Good news, if we can keep it. (More stories on this topic below.)
Got a Covid booster? You probably won’t need another for a long time. A flurry of new studies underscore the complexity of the immune system & explain how it can mount a sustained, potent response to coronavirus variants https://t.co/xfinF8cNvL
— delthia ricks ? (@DelthiaRicks) February 22, 2022
No one is coming to help. Rural hospitals have been fighting a losing battle during the Covid pandemic. New cases may be declining elsewhere, but infections and crammed hospitals are still a problem in rural America https://t.co/GYmP18eRel
— delthia ricks ? (@DelthiaRicks) February 21, 2022
Yesterday (2/20) there were 1,206,535 new #COVID19 cases worldwide & 5,141 deaths.
Russia reported the largest daily increase in cases (+168,399) followed by:
South Korea: 95,347
France: 59,003https://t.co/jhvFmFJf9a pic.twitter.com/pcMdKvBnsd
— KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) (@KFF) February 21, 2022
Breaking: (Bloomberg) –Chinese officials have told Hong Kong they think the city will need to go into a lockdown to contain surging Covid-19 cases, people familiar with the discussions said.https://t.co/lnHUegW7b2
— Jerome Taylor (@JeromeTaylor) February 22, 2022
1000s of Hong Kong residents are fleeing to the Mainland as #COVID19 #Omicron spreads & #lockdowns grow more severe. The city is in "full-on war mode" battling the virus, which is expected to expand exponentially for at least 2 weeks.https://t.co/l0rif0JYUO
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) February 21, 2022
Hong Kong/Taiwan/Macau bureau chief for AFP:
Latest HKU modelling predicts Hong Kong could see as many as 183k daily cases by late March.
It's also clear Hong Kong will simply not be able to build enough isolation units to meet exponential case load, though I doubt any policy makers will be allowed to accept that pic.twitter.com/IQcg24ggjy
— Jerome Taylor (@JeromeTaylor) February 22, 2022
Hong Kong finds COVID in samples from packaging of pork, beef imports https://t.co/ZNNlq92vuG pic.twitter.com/g9vCmIL0UJ
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 22, 2022
Hong Kong maps terms of COVID vaccine pass amid record high cases https://t.co/1EZ4srb7iJ pic.twitter.com/5oxhvb1v1M
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 21, 2022
Police in New Zealand's capital of Wellington say a protester drove a car toward a police line, narrowly avoiding officers, and other protesters sprayed officers with a stinging substance. The demonstration has centered on COVID-19 vaccine mandates. https://t.co/zhuVHuciv8
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 22, 2022
While Russian lawmakers scrapped legislation that would have mandated QR code health passes to enter most public places, these passes are still required to enter theaters, museums and large public gatherings in several regions of the country https://t.co/u5tkxGAbYx
— The Moscow Times (@MoscowTimes) February 22, 2022
Bulgaria to ease coronavirus restrictions as cases drop https://t.co/3EiOtGoJce pic.twitter.com/DYY763sFCH
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 21, 2022
EU, Germany expect Novavax deliveries to begin this week https://t.co/we8w7y2Eud pic.twitter.com/htGrZbnmnQ
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 21, 2022
British PM Boris Johnson ends all COVID-19 restrictions in England drawing skepticism from some scientists and political opponents. His 'living with COVID' plan has sparked alarm that it is premature and will leave the country vulnerable to new variants https://t.co/fh6UzpEoGv pic.twitter.com/PqnPnkAvh5
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 22, 2022
"How can people take personal responsibility if they may not be able to afford a Covid test?" asks @bbclaurak
Boris Johnson says "we are going to invest in surveillance" of new variants to give the UK "the keenest pair of eyes in the crow's nest"https://t.co/1JxRNzwPAz pic.twitter.com/MYNsyZ2hXh
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) February 21, 2022
Top English medic warns new COVID variants could be more resistant to vaccines https://t.co/IxA4WILBLx pic.twitter.com/IloMDWzkJs
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 21, 2022
Factbox: Britain scraps all remaining COVID-19 restrictions https://t.co/P167L97kS7 pic.twitter.com/hhwzEIPzc1
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 21, 2022
Over-75s and the most vulnerable over-12s across UK will be offered another Covid booster jab from spring https://t.co/EedOA66IB3
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) February 21, 2022
New study of 26,000 Covid cases in the Kaiser Permanente system finds that 3 doses of Moderna had a 99.2% effectiveness against hospitalization with Omicron (and 99+% against Delta), with no significant waning over time.
— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) February 21, 2022
Effectiveness against infection did wane over time. The number of boosted hospitalizations was so low that they couldn't measure any possible waning, but fact that protection against hospitalization was 99% across whole boosted population suggests no decline in protection.
— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) February 21, 2022
Sorry – thought I had linked to the study in the first tweet. https://t.co/uUIKyrzkLQ
— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) February 22, 2022
Dr. Topol is a respected authority on the topic, so *this* is gonna make waves:
My new essay @guardian
"Why one-shot after a Covid-19 infection should suffice to be considered fully-vaxxed"https://t.co/RaBUpET2CZ
Summarizes extensive new evidence that confirmed Prior Covid ("Natural Immunity" or NI) + 1-shot is as protective as 3-shots /1
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) February 20, 2022
The totality of evidence now supports:
"Fully vaccinated" = 3-shots
Natural Immunity + 1-shot
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) February 20, 2022
Omicron Revived a Heartbreaking Pandemic Measure in NICUs
With cases rising, more parents were having to isolate from their vulnerable newborns.https://t.co/Pxj8TRuEZb
— Global Health Observ (@GlobalPHObserv) February 21, 2022
Omicron won't be the last coronavirus variant to haunt us https://t.co/adJT65Nb9k @latimesopinion
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) February 21, 2022
Remember kids: Tyranny is when Democrats force private businesses to adopt the policies some politician dictates.
Liberty is when Republicans force private businesses to adopt the policies some politician dictates. https://t.co/OQ7pK7l9jE
— Julian Sanchez (@normative) February 21, 2022
Worked an ER shift today. No Covid.
Was the same on my last shift, too.
Here in NYC, Omicron has receded almost as quickly as it ambushed.
Cases, hospitalizations, deaths, percent positivity and every other metric is lower than we’ve seen since November. Very, very grateful. pic.twitter.com/43EyHQ81Y1
— Craig Spencer MD MPH (@Craig_A_Spencer) February 21, 2022
I will agree to this if Crowder will extend exactly the same support to Mexicans. https://t.co/a7bc9y1Qt8
— Jeff Fecke (@jkfecke) February 17, 2022
Fox news anchor #NeilCavuto is back at work after a 5-week fight w/#COVID19 .
