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Tue Feb 1, 2022, 05:59 AM

What if we had been Denmark?

Last edited Tue Feb 1, 2022, 06:33 AM - Edit history (1)








From the statistics maven at the Financial Times.

26 replies, 2737 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply What if we had been Denmark? (Original post)
Tomconroy Feb 2022 OP
malaise Feb 2022 #1
TomWilm Feb 2022 #2
Post removed Feb 2022 #3
oldsoftie Feb 2022 #4
Crazyleftie Feb 2022 #5
oldsoftie Feb 2022 #14
Tomconroy Feb 2022 #6
madville Feb 2022 #10
oldsoftie Feb 2022 #13
BumRushDaShow Feb 2022 #7
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2022 #8
BumRushDaShow Feb 2022 #9
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2022 #16
BumRushDaShow Feb 2022 #17
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2022 #18
BumRushDaShow Feb 2022 #20
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2022 #21
BumRushDaShow Feb 2022 #23
progree Feb 2022 #11
Tomconroy Feb 2022 #12
oldsoftie Feb 2022 #15
BumRushDaShow Feb 2022 #19
oldsoftie Feb 2022 #22
BumRushDaShow Feb 2022 #24
oldsoftie Feb 2022 #25
BumRushDaShow Feb 2022 #26

Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 06:15 AM

1. Denmark actually believes in

The Social Good. The word society has meaning. In the USA, the word society has been replaced by market. Someone should tell Ron Johnson.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 06:45 AM

2. Denmark first EU country to lift all COVID restrictions

Denmark will lift all of its COVID restrictions despite record numbers of cases, relying on its high vaccination rate to cope with the milder Omicron variant. More than 60 percent of Danes have received a third vaccination. The easing comes as Denmark registers around 40,000-50,000 new COVID cases a day, or almost one percent of the country's 5.8 million inhabitants.

Including those who have recently had COVID, health authorities estimate that 80 percent of the population are protected against severe forms of the disease. The broad spread of the Omicron variant is also expected to lead to a "more robust and long-lasting immunity", helping the country fend off future waves.


https://japantoday.com/category/world/denmark-returns-to-%27life-as-we-knew-it%27-despite-omicron

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)


Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 08:01 AM

4. Far too simplistic. Denmark's population is totally different than the US

Their population has FAR lower rates of obesity, diabetes & heart disease. ALL of those factors make you a lot more likely to die. All of those Nordic countries have much more fit populations than the US.
Doesn't mean we wouldn't have had far fewer deaths if more of the deniers would get/got the shot. That's certainly true. But they should have been much more general with the figures & ranges. Too many factors other than vaccination play a part in survival

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 08:28 AM

5. you are not a vaccine denier, I hope

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Response to Crazyleftie (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 10:53 AM

14. I clearly stated the death rates would be lower if the deniers had gotten the vax.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 08:55 AM

6. It isn't just Denmark. Same result for UK.

The main difference was vax rate and most important, getting boosters into the arms of the elderly. The entire thread is worth the read.


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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 10:39 AM

10. Correct, can't look at just vaccination rate

Denmark’s rate of obesity and type 2 diabetes is half the rate of the US. Their mortality rate should be less than ours just based on that factor alone.

Denmark is all in on relying on vaccination and natural immunity though. They have lifted all restrictions and basically want Omicron to burn through as quickly as possible. More of a rip the bandaid off approach now that they have over 80% fully vaccinated.

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Response to madville (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 10:52 AM

13. I've started leaning in that direction as well.

This variant is so much less deadly than Delta; especially if you're vaccinated. the next variant may not be. Its not going away; there will be no "covid zero". people have always gone to work when they had mild cold symptoms. That's what this presents. the quicker we all get antibodies the better. I got mine thru a vaccine (as far as I know I've never had the virus). That's the smartest and safest way. But for those who just won't do it then catching the weaker strain is better than nothing & waiting on whatever the NEXT one is. nd better for this eof us who got the shot.
There won't be any more lockdowns.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 09:34 AM

7. Denmark has the same population as the state of Wisconsin (5.8 million)

Logistics-wise, it's better to compare one of the U.S. states to any single one of those European countries (and that means, for example, also breaking down places like the UK into "England", "Wales", "Scotland", and Northern Ireland).

And I agree that vaccination must be a way to control this thing. But it will also have to be an annual thing as well and trying to sustain that reality anywhere in the world, is going to be difficult... unless the virus finally peters out (for the most part) and re-upping the immune system for it will not need to happen as often.

