I know why many experts are worried about the near future, but it’s important to recognize how far the U.S. has come. Today, states reported fewer than 100k cases for the first time in *96 days* pic.twitter.com/7Cq5OKK6mK
— Alexis C. Madrigal (@alexismadrigal) February 8, 2021
Continue the good work.
- Maintain social distancing
- Mask-up with the best mask you can get
- Get vaccinated if you can get an appointment
Cases are still 2-3 times what they were last summer, when we thought things were pretty bad.
It’s great that the first derivative has and seems to be maintaining the right sign, but we have a long way to go.
Yes, progress. And that’s good and important! But daily infections and all the rest are still at horrifying levels – multiples of the previous horrifying peaks! People have to continue to be vigilant and take active measures to stay safe.
I heard parts of BoJo’s Prime Ministers Questions (from Wednesday) on the BBC last night. He was saying things like “we’re closing the borders unless one has a clean COVID test result to keep new variants out!!” – eliding the fact that the UK variant developed in England all on its own. Eliding the fact that if a country has rampant infections it will develop its own new variants. It’s biology…
Stay safe, everyone.
Is this the post-holiday decline that simply leads to a higher plateau than spring and fall 2020? Have there been enough vaccines to be statistically significant?
My dad got his second vaccine on Tuesday. My mom got her first on Thursday. I’ll be eligible in New York starting February 15, although I really can’t figure out what I’m supposed to do. The pharmacies are supposed to be handling it going forward. The county health department isn’t organizing clinics and the only CVS in the state that offers them is 4 1/2 hours away. Hmmmm. I really hope Cuomo’s plan isn’t to have 5 million people calling pharmacies and surfing the web all day long. Wisconsin, where my parents live, seem better organized, and they had actual republicans trying to prevent any organization.
@p.a.: I think that we’re getting enough vaccinations to begin to make a notable difference in death rates but nowhere near enough vaccinations to make a difference in overall infection rates.
Tim in SF
We just had the Superbowl, and in a week or two we’re going to see a spike from all those parties people supposedly didn’t go to, just like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
@Peale: In my tiny rural IN town, the local hospital is running the vaccinations with the city. They are using the city garage as a type of drive in clinic for the vaccinations. I suppose when the vaccines reach the local CVS or Kroger we might be able to get them there but who knows when that will be.
Husband is scheduled for his 1st vax on the 23rd, next one 4 weeks after. I am not in the age range for one yet.
Want to see what going back-fucking-asswards looks like? Watch Iowa.
@Cheryl Rofer: It reminds me of the old claim about boiling a frog – if you raise the water temperature slowly, it won’t notice that it’s cooking. Too many people have decided these levels are normal, or “necessary” for whatever reason.
@Cheryl Rofer: Plus, as someone said in the earlier thread, now we can look forward to Super Bowl Sturgis. Plus all the Super Bowl parties in homes and bars around the country.
@Tim in SF:
I don’t think this spike will be nearly as bad. The Superbowl is vastly less popular than Thanksgiving or Christmas, and parties for it vastly less of a norm for the people who do watch it. There certainly will be a spike, but nothing like the absolute clusterfucks of the major family holidays.
@Ken: Obligatory James Fallows…
The Thin Black Duke
You can’t fix stupid.
GOP Rep. Ron Wright Dies From COVID-19
from TPM via Fux News
Any news on the Dems infected by the coup attempt?
@Tim in SF: Sturgis Florida style.
@Another Scott: Something that I find particularly interesting in the new variants is that similar mutations are emerging in various places. Those mutations increase the rate of spread of the virus.
Evolution works. Hoocoodanode?
The best way to keep the variants down is to keep the spread down.
@Another Scott: So clearly frogs are more intelligent that humans.
@p.a.: Last time I googled for that info I found NOTHING.
@David Anderson: I agree that the current 11% vaccination rate in the US isn’t enough to slow down the spread. I’m guessing we won’t see that until we’re around 50%. Israel is seeing a decrease in spread that they think has to do with vaccinations, but they’re way ahead of us in coverage.
If someone did a poll for this, I would bet that half the country is figuring that since rates are coming down, it will be safe for families to travel to get together for Easter.
These two things are not unrelated.
Probably the most rash thing I’ve done in the last year is continue to grocery (and other absolute necessities) shop in person. And a handful of doctor appointments that couldn’t be conducted virtually.
I already don’t eat out, visit other households, get my hair cut, or anything else.
It is hard keeping my resentment at the super-spreaders in check.
AND WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS!
I thought people were kidding about Wright tweeting pro covid stuff and then dying of covid, but…nope.
@Ohio Mom: I had to see my eye doctor last week for some last-minute eye pain before my previous job’s insurance expired, and I’ve never felt so guilty or uncomfortable being in an enclosed space with another person for that long. I mean, it was necessary, and we all had masks (she might’ve even had the vaccine by this point since she’s in healthcare), but it’s still one of my riskier moves in a long time.
I regularly see social media friends going to restaurants and whatnot, and I know that none of them absolutely need to do that. I just don’t understand why people haven’t internalized the fact that the air is dangerous.
