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Covid 47: Waving Invisibly


Zorral
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The New Covid Boosters Are Amazing News

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/15/opinion/covid-booster-shot.html

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.... Vaccines (and boosters) have already been shown to greatly reduce rates of long Covid among the infected, but obviously, if infection is avoided completely, that would directly sidestep the risk of long Covid. Shane Crotty, an immunologist, also noted that these boosters will probably further reduce the chances of more severe disease complications, which include long Covid, and says “the higher your level of immunity, the less viral replication you’re going to have, the less viral damage, the less likelihood of long Covid.”

And these new boosters can be expected to do even more, going forward — including better protection against future variants, by better training both antibodies and memory cells, which are different parts of the immune system. As Bhattacharya told me, being exposed to different versions of the virus (as will happen with these updated boosters) further deepens and broadens the kind of antibodies that get generated, including ones that can work against future variants. Marion Pepper, an immunologist, told me a new variant vaccine can also “create new, more diverse memory cells that will help protect from Omicron variants and new variants that we have yet to encounter.”

Unfortunately we may face another problem we witnessed throughout the pandemic: public health officials or prominent media doctors casting doubt on the boosters by focusing on their imperfections rather than their immense benefits and worrying about public reaction — like concerns about “vaccine fatigue.”

When I hear that phrase, I wonder how it would have sounded in the spring of 2020 when we had field hospitals in Central Park, bodies were stacked in trailers as funeral homes ran out of space and hospitals ran out of body bags. ....

 

 

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Is anyone surprised people put up a mental block on the worst periods of the pandemic? Who wants to remember funeral homes running out of space and a shortage of body bags?

But regardless of the selectivity of people's memories the pandemic is now very much an individual choice situation. Wear a mask, get vaccinated, or don't. But accept the consequences of your choices. Because this disease can still maim and kill. Good to now the immunology is indicating significant benefits of the bivalent omicron booster over the older versions.

I don't really understand vaccine fatigue. Billions(?) of people get a 'flu jab every year. There doesn't seem to be any fatigue happening there. Is COVID vaccine fatigue a result of the success of mis-information spreading through the population that COVID is not as bad as 'flu?

Also, a piece on masks esp on planes https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/474739/how-risky-is-flying-without-a-face-mask

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The right mask

But are you still protected by your mask on a plane if no one else around you is wearing one? The experts say yes - depending on the mask.

"A good mask can reduce your exposure to virus particles in the air ... whether other people around you are wearing a mask or not," Marr said.

Based on studies of masks in other settings, wearing a respirator - like an N95 or a KN95 - was associated with a much lower chance of testing positive for Covid-19.

...reaching for the surgical masks provided by the airlines may not be of much benefit.

...surgical masks were mainly designed to stop the wearer from emitting virus-laden particles, and were generally around 60 percent effective at preventing transmission.

To mask, or not to mask?

Mullins said the decision to wear a mask would depend on your personal risk profile.

Wearing a mask, he said, was an easy thing to do to help ensure you stay safe - and he would personally be continuing to do so on all public transit, including flights.

"Just because it's not mandated doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. It's still a great idea to mask up when you're flying."

As a curious aside, I got two anti-mask leaflets in my mailbox last week, bascially saying the exact opposite of the above. And claiming people are suffering from hypoxic illnesses as a result of mask mandates. I will say that I cannot do moderate exertion with a mask on, but I have never been in a situation that requires both moderate exertion and mandatory mask wearing. The most exercise I did while masked was walk around the supermarket, and while I am pretty unfit that did not amount to moderate exertion. But perhaps a very small segment of the population would be affected even with mild exertion.

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2 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

this disease can still maim and kill.

Over 450 per day, every day, here in the USA.  But then, this is the nation where it is now normalized that schools and school children, teachers, are targets for the armed fascist cadres of the crazy.  Home of the free, land of the brave, yippee ai yay yay.

Edited by Zorral
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17 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

Is anyone surprised people put up a mental block on the worst periods of the pandemic? Who wants to remember funeral homes running out of space and a shortage of body bags?

But regardless of the selectivity of people's memories the pandemic is now very much an individual choice situation. Wear a mask, get vaccinated, or don't. But accept the consequences of your choices. Because this disease can still maim and kill. Good to now the immunology is indicating significant benefits of the bivalent omicron booster over the older versions.

I don't really understand vaccine fatigue. Billions(?) of people get a 'flu jab every year. There doesn't seem to be any fatigue happening there. Is COVID vaccine fatigue a result of the success of mis-information spreading through the population that COVID is not as bad as 'flu?