“I did get COVID again—but a far, far more serious strand, what doctors call ‘COVID pneumonia.’ It landed me in intensive care for quite a while and it really was touch-and-go.”https://t.co/cQ3sBppqbB
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) February 21, 2022
Monroe County, NY:
There were 70 new cases of COVID-19 reported on 2/21.
These probably don’t include home test results.
My tests are supposed to come today! Woo hoo!
The problem with playing up “natural immunity + 1 shot” has been that so many people who THOUGHT they had a prior COVID infection really didn’t. With the Omicron wave, though, that might not be so true any more.
Good to see Cavuto urge Fox News viewers to get vaxxed. Maybe some small fraction of them will.
Every little bit helps.
The conflicting information is so confusing sometimes.
I remember seeing an article, maybe it was even quoted here? that said boosters lost their effectiveness after a few months.
I’m glad to see the first tweet above about the long-lasting benefits of a booster, and I hope that its research is replacing the old.
Here’s a comment I made here yesterday. I’m reposting it in case anyone missed it:
I just stopped into a pharmacy to see if they had any n95 masks.
I figured they’d tell me they were out, or that they’d sell me one or two and then give me forms to fill out for my insurance co.
Instead they pointed to a big bin behind me, full of n95s. The sign said “Limit 3 per customer” but they told me I could take as many as I wanted, as long as I didn’t try to fill a bag or anything.
Apparently a guy had been in earlier, trying to fill up a bag full. Maybe his goal was to sell them online or something.
Anyway, now I have about fifteen good masks.
Here’s a reply I got:
Here’s the CDC list of federal pharmacies with the free masks. Scroll down for listing by state.
Mentioned above but worth another glance.
Yeah, bullshit. We came to help with Medicaid expansion and we came to help with free vaccines. We were spit on for our efforts.
On 2/20 Mainland China reported 59 new domestic confirmed (6 previously asymptomatic) & 6 new domestic asymptomatic cases.
Guangdong Province reported 3 new domestic confirmed cases. As the province does not breakdown recoveries between domestic & imported cases, I cannot track the count of active cases in parts of the province.
At Guangxi “Autonomous” Region 4 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 224 active domestic confirmed cases in the province (223 at Baise & 1 at Nanning). 1 village in Baise is currently at High Risk, & 6 villages, 2 residential compounds, a business & a hotel there are currently at Medium Risk.
At Shaoyang in Hunan Province there currently is 1 active domestic confirmed case in the city, part of the transmission chain spreading from Shenzhen in Guangdong.
Inner Mongolia “Autonomous” Region reported 20 new domestic confirmed cases. There currently are 195 active domestic confirmed cases in the province.
At Tianjin Municipality there currently are 3 active domestic confirmed cases remaining.
Liaoning Province reported 6 new domestic confirmed cases. There currently are 151 active domestic confirmed & 2 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
At Shandong Province 1 domestic asymptomatic case was released from isolation. There currently is 1 active domestic confirmed case in the province (at Jinan), part of the transmission chain from the cold storage warehouses outbreak at Fengtai District in Beijing.
Shanxi Province did not report any new domestic positive cases. 1 domestic confirmed case recovered. There currently are 5 active domestic confirmed case remaining in the province (all at Jinzhong).
At Hebei Province there currently are 7 active domestic confirmed cases (2 at Xiong’an, 4 at Hengshui & 1 at Langfang) remaining in the province, all part of the transmission chain from the cold storage warehouses outbreak in Fengtai District in Beijing.
Heilongjiang Province did not report any new domestic positive cases. 2 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 8 active domestic confirmed (6 at Mudanjiang & 2 at Jixi) & 33 active domestic asymptomatic (13 at Heihe, 15 at Mudanjiang, 3 at Qiqihar & 2 at Jixi) cases in the province. 2 residential compounds & a hospital have been elevated to Medium Risk. 3 residential buildings at Heihe remain at Medium Risk.
Chengmai County in Hainan Province did not report any new domestic positive cases. There currently is 1 active domestic asymptomatic case there, a person recently arriving from Jixi in Heilongjiang.
Shanghai Municipality did not report any new domestic positive cases. There currently are 1 active domestic confirmed & 3 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city.
Hubei Province reported 4 new domestic confirmed cases, all at Wuhan, 3 are persons traveling from Beijing for a meeting, arrived on 2/17, & the other is a local traced close contact. The 1st case was found from required testing before returning to Beijing, the other 3 found from contact tracing. There currently are 4 active domestic confirmed (all at Wuhan) & 1 active domestic asymptomatic (at Huanggang) cases in the province.
Jiangsu Province reported 12 new domestic confirmed (3 previously asymptomatic) & 2 new domestic asymptomatic cases. There currently is 105 active domestic confirmed & 34 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city.
Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province did not report any new domestic positive cases. There currently is 1 active domestic confirmed case in the city, a person who traveled from out of province.
At Tongren in Guizhou Province the domestic confirmed case recovered.
Sichuan Province reported 5 new domestic confirmed (3 previously asymptomatic) & 2 new domestic asymptomatic cases There currently are 9 active domestic confirmed & 4 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
At Henan Province 5 domestic confirmed case recovered. There currently are 24 active domestic confirmed cases in the province.
Yunnan Province reported 5 new domestic confirmed cases. There currently are 23 active domestic confirmed & 24 active domestic asymptomatic cases remaining in the province.
Beijing Para-Olympic “Closed Loop” reported 4 new confirmed cases.
On 2/20, Mainland China reported 79 new imported confirmed cases (6 previously asymptomatic), 40 imported asymptomatic cases, 4 imported suspect cases:
Overall in Mainland China, 53 confirmed cases recovered (27 imported), 39 asymptomatic cases were released from isolation (38 imported) & 12 were reclassified as confirmed cases (7 imported), & 1803 individuals were released from quarantine. Currently, there are 1,809 active confirmed cases in the country (935 imported), 12 in serious condition (1 imported), 681 active asymptomatic cases (568 imported), 4 suspect cases (all imported). 39,412 traced contacts are currently under centralized quarantine.
As of 2/20, 3,090.309M vaccine doses have been injected in Mainland China, an increase of 5.597M doses in the past 24 hrs.
