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CR: COVID-19 --Political Talk


Mrs Whiggins

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18 hours ago, YChang said:

I'm all for public policy readujsting to what we know/understand and can realistically predict in the near-future.

Therein lies the rub.

One team's realism is another's insanity.  There's more than enough to go around, but it's just those dumb motherfuckers over there that are screwing things up so bad...

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8 hours ago, tantric superman said:

But if prior infection means that you are as protected from "serious illness" as the vaccine, that's a different question, and calls into question the whole issue of booster mandates and testing mandates. 

In other words, is it reasonable to be concerned about serious illness and being put on a ventilator, but NOT being particularly concerned about getting reinfected?  I think so, given the fact that we are going to have access to great medicines to treat COVID over the next weeks, then then its very reasonable to measure the $$$ and social and psychological costs of mandates against their value - which seems to be decreasing rapidly. (One of the more interesting arguments in the podcast is that we shouldn't be doing so much testing. If someone is at risk and a doctor recommends a test, great.  If not, we shouldn't all be testing if we've been vaccinated and just have a cold.  I have taken four negative tests to date when I had a mild virus.)

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid-natural-immunity-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00676-9/fulltext

Although longer follow-up studies are needed, clinicians should remain optimistic regarding the protective effect of recovery from previous infection. Community immunity to control the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic can be reached with the acquired immunity due to either previous infection or vaccination. Acquired immunity from vaccination is certainly much safer and preferred. Given the evidence of immunity from previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, policy makers should consider recovery from previous SARS-CoV-2 infection equal to immunity from vaccination for purposes related to entry to public events, businesses, and the workplace, or travel requirements.

You raise a good issue. With the severity of Covid decreasing with emerging variants, will that change the dynamic of public policy and mandates. I personally don’t care if getting a vaccine causes one social or psychological effects. It doesn’t cost them monetarily at all. We shouldn’t base public policy on the fears of the ignorant, but on protecting the public. 

The article and quotation above you linked has a good qualifying statement, “although longer follow up studies are needed”. There are studies out there saying acquired immunity wanes after 60-90 days. But vaccination lasts 6 months. My point is that this is still a dynamic situation and we need more data and better testing. 

Right now, too many people are still dying every day. Mandates work. They have been proven to work at getting the population vaccinated. Vaccination has proven the safest way to be protected from death. Now, with less severe variants emerging, people want to reframe the narrative. Some of it might be justified as new information emerges, like all science, new shit comes to light, things change, and recommendations change. I’m fine with that. I just don’t think there is a good reason not to get vaccinated, even if you’ve been previously infected, and the only reason people are arguing against mandates is so they don’t have to get vaccinated. 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Neonmoon said:

I personally don’t care if getting a vaccine causes one social or psychological effects. It doesn’t cost them monetarily at all. We shouldn’t base public policy on the fears of the ignorant, but on protecting the public. 

I simply think that is not true, and this is why we have such political divisions. The "free testing" costs someone money.  I've had four.  President Biden wants 500 million.  So ultimately, let's just agree that my little grandson is going to be paying for this in terms of reduced educational opportunity or reduced social security benefits, just like he'll be paying for all of the various expenses that we don't properly fund with current taxes. 

I'm willing to wait on the final tally of the negative implications of school closures/falling behind in school, but there will be real consequences. 

I think it's imperative that we make sure we define what "protecting the public" means in our discussions, because when we use it too broadly its hard to discuss the issue. (I'm thinking we need to focus on "protecting those vulnerable to serious illness or death from COVID" -- and we need to stay focused on that.)   Whoever fails to focus on that definition and frankly, whoever continues to perpetrate solutions that don't fit the current situation and whoever doesn't admit that prior steps may not have been that effective, is going to face some pretty bad consequences in future elections. 

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1 hour ago, Neonmoon said:

Thanks. What that means is if one is hospitalized for Covid like illness,  an unvaccinated recovered patient is 5 x as likely as a vaccinated patient to be sick from Covid 19 rather than something else (and in both groups much more likely to be hospitalized for something other than Covid per the study). That is not the same as an unvaccinated recovered person being 5 x as likely as a vaccinated person to require hospitalization from a Covid infection 

 

Also reading on phone but I did not see that the positives were analyzed based on other variables such as obesity or other comorbidities (maybe not possible in that there were only 89 positives in the unvaccinated previous illness cohort and 324 in the vaccinated) and that is a huge weakness especially given the small numbers. 
 