The exasperation by the Philly Health Director in her weekly COVID-19 briefing last week really showed how much angst the public health community has with begging people to just hang in there a little longer.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 09:51 AM

8. England has a bigger population than any American state

but they did use England in the graphic that doesn't display too well in an embedded tweet - here it is in full:



Comparing UK and US vaccination, ICU and death rates:



(from https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-03-01..latest&uniformYAxis=0&pickerSort=desc&pickerMetric=new_cases_per_million&Metric=Vaccine+doses%2C+cases%2C+ICU+patients%2C+and+deaths&Interval=7-day+rolling+average&Relative+to+Population=true&Color+by+test+positivity=false&country=USA~GBR)

Notice that the alpha variant hit the UK really badly, for deaths (it was first detected in the county of Kent), which was before most vaccination, even of the oldest groups. But the ICU and death rates have been far lower for delta and omicron

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 10:21 AM

9. Yes it does and the closest would be California (pop. around 40 million)

But my point is comparing a single European country with a country like the U.S. that has a population of 330 million and a land mass 40 times the size of the UK.



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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 11:15 AM

16. Land mass is irrelevant; this is about people

Yes, the US population is about 5 times the UK population. The European Union has a population slightly above the USA; while there isn't ICU data available for the whole EU, we can see its death rate is about half that of the USA currently, and we can also see that in the period when the USA was ahead in vaccination (until about July 2021), the USA had the lower death rate:

https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-03-01..latest&uniformYAxis=0&pickerSort=desc&pickerMetric=new_cases_per_million&Metric=Vaccine+doses%2C+cases%2C+ICU+patients%2C+and+deaths&Interval=7-day+rolling+average&Relative+to+Population=true&Color+by+test+positivity=false&country=USA~European+Union

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 11:52 AM

17. Land mass is not irrelevant

because it involves the logistics of storage of some of the vaccines.

Remember that early on, the vaccine of choice in the UK and much of Europe was AstraZeneca's, which can be stored at more normal temperatures whereas AstaZeneca's vaccine is STILL not approved in the U.S. for EUA.

The 3 that are approved are the 2 mRNA ones that required ultra-low freezers initially. So good luck with trying to find ultra-low (-70C or -80C) freezers at some of the medical facilities in the small town hospitals, let alone the far-flung rural areas. Eventually they were able to obtain more stability data and confirm the ability to store thawed product for 30 days at "warmer" standard freezer/refrigerator temps once diluted, and without degradation.

The other approved here was the Janssen (J&J) one which is closest to the AstraZeneca "adenovirus"-type of vaccine. In fact, we weren't even manufacturing that here when it first rolled out and imported it from Belgium directly. Merck was tapped to step up to make it at their big vaccine plants in NC (particularly after the failure of Emergent BioSolutions to get the manufacturing right - literally mixing up the components used for Janssen's and AZ's vaccines that they were attempting to make at their facility).

The issues with AstraZeneca's vaccine were what prompted the "pause" of the rollout of Janssen's here, causing a freak-out. Europe simply adjusted their recommendations to steer the young (I think under 40s) away from AZ's where the U.S. revised their recommendations for Janssen's to warn against some of the potential issues with the younger demographics. Janssen's was promoted to be a 1 shot and you're done vaccine, which would have been beneficial for the homebound and transient population. But as we later came to find, it needed a boost or 2nd dose (where AZ's was a 2-shot series from day one).

Trust me, I'm not denying that the U.S. is peopled with a bunch of idiots but as we have also come to find is that we have a number of Unions here who have demanded that the "workplace change" of a mandatory vaccination, be "negotiated", and that further delayed any rollouts once Biden got the ball rolling.

I am pro-Union (and was even President and VP of my local years ago before I became a supervisor and later retired). But there are circumstances that this country has evolved over the years (not the least of which are the "free-dumbs" espoused by the RW loons) where trying to make anything "mandatory" becomes a huge stumbling block (and involves the courts who routinely put a kibosh on mandates).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 12:01 PM

18. There are just as many places with the *minor* logistics problems in the EU as the USA

Think of places like Bulgaria and Romania, with poor infrastructure. There is nowhere in the USA that has been prevented, for a whole year, from vaccinating all the people who want to be vaccinated. Yes, land mass is irrelevant.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #18)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 12:32 PM

20. You seem to now be making a different argument

and ignored that the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines required ultra-low freezers. So yes that is an obstacle in many parts of this country.

