the other side inviting anger, fear and, confusion that need to settle down as well.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
Ask her. But I'll tell you, if that's what you're seeing you need to reread it.
"You shouldn't need to belittle the 90k deaths in the United States to say you miss going to church and you would really like to get back to normal.
You shouldn't need to say masks are a violation of your rights to say you don't want to wear one.
You shouldn't need to convince everyone this is a huge conspiracy to say you are over it.

You don't have to be right and you aren't any less valuable if you are wrong. And those behaviors incite fear, confusion, distrust and anger."

The past 2 lines above reference the 3 points before then. And all 3 points are only from one point of view. Those who want to open.
Although it seems rather sensationalistic because most people that are for owning up aren't belittling the deaths.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 
May 4, 2011
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Charleston, SC
"You shouldn't need to belittle the 90k deaths in the United States to say you miss going to church and you would really like to get back to normal.
You shouldn't need to say masks are a violation of your rights to say you don't want to wear one.
You shouldn't need to convince everyone this is a huge conspiracy to say you are over it.

You don't have to be right and you aren't any less valuable if you are wrong. And those behaviors incite fear, confusion, distrust and anger."

The past 2 lines above reference the 3 points before then. And all 3 points are only from one point of view. Those who want to open.
Although it seems rather sensationalistic because most people that are for owning up aren't belittling the deaths.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
I read it as a reference to all of the points, including not being ready to go back into public. I also took it to mean that we shouldn't rush to belittle others or create agitation regardless of what side we're on. We're all frustrated, tired, and scared in one way or another and to varying degrees. It's ok to disagree and be in different places and we can do that without directing anger or derision toward others. To quote from her "you dont have to be right and you aren't any less valuable if you're wrong" and I'd apply that to whatever side/dimension or sides/dimensions you're on.
 

RxCowboy

Has no Rx for his orange obsession.
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"You shouldn't need to belittle the 90k deaths in the United States to say you miss going to church and you would really like to get back to normal.
You shouldn't need to say masks are a violation of your rights to say you don't want to wear one.
You shouldn't need to convince everyone this is a huge conspiracy to say you are over it.

You don't have to be right and you aren't any less valuable if you are wrong. And those behaviors incite fear, confusion, distrust and anger."

The past 2 lines above reference the 3 points before then. And all 3 points are only from one point of view. Those who want to open.
Although it seems rather sensationalistic because most people that are for owning up aren't belittling the deaths.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
She doesn't think we needed to lock down and close businesses in the first place. You are badly missing the point of what she's trying to say.

I see plenty of people belittling the deaths, many right here in this forum. That was kind of my point in bringing this to another thread, to try to avoid just this kind of discussion. She isn't here to defend herself. You have access to her via my Facebook page. Ask her. She'll answer you, and she will answer you with patience and kindness.
 

RxCowboy

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I read it as a reference to all of the points, including not being ready to go back into public. I also took it to mean that we shouldn't rush to belittle others or create agitation regardless of what side we're on. We're all frustrated, tired, and scared in one way or another and to varying degrees. It's ok to disagree and be in different places and we can do that without directing anger or derision toward others. To quote from her "you dont have to be right and you aren't any less valuable if you're wrong" and I'd apply that to whatever side/dimension or sides/dimensions you're on.
That's exactly what she meant.
 

RxCowboy

Has no Rx for his orange obsession.
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May 19

Covid-19 Update: Tuesday May 19th
We are starting today with some not great news so if you aren't feeling it you may want to come back later.

1. 13 Sailors aboard the USS Roosevelt recovered from Covid, tested negative twice and then appear to have gotten ill again testing positive and showing symptoms. Unfortunately, South Korea is seeing a similar thing. Isolated cases had been reported previously with most not experiencing any symptoms simply testing positive. However, recent cases involve both testing positive and experiencing renewed symptoms. We don't know why. Here are current theories: a) viral shedding - we know that people continue to shed the virus (give it off) even after they recover. The length of viral shedding varies from person to person. So one possible explanation is that the person is simply still shedding enough virus that they can test positive. This explanation works for those who aren't ill but wouldn't explain getting "better" and then experiencing symptoms again. Theory b) the virus could go dormant and then reactivate - typically for this to happen the virus needs to enter the nucleus of the cell. Thus far we have not see this virus do that so it was ruled out as a possibility That makes this too unlikely but, as we know, this virus hasn't behaved like expected in many ways, so we can't cross it off the list quite yet. Theory c) your body fights the disease "mostly" off but doesn't quite defeat it allowing it to make a comeback of sorts because it wasn't truly gone. This is the same premise of taking just enough of your antibiotics to feel better and seem better but not actually be better so when you stop you relapse. Theory d) you can catch it again if you only had a mild case. They are exploring the idea that if you have a mild case, or if the disease remains in your upper respiratory system instead of moving into your lower respiratory system, your body may not produce enough antigens to protect you from reinfection. Remember, we can't know for sure at this stage but it is being studied. Theory e) faulty testing either mechanically (tests weren't good) or human error. Given the numbers this is unlikely but is being explored. The answer may be none of these, it may be all of these, it may be some combination thereof. They have seen over 100 cases in South Korea of people testing positive after recovery and 61 of those developed symptoms again. This is certainly something to watch. The good news here is that those who appear to have been reinfected had mild to moderate symptoms the second time too.