 

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New York State and City are revisiting hospitalization data.  Right now, the data is everyone in the hospital with COVID, even if COVID isn't the reason you are there.  They want to see if they can parse the data to show who is in the hospital because of COVID specifically, not those that came in with a broken leg due to a skiing accident and got a mild case that was like a cold.  I think that data would be useful.  

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1 hour ago, Neonmoon said:

I’m fine with that. I just don’t think there is a good reason not to get vaccinated, even if you’ve been previously infected, and the only reason people are arguing against mandates is so they don’t have to get vaccinated. 

It's too late at this point because the Repubs will do anything to make Dem legislation fail, but the Biden admin should have seen from the outset that the way to maximize vaccines would have been to pass legislation that allowed all businesses to determine for themselves whether they would require their employees and customers to be vaccinated. They could have thus been on the side of individual choice for both individuals and businesses.  They could have let the states and localities fight the battle of local mandates. 

If the Repubs fought those mandates the Dems could have at least been seen as being on the side of "liberty" - which might have appealed to some swing voters.

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I wish we were doing this.  We should make life shitty for the unvaccinated as they are putting us all at risk.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-05/france-s-macron-says-he-wants-to-piss-off-the-unvaccinated?cmpid=BBD010522_MKT&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=220105&utm_campaign=markets&sref=knoriXqz

I am glad I live in a city where they are not fucking around with mandates (We have them for Healthcare workers, teachers, city employees, and all businesses in the city of NY).  The problem with the US is you have the crazy states (Texas and Florida leading the way currently), who are actively killing their constituents due to political bullshit.  DeSantis and Abbott should be in jail after this for murder along with their idol, Trump.  They all have blood on their hands.

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59 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

I simply think that is not true, and this is why we have such political divisions. The "free testing" costs someone money.  I've had four.  President Biden wants 500 million.  So ultimately, let's just agree that my little grandson is going to be paying for this in terms of reduced educational opportunity or reduced social security benefits, just like he'll be paying for all of the various expenses that we don't properly fund with current taxes. 

I'm willing to wait on the final tally of the negative implications of school closures/falling behind in school, but there will be real consequences. 

I think it's imperative that we make sure we define what "protecting the public" means in our discussions, because when we use it too broadly its hard to discuss the issue. (I'm thinking we need to focus on "protecting those vulnerable to serious illness or death from COVID" -- and we need to stay focused on that.)   Whoever fails to focus on that definition and frankly, whoever continues to perpetrate solutions that don't fit the current situation and whoever doesn't admit that prior steps may not have been that effective, is going to face some pretty bad consequences in future elections. 

(1) He is talking about vaccinations. You are talking about testing. Those don't have the same cost/benefits analysis. 

(2) Yes, we have to understand what we mean when we are talking about protecting the public. You have to understand that the people policy decisions don't make them looking at what is best for one single individual. They are trying to make the best decision for society as a whole. That means limiting death, severe illness, and overwhelming of the healthcare system as efficiently as possible. It just so happens that the most effective method for doing that, universal vaccinations, also happens to be the most cost effective and efficient to administrate. Unfortunately, we don't have the political will to get that done. So we are stuck with this stupid abomination of closures, testing, and the like. 

(3) I get concerned when people talk about just protecting those that are vulnerable because I don't know what they really mean. Are we only talking about those at the highest risk of death? Are we talking about the folks that may get hospitalized? Are we talking about the unvaccinated and previously unexposed? While severe disease is unlikely for a relatively healthy middle-aged adult, it isn't so rare that we should treat it as non-existent.  

(4) What do you mean willing to wait on the tally for school closures? Are you really suggesting that school closures in 2020 weren't prudent based on the information at the time? Stop vilifying past decisions in light of new information. We can change future conduct, but we can't look at everything with 20-20 hindsight like that. 

(5) It is very clear at this point that future elections are going to be predicated on the beliefs of stupid people. I still don't see that as a reason to give in to them. 