(from here - https://www.bbc.com/news/world-55795297)

The initial huge rollout done in the EU was with a vaccine that didn't have the type of requirements that the mRNA vaccines have. And issues that the EU had with AZ's vaccine eventually prompted them to transition over to Pfizer's. But by then, they "knew the drill".

And add to this that without something like a NHS, all of the vaccines here needed to be tracked and distributed to each state (for the most part, where certain cities like mine got it directly from the federal government), and then the states were dishing it out to a huge and disparate variety of providers - including those manning large drive-through or walk up vaccine "clinics", some hospitals, private physicians, and later, pharmacy chains. In fact, one of the issues included how the mRNA vaccines were being packaged in terms of doses per tray, where trying to only thaw and distribute a small amount was nearly impossible. That issue was only modified later as they began to look at dosing for children. We have had MANY MANY "wasted doses" due to thawing too much at one time and being unable to get them into arms.

If you are someone in a blighted urban area and have no pharmacy nearby nor transportation to get to one of those "mass vaccination" sites, then yes you ARE "prevented".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 01:46 PM

21. You seem to be mixing up the EU and UK rollouts, and systems

The initial EU rollout was not massive - we've already noticed that it was larger in the USA. And the EU's AZ problems were early on (your link is to the September settlement, but it mentions the problems had started by April); they, like the USA, have mostly used Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna (perhaps 15% total has been AZ or J&J).

And the NHS is British, not part of the EU.

Your graph would have a point if it was about US states, but it's about countries in the whole world. Are you really saying that you see US states as the equivalent of middle-income, or developing, countries? The OP is about preventing deaths from about August onwards; the US had had plenty of time to distribute vaccines by then with its infrastructure. The problem was the anti-vaxxers.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 1, 2022, 03:13 PM

23. The OP header says "What if we had been Denmark"

and I noted that the population of Denmark was approximately the same as the state of Wisconsin -

7. Denmark has the same population as the state of Wisconsin (5.8 million)

Logistics-wise, it's better to compare one of the U.S. states to any single one of those European countries (and that means, for example, also breaking down places like the UK into "England", "Wales", "Scotland", and Northern Ireland).


And the tweet in the OP also includes this -

Top-line: if US had matched vaccination coverage of leading European countries, it would have *halved* its Covid hospitalisations


Afterwhich you then introduced the population of England and the whole thing when awry from that point (where the OP had also introduced the UK earlier upthread - https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=16308251)

My intent was to break down the individual countries that make up the UK AND Europe (whether EU or not because yes I know about Brexit but I also know countries like Switzerland and Norway are also not EU but are still in Europe), and then use that as a better comparison to the individual states here. And this is also because the way it works, the states are basically "mirrors" of the national system, with a Governor, Lt. Governor, a state legislature, and a state court system. They can be their own "countries".

The graph was establishing what WAS the most utilized vaccine worldwide when the vaccine rollouts began and it's not the one that the U.S. has ever had (and still doesn't use) and I gave reasons why. The rejection of AZ was a more recent phenomena.

As a chemist myself, it seems you are not understanding what the storage requirements are for vaccines and the logistics required for the mRNA ones. It was only this past May where at least Pfizer's vaccine (the most used here) received authorization to modify the strict storage requirements. This was like a game-changer but it came late in the vaccine rollout process here -

FDA In Brief: FDA Authorizes Longer Time for Refrigerator Storage of Thawed Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Prior to Dilution, Making Vaccine More Widely Available

For Immediate Release: May 19, 2021

The following quote is attributed to Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research


Making COVID-19 vaccines widely available is key to getting people vaccinated and bringing the pandemic to an end. Pfizer Inc. submitted data to the FDA to support storage of undiluted, thawed vials of its COVID-19 vaccine for up to one month at refrigerator temperatures. This change should make this vaccine more widely available to the American public by facilitating the ability of vaccine providers, such as community doctors’ offices, to receive, store and administer the vaccine.

Additional Information

  • Based on a review of recent data submitted by Pfizer Inc. today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is authorizing undiluted, thawed Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine vials to be stored in the refrigerator at 2°C to 8°C (35°F to 46°F) for up to 1 month. Previously, thawed, undiluted vaccine vials could be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Pfizer Inc. submitted data to the FDA to demonstrate that undiluted, thawed vials of its COVID-19 vaccine are stable at refrigerator temperatures for up to 1 month.