On 2/21, Hong Kong reported 6,211 new positive cases (3 imported & 6208 domestic), 13 deaths (including a 11 mo. old baby). So far, > 800 medical personnel have been infected during the current wave, most in the community & not at work. There are another 9,369 cases who are preliminarily positive awaiting confirmation.
On 2/21, Taiwan reported 44 new positive cases, 5 imported & 39 domestic (all already under quarantine).
Shenzhen in Guangdong Province has been trying to trying to not overreact w/ large area movement restrictions & lock downs that are economically damaging, & instead has been relying up on contact tracing & mass screening. My colleagues in Shenzhen living in sub-districts w/ positive cases have been tested everyday, & have been mostly working from home. However, community cases continue to be found via fever clinics or voluntary testing, outside of so called control zones where movement restrictions are in place. That is concerning in light of Omicron BA.2.
Here in Wuhan, the discovery of 4 new domestic confirmed cases has kicked a lot of the pandemic response activities into high gear. There are the city’s 1st reported domestic positive cases since the relatively small Delta outbreak back in summer 2021. 3 of the 4 cases are recent arrivals from Beijing for business meeting/training. As neither Beijing nor Wuhan have reported domestic cases over the past 2 weeks, there must be cryptic community transmission in either city, or 1 of the cases was infected on the way to Wuhan & there is cryptic transmission somewhere else in between.
2 of the visitors from Beijing were living in a hotel, but the 3rd has been staying at a friend’s place, in a residential compound ~ 500 m away from mine. The 1st indication of something being amiss is reports being shared (w/ photos taken from the streets or adjacent buildings) in WeChat groups of office/residential/hotel buildings going into lock down for 100% mandatory testing. Then there are snippets of unknown provenance being shared of positive cases discovered, where they lived, followed quickly w/ their travel histories. Such information naturally leads to a lot of excited discussion on social media platforms. Hours later, official announcements reach news aggregator platforms such as Jinri Toutiao. Then more reports of buildings going into lock downs for 100% mandatory testing, as F1 & F2 close contacts are traced. This pattern repeat itself every time there is an outbreak anywhere in China. I saw/see the same from my colleagues & customers in Xi’an, Beijing, Shenzhen & Suzhou. This is why no one in China believes that the authorities are hiding cases (at least not since the 1st wave), the pandemic responses are highly visible, communication generally open (though not always formats friendly for analysis), effectiveness aligns w/ everyone’s lived reality.
Community is the lowest rung in China’s urban management structure (below sub-districts, districts, cities/prefectures, etc.). Each community is then divided into grids, w/ a of community worker assigned to each cell of the grid. I am in a WeChat group for all residents in the grid (in this case a few buildings of the residential compound), the community worker assigned to the grid cell, as well as the leaders of the community office. As information started emerge of the positive cases in the city, especially that there is a case in our area, residents started pushing the community worker to share more official information more quickly, referencing others community workers in other grid cells or other communities. This morning, there has been a barrage of demands & challenges from the residents to the community office: “I see other residential compounds have put up loudspeakers broadcasting pandemic response PSA reminders, checking temperatures & health codes, why haven’t you done the same”, “other residential compounds have stopped delivery persons from entering compounds, why haven’t you”, “other residential compounds have started mass screening of all residents, when will you do the same here”. By noon, the loudspeakers are up in our compound, the security guards started checking temperature & health codes upon entry, & tables were set up at the entrances for food deliveries & packages. Decisions for mass screenings are made at district pandemic response command level, not by the community office.
A couple of dormitory buildings are the university my wife works at was placed under lockdown last night for 100% testing. Yesterday was the 1st day of the Spring Semester, a lot of students returned over the weekend, & apparently a couple of them were deemed F1 or F2 close contacts, having taken the same high speed rail train as a positive case or an F1 close contact. Since the times of Delta, China has deemed every passenger on the same train as a positive case to be close contacts, even if you were in Car 16 & the case was in Car 1.
Yesterday morning I took my daughter to a hospital for a doctor’s visit, & it was quite crowded, another reminder that China’s healthcare system is overburdened in the best of times, even in the largest cities. A major Omicron BA.2 wave on top would crush the system, as we are seeing in Hong Kong. When I took my daughter to the same hospital for a follow up this morning, there were far fewer people around. Over a dozen appointments ahead of mine & not a single one showed up.
Another 10 cases have been reported this morning in Wuhan, all were participants of the same business meeting/training. There were 66 participants total, 13 have tested positive to date in Wuhan (14 including a traced close contact. 24 have already left Wuhan & returned home, 4 have tested positive, 3 at Beijing (4 including a travel companion) & 1 at Qingdao in Shandong. At least there is no evidence yet of wider spread in the community in Wuhan. No Medium/High Risk areas, yet, but that will likely change by tomorrow at the latest.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Health reported 25,099 new Covid-19 cases yesterday in its media statement, for a cumulative reported total of 3,246,779 cases. It also reports 43 deaths for an adjusted cumulative total of 32,390 deaths – 1.00% of the cumulative reported total, 1.13% of resolved cases.
Malaysia’s nationwide Rt stands at 1.19.
104 confirmed cases are in ICU, 60 of them on ventilators. Meanwhile, 17,749 more patients have recovered, for a cumulative total of 2,955,404 patients recovered – 91.0% of the cumulative reported total.
Four new clusters were reported yesterday, for a cumulative total of 6,723 clusters. 500 clusters are currently active; 6,223 clusters are now inactive.
25,014 new cases reported yesterday were local infections. 85 new cases were imported.
The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) administered 137,307 doses of vaccine on 21st February: 52,804 first doses, 1,024 second doses, and 83,479 booster doses (including to me,yay!). The cumulative total is 66,289,382 doses administered: 26,673,685 first doses, 25,744,172 second doses, and 14,078,456 booster doses. 81.6% of the population have received their first dose, 78.8% their second dose, and 43.1% their booster dose.
The news from New Zealand is shocking. Why do these jagoffs always resort to violence?
@germy: I think they are talking about 2 different things. The protection against infection wanes over time. The protection against severe illness does not.
Or at least, that’s what I’m getting out of the latest.
Okay, you’re probably right. As long as we can avoid severe illness.
The Thin Black Duke
@Baud: It’s a self-correcting problem.
@The Thin Black Duke:
I just dislike the excuses being made for these people, and the throwing under the bus of all the things that decent people have done to improve the lives of people who hate us.