@Ohio Mom: I spent about an hour in a retro video game store yesterday. During the superbowl. I was the ONLY person there other than the owners, who are longterm friends of mine and I was trying to get something fixed for my kids.
Other than that, I’ve been in the same boat as you since this started: I don’t eat out, I’ve brought my kids to play in Grandma’s backyard 4 or 5 time, and I go to the grocery store.
I’m not nearly as thorough as some of the other people here, but if every had followed my behavior we’d be in a much better spot.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I am an essential worker, so obviously not an option right now.
I know they having to improvise after the cluster fuck of snake oil worshipers that was Trump admin, but do I hope there some analysts of the vaccines when things calm down. It strikes me that essential workers should be sooner than later since they are the most likely ones to spread the virus.
Although, TBH, reporting on weekends is usually delayed, but the trend is good. Big question is when the B.1.1.7 variant will start showing up big time. Will cases level off or will we see another spike?
I see an awful lot of people with their noses poking out over their masks. They still think it’s okay.
The latest anti-vax false claim.
@Another Scott: LOL!
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: In Illinois, essential workers started getting vaccinated a week ago today.
@germy: I doubt that they think that’s okay. I would guess that it’s either a “fuck you, you’re not the boss of me” or a “I am wearing the damn mask the wrong way (fuck you), so you can’t accuse me of not wearing one”.
Good. Now can we close every bridge that crosses the Mississippi into Plaguesowa?
You’re right. “Doing the bare minimum in a display of resentful compliance”
@Peale: Ohio is having people surfing the internet, calling pharmacies all day, and wandering to pharmacies late in the day hoping for random cancellations.
Most of the pharmacies have messages on their phone lines that say “if it’s about Covid go to our website” and then their websites refer you to the state health department that just lists what dates your age or special health group is allowed to sign up.
I am supposed to be able to sign up today but nobody is taking appointments. Everyone lists last week dates with “appoint,ents fully booked.” That’s all the pharmacies, all the hospital chains, and the county health department.
Just a mess. But somehow some people are getting their shots.
We started seeing tourists not wearing masks here at Christmas holiday period, but the last two weeks have been horrible in that respect. There’s a trail loop along the river that has been designated as one way since this began, and we hike it often. The number of people ignoring the one way designation has gone up (we heard someone say “it’s too far to require that”), and yesterday there was a group of 12 people, mid 30’s to baby in stroller, posing together on the walking bridge, no masks, no distancing. After we got away from them my husband said “in a group like that, you know at least one of them has it”. Obviously the multiple sets of parents felt no need to mask or limit travel; they were definitely from somewhere other than here.
Another reason why high speed internet access needs to be an affordable public utility instead of an expensive private-provider luxury.
“Wearing your mask under your nose is just like wearing your underwear underneath your penis.”
That’s what I loudly announce to my kids or anyone within earshot when I see one of those MAGAts doing that.
@Tim in SF:
This time with the new mutations out there. It will spread like wildfire. Nobody in Florida who has any decision making power gives a fuck.
@p.a.: He was only 67.
What sort of reaction do you get from non-family members?
I had a supermarket employee act like he wanted to fight me when I asked him to pull his bandana up when I wheeled my grocery cart past him.
I see this all the time: store employees with their masks down, but then they’ll pull them up if a customer appears. But this particular asshole pissed me off because he didn’t care how many customers were around him.
@Ohio Mom: I think I’ve been in a chain grocery store twice since last March. I already was using curbside pickup now and then, but now it’s every time. We do have a small, independent store about 3 blocks from me, Weilands for anyone in the Columbus area. If I time it right (6:pm most days) there is virtually no one there. It’s a really nice store that buys from local farms and doesn’t do curbside, so I will go in there because I want local business to survive.
I haven’t seen a dentist in over a year. All I want is to get vaccinated so I can walk into a store without feeling panicky.
Glares. But I’m a pretty big guy so no one ever confronts me. And if they did I would just say “hey asshole. Was I talking to you?”
But this is also the Pacific Northwest where mask use is near 100% in public spaces like groceries. And store staff are usually 100% doing it right. About the most the MAGAts ever dared do is wear their masks wrong. If we were still in Texas or some place like that I’d probably just keep my mouth shut and avoid ever going back to any business that wasn’t enforcing mask rules (while letting them know why).
@germy: You said it better than me!
@sab: Have you tried calling your local health department? That’s where it all begins where I live in Illinois.
@Ohio Mom: When my county went from red to purple I inally started doing online pickup grocery shopping. I still find it a bit weird, and the learning curve was steep. There are lots of shortcuts so I don’t have to scroll through their entire inventory to fimd stuff.
One grocery I ordered what I thought was a bunch of leeks and got one. Another store I ordered bell peppers and got a pound! Now that I’ve learned the ropes it’s actually kind of fun. I can sit in bed with my laptop and grocery shop.
But I guess now I will have to be wandering by the pharmacy hoping for an appointment.
