Author Topic: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"  (Read 71258 times)

frugalnacho

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #650 on: January 21, 2022, 11:41:05 AM »
My niece and her boyfriend have covid.  He's unvaxxed and pretty sick, she's vaxxed and asymptomatic.  She only tested because she was exposed to him.  No one else in the household tested positive.  They are having a birthday party with the whole family (9 people minimum) despite her being positive.  We were invited but obviously declined.  Also the entire family has been going about their daily lives and going to stores and whatnot even as they were awaiting test results.

unbelievable.

...is it though?  How do you think it's spreading like wildfire everywhere? Because people are being super responsible and wearing masks and social distancing and isolating when they're supposed to? 

I mean it's absurd, and it's absolutely bonkers, but I totally believe it.  They are not the first, or second, or even hundredth time of me hearing about people I know parading around town and going about their normal lives while knowingly positive with covid.   I know a ton of people who got a positive test, then mysteriously were able to get a bunch of shit accomplished.  My BIL tested positive like 2-3 days before he was scheduled to get his second dose, and without explicitly telling anyone they broke protocol and went to a mass vaccination site...he somehow got his second dose of the vaccine at a mass vaccination site right on schedule.  A long time friend flew into the state to see his sick mother, and contracted covid while he was here.  He's in the military and was getting sent overseas so going on an international flight so he required a negative PCR test...which he didn't get until right before his international flight after he was back home, which means he flew from Detroit to Los Angeles while covid positive because there is absolutely nothing stopping him from traveling domestically while positive.  Others I know aren't even trying to be sneaky about it because they think it's just the flu and absolutely do not give a fuck, no one is going to tell them what they can and can't do, so they just do whatever they want and have the mindset that if YOU don't want to get sick then YOU should stay home because they have a right to go to applebees anytime they want. 

There is nothing keeping these people out of grocery stores or walmart, or out of work places, or off of domestic flights.  It's all completely voluntary and most people don't seem to volunteer to follow restrictive guidelines when they are sick. 

Unlike some of the assholes I know, at least my family informed me about a positive test and didn't try to trick us into getting together by hiding it, even though they are totally downplaying it.  Yeah I get it SHE doesn't have symptoms, but she has enough viral load to test positive and could be contagious.  I'm vaxxed and boosted, but I still don't want it, and I don't want my 2 unvaccinated children to get it either, and I don't want to be responsible for spreading it around to other people even if I personally have a low likelihood of being very sick.

frugalnacho

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My niece and her boyfriend have covid.  He's unvaxxed and pretty sick, she's vaxxed and asymptomatic.  She only tested because she was exposed to him.  No one else in the household tested positive.  They are having a birthday party with the whole family (9 people minimum) despite her being positive.  We were invited but obviously declined.  Also the entire family has been going about their daily lives and going to stores and whatnot even as they were awaiting test results.
That is insane. I must be naive but I honestly didnít know people did this.


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Yes very insane.  Yes you are naive, because at least half of the population is insane.  At this point I would just assume a good portion of people you see going about their business are positive.  Some don't know it, but many do and just don't care.  I mean what are they gonna do, isolate at home for 10 days with their entire household? lol

ETA: I mean the USA is still averaging like 3/4 of a million positive tests each day.  That's like 1.5% of the entire US population that tested positive just this past week. That doesn't include all the at home positives, and doesn't include people that either couldn't get a test or didn't even bother.   
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 11:49:59 AM by frugalnacho »

nereo

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #652 on: January 21, 2022, 12:13:15 PM »
This, 1,000% vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


"I donít worry about anyone in my family dying from COVID. I worry about long COVID. We donít really understand I right now or the long term consequences."

I worry about both: I have several family members north of 80, including my 90 year old grandfather whoís already on oxygen. Covid will very likely kill him if heís exposed. For the rest of my family I worry about long term effects - SIL contracted about a month ago and is still too ill to really leave the house, so Iím not hopeful she will fully recovery this year. With unvaccinated little ones running around we have a constant vector source nearby.

GodlessCommie

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #653 on: January 21, 2022, 12:13:21 PM »
Just wanted to remind everyone that the beginning of this topic was, like, 90% "screw everything, I'm going back to normal".

GuitarStv

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #654 on: January 21, 2022, 12:25:17 PM »
Just wanted to remind everyone that the beginning of this topic was, like, 90% "screw everything, I'm going back to normal".

Yeah, we kinda ditched our hopes along those lines when the extent of Omicron became known.  Hopefully no new variants pop up when Omicron dies down in a few months and we can reconsider.

GodlessCommie

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #655 on: January 21, 2022, 12:44:01 PM »
We had what, three waves already? Four? After each wave, we dropped precautions. We treated each wave as the final one.

It seems pretty clear to me that good times between the waves are exactly when we have to *keep* precautions.

Kris

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #656 on: January 21, 2022, 12:52:01 PM »
We had what, three waves already? Four? After each wave, we dropped precautions. We treated each wave as the final one.

It seems pretty clear to me that good times between the waves are exactly when we have to *keep* precautions.

Which... like... has kind of seemed obvious to me from the beginning?

I honestly don't get it.

nereo

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #657 on: January 21, 2022, 12:59:54 PM »
We had what, three waves already? Four? After each wave, we dropped precautions. We treated each wave as the final one.

It seems pretty clear to me that good times between the waves are exactly when we have to *keep* precautions.