Also, a piece on masks esp on planes https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/474739/how-risky-is-flying-without-a-face-mask

As a curious aside, I got two anti-mask leaflets in my mailbox last week, bascially saying the exact opposite of the above. And claiming people are suffering from hypoxic illnesses as a result of mask mandates. I will say that I cannot do moderate exertion with a mask on, but I have never been in a situation that requires both moderate exertion and mandatory mask wearing. The most exercise I did while masked was walk around the supermarket, and while I am pretty unfit that did not amount to moderate exertion. But perhaps a very small segment of the population would be affected even with mild exertion.

Some, if not all, of the anti-mask talk is the purest of horse$hit.

I spent a career criss-crossing the globe on aircraft, and I wore some sort of a painter's mask (eg N95 thingy) on almost every long-haul flight.  I wasn't worried about germs, but rather low humidity.  As soon as we were in the air, I would recline and go to sleep, and ten or so hours later, wake up with weird marks on my face, but at least my throat wasn't raw from dragging in the dry air the entire flight.  Wearing a mask was a straight benefit, and I certainly didn't get hypoxic illnesses.

But that was just sleeping, you say?  Well, during the height of the pandemic, the entire AIA, every school in Arizona, played an entire season of basketball with the players, coaches, officials and fans all wearing masks.  Kids and refs sprinted up and down the court wearing the sports version of the KN95 all season long.  No ill effects.

Is wearing a mask fun?  No.  Should I wear one more often?  Yes.

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Well I almost completed my seven day hotel quarantine on my way back to China, but on the last day I tested positive. So now I've been moved to hospital quarantine and will remain here until I test negative when I get to do my hotel quarantine again!  so that's my next two weeks. 

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Damnit, Biden, stop being so lame and off-the-cuff on this. The pandemic is not 'over' unless you are okay with 1k death rates in the holiday season and a 5% long covid disability rate. We have a good booster - encourage using it! We have good masks! We actually have testing now! What the actual fuck man. 

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/biden-calls-pandemic-over-despite-pathetic-booster-rates-and-new-variants/

 

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56 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Tested positive this morning.

Come on, you. Get with the program. Covid is OVER -- if it ever existed, that is.  

On the non-sarcastic side, sorry to hear this, and hope the others in your household don't get it.

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Interesting new stat from our health dept. 12% of reported cases are now re-infections, 9% had their last infection >90 days prior, 3% reinfected within 90 days. My son might be re-infected (not yet tested positive, may not even be COVID) and if he is he most likely picked it up from a friend who was them-self a re-infection case. I think I know irl 2 or 3 definite re-infection cases.

I'm still actively trying to avoid getting infected. I'm sure I have dodged several bullets since Omicron started waving through us in January. My latest cunning plan is to go grocery shopping in the mid-evening when very few people are in the shop, that way I am not surrounded by large numbers of unmasked shoppers of unknown infection status, and I can go through a completely empty self-checkout lane. This along with not taking public transport for my work commute over the winter has limited my exposure. Though driving to work has worsened my carbon footprint, I am working at home 4 out of 5 days so I only feel a little bit bad. I will have to get back on the train at some point, as driving and parking is stupidly expensive.

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25 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

How many vaccines have you had?

4 (x2 AZ, 1 Phizer (sp), 1 moderna).

I was on immune-suppressants until covid hit, so I got extra shot and was in shielding group. Its likely I’ll be back on them in the coming weeks, dependingon what my consultant says. 
Should be due an autumn booster.

 

Also asthmatic and had to take a couple inhaler puffs, but generally its mild and I run

Edited by Derfel Cadarn
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40 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

I was able to get a same-day appointment.

Was that the bi-valent?  

Around here it seems at this point (unlike when I got mine a week and a half ago) even getting appointments for that one means waiting -- not really long, as when the first vaccine became available -- but walking in not possible.  I guess in this pocket universe people are anxious to get this next generation into their systems as soon as possible.  Which is good -- particularly since this is a pocket universe, so means our friends.  :)

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3 hours ago, Zorral said:

Was that the bi-valent?  

No. The Modern bivalent vaccine is about to be rolled out here so I would have had to wait for that. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine hasn't been approved in Canada yet. 

ETA: I had to use Wayback machine to find this information, but it looks like we had 1500 Covid deaths in Alberta in the first 8.5 months of 2022; vs. 2300 in 2021. It's a bit of a stretch but with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming and school just starting up, we might come close to matching last years death toll. 

Edited by Deadlines? What Deadlines?
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