29 thoughts on “C-19 Chat Post – November 23 2021”

    1. Good news. Oddly, I’m hearing the mandate didn’t apply to the corrections department.

      I also read 90 percent of federal workers will meet Biden’s deadline

  1. Yes, the federal mandate for employees has worked well.

    On a somber note, the Netherlands’ hospital situation is critical. Another net growth in hospitalizations of 210 in a 24 hour period, including 18 more in the ICU. They’re now moving patients to Germany and Belgium, even though those countries are having capacity issues, too. The percentage of all patients in the ICU that are Covid patients is now 57%. This will reach 60% by the end of the week.

    Just spoke with my ex-wife. Many of her colleagues who work in the court system – all fully vaccinated – are out sick. A few are very sick.

  2. The Covid pills could be very important, but won’t make much of a difference in the U.S. if we don’t provide free (or nominal fee) and rapid access to antigen tests to all citizens and residents. Many countries send 5 tests a month by mail to everyone. Others heavily subsidize and ensure that all supermarkets and pharmacies have ample supplies. This would be a relatively small government investment with potentially a big return on investment. Yet, the Biden Administration has refused to do this. What else is new? Public health is not a priority, even under a Democrat-led Administration. https://twitter.com/rickberke/status/1463133759218270216

  3. Florida wrote natural immunity into state law this week as GOP lawmakers in other states, including New Hampshire, are pushing similar measures to sidestep vaccination mandates.

    Russia has seen huge numbers of people seeking out antibody tests as well to prove they had an earlier infection and therefore don’t need vaccines.

      1. Yes, reinfections are fairly common.

        Latest on Michigan’s vertical curve in cases AND deaths. Yes, cases matter, because they haven’t been decoupled sufficiently from hospitalizations and deaths. Certainly not in states that are less vaccinated, but also in states like Michigan that are just below the nation’s average, and even in states with high vaccination rates (look at New York’s current surge). https://twitter.com/VincentRK/status/1463173439620096000

  4. Late yesterday afternoon, I received an alert text on my iPhone regarding the Covid-19 vaccine boosters as well as a “robo-call” on my landline.

    Did anyone else here get such a call yesterday?

  5. The WH has announced that it has no plans to call for any upcoming Covid-19 lockdowns.

    What good are lockdowns anyway? Ours last year had no real effect whatsoever. We might as well have kept this country open for all the good it did. Maybe many restaurants would have still remained in business today. Schools could have remained open with masking just as it is now. Just my opinion.

    1. I think it is difficult to say it didn’t make a difference. Remember, many other states didn’t shut down or did so in a limited sense and did far worse than we did. Also, with a vaccine, if we have over 3000 positives in one week in schools for kids and over 500 staff now, what would we have had without remote.

    2. Lockdowns are a last resort, and their main purpose is to curb the spread in order to relieve hospital capacity burden, which in turn does save both Covid and non-Covid patients’ lives. Without lockdowns of some kind, it would have been impossible for some hospitals in some areas to function properly. As I noted above, this is what is happening once again in the Netherlands where a growing number of hospitals are totally maxed out. They can’t help additional Covid patients, but they also can’t help non-Covid patients. It’s the hospital directors and healthcare workers who are demanding that restrictions be put in place to reduce the caseload, which in turn will lead to less of a burden on hospitals. Politicians do NOT want lockdowns. It hurts them politically. It’s important to keep this in mind.

      And please note that each type of lockdown is best thought of as being on a spectrum to denote the degree to which a country or region is being locked down. The most draconian is when you close all non-essential shops and indoor venues of any kind and force people to stay at home. This Wuhan style lockdown wasn’t ever really in place in the U.S. But, we did have a strict form of lockdown in most states in the spring of 2020 that includes many closures, including schools. The kinds of lockdowns being done in several European countries now are not as strict as they’re not impacting schools. And, in some cases, like the Netherlands, they’re allowing most non-essential stores to stay open but with limited hours.

  6. Netherlands has added a measure, namely enforcement of the 1.5 meter physical distancing rule in ALL indoor spaces, wherever such distancing is possible. This will include capacity limits to ensure physical distancing is possible. The focus will be in essential shops, but also schools (though not in the <12 age group). Enforcement is done with the issuance of citations and fines (repeat offenders) to those who violate the rule. Distancing rules apply to people who do not share the same household.