Which... like... has kind of seemed obvious to me from the beginning?

I honestly don't get it.

Each time someone says something like: ďwell chances are if you catch Omicron it wonít make you very sick if you are vaccinatedĒ I want to respond: ďdo you think Omicron will br the last widespread variant we see this year?Ē

I hope Onicron is the end of it - but I doubt it will be.

GuitarStv

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #658 on: January 21, 2022, 01:09:57 PM »
We had what, three waves already? Four? After each wave, we dropped precautions. We treated each wave as the final one.

It seems pretty clear to me that good times between the waves are exactly when we have to *keep* precautions.

Which precautions do you want to keep?

School closures, business closures, and preventing gatherings do a lot of damage to people when they're in place and not absolutely necessary.  Mask mandates make more sense if we can do away with pointless security pageantry mask wearing rules (wearing a mask to walk to a table in a restaurant, then taking it off when you sit down to eat, for example).

StarBright

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My niece and her boyfriend have covid.  He's unvaxxed and pretty sick, she's vaxxed and asymptomatic.  She only tested because she was exposed to him.  No one else in the household tested positive.  They are having a birthday party with the whole family (9 people minimum) despite her being positive.  We were invited but obviously declined.  Also the entire family has been going about their daily lives and going to stores and whatnot even as they were awaiting test results.
That is insane. I must be naive but I honestly didnít know people did this.

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My mom just told me about one of her coworkers who went to a small indoor concert (maskless) after going for her covid test last Sunday, and at least one other person in her house had already tested positive for covid.

Coworker got her positive test back on Tuesday and is subbing in a classroom today (5 days). She only wears cloth masks.

People are absolutely the worst. And at least in some parts of the US (apparently at least Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan) they really do make up 50% or more of the population.

GodlessCommie

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #660 on: January 21, 2022, 01:13:43 PM »
Which precautions do you want to keep?

School closures, business closures, and preventing gatherings do a lot of damage to people when they're in place and not absolutely necessary.  Mask mandates make more sense if we can do away with pointless security pageantry mask wearing rules (wearing a mask to walk to a table in a restaurant, then taking it off when you sit down to eat, for example).

Why are we doing this again? We went through it 10 times already.

sui generis

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #661 on: January 21, 2022, 01:15:37 PM »
We had what, three waves already? Four? After each wave, we dropped precautions. We treated each wave as the final one.

It seems pretty clear to me that good times between the waves are exactly when we have to *keep* precautions.

Which... like... has kind of seemed obvious to me from the beginning?

I honestly don't get it.

I guess it depends on the precautions.  I understand some places eliminated things like mask mandates and people were really quite back to normal as far as going to busy indoor spaces every day for long periods, etc.  But here in the Bay Area, we only briefly stopped our mask mandate, I feel like it was like 1 or 2 months or something and even during that time, 98% of people were wearing them even walking down an empty street alone. And for every(?) event there was a vaxx + mask requirement and people were super compliant.  And we do have more flexibility, I think, in our local healthcare system than other places, but I'm not sure it made a big difference in how hard it hit us, for example, vs. Florida.  I'm glad we kept the precautions we did, and I expect we will continue them basically indefinitely, but it's not like we escaped the Omicron surge or anything.

Or maybe the precautions to keep pseudo-permanently is lockdown?  No going anywhere except grocery stores and other "essentials"?  Close down the hairdressers again and the dance performances and the get togethers with anyone outside your 3-person bubble?  Likely to be more effective but not realistic, IMO. 

(posting even though I can see other responses on point, but because I personally don't know the answer even though I read this thread and am interested in the discussion.)

GuitarStv

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Coworker got her positive test back on Tuesday and is subbing in a classroom today (5 days). She only wears cloth masks.

If the coworker didn't have symptoms, that would be fully in line with the CDC's current recommendations:

"Ending isolation if you did NOT have symptoms:
End isolation after at least 5 full days after your positive [covid] test."

- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

Villanelle

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #663 on: January 21, 2022, 01:34:34 PM »
In 2016 and, then, again in 2018, I got the flu really bad. Since then, I've started getting the yearly flu shot. Somehow, though, I managed to make it through the first 50 years of my life, without ever getting a single flu shot.

I noticed that not even a single dead person from the estimated ~20M flu deaths over the past 50 years has rebutted your claim yet.  Check-mate you pro-vaccine idiots.
First time I ever got a flu shot was when I was 50 years old. Since then, I've gotten vaccinated every year. Not 'claiming' anything. Just stating a fact. What would there be to 'rebut'?

I believe that FrugalNacho was trying to point out the survivor bias in the statement he responded to.
Maybe when you and FrugalNacho were growing up it was normal to get flu shots every year. I honestly never knew anyone who ever got vaccinated for the flu, until I was well into my thirties and had a friend who worked as an ER nurse. My not getting a flu vaccine was never a political statement. It certainly wasn't because I thought anyone who got a flu shot was a 'pro-vaccine idiot.' It just never occurred to me that a flu vaccine was something that a young, healthy person, who didn't work in healthcare, needed. Right around the time I turned 50, I got the flu pretty bad, a couple of times, and that's when I started getting the yearly shot. Probably, I'll keep getting it every year for the rest of my life. If I can avoid it, I don't want to get that sick again.