@debbie: Violence is the last refuge of the weak minded. They know they are full of shit. They know their arguments are as empty and meaningless as they are. They hate society for making it so obvious even they can’t miss it, so they lash out.
It’s all they have left.
@lowtechcyclist: I’ll be more impressed if he publically throws his trash coworkers under the bus for their hideous propaganda.
I heard this reported last night. It seems remarkably short-sighted:
It certainly harshens my dream of a future where the world gets past all this and everybody gets along.
@Baud: I don’t see anyone making excuses in that statement, I see a simple statement of fact.
Nobody is coming to help.
Rural areas are on their own.
Mind you, I can’t actually read the article (I just don’t feel like it’s worth the trouble of signing up) so maybe the article says something else.
@debbie: Bad time to be forgetting the point.
It doesn’t even happen in the comments here!
@debbie: Human nature. We’ve never all gotten along before, why should the future be any different?
I looked at his substack. He’s a “Scots Irish appalachian” who says people who are unvaxxed have been turned into “enemies of the state”.
So, so sick of the whining.
The Thin Black Duke
@Baud: Oh, we’re on the same page, dude. Living in a civilized society means recognizing your obligations and responsibilities to your community. These selfish dirtbags want to enjoy the benefits of their privelege without putting the work in. Their toxic narcissism is killing innocent people. Fuck ’em.
The writer is talking about those who staff small rural hospitals, not their clientele, who your comment is (accurately!) directed at.
Nobody is coming to help them, and in particular the people they’re trying to keep alive and well aren’t doing their part.
I’m sure there are plenty of city hospitals that have staffing shortages. Maybe the answer is for the doctors, nurses, med techs, etc. at the rural hospitals to pull up stakes and get jobs in the city, and make sure the people they serve know exactly why they’re leaving.
@Baud: Yes, this rural versus urban tension is a big problem here in Canada too.
Farmers, most of whom have a great deal of free time right now, have been a big part of the blockades on highways and border crossings. They are also the areas where vaccination rates are lowest (including my county) and compliance with public health guidelines is lowest too.
They always vote conservative or worse, and are always complaining about anything even mildly progressive.
Not sure how to address this issue, although I am getting to the point where I am writing off their situation as a losing battle against progress/history/change.
Ok, you got me to click. The article has a different tenor than the tweet. Sorry for jumping to conclusions.
Ah, I clicked on the article, and thought it wasn’t as bad as the tweet up top. But sounds like the author is who I thought he might be.
@p.a.: Baby steps, dude. Every crack in the propaganda wall helps.
He’s accustomed to sending very sick patients to suburban and urban hospitals but now that’s more difficult because there are more people who need care.
This is “flatten the curve”. It was the whole point of the original covid restrictions and then the vaccine push. It’s infuriating.
@germy: This is an apples and orange issue; read the details and it is clear. Antibodies for covid start to wane after 4 months after the booster. However, memory T-cells do not wane but get even more powerful with time against not just current covid but other possible variants. Details matter but headlines do not. That is the danger of the media – stupidity (headline) and readers only reading that can cause confusion
@Baud: There are rural hospitals in blue states so this is overgeneralizing.
New Deal democrat
The US had a big percentage drop in cases over the weekend and yesterday to 84,000. At the current rate of decline, we will be below our post-Delta low of 72,000 within the week. We are still higher than at any point before November 2020. Deaths declined to 1860. If deaths track the decline in cases, we will be at about 300 in a month. Take the above with an extra grain of salt, as many (mostly smaller) States did not report due to the Presidents’ Day holiday. Noteworthy: CA dropped like a stone in the past week, from 60 to 20 cases per 100,000. All of the bottom 10 jurisdictions are at 20 or below, while the worst 10 are between 50 and 90.
There is some evidence of more States no longer declining, including CT, ID, IL, KS, SC, and SD. But because so many States did not report today, including half of the above, this is unreliable. Also, at last ME appears to be having a real Omicron outbreak. It is not just a data dump; it’s cases are exploding.
That’s correct and consistent with many other stories I’ve seen. (Protection against severe illness may well wane eventually, but if you’re fully vaxxed and boosted it’s probably a very long time.)
There’s a lot of confusion on this point because people equate effectiveness with neutralizing antibodies and stop there–assuming that when the antibodies are gone the vaccine has worn off completely, which is not true.
I would certainly like more/better information on vaccine effectiveness against chronic illness and organ damage. But the fragmentary information that does exist seems to indicate that there is robust effectiveness there too–many people have been freaking out about the long-term effects of “mild” or even asymptomatic infections but there does seem to be a difference between the vaccinated and unvaccinated cases. The horror stories I’ve heard of seemingly trivial COVID cases leading to heart attacks or strokes were all in unvaccinated people.
I’ll take Topol’s tweets with a grain of salt. Immunologists hate the term ”natural immunity” as a stand-in for infection-induced immunity. He was really bad with his rants against the FDA, too. Yeah, my PhD’s in immunology and I work with the FDA a lot (not on Covid).
@lowtechcyclist: I assume that part of what those people could do is to stop supporting a political party that has worked tirelessly to sabotage all attempts to try and support rural healthcare in the long term through Medicare expansion and the ACA.
I guess that kind of logical thinking is too hard, not when such important issues as CRT, lack of access to weapons of mass destruction, war on Christmas/Christian’s, etc. are dominating their minds.
@New Deal democrat: The long holiday weekend is going to cause the usual data disruptions, but Essex County, MA still seems to be in a case-rate freefall and may be heading for better conditions than we’ve seen at any time since last summer. The frustrating thing is that the decline in the southern NH counties just across the border seems to have slowed down more, so they’ll be taking their time. To be fair they were not hit nearly as hard to begin with.
And, yes, the Omicron wave is hitting various parts of Maine. Portland may be coming off of it already but the case rates are so jagged in Maine that it can be hard to tell.
As is SOP (standard operating procedure) I got my first ambulance ride because my hospital out here didn’t think they were equipped to handle my situation and sent me to STL. It’s what rural hospitals have always done and now…
They can’t. We’re on our own.
The entire point of covid restrictions and the vaccine push was a recognition that the US health care system could not handle such high demand for extended periods, not just for covid patients but for everyone else who needed higher level care. Exactly what they told us would happen in rural areas did happen.
We begged them to get vaccinated. The vaccines were everywhere. They were free. In many cases they were belligerently and vehemently rejected, so if they can’t get a medivac helicopter to whatever higher level hospital will take them, they can’t say they weren’t warned.