    1. I think this is wise. Not in less than 12 surprises me though as they are the most vulnerable and where we are seeing highest number of cases.

    2. “Social distancing” has pretty much disappeared from the American vocabulary this year. In 2020, it was all the rave. It’s been discovered that the virus travels a good distance, so what’s the use?

  7. Even JP Morgan is paying attention. About the Netherlands’ surge in hospitalizations a top analyst at the investment firm said that “if the current growth rate of infections persists in the Netherlands, … the local peak in hospital capacity seen in Jan 2021 will be seen again in 2 days and the all-time peak in hospital capacity seen in March 2020 will be seen again in 11 days.”

  8. Vicki, on the <12 group, the Netherlands recognizes that numbers of cases are growing fast among that group, but:

    – Government is concerned about risk of vaccinating this group, and is taking a wait-and-see approach;
    – Government would like there to be distancing, but recognizes that it's extremely difficult to maintain among children that young.

    Philip, you are correct that the virus can travel a long distance, but transmission is much less likely if there is at least 2 feet between people.

    1. I’m interested that there is vaccine hesitancy re 5-11 age group. Why is it we just plow along here while at the same time stating the test group wasn’t long enough to accurately see if there is a concern. What is wrong with us?

      You are correct. Distancing is not possible with full in-school. Sadly, those who insisted on full in-school shot themselves in the foot. In that respect, it seems the majority are using less than the best common sense

    1. In hindsight, schools should never have been shut down last year, at least for a long period of time. Schools should have been reopened after 2-3 weeks with students masked like they are now. If I remember correctly, we all “masked up”the following month after the pandemic became official in March anyway.

      1. Of course I disagree. The numbers do not lie. In 10 weeks this year we have had 23,804 positives for combined staff and students (majority students). Majority of students are the 5-11 group. You posted earlier that the 5-11 group makes up a large number. It is largely because they are in school.

        The article above shows how disruptive full in school has been.

  9. Cuba has developed and launched a very effective homegrown vaccine. See link below. Really impressive, given the severe budgetary constraints. Despite being a repressive one-party state, Cuba has established itself as a global leader among developing nations in terms of its healthcare system and its ability to develop treatments and vaccines. Obviously no fanfare, no haggling on prices, no IPOs on Wall Street, no quarterly investor readouts, no glossy ads in newspapers, and no spiffy online promotionals. Shows you that you don’t need a ton of R&D funding, investor outlays, or state-of-the-art laboratories to develop an excellent vaccine. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03470-x

  10. During the pandemic, the Dutch government policymakers – cabinet and MPs in parliament – are advised by the RIVM (CDC counterpart) but also an independent body called the Outbreak Management Team, which the RIVM establishes in times of crisis. This group of people has no political ties whatsoever. It is made up mostly of epidemiologists, public health experts, physicians, and hospital directors. The OMT advises the government periodically. Its latest warning, issued earlier this evening Dutch time (6 hours ahead) is that if the hospital situation continues to deteriorate the government must consider implementation of a “hard lockdown,” which would shut down all non-essential shops and restaurants, as well as all schools. The length of the lockdown would probably be 3 weeks, though schools might be closed until after the holiday break.

    I doubt the government will do this. It’s been reluctant to do so in the past, but it may reinforce current rules, which focus on distancing, mask mandates, no fans at indoor or outdoor sporting events, and very limited hours for non-essential stores and other businesses, as well as closures of night clubs and concert venues.

  11. AY.43, remember that sub-lineage. It’s now out-competing AY.4.2 and all the other sub-lineages of ancestral Delta, by a fairly wide margin, in the UK and throughout Europe. Portugal is one of the first countries to notice this. Others, including Israel (that is now seeing a resurgence of cases this week), are pointing to this sub-lineage as potentially problematic. We don’t know much about AY.43, other than the fact that its parent is Delta and it’s an unruly child. if I had to hazard a guess it has a fitness advantage, more transmissibility, and possibly some additional evasive properties that allow it to attach to hosts that have been vaccinated more easily than other sub-lineages. Remember, the virus’s only purpose in life is to survive. For this to occur it needs to find new hosts, all of the time, and adapt if need be to changed circumstances.

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