I don't recall every getting them as a child (though I might have, as part of annual check ups and other doctor visits), but since my college days (so for the last 20+ years, I've definitely seen it publicized as something that one should do.  I can't say I've had one every year, but certainly more years than not.  I wonder if this is a regional thing, or more of a social circle thing. 

My spouse is in the military and the bases typically do a flu-show "exercise" every year.  He is required to get one, and they make it pretty easy for families as well, so since we got married, it's definitely been front and center.  But even before then, the grocery stores and drug stores, and college campus, always had signs out, heavily advertising the shots. 

As far as I know, I've never had the flu, though admittedly I don't go to the doctor for many things that it seems other people do, so I may have dismissed a minor to moderate flu as a bad cold. 

Maybe one god thing to come out of Covid will be more people getting flu shots?  Maybe??
 

GodlessCommie

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #664 on: January 21, 2022, 01:36:57 PM »
I'm not sure it made a big difference in how hard it hit us, for example, vs. Florida.

California: 0.25 daily deaths per 100,000 residents
Florida: 0.32 daily deaths per 100,000 residents. That right after the massive delta wave that Florida had, with many people having residual immunity.

Back of the napkin calculation tells me that CA saves 28 people each day who would have died in Florida. Sounds like a significant difference to me.

StarBright

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Coworker got her positive test back on Tuesday and is subbing in a classroom today (5 days). She only wears cloth masks.

If the coworker didn't have symptoms, that would be fully in line with the CDC's current recommendations:

"Ending isolation if you did NOT have symptoms:
End isolation after at least 5 full days after your positive [covid] test."

- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html

Yeah - I wrote the 5 days just to show that she was at least following that guideline :) But so much of the guidelines are also sort of unclear - like what is a symptom (a fever?, a runny nose?) and if the school doesn't follow some CDC guidelines (like masks), do people feel the need to follow others?

She just "has a little sniffle", is what she told my mom. And she doesn't consider that a symptom. But she also thought it was fine to go to a concert after she went for a covid test, when she had COVID positive people at home (and was also experiencing symptoms). 

I guess it was sort of good that she didn't feel well, or she wouldn't have bothered to get tested at all and would have been at school on Monday, maskless, despite her exposure.

As masks aren't required at the school, I'd bet dollars to donuts she takes her mask off anytime she can get away with it (I say this, because I know the lady :) ).

I cringe for the people that send their kids to that school and am so thankful that our school reinstituted a mask requirement when our cases started doubling week over week.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #666 on: January 21, 2022, 02:19:02 PM »
I'm not sure it made a big difference in how hard it hit us, for example, vs. Florida.

California: 0.25 daily deaths per 100,000 residents
Florida: 0.32 daily deaths per 100,000 residents. That right after the massive delta wave that Florida had, with many people having residual immunity.

Back of the napkin calculation tells me that CA saves 28 people each day who would have died in Florida. Sounds like a significant difference to me.

I found those same numbers on this list of death rates by state over the past week. California and Florida are both toward the very low end of this list, and both states have rates less than a third of any states currently in the top 10. Given the incredible variation between states overall, and the relatively small variation between California and Florida specifically, I'd hesitate to attribute much of the difference between these two states to whatever mitigation measures the populations have in place. This omicron variant is peaking in different places at different times and I'd guess that's responsible for much more of the variation here than local customs around mask wearing.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #667 on: January 21, 2022, 02:21:12 PM »
Just wanted to remind everyone that the beginning of this topic was, like, 90% "screw everything, I'm going back to normal".

Now that I've had it / currently have it, I believe it's time to go back to normal even more strongly to be honest.  And I will be starting Wednesday
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 02:24:46 PM by v8rx7guy »

GodlessCommie

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #668 on: January 21, 2022, 02:25:09 PM »
Now that I've had it / currently have it, I believe it's time to go back to normal even more strongly to be honest

Survivorship bias.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #669 on: January 21, 2022, 02:27:29 PM »
Now that I've had it / currently have it, I believe it's time to go back to normal even more strongly to be honest

Survivorship bias.

I don't care what logical fallacy you think it is, this pandemic is over for me.

nereo

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #670 on: January 21, 2022, 02:43:03 PM »
Now that I've had it / currently have it, I believe it's time to go back to normal even more strongly to be honest

Survivorship bias.

I don't care what logical fallacy you think it is, this pandemic is over for me.

I sincerely hope that you are spared from getting it again.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #671 on: January 21, 2022, 02:50:33 PM »
Now that I've had it / currently have it, I believe it's time to go back to normal even more strongly to be honest

Survivorship bias.

I don't care what logical fallacy you think it is, this pandemic is over for me.

I sincerely hope that you are spared from getting it again.

And don't give it to people more vulnerable than you.

Villanelle

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #672 on: January 21, 2022, 02:57:41 PM »
My answer to "where I stand on living with Covid" has shifted slightly, as it seems that I am probably on the list of those with Long Covid. (According to the doctor, there isn't really a formal definition of Long Covid, other than just basically "some lingering symptoms lasting weeks or longer after the illness has passed and the infection cleared.")

That sounds dramatic, but really it is more weird and irritating than anything. Now, I didn't actually get a Covid test when I was sick. They were starting to be hard to find and I didn't think knowing for sure was actionable, since I could easily stay home and isolate.  So I won't be on any actual accounting, if there was such a thing.  But I was pretty sure it was Covid, and my doctor thinks it was as well (after the fact) based on the timing, symptoms, and the Weird Thing, which is inflammation-related and Covid is known for being inflame-y. 