@sab: That’s me. I have the sites all bookmarked and I check every 2-3 hours to see if anything has opened up. My doctor told me the roll out here as been horrendous.
@germy: That is the one plus i can think of related to COVID.
The shameful disparities have been laid bare for all to see, and I think that will be useful in trying to resolve it.
Only those who are willfully ignorant won’t see it, and fuck them, they aren’t part of the solution anyway.
Other than one minor adjustment, basically no difference in what passes for lifestyle due to COVID. Only times set foot outside the house remain:
1) Once a month trips to the bank and to town to do food shopping and bill paying.
2) Walking down to the street to check the mailbox, and back.
3) Jouncing around on the riding mower.
4) Moving the trash bin down to the street and back up again twice weekly.
5) Very occasionally driving landlady to a doctor appointment.
Only alteration from before times is to #1 — wearing a mask when outside the vehicle.
@WaterGirl: That was useless. They said call the pharmacies. And they still haven’t e-mailed me back from when I first signed up with them two months ago when they promised to keep me informed.
I am beginning to think that Ohio stopped any statewide planning after Amy Acton left. Focus is only on how to reopen businesses.
I don’t blame the locals. I don’t think anyone below the state level has any idea what is happening.
@Geo Wilcox: When the time comes that you are eligible and if your town isn’t fast enough, I recommend Kroger. I’m in central Indiana (Fishers) and lucked into the vaccine Sat afternoon. I had made an appt for my wife and we thought is was the 6th but turned out to be the 13th. (I kept being told the patient name didn’t match and started over, so I think the slot advanced a week when I started over. I did not realize I had put my name at first, then my wife’s, so no match)
Anyway, they had a couple extra doses, and a walk-in before me, and me got them, around 3:45 in the afternoon. I’m sure they don’t want to publicize necessarily b/c like sab said, they don’t bombarded with phone calls and people lining up. Anyway, I’m in the next age group to open up, but am on the path to vaccination. Indiana Krogers are linked here: https://www.kroger.com/i/coronavirus-update/vaccine
I was on it this morning and they had openings Feb 16. Just thought of a play: You might make an appt and hope by the time it comes Indiana will have opened to your age group (cheating a little, I suppose). My prediction–based on nothing–is Indiana will open up the 60-64 late this week or next week. Although they said the other day they were thinking of going to comorbidities next, so who knows?
@p.a.: I’ve noticed that it’s still hard to see any effect of vaccination on case and death rates even in Israel, which has the highest vaccination rate in the world by far.
There are several reasons for that. Studies in Israel confirm that the vaccines work well at preventing severe illness and even have some effect on infection. But they take time to produce immunity, and the virus is also still running rampant among the fraction of the population who won’t get vaccinated or take basic precautions–and there are a lot of them, there as here. They’re coming down off a monster wave much like the US and it’s just hard to ascertain whether any of the decline is due to the vaccines.
@sab: That’s so frustrating! I’m sorry. The display of competence here is uplifting.
Thanks. That is a must-read for the technically inclined, even if one has previously read similar pieces. Too polite; could use a lot more shrillness.
Here’s a full link (for google):
The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines, but “medical devices” or “gene therapy” – There’s a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it’s just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It’s the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy” and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense. (David Gorski, February 8, 2021)
Appointment through the county set for Wednesday, on a local university campus. Hoping it’s not the clusterflock they’ve had at Dodger Stadium (bring food, water and have a full tank). IIUC will be getting the Pfizer vaccine.
Interesting news out of South Africa that they’re suspending AstraZeneca vaccine because it’s showing preliminary ineffectiveness against their mutant COVID.
I have also read that there is less testing being done now, which could contribute to an artificially steep decline. FWIW, there have been more COVID cases popping up in the office in the past month or so than I had heard of recently. I think many folks – especially those who are young and simply cannot seem to live without in-person social interaction – are letting their guard down. Given that the UK strain is apparently coming to dominate here in the US, I do not see how this doesn’t mean more people get sick in the upcoming weeks, especially since I have no doubt plenty of people were stupid and went to Super Bowl parties yesterday.
If it were like that where I live, I’d buy N95 masks with exhaust valves “Protection for me and not for thee” but luckily, have encountered reasonably good compliance. I’ve avoided Home Despot and one of the reasons is I expect the asshole cohort to be pretty big.
I have a sense that the vaccination effort is finally getting better organized, at least around my home turf in Cook County. I was vaccinated last week based on a friend giving me a tip about where appointments were available. On Sunday, though, I heard from my own primary care group that they were working on 1Bs and that I should expect a message for an appointment as soon as my name came up randomly. On the same day, the county wrote to let me know how to get an appointment at its centers and giving me a list of dozens of sites, mostly Kroger’s and Walgreen’s, where I could phone for an appointment. I have no doubt that there are many busy signals and frustrating delays, but we seem to have gone from “I have no idea where to start” to “Why don’t they answer their damn phone.” At least there is a path to vaccination. It is heartening to see the country up to 1.5 million jabs a day, so other areas must be making progress as well.
Both the CA and my county test graphs show declining counts, so there might be waning interest. Way too soon, folks.