    (snip)

    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-brief-fda-authorizes-longer-time-refrigerator-storage-thawed-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine


  • Moderna's had also been loosened a month prior. As it is, there were a couple months of arguing about how many "doses per vial" even authorized and nonsense from Pfizer about cutting the number of vials that would then be shipped because providers could get "extra doses" out.

    Pfizer's is the predominate vaccine distributed here in the U.S. and once that restriction was lifted, the distribution could get down to a more granular level.

    IMHO, some of the hardest groups here to get vaccinated in the latter part of the past year were the "young adults" because early on, the mantra was - "young and healthy wait your turn". So by the time it was "their turn" they were like, why bother? But COVID-19 doesn't work that way.

    As a note - what is not being pointed out with respect to vaccinations is the high level of vaccination of most vulnerable - the 65+ (and immuno-compromised) and these are the ones who have been determined to be most likely to be hospitalized and die from an infection. The problem is the "uneven" distribution because the whole thing has become "political".







    (the above was as of today's NYT tracking data reflecting through to 1/31/22 although I know there are dozens of tracking sites out there)

    And when it comes to the anti-vaxxers, we are not yet at fascism where people are rounded up, strapped to a chair, and injected and as you have seen, many of the "mandates" have been tossed out by the courts or are still in litigation with a stay. It's been a slog to even get this far.

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    Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

    Tue Feb 1, 2022, 10:44 AM

    11. Denmark has the 2nd highest new case rate per capita in the world

    Last edited Tue Feb 1, 2022, 06:28 PM - Edit history (8)

    slightly less than Israel's:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/covid-cases.html
    and scroll down to the table which by default is sorted by daily new cases per 100,000, 7 day moving average
    #1 Israel 751
    #2 Denmark 748 (14 day increase: +71%)

    Compare to U.S. 142

    I'm leaving out, as I usually do, countries and entities with less than 100,000 population -- namely Palau with 13,000 population and a new case rate per 100,000 of 779.

    Yes, I know the thread is about hospitalization rates, not cases. But I thought it is interesting and frankly important context to the story

    Edited to Add: I'm fully vaxxed and boosted, and I wish everyone was, or that at least we had the vax and boost rates that Denmark has -- I believe that hospitalizations and especially severe hospitalizations (ICU) risk are more than an order of magnitude lower vaxxed than not.

    But at my age, and I'm sorry to those who may be offended, but I really don't want to be in a place with 5 times the infection rate of where I am now, because I don't want 5X the risk of being an experiment in whether I'll have a "mild" case or a horror story.

    I also don't want to be an experiment in whether and how severe for me long covid might be. But I realize to some around here, that makes me a coward who hides in mama's basement and all those other RW talking points.

    I also realize that considering how my actions (and those of some others) might affect more vulnerable populations makes me a suspect leftie.

    I don't see keeping infection rates down and hospitalization rates down as being conflicting goals, but apparently some of our resident message board epidemiologists do.

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    Response to progree (Reply #11)

    Tue Feb 1, 2022, 10:46 AM

    12. So their mitigation measures were useless?

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    Response to progree (Reply #11)

    Tue Feb 1, 2022, 10:59 AM

    15. Hospitalizations should be the focus. Keeping it as low as possible

    That what drains the society. And keeping people out of work for 2 weeks when all they have is cold symptoms cannot be sustained indefinitely. People at some point will understand they need to get the shot

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    Response to oldsoftie (Reply #15)

    Tue Feb 1, 2022, 12:10 PM

    19. The problem is

    that although obviously you want lower hospitalizations and the vaccines pretty much (but not always) guarantee that, the ODDS of getting infected and possibly hospitalized in the first place, can be magnified just due to sheer numbers infections swirling around (including those who are asymptomatic) when you have high case rates. That's just common sense. I.e., the "percentages" of that large number becomes meaningless because the totals will be higher.

    1% hospitalized out of 10,000 infected is 100 and a regional hospital system might be able to just handle that.

    But 1% of 100,000 infected is 1000, and that can be enough to overwhelm the same system and that is what has happened around the country and why you have some parts of the country "rationing care" and National Guard medics being called in and so forth. These are total hospitalizations. Not percentages of who could be hospitalized based on the caveats of vaccination.

    You really want to try to keep that case rate (transmission) down because depending on the viral load that someone might be exposed to, you have no idea how they will react - particularly those who have underlying conditions that have reduced their immune system beyond some optimum level - even those who are quadruple vaxxed (with the original 2-shot series, a full 3rd dose and a 4th dose as has been recommended for certain immuno-compromised individuals).