It seems I have dermatographia, aka 'skin writing'.  It's an inflammation reaction, most commonly caused as the result of an infection. Can last weeks or months.  Basically, my skin gets really itchy (like the worst mosquito bites ever; it is sort of a hot itch, different than just a usually itch one experiences).  If I scratch it--not hard, just like one would for a normal itch--or even just bump it, there is a shooting fire under my skin.  Like someone has injected burning oil and it is spreading.  But the really freaky part is that a few minutes later, angry, hot, red welts appear in the exact pattern of the contact.  I can run a fingernail fairly gently over my arm in the shape of letters and 5 minutes later, I'll have an angry-looking red word appear on my arm in raised letters.  It will also hurt.

I was sick for about a week, and this started at the end of that week.

Thankfully, it has been well-managed with Zyrtec, though my sense is that the Zyrtec is lasting less and less time, and where I used to be able to take every other day, now at the end of the day, just before the next dose, I'm feeling itchy again and occasionally get the welts (which Doc says are a form of hives). That's a bit concerning because without the Zyrtec, it is entirely miserable. Like, I don't quite know how I'd function.  But we aren't to that point and I'm hoping we never get there, and that if we do, there is something else or a higher dose of Zyrtec's active ingredient, or something else. I'm also taking Quercetin, a supplement known to help with inflammation, suggested by my doc as a "can't hurt" thing. 

Really, I'm fine.  As long as the Zyrtec continues to work, it's just a minor annoyance, really.  But maybe it is also a reminder that there are so many things with this disease that we just don't know or understand.  And that "very few healthy people are dying" isn't the only factor we need to consider.

(FTR, I am fully vaxxed and boosted. I got sick before the booster's full efficacy was in effect, if that matters.)
OMG. I have  Dermatographia too! As far as I know I never had COVID. The hives started a week after my booster shot. Initial case of hives was horrible, even my ears swelled. I went to Urgent Care and was given a shot of Benedryl and Steroids and then a week of steroids. As soon as I finished the steroids they started back up again. I am managing with Zyrtec plus a Benadryl on the nights it gets bad. Itís been almost 2 months and Iím just starting to see long periods without outbreaks of miserable hives.

Thanks for sharing this.  It does make me feel slightly better to know I'm not the only one, but I'm sorry you are dealing with this, too.

Interesting that you mention yours happening after vaccination.  I wonder if this is a known/recorded side effect of the vaccine.  I actually got sick about 9 days after my booster, and the dermatographia started toward the end of my illness, probably on about day 5 (so ~11 days after booster).  I mentioned all that timing to the doctor, but I was mostly focusing on the fact that I'd been sick, not the booster, so it is hard to say whether she dismissed the booster because I did, or if she was just fairy certain, based on what I said, that it was more related to the illness.  I was still pretty sick when it started.  At first I thought maybe I had randomly gotten bed bugs or something, because I'd spend nearly all my time in bed when it started happening. I though the itchiness might be from bites, and the welts might be the bites themselves, but it soon became clear that wasn't the issue.  Point being, I was still sick, but on the tail end of it, when this started. 

I'm not yet 2 months out from my first symptom of the dermatographia, so I'm hopefully that mine will follow a similar pattern to yours and start easing at that point (or earlier!).  I'm going to stay on the daily Zyrtec for another few weeks at least, and then maybe take a short break to see if it is still A Thing, unless I can already tell that based on the breakthrough symptoms at the tail end of the Zyrtec.

GodlessCommie

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #673 on: January 21, 2022, 02:59:07 PM »
I don't care what logical fallacy you think it is, this pandemic is over for me.

Note, once again, the laser-sharp focus on "me".

sui generis

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #674 on: January 21, 2022, 03:21:01 PM »
I'm not sure it made a big difference in how hard it hit us, for example, vs. Florida.

California: 0.25 daily deaths per 100,000 residents
Florida: 0.32 daily deaths per 100,000 residents. That right after the massive delta wave that Florida had, with many people having residual immunity.

Back of the napkin calculation tells me that CA saves 28 people each day who would have died in Florida. Sounds like a significant difference to me.

To whatever that is attributable (as seattlecyclone noted) that is great and I'm grateful to see it.  But if that does indeed confirm that those are the kinds of precautions we should have been keeping in place the whole time that are being referenced here, I just want to a) point out that that still wouldn't have stopped the Omicron surge across the planet, so we would still be dealing with surges and recessions and etc.  Every life saved during a surge or any time is good but I just wouldn't want to get back into any magical thinking about this not happening if we had only been a little better about wearing masks.  The kind of magical thinking that I, at least, was guilty of when I thought about a year ago right now that COVID would be under control by Jan 21, 2021. 

And b) that I guess I have to change my answer on this thread about "getting back to normal"?  I'm pretty sure I framed it that I had largely gotten back to normal in my initial post here but I've been doing all the precautions I described above as I got back to normal.  So some definitional vagueness may be happening here, but what I, and to be honest what I got the sense that the vast majority of folks on this thread were talking about when we said we were getting back to normal in a lot of ways, was just doing things like seeing friends and family, getting haircuts, going to events, etc.  That doing those things with a vaxx card in hand and a mask over our faces still counted for us as "back to normal".  So if that is actually not "back to normal" because it is still "taking precautions" then that's all well and good, but my sense of this thread at the beginning was definitely not that 90% of people were saying screw everything, and that most people were still taking many precautions even if they simultaneously characterized that in their minds as "getting back to normal".  The few who literally said screw everything were widely treated with disdain or were ignored.