I postponed my 6 months checkup for posterior uveitis I had for 29 January. Rescheduled it for two weeks after the 2nd Pfizer. Lions Eye Institute at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center is pretty careful. I’m ok with that.
An important distinction. I have also read that people who have been vaccinated might still be able to transmit the virus, so continued caution is necessary.
Here in Massachusetts, we had a massive snowstorm last week and another, somewhat less severe one yesterday. That impedes the vaccination efforts but it also tends to prevent people from gathering. I’m hoping it cut down on Super Bowl party infections.
Is this how it worked years ago during the first polio vaccines?
Somehow I feel like Reagan’s “don’t expect the government to do anything to help” message has reached its logical conclusion.
Amazing what some people will do to pwn the libs.
Reuters says they’re rolling it out in a “stepped fashion” now…
Making decisions on vaccines by press-release is bad form. AZ should get all the data out there before talking about it…
Note how politico describes amending a law through the legislative process as “undoing” an agreement, making normal lawmaking by Dems appear like a sinister betrayal of a contract.
I got mine at my family doctor’s when I was six. It was different because polio was around for years before the vaccine.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people refusing to go along to be difficult, but I think there are also a lot of people who still aren’t used to wearing masks. That’s not just not knowing how to wear one but also thinking it’s hard to breathe with a mask on. A lot of the ways people wear their masks wrong are intended to make breathing easier, generally by not actually breathing through the mask and defeating the point. Unless someone makes a point about not wanting to wear a mask, it’s hard to know whether they’re doing it as a protest or just because they find masks uncomfortable.
@David Anderson: Looking at death rates will also increase the time lag over which we should expect to see any effect.
Here’s another way evolution works in the COVID virus:
@Baud: These are policies that are popular, but since Republican legislators oppose them they’re not “bipartisan”, and that can be used to frame them as unpopular (since people like bipartisanship).
I know there are mixed feelings about LP on here, but this is HILARIOUS! “The Squalid” heist film:
@WaterGirl: I have a thread idea for the Sunday night media thread, which is (from google) “Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – either online on social media, in the real world, or both.” (It took me a minute for me to realize I was thinking about cancel culture)
Cancel Culture, BJ style. Feb 21 or thereafter would be the date for this, to coincide with an upcoming 4 part HBO doc (done in secret) that will tell the Woody Allen/Mia Farrow story. Basic idea would be to post about how whatever revelation about whatever artist caused you to reassess nor not enjoy that work.
A variant is when the art itself was “safe” in its time but today looks much different. I started down the path today listening to the Stones “Brown Sugar”, listening to the lyrics. Could be offensive in today’s world, but such a groove.
Anyhoo, I’m willing to do some writing if our resident expert is willing to edit, add, etc. Let me know.
Pre-polio vaccine precedent, 1947:
During a medical staff meeting recently the infectious disease doctor presenting information about the vaccine stated that the hospital had capacity for 5000 doses per week but was being supplied with only 1900. Nearly all are Pfizer/BioNTech since the hospital has the freezers required for storage.
I’ve heard that the talk of the “South African variant” is something of a misnomer–the relevant spike mutation has likely independently occurred in several places, including the UK and probably the US; South Africa is just where it was found first and has the highest prevalence.
(Playing amateur sociologist here… I can’t help but think that calling it the South African variant has the same racial frisson as the fretting about “Africanized bees” back in the 1970s.)
I’d bet there are not a lot of people at any particular store pharmacy actually giving shots. So they don’t give a lot of jabs in a day, and yet they have to do this in sixes. Six jabs in a vial, at least Pfizer, and unless you can arrange the people, the process, the arms, it can’t happen. The CVS in my local Target has 2 people working there, and I’d bet they are not trained to give shots. Same with most of the drug stores or supermarket pharmacies. There just aren’t enough bodies, and areas that lend themselves to being shot sites. It’s a good idea to make pharmacies shot sites, but the logistics, are they really there? An example is the VA. Shots only at hospitals, not the clinics. In my case that means a drive of 45 miles and it’s worse for others. And they only open a vial when they have 6 arms at a time. I’d bet this is always going to be a problem for mass vaccination. Space and bodies to do the work. In boot camp we had a line, one right after another, air guns in both arms for sub q shots and needles for inter muscular. I think we got 8 shots in less than a minute but it’s been a long time and I’ve tried to block out most of it, unsuccessfully I might add. But in a pandemic situation that is impossible, plus most people would violently revolt, and rightfully so. It is always going to be difficult to make all those cattle arrive at the same time and all go through one chute peacefully, and calmly.
@Cheryl Rofer: Just today another GOP Congressman died of Covid. 2nd term GOP congressman Ron Wright from the DFW MAGA suburb of Arlington. He was 67 and also fighting cancer. I haven’t bothered to track down his voting record to see how actually MAGA he was on impeachment and the electoral college. But GOP-er from Texas probably says it all.