    And this is why the masking and distancing and other mitigation efforts are critical.

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    Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #19)

    Tue Feb 1, 2022, 01:57 PM

    22. No problem with masking or distancing. But shutdowns are over pretty much everywhere.

    No country can sustain it after 2 years+ of this. And most experts say it'll be here for good, so we just have to deal. As an example, in my area, when we had the Delta surge my closest hospital had nearly 150 covid patients. WAY over what they could handle but they did it. Now we have the much more infectious Omicron & far more cases and the highest they got this time is 80. That's far better than before. Hopefully whatever antibodies we get from this lastest model will stick with us for awhile

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    Response to oldsoftie (Reply #22)

    Tue Feb 1, 2022, 05:08 PM

    24. In some cases, the shutdowns have literally been due to people who have had what is being called

    "minor symptoms" that are enough where they really need to be home and recuperating. And when you have too many in a workforce who are like that, then the facility (whether it is a small business or a school) cannot FUNCTION because there are not enough employees to do the job.

    For example, here in Philly they have said that there have been upwards of 1/3rd of the sanitation workers calling out each day (it was worse during the "waves" ) and that means trash collection gets delayed and people kick up a fuss. The Unions that have the lowest vax rates for the city have been in arbitration regarding implementation of a vaccine mandate that is in place here for city employees - https://whyy.org/articles/philadelphia-extends-vaccine-mandate-deadline-for-city-workers/

    The entire public service workforce has been impacted -

    Omicron surge is causing worker absences, SEPTA delays, and late trash pickup across the region

    “Everybody’s got it,” said one union leader. “This is twice as bad as when the delta [variant] was around.”


    by Erin McCarthy and Justine McDaniel
    Published Jan 16, 2022

    More than 2,000 SEPTA bus and trolley trips were canceled due to absences just on Monday and Tuesday. A fifth of city garbage trucks were out of service one day. Some postal offices temporarily closed, and in Delaware County, a quarter of all county employees were out one day in the first week of January.

    They were among thousands of workers who have been sidelined by the omicron surge as record-high COVID-19 infection numbers not only hobble hospitals and close schools across the region but also affect municipal, transit, prison, and other workplaces. "Everybody’s got it,” said Nick Casselli, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 89. “This is twice as bad as when the delta was around.”

    (snip)

    “When the pandemic started almost two years ago, I think some of these staffing shortages weren’t felt quite so acutely because more people were locked down,” he said. “Now we have a combination of things largely remaining open and the expectation for many people that they have to go to work.” The surge in positive cases and quarantines has delayed city trash collection by about a day — one day last week, 55 of about 280 garbage trucks were out of service because there weren’t enough workers to staff them, said Deputy Streets Commissioner Christopher Newman.

    More than a third of collections workers have been out recently, the absentee rate hitting a pandemic high at 36%, Newman said. Before the pandemic, the outage rate averaged about 25% on a given day, and at other points during the pandemic, the rate has been as low as 30%. Across the whole sanitation division, 160 people — 12% of its workforce — were absent one day in early January, Newman said.

    (snip)

    https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/worker-shortage-philadelphia-omicron-covid-trash-pickup-20220116.html


    It has been a slog just to get done who they got done.



    I hate the way that many in the public health community have been dismissing when people experience symptoms that don't require hospitalization but can range from some sniffles to almost debilitating (in terms of fatigue and/or headaches, etc), where the assumption is all "minor" symptoms are a nothing more than something akin to an allergy and they can just take an antihistamine, shrug it off, and come in.

    I get that it is frustrating but this is unprecedented and we are unfortunately living through it. The exhortation of "new normal" should not just be a "slogan" but it really needs to be internalized and people need to change their behaviors.

    And hot off the press as I type - the arbitration ruling just came down for the FOP here (am listening on the radio) where they said that this will apply to ALL city worker Unions - the mandate should go forward, but it removes the consequences of not getting vaccinated - that of "firing". So I suppose more to come on that...

