Coronavirus general discussion and chit-chat

Everyone benefits from caution. The unvaccinated benefit, but the rest of us also benefit by reducing the opportunities for the virus to mutate. I don’t think we need lockdowns, but I think a lot of businesses and communities get their guidance from CDC. All that they’d need to do is to change their guidance to recommend that masks continue to be worn indoors or in large social gatherings. Instead they’re leaving it up to states and local health officials who institute mandates on their own. The problem they now have is that they have the nation’s most respected public health agency basically contradicting them.

I have to catch up on this thread, but I’m jumping in headlong because I want feedback on how I’m managing my situation.

I live in one of the bible belt “we know more than you because GOD” states that is spiking badly lately. We went from less than 100 cases/day this time in June to over 1000 a few days this week. I think we are teetering around 50% vaccinated and the holdouts are too dumb or politically radicalized to budge.

I personally feel like the CDC biffed it pretty hard w the whole “no more masks if you get vaccinated” push because all anyone heard was “no more masks” and that was that. I kept wearing my mask after that just the same as before my own vaccines (Pfizer, Feb/March) because mathematically, I saw far more than the 30% total vaccinated (at that point) not wearing masks, indicating that the CDC’s move was dumb and wrong and now far far fewer people in general were wearing masks.

I had a nasty falling out with a very good friend in early June regarding my reluctance to eat in a restaurant. “I’m just not there, yet. Too many unvaccinated people stopped wearing masks and everything’s opening back up like COVID is just OVER!” I said I was going to wait to see if we got to that 70% mark by July 4th, which we didn’t.

He likened me to a 9/11 “truther” in that I didn’t trust the CDC and was being overly cautious beyond their guidelines.

This year has been wicked awful regarding family health issues: My father was diagnosed with final-stage heart failure after a series of ER visits…bottom line there is he has gotten all the available treatment there is, and that his heart is simply not strong enough to do what the body needs. His heart doesn’t pump fluids out of this body so, for example, he took almost 2L of fluid on his lungs and couldn’t breathe.

That ER junk meant my mom was left alone and her memory issues became more noticeable. Long story short, she’s been diagnosed with a later stage of Alzheimer’s dementia. So I’m on the fast track to an orphanage, and I cannot risk either of them getting it. They both have the J&J so we could squeeze just a single shot in between hospital visits.

I don’t feel super confident in their vaccine, at least not enough to stop wearing a mask or taking more risks.

Am I just totally unreasonable? Am I a 9/11 truther?

I don’t see any problem in being careful, and it doesn’t affect anyone else if I keep wearing a mask at the grocery store.

W the delta being so unknown, I just don’t think we can be careful enough. I’m not worried about me, I’m worried about my fragile folks. I’m worried I don’t have much time and I want to see them safely and not risk anything.

I’m also getting married in Oct and have a big honeymoon, so there’s other considerations for being safe.

Overkill?

Not at all. You are being very sensible, given the dismaying variables you are faced with. If you are erring (and I don’t think you are), it is on the side of caution, and that is very smart.

I hope you are not seriously thinking you are overreacting and that you’re simply looking for backup and validation of behaviors you know are totally sensible.

I don’t care how good a friend this jerk is. If he caused you to question your excellent judgment, he is no friend of yours. I forbid you to socialize with him any more. And don’t invite him to the wedding either.

BTW, congratulations! You have a boatload of stuff on your plate. I hope all goes as well as possible. Take care of yourself. All the best to you.

No, you’re ‘friend’ is being a prick and a dumbass to boot. A prick because he/she’s being insensitive to your feelings during a time when we’re all experiencing trauma. A dumbass because delta variant is a game changer. We’re not dealing with the same COVID virus that we were dealing with even 6 weeks ago. Delta has outcompeted all other variants, and it is beginning to dominate the American public health landscape.

I’ve been saying it against some pushback but I’ll keep saying it: CDC needs to get its head out of its ass and start urging mask wearing, especially indoors, regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not.

I cannot imagine that–scientifically–that is where we are: Everyone needs to mask up and social distance. But is it that the CDC hamstrung themselves with the “vaccine=no mask” promise? I feel like the CDC is playing the political game and maybe not doing what is in everyone’s best interests.

Legitimately had starting to think I’m being paranoid. Not just that one falling out, but the person we hope to officiate our wedding is a professor at a prestigious medical college and when we met with him June 1, he had a quite compelling explanation as to why I can safely ditch my mask and not worry about my folks. Granted, that was previous to the Delta surge, so I have no idea what he would say now.

I’m also friends with a nurse who doesn’t wear a mask anywhere unless they specifically require her to (and of course she wears one at work).

There are other instances, namely how I am typically one of the only people in a mask at the convenience store or elsewhere, but I don’t really care about that. I’m to a point where there’s no clout in being put off by my being careful. It doesn’t affect anyone in any way!

I have started to wear my mask again. I went to Whole Foods today and mask wearing was way up. When I went last week there were few masks (the staff were wearing them), but today at least half the customers were wearing them.

I sing in a church choir, and two weeks ago we were told we didn’t need masks any more. We were giddy! But I think I’m going to wear mine tomorrow. I might be the only one. But I REALLY don’t want to get even a little bit sick.

You’re not being overly cautious. You’re being exactly the right amount of cautious.