@Matt McIrvin: The virology community is trying to avoid attaching place names to the variants. The problem is that most of us don’t easily recognize “501Y.V2 variant, also known as 20H/501Y.V2, B.1.351 lineage.” Or know how it’s different from or similar to B.184.108.40.206.
So the place names show up, although you can see virologists on Twitter going through contortions about them.
Damned good point.
Also, Republicans undo agreements all the time, and the media doesn’t make a big deal about it.
The neocons will fight to prevent any help that would go directly to the working poor. The Democrats will find themselves with the choice to fight and use their majority powers to enact legislation or compromise and water down any assistance that would make it almost meaningless. Fight Democrats, fight.
Which public intelligibility could be solved in a flash.
COVID-19, COVID-19A, COVID-19B, etc., as markers for general consumption
@NotMax: The problem with that is that every virologist and news reporter will use COVID-19A for different variants
ETA: We are story-driven beings, and the attachment of a place name will always be easier to recognize than a bunch of letters and numbers, even though those will be more useful for organizing information in the way virologists do.
Let WHO be the arbiter and assigner of nomenclature.
I’m not sure being a first baseman qualifies someone for that job.
Their overarching problem at present is AZ is the only vaccine in country. Per the BBC they’re working on acquiring Pfizer and Moderna, which IIUC are at least somewhat effective against theis mutation (which has shown up in two states so far).
@Baud: That took a beat for me.
Dose 2 on Friday knocked me on my butt . . . for a day. Slight fever, complete inability to do anything other than stare vacantly at the TV on Saturday. Woke up the next day, perfectly fine. (Arm is still sore, but I went for a run this morning.) Also: the city (Chcgo) is planning/funding a major vaccine rollout; I don’t want to say any more, because I’m in the middle of figuring out how my org is going to be part of it, but will share info when I have it. I will say that they are aiming for a multi-pronged stratgy–mass location(s), pop-up/traveling locations, etc., which is heartening.
I’ve been saying this for a couple of weeks. Obviously they prioritized taking the load off hospitals; if you wanted to prioritize slowing down the spread, you’d vaccinate essential workers who are around the public a lot second. How many people can be infected by one WalMart cashier wearing their mask below their nose in an 8 hour shift? Those people need to get vaccinated ASAP to slow down the spread. I’m not as militant as some people about the order of vaccinations, though, since we need everyone who can get vaccinated to get it ASAP. I’d rather have non-essential workers get it than have it thrown away.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@zhena gogolia: LOL. “Josh Hawley, The Little Bitch.”
@Soprano2: They need to vaccinate the Uber, DoorDash and Grubhub drivers! But nobody seems to give a shit about these people even though they’re keeping society running.
If it weren’t for the variants the prospects would be looking pretty good, although with still a lot of horror and death to go through. The ability of this virus to develop a plethora of different variants better suited to spread has been a very nasty surprise. Usually once a respiratory virus starts spreading widely, it doesn’t manage much further evolution – H3N2 flu, for example, seems little different clinically or in infectivity from what it was in 1970. There’s antigenic drift to partially escape immune surveillance, but it’s usually *much* slower – it’s more typically 3-5 years to generate the extent of immunologic change we see with these new strains.
O/T Arkansas: guaranteed to continue to suck. Possum Queen’s road to governor just opened up.
Of all Trump’s awful press secretaries, Baby Huck is the most vile. Good luck, Arkansas.
That may be partly due to the level of infection.
They did a lot of modeling and determined that vaccinating old people sooner than essential workers was more effective in reducing the total number of deaths. Part of this is because it’s not clear that the vaccines actually prevent transmission rather than just preventing severe disease.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
There are probably a lot of valid ways to decide how to roll out the virus. Prisoners might be near the top of a list since they are confined to social spaces.
In Los Angeles county, I would look at the low income areas by zip code where essential workers live and send in health teams to vaccinate people.
But the main thing is to get more vaccine produced and to get more people vaccinated.
My understanding is that the recent variants seem to affect their ability to spread but don’t cause immune escape.
For anyone who saw the Maddow show on Friday night, the state rep she talked about who was pimping a fake COVID cure back in April represents a town that’s about 15 miles away from Springfield. Rep. Tricia Derges is her name, and she was promoting amniotic fluid as a “miracle stem cell cure” for almost anything, including COIVD. Predictably, I’ve already seen the man she replaced in the state legislature talk about how he got her treatment for his bad knee, and it fixed it right up (that placebo effect can be powerful stuff!), and she went on Facebook to talk about how the forces of Satan are against her, and she’s going to soldier on. At least the House Republicans stripped her of all her committee assignments, but I doubt she goes quietly. Ironically, she also has a low-income clinic right here in Springfield that’s done a lot of good work. I don’t think she ran any of her scams through it because they don’t have the money to pay – evidently up to $1,000/pop for treatments!
@mrmoshpotato: It’s been as astonishing as it is depressing how quickly Iowa went from fairly decent purple state to “East Dakota”.
@Roger Moore: Plus, both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines seem to still offer protection from the UK variant (note: preprint study). Not as much (I forget exact numbers), but still enough to be effective because of the cushion effect.