@germy: I don’t see any motion of masks?
New Deal democrat
@David C: “I’ll take Topol’s tweets with a grain of salt. Immunologists hate the term ”natural immunity” as a stand-in for infection-induced immunity.”
Ok, but he cites 6 studies, that he has summarized on his feed over the past several weeks.
Do you have criticisms of those studies themselves? Or is this just about the messenger?
So it would seem. Probably better for the earth anyway.
Rural hospitals are out of luck because their.populace is not vaccinated
It’s pretty clear they can say whatever they want and they’ll believe it despite all the evidence to the contrary.
@OzarkHillbilly: I hear what you are saying, but I think Baud’s initial comment about vaccinations especially still stands.
The provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta and Manitoba were jam packed and needed to send some very sick patients to Ontario. Thankfully we had room to help. Those provinces have the lowest vaccination rates in Canada.
They also had the weakest public health guidelines in Canada.
Now you’re telling me the vaccines are a bad thing.
So much truth
What for you is a statement of fact is for them an additional grievance for them to add to the pile.
Hey! Hasn’t Dolt 45 trademarked that word?
Front page articles in the local newspapers from day one. “7 ICU beds that have to be staffed- flatten the curve or care won’t be available when you need it”. That was the warning for my county- 7 beds. They went to the home of the state public health director who told them Ohio didn’t have rural bed capacity for a huge influx of patients and screamed outside her house for 3 days. They drove her out of her job.
They still don’t follow any of the advice. One can say the government dropped the ball on a lot of things but “flatten the curve”? They could not have done more to tell these people. They didn’t want to hear it.
I’m becoming less tolerant of hot takes on Covid on Twitter these days. Even from people who may know what they’re talking about. There’s too much “certainty” when too many things are uncertain.
A good opinion piece on what seems to me to be a likely (and disturbing) path forward, and what it means for hospitals. STATNews:
Well worth a click.
“Employees must wash hands” is tyranny!
Try showing up for work in nothing but a jockstrap, then.
@Baud: If the covid don’t git you the climate change will.
@mrmoshpotato: Sounds like the need a union, Ron. Right?
So very many syllables to say “white.”
@Baud: When they run out of real problems they make up new ones like CRT.
James E Powell
Too many businesses prohibit their employees from drinking on the job. Freedom!
@Kay: One slight correction to your comment. The protesters didn’t drive Dr Acton out of her job. Pressure from DeWine to soften the Covid measures is what drove her from her job.
@NorthLeft12: I’m not disagreeing with Baud about vaccinations, or masking up, or social distancing, or quarantine, or any of the other covid bugaboos the right wing love to complain about.
It’s a culture of grievance, they are the only true victim. And the cavalry still isn’t riding to the rescue.
@OzarkHillbilly: Do rural attorney practices have enough lawyers to finish off the rural hospitals with malpractice claims for substandard care durimg the pandemic?
Yeah. Just what I want. The US to become a magnet for every antivaxxer trying to escape a mandate. Sorry. No asylum for you. I’m fine putting them into resettlement camps where they can languish for years in limbo while the UN finds countries willing to take them.
i wonder what term they’ll come up with for themselves to distinguish themselves from the poor refugees from other countries?
@NotMax: ? Clothes are tyranny!
@sab: I doubt there will be anything left of rural hospitals for rural attys to pick over by the time the GOP gets done destroying them.
New Deal democrat
@NorthLeft12: This is a variation on the “stability breeds instability” dynamic. Success breeds complacency, and tolerates a few free riders. But the process is dynamic, as increasing numbers of people see that free riding works. Eventually the number of free riders reaches critical mass, and the system breaks down.
In the situation you describe, Canada could tolerate free riders because there was excess capacity in the responsible Provinces’ systems. So the free riders saw no reason to change their behavior. Now critical mass has been reached, and the system has been overwhelmed. Same with rural hospitals in States that refused to accept Medicaid expansion in the US.
And of course, the free riders will blame the system.
@OzarkHillbilly: Their white – as such, this country was built solely for their benefit; damn nonwhites have access to the best hospitals so obviously, they have been abandon by liberals who only care about nonwhites. Check …wait, can’t use a chess term because those deplorables don’t understand it and hate those that do. So, what is equivalent to check mate in checkers …throw the board?
If the republicans win again, they will pass laws to make it illegal for us to wear masks even if we want to.
@James E Powell: On the job sobriety – also tyranny!
Yes, but in most cases the hospitals themselves wanted that help but failed to make the case to their benighted constituents.
@Citizen Alan: And the Inferior court of the land will make up a new law justifying it, say it applies only for covid waves, and then not sign it – oh, and release it on a Friday night before a three day weekend.
I don’t doubt that.
And we came with mask mandates and other measure to help “slow the spread”, and we were attacked as “anti-freedom”. No medical entity has resisted vaccine and mask mandates more than rural hospitals. I feel badly for them, but many have refused to do things that would help because the population surrounding them believes Covid is a hoax.
@mrmoshpotato: I am getting the side-eye from fellow employees at my company when I wear a mask when dropping off and picking up files to work from home. Governor says masks aren’t required, so how dare I still listen to the CDC.
I go to visit my dad in a nursing home every few days, and I really don’t want to turn up asymptomatic but Covid positive some day there.
@New Deal democrat:
I prefer the term “moochers”, myself.
@Baud: that is the rural population and their deranged politicians. The actual hospitals doctors and most nurses are smarter. They beg for help and want Medicaid expansion. A lot of them want to actually serve. The anti healthcare reactions of their patients is stressing them a lot.
Your mask wearing makes them feel insecure.
Extra Lib-owning points allocated if they manage to do this by mangling some of the anti-vigilante and anti-Klan laws that I’m sure must be on the books somewhere.
“After all, it’s illegal for bank robbers to wear masks, isn’t it? Why shouldn’t public safety laws apply to you Woke snowflakes? Yuk Yuk Yuk.“
@New Deal democrat: Yes, and unsurprisingly, the folks complaining about how government/public healthcare doesn’t work are the ones always demanding lower taxes.
I don’t know why you’re all still talking about that Covid thing, anyway. Haven’t you heard that Captain Flobbity-Fabulous personally drove it forth from this mortal plane and heroically restored freedom to these Sceptred Isles? I’m sure if you ask him pretty please he’ll let you know how he did it. Hell, throw in a case of wine and he’ll sort out that little Ukranian kerfuffle for you too.
What a guy.