27 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

It's too late at this point because the Repubs will do anything to make Dem legislation fail, but the Biden admin should have seen from the outset that the way to maximize vaccines would have been to pass legislation that allowed all businesses to determine for themselves whether they would require their employees and customers to be vaccinated. They could have thus been on the side of individual choice for both individuals and businesses.  They could have let the states and localities fight the battle of local mandates. 

If the Repubs fought those mandates the Dems could have at least been seen as being on the side of "liberty" - which might have appealed to some swing voters.

Uh, what? What would that legislation even look like? What exactly would the Constitutional hook be? Why would such a law even be necessary?  Businesses could already do this in absence of a law that says otherwise. Oh wait, Republicans are in fact enacting laws stop businesses from make those choices  via state legislation and executive orders (see Abbott). What you want is exactly what has happened. And it is fucking stupid.  

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16 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

Uh, what? What would that legislation even look like? What exactly would the Constitutional hook be? Why would such a law even be necessary?  Businesses could already do this in absence of a law that says otherwise.

Well, it would be a bill, which would then become law.

The commerce clause. 

Because we want(ed) people to get vaccinated.

The law would outline how the businesses would be immune from lawsuit and outline any exemptions from ADA or religoius accommodation.

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27 minutes ago, Sawbonz said:

Thanks. What that means is if one is hospitalized for Covid like illness,  an unvaccinated recovered patient is 5 x as likely as a vaccinated patient to be sick from Covid 19 rather than something else (and in both groups much more likely to be hospitalized for something other than Covid per the study). That is not the same as an unvaccinated recovered person being 5 x as likely as a vaccinated person to require hospitalization from a Covid infection 

 

Also reading on phone but I did not see that the positives were analyzed based on other variables such as obesity or other comorbidities (maybe not possible in that there were only 89 positives in the unvaccinated previous illness cohort and 324 in the vaccinated) and that is a huge weakness especially given the small numbers. 

Right, feels like deja vu talking about these CDC case control studies and how to interpret the data.  The most surprising thing in that study to me, and which you allude to, is that of the 7348 individuals hospitalized with COVID-like illness, only 5.6% n=413 actually had COVID. Among those that were vaccinated the positivity was 5.1%, among those with prior infection 8.7%, for an absolute difference of 2.6%. The OR is not a measure of relative risk and can be misleading if misinterpreted. 

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11 minutes ago, wildcat09 said:

I can't believe it's 2022 and we're still arguing about whether vaccine mandates are good.

Are you suggesting that a COVID vaccine mandate is never going to end?  I doubt it. The question is at what point to we pivot to a more "flu like" protocol in regard to COVID.  

I think it is completely fair for that discussion to begin now.

 

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1 minute ago, tantric superman said:

Well, it would be a bill, which would then become law.

The commerce clause. 

Because we want(ed) people to get vaccinated.

The law would outline how the businesses would be immune from lawsuit and outline any exemptions from ADA or religoius accommodation.

Again, nothing stops businesses from doing this right now (other than state laws that now say they can't). They don't need to make religious accommodations, they aren't the government. I don't know what the ADA has to do with anything. Immunity from lawsuits would either have to be limited to certain federal laws (none of which I think really create liability for this sort of thing) or would have to pre-empt state laws. That latter options would never in a million years be allowed to pass. Even if such a law somehow passed the senate, it would be heavily litigated for years and probably somehow overturned as unconstitutional. 

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25 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

(1) He is talking about vaccinations. You are talking about testing. Those don't have the same cost/benefits analysis. 

That's fair.  But both have a cost.  He wants to ignore the cost on vaccines.  I don't think that is an appropriate.

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2 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

Are you suggesting that a COVID vaccine mandate is never going to end?  I doubt it. The question is at what point to we pivot to a more "flu like" protocol in regard to COVID.  

I think it is completely fair for that discussion to begin now.

 

Have we ended vaccine mandates for other diseases prior to school? No? Ok, then, yes, I'm suggesting we treat Covid exactly the same and continue the vaccination requirements forever. We do that, and eventually we can stop worrying about any other sort of covid vaccine mandates or protections. 

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Employer vaccine mandates have a measurable impact on vaccine uptake.  I think that employers should strongly consider them.  I don't think that the government should use OSHA emergency rule making authority to put arbitrary requirements on employers to implement them.   

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1 minute ago, tantric superman said:

That's fair.  But both have a cost.  He wants to ignore the cost on vaccines.  I don't think that is an appropriate.