@narya: I had the same experience with my second dose of Moderna. Injected around 5pm Friday. Had a bit of a headache, some fatigue, stomach not entirely pleased. Was able to shuffle down to the frozen lake and back. Next day, other than a slight headache, I felt fine.
I’m a teacher, but that’s not how I got vaccinated. (Charlie Baker moved us down the list after pushing for school reopening for the last 5 months – go figure). I just happened to know somebody who was working a vaccination clinic for hospital employees and when they ran out of arms, I got the call. Feeling vaguely guilty about it. I wish I could have sent it to my diabetic sister in Madrid, but I guess that wasn’t an option.
@Matt McIrvin: Supposedly the UK found the new variant in England because they were actually checking 3 (IIRC) areas of the virus and saw them changing. Most countries aren’t doing that, so they don’t know if they’ve got mutated strains or not.
“… because the light is better here.”
13+ months later, and we still don’t know enough about the virus to fight it as efficiently as possible.
I just wish it wasn’t so impossibly difficult to even sign up for a waiting list for the vaccine. Most places I’ve checked online through the state website won’t even let you sign up for a wait list. I’ve got us both registered at several sites that do allow it. But it sucks to wait half an hour on a site to be let in to search for an appointment only to be told they have none and to try again later. It’s really stupid and a lot of the really elderly will be befuddled by the entire thing.
Where I live (Williamson County, TX), what I see while waiting for curbside at HD and Lowe’s is pretty close to full compliance, with the caveat that a lot of dumbfucks don’t mask up until they are literally walking through the entrance and strip them off the second they get back outside.
Vaccine distrib in metro Austin has been and remains a fustercluck.
@Brachiator: Prisoners have been near the top of the list in most state plans, and inevitably it upsets people who don’t want “bad guys” to be ahead of them in line. Welcome to America.
My county does not have a health department. The new Republican regime here decided a couple of years ago that it was too expensive and there was no real need for one. Oooops!
Among other things, Wright voted to overturn the electoral college results in every state where there was an objection. Generic Tex-bygod-ass Republican.
@geg6: That waiting for 15 minutes to be told that wait was a waste of time is really aggravating.
My husband has been doing it all day, at about 6 different sites, and I am about to hit him over the head with a frying pan just to settle him down. What is the point of signing up for a Covid vaccine if you stroke out from the sign up process.?
That’s one way to reduce demand … ?
@Matt McIrvin: I suppose these people have never served time, and don’t get that prisoners are a high-risk group because they spend much of their time crowded together.
ETA: or that prison staff are at risk from infected prisoners, and can spread Covid-19 to the general community.
I know a lot of older people in this county who barely use a computer. I, of course, can find my way around, but I had to go on the state website, find my county on a map, determine that the map was not as helpful as I would like and then go to the full listing of providers in the state. You cannot search this list by county or town, so you have to scroll through over 2000 pages (about a half dozen providers per page) to look for providers near you. I waited an hour at one website only to get the no appointments available message and no waitlist. Infuriated me.
The variants appear, as expected, to be emerging from places with high and sustained levels of infection/community transmission and presumably with selective pressure from already-infected-partially-immune people; the UK, South Africa, Brazil.
The Moar You Know
@citizen dave: I’ve been writing and playing music all my life, long enough to know that most artists are not, put nicely, the best of people. So that’s not happened to me, not yet.
What did happen, and I’ll post it on that thread, was when the NFL gave Michael Vick the “hey bro, it’s all good about you being a dog killer” treatment, leaned on the court system to get him out, and then greased everyone’s palm from the Humane Society on down to give him a pass for deliberately maiming and killing hundreds if not over a thousand dogs, well, that was too much. I’ve never watched an NFL game since and won’t. I had been a “every weekend during the season” guy, so hopefully my bowing out cost somebody a few cents. Probably not.
I have yet to like an artist that’s a sadistic people or animal killer. When I do I’ll drop them as well. Got no tolerance for that shit.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
I’m thankful that my wife was finally able to get my mother in law (81) scheduled for her first shot today. Wife was vaccinated weeks ago as she’s a front line health care worker at Children’s Hospital here in DC. But although that means she herself is protected that doesn’t mean she can’t bring the virus home.
Anyway she’s been trying to get an appointment for her mom for a month. The process in DC is FUBAR.. they don’t seem to save people’s registration data from week to week and use it to schedule appointments based on age. Instead you have to apply every week, on the morning they open up appointments, and they’re all “sold out” in a millisecond. It’s like trying to get Taylor Swift or Beyonce tickets week after week.
Finally this morning I was like you should see if someone at the hospital can advocate for you, or call the mayor’s office…at which point she’s like I know someone in the mayor’s office who used to work at Children’s. Not sure which lead panned out but one or the other did.
It’ll probably still be months before my 51 year old work from home ass gets a shot but at least the rest of the immediate household will be protected very soon.