Cranky

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #675 on: January 21, 2022, 03:42:04 PM »
I’ve been pondering what sort of “normal” we’re expecting. Things always change, and we can’t go back in time, so maybe… it’s never going to be 2019 again and it might be less stressful to accept that the future is just going to be different than the Before Times.

I really don’t care what decisions people make for themselves - if you really have to eat in a restaurant, that’s your decision. I really don’t understand the general unkindness of refusing a vaccine and refusing to wear a mask in the grocery store.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 05:47:58 PM by Cranky »

v8rx7guy

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #676 on: January 21, 2022, 04:07:33 PM »
Which precautions do you want to keep?

School closures, business closures, and preventing gatherings do a lot of damage to people when they're in place and not absolutely necessary.  Mask mandates make more sense if we can do away with pointless security pageantry mask wearing rules (wearing a mask to walk to a table in a restaurant, then taking it off when you sit down to eat, for example).

Why are we doing this again? We went through it 10 times already.

I am genuinely curious to know as well.  I feel like you are the cheerleader of an opinion that you think everyone here shares, when in reality they don't.... or as pointed out a few posts up, maybe there is a disconnect in definitions.  You said "90%" of people in this thread were like "screw everything we're going back to normal" according to you, and now this Omi wave is now somehow evidence that we should not be doing those activities.  Which restrictions would you like back?  Do you want full lockdowns again?  School to go back to online only?  Restaurants to close?  Shut down air travel?  Cancelling Dentist appointments?  Stop having in person events?  Starting cutting our own hair again?

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #677 on: January 21, 2022, 05:01:45 PM »
Iíve been pondering what sort of ďnormalĒ weíre expecting. Things always change, and we can go back in time, so maybeÖ itís never going to be 2019 again and it might be less stressful to accept that the future is just going to be different than the Before Times.

I really donít care what decisions people make for themselves - if you really have to eat in a restaurant, thatís your decision. I really donít understand the general unkindness of refusing a vaccine and refusing to wear a mask in the grocery store.

No masks unless you're actively sick/coughing - similar to what an ER/Doctor's Office would have asked you to do in 2019 or earlier - or you're immuno-compromised (undergoing cancer treatment, etc.)

Less social pressure to come to work/school while sick and more social pressure to stay at home instead of going to school/work while sick.

Increased awareness of washing hands/using hand sanitizer, coughing into your sleeve instead of hands or uncovered, increased awareness of touching your face and how communicable diseases spread.

More options for remote - whether that's signing documents electronically or video meetings or the option to work from home at times.


Other than that, everything else back to the way it was pre-COVID.

Cranky

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #678 on: January 21, 2022, 05:52:28 PM »
Iíve been pondering what sort of ďnormalĒ weíre expecting. Things always change, and we can go back in time, so maybeÖ itís never going to be 2019 again and it might be less stressful to accept that the future is just going to be different than the Before Times.

I really donít care what decisions people make for themselves - if you really have to eat in a restaurant, thatís your decision. I really donít understand the general unkindness of refusing a vaccine and refusing to wear a mask in the grocery store.

No masks unless you're actively sick/coughing - similar to what an ER/Doctor's Office would have asked you to do in 2019 or earlier - or you're immuno-compromised (undergoing cancer treatment, etc.)

Less social pressure to come to work/school while sick and more social pressure to stay at home instead of going to school/work while sick.

Increased awareness of washing hands/using hand sanitizer, coughing into your sleeve instead of hands or uncovered, increased awareness of touching your face and how communicable diseases spread.

More options for remote - whether that's signing documents electronically or video meetings or the option to work from home at times.


Other than that, everything else back to the way it was pre-COVID.

But why no masks, at least in essential areas, for most people? I honestly donít get why they are such a sticking point? Why not a general move to masks in stores in the winter? I havenít had a cold in two years, and Iím loving it.

nereo

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #679 on: January 21, 2022, 07:01:04 PM »
Iíve been pondering what sort of ďnormalĒ weíre expecting. Things always change, and we can go back in time, so maybeÖ itís never going to be 2019 again and it might be less stressful to accept that the future is just going to be different than the Before Times.

I really donít care what decisions people make for themselves - if you really have to eat in a restaurant, thatís your decision. I really donít understand the general unkindness of refusing a vaccine and refusing to wear a mask in the grocery store.

No masks unless you're actively sick/coughing - similar to what an ER/Doctor's Office would have asked you to do in 2019 or earlier - or you're immuno-compromised (undergoing cancer treatment, etc.)

Less social pressure to come to work/school while sick and more social pressure to stay at home instead of going to school/work while sick.

Increased awareness of washing hands/using hand sanitizer, coughing into your sleeve instead of hands or uncovered, increased awareness of touching your face and how communicable diseases spread.

More options for remote - whether that's signing documents electronically or video meetings or the option to work from home at times.


Other than that, everything else back to the way it was pre-COVID.

But why no masks, at least in essential areas, for most people? I honestly donít get why they are such a sticking point? Why not a general move to masks in stores in the winter? I havenít had a cold in two years, and Iím loving it.