He isn't ignoring it. He said it doesn't cost the individual out of pocket. But fine. Discuss the costs of the vaccine. If you're honest at all with the numbers, you'll ultimately reach the same conclusion that everyone with a brain has already reached: they are fucking worth it. 

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1 minute ago, Anastasis said:

Employer vaccine mandates have a measurable impact on vaccine uptake.  I think that employers should strongly consider them.  I don't think that the government should use OSHA emergency rule making authority to put arbitrary requirements on employers to implement them.   

I understand that argument. I'm not sure I agree with it, but at least I understand it and can respect it. 

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1 minute ago, Dahobbs said:

Again, nothing stops businesses from doing this right now (other than state laws that now say they can't). They don't need to make religious accommodations, they aren't the government. I don't know what the ADA has to do with anything.

This is a crazily uninformed post. 

The primary concern any business would have in imposing a mandate on its employees without protection from government laws is crazy lawsuits by crazy employees and customers. That's why businesses have been frustrated by the federal mandates and the courts fucking with them.  Companies would love to the mandate so that they can rely on it to fend off lawsuits.  Without it, they face lots of loony constitutionally based lawsuits.

Companies have to comply with the ADA.  Right now, companies are inundated with requests for accommodations based on COVID

Companies have to make religious accommodations, including for those with people who have a sincere believe that the vaccines are  the mark of the devil or whatever sincere but hard to understand reason they have. 

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7 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

Are you suggesting that a COVID vaccine mandate is never going to end?  I doubt it. The question is at what point to we pivot to a more "flu like" protocol in regard to COVID.  

I think it is completely fair for that discussion to begin now.

 

 

When we have an annual death total that resembles even a bad influenza year.

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2 hours ago, slorch said:

Therein lies the rub.

One team's realism is another's insanity.  There's more than enough to go around, but it's just those dumb motherfuckers over there that are screwing things up so bad...

For sure it’s not easy. 

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Just now, tantric superman said:

This is a crazily uninformed post. 

The primary concern any business would have in imposing a mandate on its employees without protection from government laws is crazy lawsuits by crazy employees and customers. That's why businesses have been frustrated by the federal mandates and the courts fucking with them.  Companies would love to the mandate so that they can rely on it to fend off lawsuits.  Without it, they face lots of loony constitutionally based lawsuits.

Companies have to comply with the ADA.  Right now, companies are inundated with requests for accommodations based on COVID

Companies have to make religious accommodations, including for those with people who have a sincere believe that the vaccines are  the mark of the devil or whatever sincere but hard to understand reason they have. 

No, it isn't. Even if your law that could never be passed actually came into fruition, there would still be looney-tunes lawsuits. It doesn't change anything. None of those lawsuits have any legally viable basis. 

You're asking for a law that isn't necessary and that wouldn't provide any additional benefit to anyone. It wouldn't stop looney-tunes lawsuits. I guess you want a definitive statement that requiring vaccination doesn't violate title VII or the ADA. Maybe that helps clarify things (although I don't think it substantively changes the law, which basically says that they can do it anyway). But it isn't going to have any effect on the numerous state laws and orders now in place that make it difficult for some businesses to implement such mandates. And a law that preempts state laws is never going to pass the senate. Never. And even if it did, there would be plenty of fucking lawsuits to stop it. 

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I keep pointing out versions of this statistic, but I think a lot of people aren't interested in absorbing what it means.

In 2021, roughly 476,000 Americans died of covid-19.  That is a staggering number.

Our current 7-day moving average is 1,206 American deaths per day.  If that continues throughout 2022, it would point to another 440,000 dead Americans.  That is also a staggering number.

 

Now is not the time to take the "it's just like the flu" tack in terms of defining public policy.  Will omicron ultimately prove to be less severe in terms of mortality risk to the individual?  Probably.  Will it continue to burn through the US at an incredible rate?  For a while, probably.  Will our daily mortality rate subsequently drop significantly from the current average rate of 1,206 dead Americans each day?  We have no idea.  If if things do get better, then are we confident the next variant will pose equally benign risks to the individual?  Nobody knows.

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3 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

Have we ended vaccine mandates for other diseases prior to school? No? Ok, then, yes, I'm suggesting we treat Covid exactly the same and continue the vaccination requirements forever. We do that, and eventually we can stop worrying about any other sort of covid vaccine mandates or protections. 