Just got notice that my husband is classified as a first responder..he is a mission pilot for CAP (Civil Air Patrol) and as first responder, could have been vaccinated in Dec. At least he got vaccinated at the end of January when his age category (he’s 76, a very young 76) came up. But Iowa is just lurching this way and that. The governor isn’t quite sure what to do without Trump. Hmm, I wonder how many R governors and state legislators have some sort of pipeline to Trump because Iowa government is still racing into crazyland.
@Amir Khalid: They don’t care; in their minds, prisoners are bad people who should be absolutely last in line for the vaccine. The fact that a significant number of the people in prison are black and brown contributes to this, too. It’s all “why would you let criminals be vaccinated before all the good people get it?”. Totally predictable here.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Here in Illinois, my teacher DIL has a vaccination date for later this week but no other info on time. Her school district organized it and I believe one of the high schools is the site.
The Moar You Know
@Meyerman: Newsom pulled the same shit here with teachers and essential workers. Put ’em behind the over 65s – 11% of the state population. So no teacher vaccinations for quite a while. But he’s demanding that they go back right now.
I finally signed the recall after he pulled the “purple tier is a great time to reopen everything” stunt last week that’s going to have every hospital in the state gridlocked by March 1. Don’t like giving Republicans another shot at the spot but he has to go. His ambition overrules his common sense every time and now it’s getting people killed.
ETA: I note upthread Cuomo is doing the same stupid shit.
@The Moar You Know: Interesting…not to mention they let Vick back into the league. Respect!
I’m concerned about selective pressure from long-term heavy community transmission in a population already with a significant recovered subpopulation:
e.g. this paper covers 4 possibilities including (sort of) that one:
Resurgence of COVID-19 in Manaus, Brazil, despite high seroprevalence (January 27, 2021)
@Nelle: I can’t imagine being the Iowa Health Dept people right now, with the crazy Governor decisions. I think we all know there probably would never be widespread ticketing and/or arrests for violating mask mandates, so why not keep them in place to give businesses some oomph behind making people comply, etc. And signaling to cities that it’s just a damn good idea to wear a mask.
@Soprano2: Most American prisons are in rural America, providing jobs in depressed rural areas. They all have guards and administrative staff who work with prisoners and then go home to their families. And the prisoners gave moved around a lot from prison to prison.
Prisons were one of the earliest and biggest sources of Covid’s spread into rural Ohio.
@The Moar You Know: Made me look.
Given that there isn’t enough vaccine to go around yet, it’s a defensible position.
Everyone above is stressing the same caveats, not saying throw open the doors and pretend nothing is happening.
A recall will only help Republicans and those that support them.
Also, there are still a lot of people who do not own a computer or a cellphone. And still, because of Covid, a lot of places that have free access to computers, such as libraries, are closed.
Hell, I would sometimes go to the public library or a local community college just because they had faster and more reliable Internet service compared to where I used to live. I would note that a lot of people depended on the library, and the help they could get there, for a lot of computer related stuff, including job searches.
@Brachiator: In England, vaccines have arrived allocated for prisoners, I am told. But none for staff, who have to wait.
That’s what I find so discouraging about this vaccine rollout, the total lack of outreach.
We’ve done things like this before, whether it’s getting enrollment for the ACA or reminding people about Medicare’s open enrollment period, we know outreach matters.
Trump and Republicans really cannot be forgiven for failing to do the most basic things regarding vaccine rollout.
@The Moar You Know:
I just do not have a problem with this. And it is not some rogue strategy that is not being used elsewhere. You want to vaccinate those most at risk of dying from the virus.
Hell, I would probably just keep the schools closed. But schools and colleges have been arguing that they can take steps to minimize some risks. Some schools have successfully done so. Again, this is not a rogue strategy.
I have not seen any potential contender say what they would have done that would have been better than Newsom. I agree big time that a lot of what he has done has been erratic, but I also will bet that every Republican challenger would have simply opened things up to keep business going.
There are a strange number of Californians who are unhappy about the lock downs and other measures, but who think that make believe and wishes would have been a better strategy for dealing with the pandemic.
The Moar You Know
@Another Scott: Really? You find it’s a “defensible position” to send unvaccinated teachers into schools where they interact with 150-200 students a day – students known to be asymptomatically infected with COVID? You find that defensible? When 2/3rds of the school year is already done, fuck it, let’s just send everyone in with no precautions? Because that is exactly what is being proposed here. It’s not like the state is proposing to give them PPE, or reduced class sizes. That is not on the table.
The Moar You Know
@Brachiator: Not one junior high/high school district in CA has successfully reopened. Not one. The longest any have stayed open is four weeks.
@The Moar You Know: I’m not going to argue with you. Yes, I find it defensible.
You can look up the evidence – some of which is indeed counter-intuitive – if you’d like. I’ll get you started – ScienceMag – from July (pre-vaccines).
This seems kinda stupid. I would treat prisons like nursing homes. You vaccinate patients and care-givers and staff in nursing homes. You need to vaccinate prisoners and staff.
I know that locally, they traced the infections in some instances to nursing home staff who later took the virus into their homes. Or they brought the infections to work.
@The Moar You Know:
Sorry, I did not mean just California schools. I was considering other states and other countries as well.