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    Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #24)

    Tue Feb 1, 2022, 06:30 PM

    25. Starbucks really ticked me off when they caved as soon as the mandate was dropped.

    But normally people wouldn't bother staying out before 2 yrs ago but now they all get tested & stay home with a positive test even though they're not very ill. One of my friends ( and I have my doubts about how legit this is) swears he has a coworker that "tests positive" every 5-6 weeks & gets 5 days off with pay. Seems that the company would make that guy get a test at THEIR doctor! But where I live I've seen plenty of people stay out due to a positive test, but they're not sick. So do they stay home and quarantine? No, they're out shopping or golfing or some other such shit!
    We see how a TOTAL shutdown has worked in China; they STILL have had big outbreaks. And who knows how big they really are or how many deaths, because you can't trust a damn thing they say.

    I'm glad I've got my vax. I will get the booster as well. But I do wonder what effect it would have on our OWN systems if we start being told to get booster after booster? I mean, I just got 2 shingles shots a few months ago. Had the 2 Covid shots before that. The regular flu shot. Now a booster. Is there a number that's too many? I'm no scientist so I don't have that answer. But it does concern me long-term.

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    Response to oldsoftie (Reply #25)

    Tue Feb 1, 2022, 07:00 PM

    26. Well like with anything else

    you will always have people "gaming the system". Always.

    I think as time goes on, you will see business tweaking their policies and after some x number of days,will probably require a PCR test. The main issue with the PCR being that it takes time for the samples to be run, and most labs are "pooling" tests now for efficiency.

    For example, they will combine what was collected from 10 different swabbed people, and if the combined sample comes up negative, then all 10 are negative. Boom. Done. But if that combined batch reads positive, then they go back and retest the reserve sample from each of the "contributors" in that batch to determine which one had the positive. It makes it faster since the % of positives from a batch is rarely at some high percent anyway but the amplification process does take time to get enough viral material reproduced to detect and confirm it is what it is alleged to be.

    And I had posted up-thread about the issues of continually "boosting" and the need to start calling it "annual". In fact, some of CDC's ACIP members recommended changing the terminology to call for someone's vaccine status to be "up to date" vs "fully vaccinated" which can now have many meanings depending on the brand of vaccine, the age and any health conditions, and you are starting to slowly see that term work itself into the narratives.

    You might also recall what I still call nonsense of "herd immunity". Although COVID-19 is not a "common cold", it is respiratory like that and there is no "cure" or "herd immunity" to a common cold. And that is because of the exact reason there is an issue with COVID-19 - all the mutations. This is in contrast to other viruses like Polio or Measles that don't mutate as frequently -

    Researchers Clarify Why Measles Doesn’t Evolve to Escape Immunity

    Unlike SARS-CoV-2, which mutated into new strains in its first year as a human disease-causing virus, measles virus does not mutate in a comparable way. A person who is fully vaccinated against the measles virus will usually be protected for life. Now, with a Cell Reports Medicine publication, Mayo Clinic scientists think they know why measles doesn't escape control of the immune system.

    In a study led by Miguel Ángel Muñoz-Alía, Ph.D., the team created a large panel of measles virus variants with engineered mutations affecting the proteins on the surface of the virus that the human immune system recognizes and targets via antibodies. They studied the ability of these variants to evade antibodies that neutralize the virus. The authors conclude that there is a near-zero probability for the natural emergence of a new measles virus capable of evading vaccine-induced immunity.

    The data presented in the manuscript show that, to escape immunity, a disease-causing, or pathogenic, measles virus would need to generate a large set of mutations — simultaneously — affecting multiple parts of the surface proteins. Simultaneous disruption of at least five antibody targets is required before the virus starts developing resistance to the diversity of neutralizing antibodies in the bloodstream. The authors have characterized the probability of this occurrence as "vanishingly small." Further, they found that even if a measles virus were to mutate extraordinarily and escape neutralizing antibodies in the blood of a vaccinated person, the resulting strain could not cause disease. It would have lost the ability to bind its receptors which are the "keys" to the "doors" in and out of a cell (read more about one door, called nectin-4, in a 2019 article). Funding for this effort was provided by Al and Mary Agnes McQuinn and Mayo Clinic.

    https://discoverysedge.mayo.edu/2021/03/30/researchers-clarify-why-measles-doesnt-evolve-to-escape-immunity/


    This is also why there is an annual flu shot. They have to "chase the mutation that is most prevalent" every year and hope that they got it right (and many times they don't when a different variant or variants becomes dominant instead, since those shots are usually some combination of strains of Influenza A and B).

    The one good thing coming out of all of this is the development of the mRNA vaccines for the flu (and other viruses), so in the future, when you get a flu shot, you would be able to get the COVID-19 one with it in one shot.

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