I don't know the trajectory of this disease.  However, at some point there should be a scientific determination that the risk to school children remains so great that we require the vaccine.  So somewhere between polio and flu?

This debate would be much different if school age children were in an at risk group and if the vaccines have been approved quickly for all their age groups. 

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26 minutes ago, DaysOff said:

When we have an annual death total that resembles even a bad influenza year.

Fine with me.  Although it's still important to understand the efficacy of vaccinations (vs. acquired immunity as well). 

And for a political standpoint, I think government agencies would be well served to be thinking about the signposts that might cause them to alter their policy.  I think "annual death total" is a great measuring post. 

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1 hour ago, Dahobbs said:

.  

(4) What do you mean willing to wait on the tally for school closures? Are you really suggesting that school closures in 2020 weren't prudent based on the information at the time? Stop vilifying past decisions in light of new information. We can change future conduct, but we can't look at everything with 20-20 hindsight like that. 

 

After spring semester 2020, school closures were the wrong choice. Doing it now like is happening in some areas is straight up negligence. 
 

37 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

Have we ended vaccine mandates for other diseases prior to school? No? Ok, then, yes, I'm suggesting we treat Covid exactly the same and continue the vaccination requirements forever. We do that, and eventually we can stop worrying about any other sort of covid vaccine mandates or protections. 

Pediatric mandates are a whole different ballgame, scientifically and politically. 
 

 

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23 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

I don't know the trajectory of this disease.  However, at some point there should be a scientific determination that the risk to school children remains so great that we require the vaccine.  So somewhere between polio and flu?

This debate would be much different if school age children were in an at risk group and if the vaccines have been approved quickly for all their age groups. 

Why? Public policy on requiring vaccinations doesn't need to be solely based on the benefits to the individual, but can and should be based on the benefits to society as a whole. Inoculating children early on is proven way to ensure a high percentage of the population is inoculated. It protects not just the children from possible severe disease, but slows the spread, protects those same children from severe disease if infected later in life, and saves the medical resources that would have been spent on treatment. 

And, the flu isn't a good differentiator anyway. If we had vaccines that worked as well against the flu and with as little side effects as the ones we have for Covid-19, I'm confident we'd be requiring those for children as well. 

18 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

04db5b1b-f801-486d-9942-4e1212607219_tex

This is what I do. And I literally explained my reasoning in the post. Feel free to respond to the substance. 

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3 hours ago, Neonmoon said:

The article and quotation above you linked has a good qualifying statement, “although longer follow up studies are needed”. There are studies out there saying acquired immunity wanes after 60-90 days. But vaccination lasts 6 months. My point is that this is still a dynamic situation and we need more data and better testing. 

 

 

 

There’s all kinds of studies, given you thought that your previous citation was a gotcha I’m going to question your understanding of all the totality of the evidence. Btw CDC recommends booster at 5 months now so you’re behind there on vaccine duration. 
 

What a lot of posters here are missing is the political calculus with vaccines and mandates is different now. When the vaccine rollout started a lot of people were really behind it because it was to “stop the spread” and it’s “our way out of the pandemic”. Those absolute statements have turned out to be false. Thus you can expect some of the moderates on this issue are going to waiver especially after they’ve contracted Covid and seen all their vaxxed friends get it as well. 
 

The next big fight will be transitioning the definition of fully vaccinated to include boosting. A lot of people that just had Covid aren’t going to like that. We’ll see what happens.

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8 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

And, the flu isn't a good differentiator anyway. If we had vaccines that worked as well against the flu and with as little side effects as the ones we have for Covid-19, I'm confident we'd be requiring those for children as well. 

Maybe in a few years after substantial long-term safety had been established. 

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I've seen the pearl clutching from many parents on school closures, but are there any studies on the negative effects? The resident it's a flu contingent push this narrative. I'm sure there are consequences, but do we really know anything at this point? If home schooling is so bad, why is it allowed? I guess there might be a difference between home schooling and virtual schooling. I don't know. 

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Just now, Immaculate Vibes said:

There’s all kinds of studies, given you thought that your previous citation was a gotcha I’m going to question your understanding of all the totality of the evidence. Btw CDC recommends booster at 5 months now so you’re behind there on vaccine duration. 
 