It does seem a bit strange to me, this American stigmatizing of mask-wearing. Certainly in other countries itís common and socially acceptable to wear a mask in public even in normal times. Iíve been both shocked and dismayed at the not-infrequent snide comments complete strangers make to me about wearing a mask during a pandemic

scottish

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #680 on: January 21, 2022, 07:14:08 PM »
Iíve been pondering what sort of ďnormalĒ weíre expecting. Things always change, and we can go back in time, so maybeÖ itís never going to be 2019 again and it might be less stressful to accept that the future is just going to be different than the Before Times.

I really donít care what decisions people make for themselves - if you really have to eat in a restaurant, thatís your decision. I really donít understand the general unkindness of refusing a vaccine and refusing to wear a mask in the grocery store.

No masks unless you're actively sick/coughing - similar to what an ER/Doctor's Office would have asked you to do in 2019 or earlier - or you're immuno-compromised (undergoing cancer treatment, etc.)

Less social pressure to come to work/school while sick and more social pressure to stay at home instead of going to school/work while sick.

Increased awareness of washing hands/using hand sanitizer, coughing into your sleeve instead of hands or uncovered, increased awareness of touching your face and how communicable diseases spread.

More options for remote - whether that's signing documents electronically or video meetings or the option to work from home at times.


Other than that, everything else back to the way it was pre-COVID.

But why no masks, at least in essential areas, for most people? I honestly donít get why they are such a sticking point? Why not a general move to masks in stores in the winter? I havenít had a cold in two years, and Iím loving it.

How about masks on trains, planes and buses?

GuitarStv

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #681 on: January 21, 2022, 08:11:27 PM »
Which precautions do you want to keep?

School closures, business closures, and preventing gatherings do a lot of damage to people when they're in place and not absolutely necessary.  Mask mandates make more sense if we can do away with pointless security pageantry mask wearing rules (wearing a mask to walk to a table in a restaurant, then taking it off when you sit down to eat, for example).

Why are we doing this again? We went through it 10 times already.

I am genuinely curious to know as well.  I feel like you are the cheerleader of an opinion that you think everyone here shares, when in reality they don't.... or as pointed out a few posts up, maybe there is a disconnect in definitions.  You said "90%" of people in this thread were like "screw everything we're going back to normal" according to you, and now this Omi wave is now somehow evidence that we should not be doing those activities.  Which restrictions would you like back?  Do you want full lockdowns again?  School to go back to online only?  Restaurants to close?  Shut down air travel?  Cancelling Dentist appointments?  Stop having in person events?  Starting cutting our own hair again?

Some of us haven't had in-person events for two years, and have been cutting our own hair for well over a decade now.  :P

I'd really like to try to keep my son in in-person classes.  He has had two severely disrupted years of questionable quality half-online learning now, and his education seems to be suffering.  He's also had some issues with his inability to see/play with his school friends.  I am also looking forward to having an optometrist and dentist appointment later this year at some point - it's time for both.

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #682 on: January 21, 2022, 08:14:20 PM »
Iíve been pondering what sort of ďnormalĒ weíre expecting. Things always change, and we can go back in time, so maybeÖ itís never going to be 2019 again and it might be less stressful to accept that the future is just going to be different than the Before Times.

I really donít care what decisions people make for themselves - if you really have to eat in a restaurant, thatís your decision. I really donít understand the general unkindness of refusing a vaccine and refusing to wear a mask in the grocery store.

No masks unless you're actively sick/coughing - similar to what an ER/Doctor's Office would have asked you to do in 2019 or earlier - or you're immuno-compromised (undergoing cancer treatment, etc.)

Less social pressure to come to work/school while sick and more social pressure to stay at home instead of going to school/work while sick.

Increased awareness of washing hands/using hand sanitizer, coughing into your sleeve instead of hands or uncovered, increased awareness of touching your face and how communicable diseases spread.

More options for remote - whether that's signing documents electronically or video meetings or the option to work from home at times.


Other than that, everything else back to the way it was pre-COVID.

But why no masks, at least in essential areas, for most people? I honestly donít get why they are such a sticking point? Why not a general move to masks in stores in the winter? I havenít had a cold in two years, and Iím loving it.

It's a minor benefit weighed against a minor annoyance. Mask wearing only provides a benefit to others when the wearer is contagiously spreading disease, and most asymptomatic people aren't doing that. This month may be an exception. My hearing isn't amazing, so I generally have a preference for being able to see people's lips moving if I need to talk to them. I also just think it's nice to see people's smiling faces when I'm out and about. I miss that. I'd like to settle into a pattern of mask wearing while you're sick, but not otherwise. I don't hate wearing masks at stores. It's not the hill I'm going to die on. I just think that of all the things we could do to prevent disease, asymptomatic mask wearing is probably one of the least impactful. This goes double in buildings such as a grocery store where you're not there for very long and are moving around for most of that time, limiting your exposure to any one person.

Where I do hate mask wearing is during strenuous exercise. The club where I play my favorite sport has had that policy all year and it's really getting old.