@geg6: I don’t have a smartphone. I have a Nook/ kindle for most casual online, and laptop for the more important stuff. Smartphones are expensive. Between my flip-phone and my Nook I mostly do fine, but filling in online forms is not easy.
Microsoft helpfully decided to obsolete Windows 7 during the start of the pandemic in March 2020 for Windows 10. So there I was without a secure functional laptop for a while.
Fortunately my sister works in computer support for scientists, so she bought me a computer and set it up and then shipped it and smoothed out the rough edges with me remotely. That’s what she does for a living.
Who in the normal world who doesn’t do computer stuff for a living has that kind of support? I sure wasn’t going to go to Best Buy or Verizon and have a half hour close consultation with a twenty something who hates masks and social distancing.
Many of us olds at home don’t have a technical support system. I used to be better but skills rust and knowledge becomes obsolete. I bet the majority of Republican politicians inflicting all technical stuff on us need administrative people to post to their twitter accounts.
Are public libraries even open for the poor to go online?
@The Moar You Know:
For the second time I am correcting you on this. Newsom added 65+ to the tier that includes educators and others–Phase 1B–he did not move them ahead in the queue. They were formerly in a third group.
If you state this incorrectly, you could dissuade an eligible person from signing up unnecessarily. Please get your facts straight before posting. Lives are literally at stake.
In a non pandemic situation would the virus mutate as fast?
Would there be as many people looking at the virus and publicly talking about it?
If the virus was far less deadly would there be as much of an issue?
In a non pandemic situation would hospitals be as swamped?
If we had a vaccine that was even 40% effective a year ago, would we be talking about this the same way.
Just a few quick thoughts off the top of the noggin.
The local Best Buy scrupulously observes all the health protocols. And a while back I had to go to Best Buy to get a tablet that I could not easily purchase online. I saw an employee diligently use sign language to help a customer. I made a point to find a manager and note how impressed I was at that level of customer service.
I note all of your other points as absolutely on the mark. Here in my Southern California community, libraries are still closed. This is also true of community centers that serve seniors, although I am not sure what computer resources the community centers have.
@Brachiator: Thanks for the correction on Best Buy.
Yet more progress:
No libraries open around here except the one in our campus, which is closed to everyone but students, faculty and staff. Well, it will open next week when students come back to campus.
And we don’t even have a Best Buy in this county.
That is so cool.
We need this. People need to see kindness and consideration and tolerance.
@Brachiator: That IS so cool.
Sure, of course. But what’s disturbing about SARS2 is that flu and common cold coronavirus “live” in exactly that environment, and they still evolve much more slowly. The best explanation I’ve seen is that it’s the antibody cocktails, which have been shown to drastically speed up sequence evolution. Not yet proved on a population scale, though.
Probably not; fewer cases, less mutation. If the antibody cocktails are a big driving force then what would matter is how often they’re used.
Not as many, but if the flu did something like this the scientists would be buzzing.
No; but it would still be a big issue for the flu and even for the common cold we’d see articles on it in the paper (“Hypercharged cold evolution raises health issues”, etc.)
Not as swamped, but this rate of evolution would still apply pressure. It’s going about ten times as fast as the human coronaviruses.
40% effective? The death rate would be lower but I don’t think the discussion or situation would be qualitatively different.
Went on to my grocery store chain, also home of my pharmacy, and the pharmacy tab is gone! Have to sign in through a separate pharmacy tab.
This is starting to feel like a genuine official clusterphuck of massive proportions. Hopefully Biden people can turn it around soon. Glad I live in a Red state where I can blame the last two governors (DeWine somewhat, Kasich wholeheartedly and indubitably: tax cuts! who needs money to run a fucking government response to a pandemic emergency.)
Meet the new head of the Civil Rights Division at DOJ:
Another inspiring pick by Biden.
(More in the FB screen capture at the link.)
@Another Scott: When I was younger, I did a little international travel (weeks at a time) for my big employer.
One of the best memories I have is at Customs at the airport. After the guy verified my info, he handed back my passport and said “Welcome home.”
@The Moar You Know:
Some high school districts here in San Diego county have been partially open for most of this entire school year i.e., Grossmont Union in East County
J R in WV
NO, it isn’t at all. My first polio vaccination was with the salk injection vaccine, which happened when I was 5-6 years old. I can pin it down because my younger brother was a babe in arms at the time, and it took 4 adults to hold him still for his shot. It took place at my parents’ place of employment, where all employees and all their family (neighbors if interested) were vaccinated on one day.
My second polio vaccination was the Sabin oral vaccine, a pink drop on a sugar cube. My whole family stood in line at the local elementary school, along with every other family in the neighborhood.
It was tasteless but for the sweetness of the sugar. None of us had side effects other than NOT GETTING POLIO!!! and as far as I know no effort was involved in everyone getting a vaccination whatsoever. I had classmates in the 1950s and ’60s who were polio sufferers, had malformed limbs, needed crutches to get around, or wore braces.
Perhaps if Covid victims were able to be among us with medical appliances people would pay more attention? Instead they are just DEAD!!!