What a lot of posters here are missing is the political calculus with vaccines and mandates is different now. When the vaccine rollout started a lot of people were really behind it because it was to “stop the spread” and it’s “our way out of the pandemic”. Those absolute statements have turned out to be false. Thus you can expect some of the moderates on this issue are going to waiver especially after they’ve contracted Covid and seen all their vaxxed friends get it as well. 
 

The next big fight will be transitioning the definition of fully vaccinated to include boosting. A lot of people that just had Covid aren’t going to like that. We’ll see what happens.

Those statements are still true. Vaccination will not wipe out Covid. But if our entire population were vaccinated, then Covid wouldn't be a big deal, wouldn't have caused nearly a million deaths in the US, and wouldn't be contributing to 8,000 new daily hospital admissions. 

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2 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

Maybe in a few years after substantial long-term safety had been established. 

Agreed on that, at least as to school mandates. We've talked about this before actually. 

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4 minutes ago, Neonmoon said:

I've seen the pearl clutching from many parents on school closures, but are there any studies on the negative effects? The resident it's a flu contingent push this narrative. I'm sure there are consequences, but do we really know anything at this point? If home schooling is so bad, why is it allowed? I guess there might be a difference between home schooling and virtual schooling. I don't know. 

There's a big push underway among conservatives to get more parents to homeschool their kids and right now one of their main arguments is that the public school systems can't be entrusted with peoples' children because they're destroying children's lives with virtual learning.

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2 hours ago, tantric superman said:

I simply think that is not true, and this is why we have such political divisions. The "free testing" costs someone money.  I've had four.  President Biden wants 500 million.  So ultimately, let's just agree that my little grandson is going to be paying for this in terms of reduced educational opportunity or reduced social security benefits, just like he'll be paying for all of the various expenses that we don't properly fund with current taxes. 

You know what I meant about being free. But to your point, I'm all for raising taxes. I assume you are as well. Unless your against raising taxes, but also don't want to pay for vaccines or tests for the public? 

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20 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

However, at some point there should be a scientific determination that the risk to school children remains so great that we require the vaccine.  So somewhere between polio and flu?

Public policy on requiring vaccinations doesn't need to be solely based on the benefits to the individual, but can and should be based on the benefits to society as a whole.

In the final analysis when the healthcare provider is about to put the shot in the arm which do you weight greater, the individualized assessment or the societal assessment? As far as kids <15 are concerned, there is low risk from COVID/low benefit from vax, low risk in terms of short terms adverse events, unknown risk from long-term adverse events.  Weighing those factors on individual level is not easy and is going to vary substantially for each kid based on a variety of factors (individual medical issues, household profile, etc).  I find it really hard to judge parents who come to different conclusions regarding vaccination of their young children at this point (disclosure, 1 of my kids is fully vaccinated, the other 2 partially and will get 2nd shot this week on a delayed schedule).  

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5 minutes ago, Anastasis said:

In the final analysis when the healthcare provider is about to put the shot in the arm which do you weight greater, the individualized assessment or the societal assessment? As far as kids <15 are concerned, there is low risk from COVID/low benefit from vax, low risk in terms of short terms adverse events, unknown risk from long-term adverse events.  Weighing those factors on individual level is not easy and is going to vary substantially for each kid based on a variety of factors (individual medical issues, household profile, etc).  I find it really hard to judge parents who come to different conclusions regarding vaccination of their young children at this point (disclosure, 1 of my kids is fully vaccinated, the other 2 partially and will get 2nd shot this week on a delayed schedule).  

I understand that. The benefits have to be greater than the risks. Right now, the evidence suggests that the benefits will be greater than the risks for kids 5 and above. Given the number of inoculations that have been given out world wide, I don't expect that to change. But I agree it makes sense to wait for more long term data before requiring kids get vaccinated. I don't judge parents for waiting for their kids right now either (disclosure, my 5 year-old is fully vaccinated, the 14 month twins are indirectly vaccinated via momma I guess and hope). 

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https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2022/01/04/no-icu-beds-left-massachusetts-hospitals-are-maxed-out-as-covid-continues-to-surge

Quote

 

'No ICU beds left': Massachusetts hospitals are maxed out as COVID continues to surge

Dr. Melisa Lai-Becker, the medical director for the emergency department at Cambridge Health Alliance's Everett Hospital, spent much of Monday afternoon urgently calling hospitals all over the state.