I think my "ideal new normal" list looks a lot like @Michael in ABQ's. I'd probably quibble a bit with the "more social pressure to isolate when sick" thing, or at least want to clarify that. I think people should be absolutely given more space than before to take time off if they feel they are operating on a lower level due to illness. Once they're feeling mostly better but still have a residual cough or something, they should feel empowered to go about their life with a mask on. The COVID-era policies where parents are expected to keep their kids home anytime they have minor respiratory symptoms, and for a week after...it's way too disruptive to life in general. Getting colds more often comes with the territory being a parent; what should not come with the territory is a need to take half the winter off from work because one kid or another has the sniffles and can't go into school that week.

elaine amj

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Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #683 on: January 21, 2022, 11:33:00 PM »
My niece and her boyfriend have covid.  He's unvaxxed and pretty sick, she's vaxxed and asymptomatic.  She only tested because she was exposed to him.  No one else in the household tested positive.  They are having a birthday party with the whole family (9 people minimum) despite her being positive.  We were invited but obviously declined.  Also the entire family has been going about their daily lives and going to stores and whatnot even as they were awaiting test results.
That is insane. I must be naive but I honestly didnít know people did this.


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Yes very insane.  Yes you are naive, because at least half of the population is insane.  At this point I would just assume a good portion of people you see going about their business are positive.  Some don't know it, but many do and just don't care.  I mean what are they gonna do, isolate at home for 10 days with their entire household? lol

ETA: I mean the USA is still averaging like 3/4 of a million positive tests each day.  That's like 1.5% of the entire US population that tested positive just this past week. That doesn't include all the at home positives, and doesn't include people that either couldn't get a test or didn't even bother.
Ouch. I have definitely been naive. And also live in Canada.

And even my antivax friends very carefully check with us to make sure we are comfortable with their visiting, offer to wear masks, and no one would dream of visiting if actively sick.


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Shane

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #684 on: January 22, 2022, 06:25:08 AM »
Center City Philadelphia Restaurant Week just ended yesterday. DW, DD and I ate several delicious meals in totally packed restaurants, during the past week. It was totally safe, though, because hostesses were checking vaxx certificates and, sometimes, ID at the door, and we always made sure to wear masks from the hostess station to our table and on our way back and forth to the restroom. /s

Our family of 3 is all fully vaxxed, and boosted within the last month. So far, we all feel fine. No symptoms of anything, anyway. I guess the vaccines must be working.

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #685 on: January 22, 2022, 07:31:13 AM »
A big question regarding utility of mask wearing for non-covid diseases will be answered with this yearís flu season. The primary detected strain this year is a particularly virulent one, and vaccines are only moderately effective against getting a symptomatic infection. If hospitalizations from that are lower than expected in February-March, it will suggest a benefit to masks, etc since there are not other effective ways to prevent transmission. This will be notable because influenza is mostly spread by droplets/touching your nose and mouth, etc. Data so far suggests a milder than expected wave (preliminary data suggests it is already waning).

RetiredAt63

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #686 on: January 22, 2022, 09:57:07 AM »
A big question regarding utility of mask wearing for non-covid diseases will be answered with this yearís flu season. The primary detected strain this year is a particularly virulent one, and vaccines are only moderately effective against getting a symptomatic infection. If hospitalizations from that are lower than expected in February-March, it will suggest a benefit to masks, etc since there are not other effective ways to prevent transmission. This will be notable because influenza is mostly spread by droplets/touching your nose and mouth, etc. Data so far suggests a milder than expected wave (preliminary data suggests it is already waning).

Just out of curiosity, which strain is it?

Everyone here is still masked indoors so it will be useful to see our flu stats this spring.

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #687 on: January 22, 2022, 11:08:29 AM »
Its crazy how different different areas are. We've been essentially back to normal for a year outside of my daughter wearing a mask for a month at the beginning of this school year. Some people wear masks, some don't, but nobody gives you bad looks either way. Then I hear about my friend in the northeast and his 5 year old daughters had to get vaxxed or kicked out of school and even after everyone in the school is fully vaccinated they force the kids to eat their food outside in 25 degree weather and mask all day.

scottish

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #688 on: January 22, 2022, 11:10:45 AM »
A significant number of first world polities have announced that they are moving to treatment of COVID as an endemic disease:   Spain, the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland, Portugal, British Columbia, Ontario (sort of)...   and of course many states in the US have been de facto doing this for months now.   https://nationalpost.com/health/flu-ization-why-omicron-is-causing-some-countries-to-treat-covid-like-the-flu

So it looks like we're going to be living with COVID regardless of whether we think it's a good idea or a bad idea.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #689 on: January 22, 2022, 11:22:15 AM »
A significant number of first world polities have announced that they are moving to treatment of COVID as an endemic disease:   Spain, the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland, Portugal, British Columbia, Ontario (sort of)...   and of course many states in the US have been de facto doing this for months now.   https://nationalpost.com/health/flu-ization-why-omicron-is-causing-some-countries-to-treat-covid-like-the-flu

So it looks like we're going to be living with COVID regardless of whether we think it's a good idea or a bad idea.

I'm just glad we are now so used to masks that no-one is going to side-eye me for my nice N95.  Screw masks, I want my respirator, I'm old and I have crappy lungs*  and I don't want to catch covid or the flu.


* Smoking parents and polluted city air most of my working life, plus bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia, do not make for great lungs.