Met my mom at the AT&T store (thank you @ThelmaLou - your thread about surprise phones finally got her moving). I was masked. The salesperson was masked. Mom was masked…when she wasn’t talking. And she talked a lot.
That’s not how this works!
After we finished, I went next door to the pet food store. The people there are very friendly and I was met with “You don’t have to mask!” Usually, showing my dialysis mangled forearm staves off further comment. Not today. This person actually grabbed my arm and got real close to look at it. Breathing her unmasked stinky breath in my face.
So, I came home and placed a Chewy order.

What the actual eff? :open_mouth: Isn’t grabbing strangers pretty taboo even in non-COVID times?!

I was at a store recently that had a big sign saying, “please be kind”. It said masks weren’t required if you were vaccinated, but everyone has different comfort levels, and we should all be considerate of each other.

Shouldn’t be needed. But i guess it was.

I never cease to be astounded by some of the ignorance of people in the health science fields. I’m not talking conspiracy theory quackery but just plain ignorance. It’s clear that some people haven’t done much reading since they went to medical or nursing school, which is why I do my own reading and don’t just take the doc’s word for it.

I’ve been looking at the historical reports for Michigan. There is one big peak at the end of November and another in early to mid April. But It appears that the run-ups began at the end of September and the end of February. I can’t think of any events that would explain this. Your thoughts?

As it happens, I was just reviewing the advice the NSW health department gives to Doctors in that state in Australia. When talking specifically about medical evidence, to people who understand medical evidence, in the context of a whole lot of things for which they are referring to evidence, they are circumspect about masks. They acknowledge that masking is a good thing, and that there is evidence that it is important with some other respiratory diseases, and that masks have been used as part of successful lockdown and quarantine … and that after almost 2 years, there is an absence of hard evidence that masks are having a specific effect in this epidemic: it’s not something that’s been studied in that way.

In the more open and combative environment of the USA, it’s difficult for the CDC to be saying one thing to the press and something different to people who read the references, as is done in Australia.

So you could say that the CDC is ‘playing politics’, but you could equally well say that about Australia, where the public health message is ‘our traditional belief and social contract is that masks are good thing’.

On the other hand, there are evidently a whole bunch of people (mostly nurses, it seems, for some reason) that ARE educated, but in sort of a “middle ground” way. They have just enough knowledge about vaccines to trust the ones that have gone through the normal approval process, but they don’t trust the Covid vaccines, because it appears to them that the approval process has been overly-rushed.

Overly-rushed? Relative to what?! This is a pandemic. We don’t have the luxury of time. The vaccines work and, in terms of percentage, the side effects are relatively few and far between.

The biggest question so far probably has to do with the vaccination of people between the ages of 12 and 24, whose immunity is probably as good as it gets. This is the one age group that really demands special focus in terms of research. It might be that one shot would be sufficient for this age group, provided they don’t have diabetes or other underlying conditions.

Australia’s too-slow vaccine rollout is also hitting the issue of the large number of vaccine-hesitant.

In our case the decision was made to do a full Therapeutic Goods Administration new drug certification rather than an emergency approval, which delayed the start of the jabs to late Feb, when other countries went before Xmas. The logic was that it would improve everyone’s confidence that the vaccines were robust, properly assessed and safe. I haven’t seen anyone do the comparison with numbers but there may be as many people hesitating here as where the vaccines were rolled out under emergency approvals.

I apologize if this has been asked and answered already here – I haven’t kept up with every single post here:

I know the previous variant names have been replaced with Greek letters now. But I missed what original COVID is called. Is it alpha? Or is that the first variant? Is there a name for the original version? It feels like saying “Coke Classic” to me to say original coronavirus. Is it just SARS-CoV-2, with no Greek letter?

Yes. Alpha was the “UK” variant. Beta was South African. Gamma was Brazil. They only get a letter if the medical authorities think a public interest label is useful. Both for talking to each other and for talking to the press it’s handy to have a label like “UK” or “India” or … “Delta”.

Given that SARS-CoV-2 is the ‘beta’ family of COV, it seems strange to me that they also choose Greek letters for the ‘variant’ labels (beta COV delta ?). And when they were giving letters to the variants, why not make Wuhan alpha? But it is what it is: I’m not the one giving press conferences.

WHOA. This is too weird.

In a case set to be heard Wednesday, attorneys for Resurrection School in Lansing and two parents will tell the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that Catholic doctrine holds that every person is made in God’s image.

“Unfortunately, a mask shields our humanity,” the school argued in its lawsuit. “And because God created us in His image, we are masking that image.”

Resurrection School thinks mask-wearing interferes with the institution’s mission of giving its students a Catholic education. The school’s lawsuit argued that in addition to physically blocking God’s image, face coverings make people anti-social and interfere with relationships. The Catholic faith teaches that people are relational beings and that these relationships mirror the relationship between God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit — believed to be three people, but one God.

“A mask is disruptive to this essential element of the Catholic faith, and it is disruptive to the teaching of young children for these and other reasons,” the school concluded.

Resurrection School added that some students experience discomfort and difficulty breathing and speaking when they wear masks.

Okay, all of that is very strange, but HERE’S the punch line:

In addition, the school argued, wearing masks “conveys the message that the wearer has surrendered his or her freedom to the government.”

“Surrendering freedom to the government”??

Obeying any law could be interpreted as surrendering freedom to the gummint, amirite?

Wouldn’t trousers also hide humanity that is made in God’s image?