"I was searching for an ICU [intensive care unit] bed for one of our patients, and every single facility is full," she said. "They are at full capacity. They have no ICU beds left."

She even started looking up hospitals she could call in neighboring states, but they're in the same predicament.

Before the holidays, public health experts warned that the combination of gatherings and the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus could fuel a dramatic surge of cases and put further strain on hospitals already burdened with staffing shortages and increased patient needs due to delayed care. Those fears appear to have been realized. The state reported more than 31,000 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, which includes tests taken over the long holiday weekend. On Tuesday, the state added nearly 17,000 more confirmed cases to that tally. Last winter, the seven-day average of new confirmed cases peaked at about 6,000.

Experts say although the now-dominant omicron variant appears to result in less severe illness than earlier variants, the sheer number of new cases is overwhelming the capacity of the state's hospitals.

"It's really a math issue," Lai-Becker said. "It's the sheer volume, that so many more people have been infected with COVID."

Even if only a small percentage of people who have COVID-19 require hospitalization for their symptoms, overall case numbers are so high that even that small percentage is enough to pack emergency rooms, she explained.

"The big concern right now is if we're at a much, much higher number of cases — even if the severity is lower — the total hospitalizations may turn out to be the same as we saw last winter, or even higher," said Andrew Lover, an assistant professor of epidemiology at UMass Amherst.

"Last year, there was a large spike all the way through mid-January. And I certainly expect to see the same this year," he said. "And we're already starting in a much higher level of reported infections so we could see an extremely high plateau."

Just how bad it's going to get isn't clear yet, said Dr. Paul Biddinger, chief preparedness and continuity officer for Mass General Brigham and a member of Gov. Charlie Baker’s medical advisory committee for COVID-19.

"We're very well aware of what happened in South Africa, where the numbers shot up astronomically, but then fell pretty quickly," Biddinger said. "That's obviously what we're hoping here, is that the numbers start falling quickly. But I don't think yet we have a sense for when the peak is going to come."

More than 2,300 people in the state were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday. That's still significantly fewer than the nearly 4,000 people who were hospitalized at one point during the first COVID-19 surge in spring 2020. But back then, Biddinger said, hospitals in the state dramatically scaled back operations to focus on the pandemic, canceling everything but the most essential admissions and procedures.

"What we have seen ... is actually the consequences of a lot of that canceled care where people come back sicker because they missed a procedure, missed an intervention," he said. "And really, ever since the first wave, those chickens have been coming home to roost in terms of overall patient demand."

That left hospitals packed before the current wave of COVID-19 patients. And on top of that, Biddinger said, many exhausted staff left the healthcare field during the last two years. And now, hospitals are seeing significant numbers of staff members unable to come to work because of their own coronavirus infections or exposures.

At UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, hospital epidemiologist Dr. Richard Ellison said he's hoping staffing issues don't get bad enough to require reductions in crucial care.

"Nurses who give chemotherapy for cancer patients get special training, and we can't train our entire hospital workforce nursing staff to give cancer chemotherapy," he said.

If too many of those nurses are out, Ellison said, the hospital may not be able to provide that care.

"So we have great concern that we could actually impact our ability to provide care for some patient populations," he said.

The demand for emergency room beds is so high at UMass Memorial Medical Center, Ellison said, that some patients are being cared for in hallways, with privacy barriers put up between beds.

"There is no bed capacity right now in the UMass system," he said. "As soon as someone gets discharged, the bed is being filled immediately."

Back at Everett Hospital, Dr. Lai-Becker said reports of beseiged medical facilities in other states now feel familiar.

"Everything we heard about earlier during different surges, about other areas of the country, that has come to Massachusetts," she said. "That's where we are. That's how bad this particular surge is."

 

 

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There's a big push underway among conservatives to get more parents to homeschool their kids and right now one of their main arguments is that the public school systems can't be entrusted with peoples' children because they're destroying children's lives with virtual learning.
It's a great way to raise more adults who are fearful of others they have no exposure to- browns, blacks, gays, Muslims etc.
  • Hook 'Em 3
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1 hour ago, Dahobbs said:

This is what I do. And I literally explained my reasoning in the post. Feel free to respond to the substance. 