2. 90 different vaccines are currently under research, 6 have entered clinical trials. New estimates say we could have a vaccine as soon as January. But that is just an estimate.

3. Breathing emits the virus if you have it. Loud talking emits it even more, singing even more, sneezing and coughing the most. As churches start to reopen there have been discussions on if singing should happen. As you make that decision it is worth noting that several cluster outbreaks over the last 2 weeks have been traced back to churches that had reopened. In all instances, the churches had opted to sing. Also worth noting there were probably plenty of churches who sang and so far have had no reports of illness. Churches are a topic of discussion because social distancing is difficult in a church auditorium/sanctuary - much like indoor sports events. And singing expels the virus more than mere talking. You project your voice and your virus and then those around you deeply inhale to prepare for the next verse.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Sometimes all we can do is sit with each other amid the bad news. Sometimes we don't need to speak or say anything, we simply need to be there. So today, we sit, metaphorically shoulder to shoulder, together, in the midst of a difficult situation. Today we sit together in silence and exhale slowly knowing that tomorrow will come and it will bring with it hope.
 

RxCowboy

Has no Rx for his orange obsession.
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May 20

Covid-19 Update: Wednesday the 20th

1. Let's start with a review of the numbers. We hit 5 million global cases overnight with 1.5 million of those being in the United States. And remember the Diamond Princess cruise ship? Reports suggest there are still 46 people from that ship that are still sick - I have only been able to independently confirm that report with one source. And a study published in the Lancet over-viewing patient outcomes from 2 hospitals in NY. During the study time-frame (March 2 to April 1st) 1150 patients were admitted, 22% of those were critically ill (higher than the 15% expected). They needed a minimum of 28 days of follow-up. 101 patients died (8% case fatality rate ) 94 were still hospitalized at the time of print. The median age was 62, 67% were men, 82% had an underlying health condition, most common was hypertension (high blood pressure - 63% and diabetes 36%). 78% were mild or moderate. Children's National hospital in DC reviewed data from hospitalized children with COVID and found that those under 1 and over 15 represented 31% of child hospitalizations from the disease.

2. A study in Germany found that the level of antibodies in the blood doesn't correlate with symptom severity. This means that how much immunity you produce doesn't have anything to do with how sick you get. Remember one of our theories yesterday was based on the premise that those with mild illness may not produce enough antibodies to develop immunity. Well, this study suggests that this is not the case. In fact, they report that 22% of people did not develop immunity within 20 days. Now, we know this is also true of vaccines. Vaccines don't work in 100% of people 100% of the time. Sometimes a person is vaccinated but never develops immunity. It isn't common but it happens. How often depends on the vaccine. So what this could mean (note the use of could) is that some people just won't develop immunity. Looking back at the USS Roosevelt the 13 who tested positive twice represent 1.3% - that is a small but remarkable percent. I will continue to monitor things related to this. Keep in mind this is one study so we don't want to put too much faith in it just yet but it points us in a direction to explore further. UPDATE: South Korea has said they believe (after researching it) that testing flukes and viral variant are the explanation for patients testing positive again. They do not believe reinfection is possible and report that in patients retesting positive, their viral load was not enough to make them sick or spread the disease. This can not be considered the final answer - we still need to explain those who did get sick again, but it is a nice bit of news on the topic.

3. I got a request to again explain why herd immunity wasn't a good option in as short and simple a form as I could. So here goes... In order to develop herd immunity, roughly 90% of us would need to be immune. This means roughly 90% of us would need to get and survive Covid-19. We know that about 5% of those who get it will die. Dead people don't count. We don't have that many low-risk people in the US. 50% of Americans have high blood pressure, the leading risk factor for death. about 16% of us are 65 or older (another leading risk factor). So the death toll from this approach would be very high - 1.6 million would be the 5% estimate. That doesn't account for lives lost to an overwhelmed system or lack of ventilators. Oh....and we don't know how long that immunity would last. So within 1-2 years, we may need to do it all again. Fewer people would be expected to die the second time unless of course, the virus mutates - which RNA viruses tend to do. For a more detailed explanation check out my prior post on this topic.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Today is a new day. Today we will savor life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Today we acknowledge that hurting people hurt people, that those bitter, angry comments you see on social media come from a place of fear and anxiety. Today we see that fear and recognize it for what it is. And we meet it with love and kindness because that is who we are or at least who we strive to be. You can do this.
 

RxCowboy

Has no Rx for his orange obsession.
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May 21

Covid-19 Update: Thursday 5/21
Masks, Diarrhea, Contact Tracing, and Vaccine conspiracies
3-5 got a little lengthy today.