I have an appointment with my infectious disease doctor this morning. I’m grateful to have a resource that most people do not have.
I have to wonder how many of these health care workers in rural hospitals will still automatically vote for Republicans because of all the other grievance issues the right wing pushes. You and I both know it’s probably the majority of them. Now in MO the legislature is planning to put a measure on that ballot that is designed to allow them not to fund the Medicaid expansion the people voted for. You just watch, they’ll characterize it as “fiscal responsibility” or some such nonsense, and persuade enough people to vote for it that it will pass. (They’ll probably pull out the tax increase boogie man, too.) Then we’ll still have the expansion but no money to pay for it, because they hate the thought that “those people” in the cities will have health care so much that they’re willing to deprive their own voters in the rural areas too. How many of the health care workers in rural MO will vote for that? I feel badly for them, I really do, and I know some of them have fought like hell to improve their situation by backing the Medicaid expansion, but many others of them have not, and have resisted masks and vaccination.
@sab: That just amazes me. Why does someone else care whether you wear a face mask or not? They have no idea what your situation is, how can they judge you? It’s so dumb.
I have been shopping at the same local grocery store for twenty years. They used to have minimal turnover. Now every cashier is new and young. Where did all the older ones go?
I know you didn’t mean it this way, but I won’t even accept “failed”. The benighted constituents failed. The entire public and private health system tried to help them here. Nothing worked.
This is just the start. A lot of these people were not in great health to begin with. They have lingering effects of getting really sick with covid. Even the ones who aren’t hospitalized are really sick- flat on their back for two weeks sick. They take months to get better. They’re going to die prematurely or be unable to work and need income subsidies.
This must be some British idiom with which I’m unfamiliar, though google tells me that crows do in fact have keen eyesight. Mind you, they use it to spot dead things (aka lunch), which maybe is not the image you want to associate with your COVID tracking system.
@Soprano2: It’s so Republican tribal identity.
@Tony Jay: You ok? What’s this mortal-sized comment business?
@Ken: It’s a sailing term. The crow’s nest is a platform atop the highest mast of a ship where a sailor is stationed to keep watch on the horizon for land, reefs, shoals and ships.
@OzarkHillbilly: Oh, duh. Of course. For some reason my mind went to “eagle-eyed” and stuck there.
There’s this idea that the public health education on covid in rural areas was patronizing or “judgemental” or something and it just wasn’t. Their own damn doctors- people they have gone to for years- begging them to avoid catching this, knowing they have poor baseline health, knowing they won’t be able to get advanced care if there’s a shortage- and they preferred to listen to Tucker Carlson.
A “crow’s nest” on a ship is a lookout/observation post, typically located near the top of its tallest mast.
Here’s a rural response to Covid – the establishment of bogus clinics where they prescribe ivermectin for Covid. https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/health/2022/02/22/freedom-heath-systems-ozark-clinic-debunked-covid-cures-vaccine-myths-flccc-missouri/6697176001/?fbclid=IwAR3lJ_wIgUqmb-uJvgQpvDJOGcZlqyYFwZfHSRAQi3nMFX558Z9y3mYos4o
I’m saving all my comments up for when the new LOTR series comes out and I need spare letters and words to explain to puzzled Not At All Racist White Folks how you can have black dwarves in a fictional universe without physically murdering all of the white ones.
@sab: Yep, it’s “I know Republicans have been against common sense Covid measures and it’s killing people, but they also want to make abortion illegal and are trying to keep my child from feeling uncomfortable in history class, plus they made it super-easy for anyone who wants a gun to have one pretty much anywhere, so I’m going to vote for them anyway”.
Gin & Tonic
@Tony Jay: His “sanctions” in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine appear designed to discomfit as few Brits as humanly possible.
@Kay: You misspelled “Fucker” again.
Scotland — 6,427 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive reported. 1,060 people were in hospital with 12 people in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed COVID-19.
No real change, the low number of ICU cases is the only encouraging sign. There were only about 6,800 boosters and third dose vaccinations yesterday with less than 1,600 first and second doses in total.
@New Deal democrat: Totally off topic, but if I wanted to subscribe to your financial blog how would I do it? Thought it would be easier to ask than to try to figure it out for myself.
Not sure where the morning thread is this AM so I’m going to put this up here. That should post it up.
Gun culture is a sickness in America, right? According to the sheriff that had nothing to do with it:
Yeah, that’s right. Telling cops they can’t shoot random unarmed black people and holding them responsible when they do is the reason for this.
eta: well that didn’t work.
eta2: THERE it is!!!
There’s a limit in which any attempt to tell someone something they don’t already believe gets interpreted as patronizing. Such an audience is unreachable.
I’ve repeatedly seen conservatives claim that THE sole reason they refuse vaccines and masks is that the liberals or the government or whoever are telling them to get vaccines and masks. The only way to get them to use these things would be to not tell them to (or maybe to tell them NOT to, by juvenile reverse psychology). These are just not people who are willing to be convinced of anything.
That’s exactly right and thank you for saying it.
@Kay: Yep. It’s like so many other things involving health and safety that I have concluded lack of imagination should probably qualify as a pathologic condition. “What if you have to drive 70 miles to the nearest ER?” is apparently too complicated or remote to game out for some people. There’s just so much anyone can do. However, I also blame policy makers who haven’t tried to reimagine the organization of rural health care around anything other than a traditional acute inpatient hospital, at least not systematically enough to avoid a huge hollowing out of access.
@Gin & Tonic:
Fixed that for you.
The entire Tory Party is shitting itself that this might break up the very cosy relationship that they’ve established with oligarchic wealth investment funds and the lovely, lovely money they shower upon the upturned faces of everyone willing to let them launder their stolen loot through London’s property market. There’s also a redacted Russia Report out there somewhere detailing how the Tories are owned lock, stock and barrel by a handful of Russian donors (none of whom will appear on this comically brief sanctions list) and also making it clear that the reason we don’t have definitive proof of Russian support for the whole Brexit disaster was because this Government told MI5 not to look for any evidence, that at some point the British News Media might decide to investigate, though that’s highly unlikely.
I’d expect Labour to try and make some hay out of Flobby’s entirely complicit corruption, but then again, it wouldn’t take very much digging around at all for the pro-Tory Press to come back with front page demands for transparency on who, exactly, funded Starmer’s leadership campaign and who, exactly, Peter Mandelson is lining up to become Labour Inc’s new donor base when they finally cut the links with those awful Bolshie Unions.