I posted that it was unlikely that such a law was passed, and yet you asked me what that law would do and on what basis it would be passed.  I did so, and then you said it had no utility, but admitted it might "clear things up a bit".  And then you argue that there is no way it would be passed, which is what I posited in the first place.

It wasn't a particularly interesting exercise. 

I'm an employment lawyer, and some clear federal direction that was quickly okayed by the courts would have made things much easier for companies like mine going forward, because we could have relied on such mandates as sound defenses in the face of the large number of employees who would have opposed the moves.

I'll just accept your argument that all the angst of companies trying to deal with pandemic issues in the past couple of years was wasted time, that we could have been as absolutely over the top in our mandates in all 50 states with virtually no repercussions,  we can move on. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Born to Run said:

It's a great way to raise more adults who are fearful of others they have no exposure to- browns, blacks, gays, Muslims etc.

I just had a great conversations with two little white kids down the street who are home schooled, and taking a break.  They aren't scared of me, despite my meskiness. The are awesome kids.  

I'm for propping up the public schools and not for demonizing home schooling. 

Virtual learning is par for the course for home schoolers.  Virtual learning is "doable" for parochial and private schools.  Public schools have issues with virtual learning, and the more virtual learning they do, the worse they look.

That's a cost that has to be factored in.

 

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26 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

I posted that it was unlikely that such a law was passed, and yet you asked me what that law would do and on what basis it would be passed.  I did so, and then you said it had no utility, but admitted it might "clear things up a bit".  And then you argue that there is no way it would be passed, which is what I posited in the first place.

It wasn't a particularly interesting exercise. 

You said Biden should have foreseen that your approach was the best way even though we both agreed it never would have worked. I don't understand your argument at all. If it never would have worked, then why bring it up as the best approach? Why chide Biden for not implementing a strategy that was doomed to failure?  

Quote

I'm an employment lawyer, and some clear federal direction that was quickly okayed by the courts would have made things much easier for companies like mine going forward, because we could have relied on such mandates as sound defenses in the face of the large number of employees who would have opposed the moves.

It seems like you already have a sound defense under existing federal law, whether under the ADA or the Title VII, that a vaccine mandate is legal. Other entities have implemented such requirements and gotten similar lawsuits dismissed based on existing law. Is it a perfect defense? No. Does it prevent bullshit lawsuits? No. But neither would your proposed law if passed. There would still be bullshit lawsuits. And you'd be still dealing with lawsuits based on individual state laws and restrictions that would not be preempted by your proposed clarification of federal law. 

Quote

I'll just accept your argument that all the angst of companies trying to deal with pandemic issues in the past couple of years was wasted time, that we could have been as absolutely over the top in our mandates in all 50 states with virtually no repercussions,  we can move on. 

I never said it was wasted time. I don't doubt there are huge problems in dealing with 50 different state laws. But your proposed solution was no solution. So, I agree, it isn't a particularly interesting exercise. 

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6 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Oh shit.

Haha. Slightly sore throat last night and this AM.  Honestly probably wouldn’t have even tested because so mild but have a road trip planned tomorrow with an at risk coworker and needed a clear conscience.  Also, the last three weeks have been pretty crazy. Dinged positive on two different at home tests.  About to go exercise (at home).
 

Let’s shift the discussion to whether I need a booster that reportedly lasts 10 weeks or if gained immunity to go along with my two Moderna shots (9 months ago) is enough. 

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26 minutes ago, tantric superman said:

I just had a great conversations with two little white kids down the street who are home schooled, and taking a break.  They aren't scared of me, despite my meskiness. The are awesome kids.  

I'm for propping up the public schools and not for demonizing home schooling. 

Virtual learning is par for the course for home schoolers.  Virtual learning is "doable" for parochial and private schools.  Public schools have issues with virtual learning, and the more virtual learning they do, the worse they look.

That's a cost that has to be factored in.

 

The worst they look is absolute bullshit.  The real deal is that some kids (mature, focused, they give a fuck) can learn and do well with virtual learning.  The majority can't.  Without a teacher there monitoring them they just fuck off.  They don't do the assignments and they are not learning.  Ask a teacher that did virtual instruction.   

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