1. Masks, while uncomfortable and hot, are effective. Another study came out in PNAS on the 13th discussing their effectiveness. The premise of the study is that talking emits droplets that can remain in the air about 14 minutes. They estimated that one minute of talking emitted 1000 droplets. Wearing a mask keeps those droplets from spreading to those around you. Washing your hands, keeping your distance and wearing a mask are effective and allow us to reopen while staying safe.

2. Some people with Covid experience diarrhea. So the question was asked, can the virus spread in feces? A study published in Science Immunology suggests it does not. It is detectable and does replicate in the intestines but the lumen of the colon seems to inactivate it. So we can cross that off the list of worries.

3. You may recall when this first started we discussed what would be needed for phase II (re-entry, opening back up) and we discussed that we needed access to quality tests, social distancing protocols and contact tracing. You may also recall we were reporting a 300k person shortage to be able to conduct contact tracing. Suddenly contact tracing has found itself entwined in a misunderstanding so I want to share with you what contact tracing is and isn't. Contact tracing is not new. We have been using this tool for a very long time. Typically it is conducted by the health department or another healthcare professional. Essentially if you have Covid we need to 1) provide you with some support such as answering questions and making sure you have the supplies you need to check your temp etc. 2)monitor your health and 3)let anyone you may have contaminated know they have been exposed and need to be tested. We get that info, and then notify people they have had a potential exposure and need to quarantine in their home. We answer questions for them and make sure they have supplies too. It is all confidential and we never tell people you were the one who exposed them because it is private medical information. For this particular outbreak contact tracing will primarily be conducted over the phone or via video so we will never go to the persons home. I say primarily because some people don't have access to the internet etc. or in some cases face to face is best - but those are considered special cases. Every place is doing it a little different based on local flare, needs, protocol etc., but this is the essence of it. Currently there are national efforts to hire and train people to do this because we are incredibly short of people.

4. Something else you need to know about contact tracing. Typically this is covered (i.e. paid for) by the state, more specifically at the local level. But the current situation has mandated a pretty significant need so the federal government stepped in to help pay for it. They proposed a House Resolution to pay for training contact tracers, buying the supplies needed to support people etc. The Resolution is short, sweet and to the point. No where in it does it mention tracking people, taking people's children or removing anyone from their home. In congress, Bills and Resolutions follow a sequential numbering protocol and unfortunately this particular one was named HR 6666 because that was the number they were on. The prior resolution was HR 6665 and was about off shore wind and coral reef conservation, and the next one will be HR 6667. You can Google it (just type in HR 6666 and look for the result that says congress.gov to read it for yourself).

5. Let's discuss the vaccine for a minute. As countries all over the world work to find a vaccine some concerns have arisen about the vaccine being used to either attempt to sterilize us all or insert trackers under our skin using quantum dot technology. So I did some research because I wasn't familiar with quantum dot technology. (I'll save sterilization for another day) It is some pretty complex science that admittedly was over my head. But I did understand this...quantum dot technology is being used for a host of things but its integration with vaccines was done by MIT as a solution for an issue that Bill Gates brought forward from his work with vaccines in third world countries. In December 2019 the idea was finalized and went through initial testing. It has not, to date, been used or tested in living people The issue Gates presented was that in third world countries they don't have the same infrastructure as us so keeping track of who had what vaccine was difficult. Parents just couldn't remember what their child had had and there weren't records. They didn't want to over vaccinate so they needed a way to keep track of it. MIT proposed the use of quantum dot technology integrated in the vaccines. Now you also need to know that in some other countries they use vaccine patches. Think nicotine patch. They administer vaccines via a patch instead of a shot. You put it on for roughly 2 minutes and then remove it and voila. Needle-free vaccines that are highly effective (some research suggests more effective) and they travel easier. This quantum dot technology produces florescent lights available under a special reader. So to help establish a record of what vaccine you have had they can add these to the patches in a specific color and pattern for each vaccine. For example, Polio may be blue with a square. MMR may be pink with 3 dots. The lights/pattern serve as a medical record of sorts and lasts for about 5 years (the amount of time it takes to get a child through their childhood vaccinations). They are just lights and have no information or tracking capabilities. They can only be viewed in close proximity with the reader to see them (think black light only less powerful) and the vaccines are all available with or without them. People would opt in or out of the quantum dot. And again - they haven't actually been used. Finally, some people have said the vaccines are the Mark of the Beast indicating the start of the Tribulation. Here is all I will say about that - if someone tries to give you a vaccination in your hand or forehead - run. Run fast and far because they have no idea what they are doing.

FINAL THOUGHTS: What a crazy ride this has been. If you are like me, you have looked around at all that has happened and learned some things about people, about science, about the world. It can be discouraging. But today I want to encourage you to give yourself permission to disengage. Some people won't listen, some people can't hear, they just can't. And you cannot change that. So disengage. Do what you can then, put them on a 30 day snooze and keep on moving. Because as a dear friend reminded me yesterday, people are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Resolve to be part of the solution and refuse to let those who choose to be part of the problem drag you down. Surround yourself by other people who are working toward that same goal. Be kind to those who are not because we love and value them even when we don't agree. But you don't have to immerse yourself with them. Know when to tag out. Give yourself permission to do so. You are doing great.