So I guess we’ll have to wait for US investigators to unpick some of the truth during their dismantling of the Russo-Goppo Axis.
This is also very true.
@OzarkHillbilly: “You want prison with that, sir?”
So why is Hong Kong such as basket case?
Is the anti-vax particularly strong there?
Did they use the shittier Chinese-made vaccines?
Is there some consensus explanation as to why it is getting hit particularly hard?
The Moar You Know
@sab: they quit because any and every customer service job is truly shit, just an existential horror played out on a daily basis. They hung in through that, some of them for decades.
The wages are garbage. They gritted their teeth and dealt with it.
And now you can die because your customers are shitheads who don’t give a fuck if you live or not; they come in unmasked, unvaxxed, and sick. And that was a step too far for most of them. The only older people I’ve seen recently manning a register are the union guys at Vons who are just waiting for a year or two before they hit pension age and clock the fuck out for good.
New Deal democrat
@Soprano2: At the moment I’m afraid there isn’t. There’s a donation link at the blog, but that goes to Hale Stewart, not me.
I’ve toyed with ways to earn a few extra pennies. It would probably have to involve setting up a new site, and I haven’t had the energy to do it.
But thanks for asking.
I live in Clark County WA which is suburban Portland (Vancouver) plus some really fringe rural areas like Yacolt and Amboy in the foothills of the Cascades. It is the same damn health system across the county which is mainly Kaiser Permanente, Providence Health, and Legacy Health. Yet vaccine rates run from over 90% in Vancouver proper to more like 50% at best in the rural fringes.
The notion that rural areas get any different treatment than urban areas is complete utter bullshit. You don’t have to go to deepest Appalachia to find this trend. You see it everywhere.
Nah, too boring. They’ll pass a law giving citizens grounds to assume that anyone wearing a mask must be about to pull a holdup, and can be shot on sight in order to protect the potential victim of that holdup.
Are you joking or being serious? The crows nest is the perch on the top of the mast on old sailing ships where the lookouts were posted to sight land or enemy ships of war as the case may be in the olden times. Since the earth is round you can see further from higher up.
@YY_Sima Qian: Seems like a major outbreak in HK with thousands fleeing to the mainland would strain China’s control systems. I assume they have to go thru quarantine but Omicron is sneaky and tough to control.
I wasn’t aware that rural hospitals had resisted those mandates.
I’d seen plenty of stories of people working in doctors’ offices being anti-mask and anti-vax, but that’s different in that they aren’t face-to-face with Covid patients clinging to life, or not, the way the doctors and nurses at hospitals are. Which is why this surprises me.
This. I’m sure most of them are still on Team R, because they see the sum of all these other issues as being more important than all the people dying of Covid.
Besides, Dems are evil, you know.
There were 38,409 new cases in the UK yesterday. The rolling 7-day average is down by 20.5%. New cases by nation,
England – 29,753 (up 5922)
Northern Ireland – 2235 (up 370)
Scotland – 5307 (down 167)
Wales – 1114 (does not report at weekends).
Deaths – There were 15 deaths within 28 days of a positive test yesterday. The rolling 7-day average is down by 19.1%. 10 were in England, 4 in Northern Ireland, 1 in Wales and none in Scotland.
Testing – 703,991 tests took place on Sunday, 20th. The rolling 7-day average is down 17.6%.
Hospitalisations – As of Friday 18th, there were 11,223 people in hospital and 335 on ventilators. The 7-day average for hospital admissions was down by 11.9% as of 15 February.
Vaccinations – As of 20th February, 91.4% of all Uk residents aged 12+ had had 1 shot, 85% had had 2, and 66.1% had had a 3rd shot/booster.
Often wish they didn’t include those with one shot as a marker of protection.
Like going out in the rain with one galosh.
Call it “partially vaccinated” instead, if needs must.
@Ken: Yes. We used testing to identify how much COVID was around and that’s being withdrawn w.e.f. 31 March. I’m still waiting to hear details of what exactly will replace it. Whatever it is I’m sure they’ll be able to identify it, develop it, implement it and give it a trial run, all within the next 4 weeks. Idiot! (Johnson, not you).
@lowtechcyclist: It might not be true across the board, but in MO there’s been a lot of talk about health care vaccine mandates being bad because they will strain rural hospitals because too many of those health care workers refuse to get vaccinated. It might not be doctors and nurses, but everyone else who works in the hospital, who are the problem. Here’s a Google link of what I found. Douglas County, which is within an hour of Springfield and where I’m sure any rural hospital will send a patient who is too sick for the rural hospital, has a fully vaccinated rate of under 25%. UNDER 25%! Even Greene County, with the 3rd largest city in the state, is under 60% fully vaccinated.
J R in WV
I would correct hillbilly asshole to “people who are unvaxxed have turned themselves into enemies of the population!” myself. They are why we can’t, or shouldn’t, have good things, like concerts. I love the symphony, but not gonna do that while the virus is running wild.
Of course, if he had said that, he wouldn’t be nearly as stupid as he obviously is.
@Baud: Reminds me of the joke about the guy who drowned after being offered help three times because he was waiting for God to save him directly.
J R in WV
Some 10 or 11 years ago Wife had a major health issue, septic shock eventually discovered to be caused by a necrotic lobe of her left lung. She was in ICU on a vent in a coma for nearly a month, had a collapsed lung ( the only clue that something terrible was going on in her lung) surgery to repair the lung when the surgeon found (surprise) the necrotic infection.
Anyway, I spent 2+ months with wife in the hospital. A wonderful facility, a teaching hospital with squads of students following specialists around.
More recently Wife had a neurological emergency and spent a week recovering. AT first they thought it was a stroke, but not. My point here was that the hospital was so completely different during the more recent stay. The halls were empty, the snack bar was open briefly during a meal time, and virtually empty even then.
Back then, large waiting rooms were crowded with families. Now many large waiting rooms were closed, replaced by chairs spaced widely along a hallway outside the Cardiac Cath Lab, etc. One guest per patient. And not so many as that, really.
It was very strange to say the least. The contrast was extreme. I’m not criticizing the rules, far from it. The virus has changed a lot of things, many of which we are not aware of yet.
Once upon a time hospitals were often regarded as a place people went to die. Then they became a place where people went to be saved, healed, and families joined to see that miracle happen. Now they are something else again, I’m not sure what. People are still saved, but…
ETA to fix something that went wrong.
@Tony Jay: There’s a comic/satirist on Twitter I follow who had a “too real” skit on this.
ETA a skit on LOTR meltdowns
@New Deal democrat: Work is calling again. Of the 6 studies, 3 are not yet peer-reviewed, and I haven’t had the time to do more than glance at them. It make sense that prior infection provides a good immunological priming, so I don’t think he’s off in left field here, but I’d really like to see what someone else versed in immunology thinks.
But every time he uses that term is like nails on a blackboard. Vaccination provides immunity that is just as natural as that produced by vaccination, but the anti-vax community loves that term.
@lowtechcyclist: My wife worked for 10 years in a semi-rural Texas hospital and clinic system before we moved back to the Northwest. These hospitals are full of white evangelical Baptist Republican doctors who vote religiously for GOP politicians who oppose medicaid expansion and who oppose things like abortion services within their health care systems and so forth. They may not specifically oppose vaccines and masks. But make no mistake, they are part of the MAGA ecosystem in which such attitudes took root and flourished.
because of Hong Kong’s success with mitigation measures during previous outbreaks,
– not a lot of people have exposure immunity,
– and for a variety of reasons, a lot of the elderly are not fully vaxxed.
Omicron and BA2 are a whole new ballgame.
It’s why China cannot drop its control measures for “living with Covid”.
A loaded metaphor at best.
In the US at least, Great Horned Owls sweep into groups of roosting crows at night, killing them and eating their heads or just their brains. Surprise death, a bit like COVID-19 though much quicker. Crows also die in large numbers from West Nile virus. (It’s close to 100 percent fatal for crows. Some say 100 percent.) Crow vision does not help crows avoid it.
@Gin & Tonic:
Priti Patel could revoke the UK citizenship of naturalized Russian Oligarchs, right? Right?
With particular focus on the donors of large amounts of cash (there are a few) to the Conservative Party.
And even if the masked ones are trying to protect the population from their case of Respiratory Ebola infectious tuberculosis influenza, well, if they’re not breathing, they’re not threatening anyone. Unlike unmasked respiratory disease spreaders, who are different, because mumble everybody intelligent knows that masks don’t work. (Ignore health care workers, and workers who use masks to block deadly dusts. They are ignorant. I mean, sputter sputter.)
@Kent: In addition to what Jay has mentioned, Hong Kong has always been the neoliberal paradise. There is a reason it consistent ranged among the most “economically free” regions by US/UK think tanks w/ strong neoliberal leanings. The city’s civil service has historically been seen as competent & clean, but very much under the thumb of whichever higher authority. During the British colonial days, the is how London ran the colony, & post-handover Beijing found it convenient to continue the arrangement. The city’s economy is dominated by politically docile real estate tycoons (all Hong Kongers) & old trading houses (many of which have British backgrounds). The city’s government is beholden to London (then) / Beijing (now) on the “great” matters, & beholden to the monied interests on the “small” matters. The British preferred this arrangement, & Beijing again found it convenient to perpetuate the status quo.
As is inevitably the case wherever Neoliberalism runs amok, there is very high inequality, strained social services under increasing burdens, & civil service ill-equipped to respond to sudden crisis or address long standing ills, culminating in great fragility. Being caught between strong popular resistance & Beijing’s instructions leads to further paralysis & policy incoherence.
Hong Kong’s health care is of good quality, but overburdened even in normal times. The majority of fresh graduates are priced out of any prospect for decent housing at any point in their lives because real estate is exorbitantly expensive. There is overwhelming competition for the best jobs in the city, from Mainlanders on the one hand & immigrants from English speaking nations (US, UK, Australia) on the other (at least until the pandemic struck). Serving as the financial & logistic link between Mainland China & the world means lingua franca of these industries (w/ the best paying jobs) are English & Mandarin (that applies to the service industries, too, but generally w/ lower paying jobs), but Hong Kong’s public education systems always emphasized instruction in Cantonese, so that the average graduate has poor command of either English or Mandarin. The stresses from stratospheric inequality & loss of hope culminated in the protests & then riots of 2019. The huge peaceful protests, w/ broad representation across society, in the middle of the year eventually gave way to rioting & insurrection by the end of a nihilist core mostly populated w/ high school aged kids whose slogan was “burn it all down!” 2019 ripped apart the city’s social fabric, estranging families & sundering friendships, destroying the any trust in the authorities by large segment of the population. Studies have established a strong link between trust in authority (regardless of form of government) & trust in society on the one hand, & effectiveness of pandemic response in the other.
Past Hong Kong Chief Executives have tried to address some of the long standing issues, such as high housing prices by building large amount of public housing (whether their proposals were realistic is another matter) but each time they were defeated by an unofficial alliance of convenience between the political opposition & the real estate tycoons. The opposition because the Legislative Council’s structure prevents them from ever taking power, thus the natural strategy is to obstruct everything, lest any policy success build legitimacy for the established political status quo. The real estate tycoons because they want to maintain the economic status quo of high real estate prices. The confluence of forces has caused Hong Kong to hallow out economically & is leading to long term stagnation. The city will always do well in finance & logistics, unless Cold War 2.0 leads to complete de-coupling between China & the
West, but the average Hong Konger do not really benefit. Another cautionary tale against neoliberalism.
Frankly, I am surprised that the city has held out for so long against COVID-19, & managed to suppress & eliminate past Delta outbreaks. But the BA.2 strain has proven too much to handle.
We shouldn’t be too hard on Hong Kong, however. What is happening there has happened in great cities across North America & Europe, multiple times, & to worse degrees.
@Fair Economist: Hong Kong presents the greatest challenge to Mainland China’s “Dynamic Zero COVID” strategy, yet. > 50% of the imported cases into the Mainland are from Hong Kong now. Every jurisdiction in the Pearl River Delta region is reported cases imported from the city every day. Shenzhen is reporting > 10 cross-border trucker drivers testing positive daily.
No major outbreaks have been attributed to importation from Hong Kong, yet. The border control & quarantine/testing requirements is the same for Hong Kong arrivals as international ones. I think the bigger concern is people smuggling themselves onto the Mainland. There was a case of 15 people (all Mainland Chinese) who took a speed boat from Hong Kong to Zhuhai in Guangdong, then scattered to their homes across China. So far, 2 have tested positive at Guangzhou in Guangdong (also infecting a close contact there), 2 at Cengzhou in Hunan, 1 at Shanghai (also infecting 2 local close contacts) & 1 at Tongren in Guizhou. All of them having Omicron BA.2.