StashingAway

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #690 on: January 22, 2022, 01:17:40 PM »
It's a minor benefit weighed against a minor annoyance. Mask wearing only provides a benefit to others when the wearer is contagiously spreading disease, and most asymptomatic people aren't doing that. This month may be an exception. My hearing isn't amazing, so I generally have a preference for being able to see people's lips moving if I need to talk to them. I also just think it's nice to see people's smiling faces when I'm out and about. I miss that. I'd like to settle into a pattern of mask wearing while you're sick, but not otherwise. I don't hate wearing masks at stores. It's not the hill I'm going to die on. I just think that of all the things we could do to prevent disease, asymptomatic mask wearing is probably one of the least impactful. This goes double in buildings such as a grocery store where you're not there for very long and are moving around for most of that time, limiting your exposure to any one person.

Where I do hate mask wearing is during strenuous exercise. The club where I play my favorite sport has had that policy all year and it's really getting old.

I think my "ideal new normal" list looks a lot like @Michael in ABQ's. I'd probably quibble a bit with the "more social pressure to isolate when sick" thing, or at least want to clarify that. I think people should be absolutely given more space than before to take time off if they feel they are operating on a lower level due to illness. Once they're feeling mostly better but still have a residual cough or something, they should feel empowered to go about their life with a mask on. The COVID-era policies where parents are expected to keep their kids home anytime they have minor respiratory symptoms, and for a week after...it's way too disruptive to life in general. Getting colds more often comes with the territory being a parent; what should not come with the territory is a need to take half the winter off from work because one kid or another has the sniffles and can't go into school that week.

+1.

I totally understand that Covid has short term and long term implications and there are benefits to masks. But I don't think that wearing masks has zero consequences. I suspect that, especially in children, we would be pretty ignorant to think that covering up half of our faces in public wouldn't have long term social/cultural impacts. It's bad enough that most people are staring at their phones all the time.

Captain FIRE

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #691 on: January 22, 2022, 02:08:45 PM »
Its crazy how different different areas are. We've been essentially back to normal for a year outside of my daughter wearing a mask for a month at the beginning of this school year. Some people wear masks, some don't, but nobody gives you bad looks either way. Then I hear about my friend in the northeast and his 5 year old daughters had to get vaxxed or kicked out of school and even after everyone in the school is fully vaccinated they force the kids to eat their food outside in 25 degree weather and mask all day.

Well, for the flip side of this - it's not the vaccinated don't get it.  Some of those vaccinated kids have younger unvaccinated siblings as well, so if it goes through the schools it'll hit the unvaccinated daycares.

I live pretty far north and no one around here is eating outside, though they are masking up.

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #692 on: January 22, 2022, 05:24:38 PM »
A big question regarding utility of mask wearing for non-covid diseases will be answered with this yearís flu season. The primary detected strain this year is a particularly virulent one, and vaccines are only moderately effective against getting a symptomatic infection. If hospitalizations from that are lower than expected in February-March, it will suggest a benefit to masks, etc since there are not other effective ways to prevent transmission. This will be notable because influenza is mostly spread by droplets/touching your nose and mouth, etc. Data so far suggests a milder than expected wave (preliminary data suggests it is already waning).

Just out of curiosity, which strain is it?

Everyone here is still masked indoors so it will be useful to see our flu stats this spring.

H3N2. The bad influenza season about a decade ago and the 2017-18 one were the same.

Shane

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #693 on: January 22, 2022, 06:17:26 PM »
A big question regarding utility of mask wearing for non-covid diseases will be answered with this yearís flu season. The primary detected strain this year is a particularly virulent one, and vaccines are only moderately effective against getting a symptomatic infection. If hospitalizations from that are lower than expected in February-March, it will suggest a benefit to masks, etc since there are not other effective ways to prevent transmission. This will be notable because influenza is mostly spread by droplets/touching your nose and mouth, etc. Data so far suggests a milder than expected wave (preliminary data suggests it is already waning).

An elderly, immunocompromised friend told us recently (by phone, of course) that, since Covid started, the only time he ever goes outside of his apartment is Monday mornings at 4:45 a.m. Apparently, he sits in his car outside the local supermarket, wearing a mask and gloves, waiting for it to open. At exactly 5 a.m., he rushes into the store, loads up his cart, checks out, and is usually back home before 5:30 a.m. That's it. Besides this weekly excursion to the grocery store, our friend sits alone in his tiny, one-bedroom apartment, watching TV and reading all. week. long.

Another, much younger, immunocompromised friend told us recently that she has not left her home, at all, since last September. Not even once. For anything. She lives in an area where it's easy to have, basically, everything delivered, and she works from home.

If flu hospitalizations do end up being lower than expected this winter, just curious, what would lead you to believe that that was caused by mask wearing, specifically, and not the continuing propensity of people at risk to voluntarily socially distance themselves from other humans? I mean, if you never, or barely ever, leave your house, of course you're not going to catch the flu, whether you wear a mask or not. Without a control group who socially distance but don't wear masks, it seems like it'll hard to establish any sort of causal link between mask wearing and lower flu hospitalization rates. Or, am I missing something, Dr. Abe?

Abe

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #694 on: January 22, 2022, 07:41:39 PM »
A big question regarding utility of mask wearing for non-covid diseases will be answered with this yearís flu season. The primary detected strain this year is a particularly virulent one, and vaccines are only moderately effective against getting a symptomatic infection. If hospitalizations from that are lower than expected in February-March, it will suggest a benefit to masks, etc since there are not other effective ways to prevent transmission. This will be notable because influenza is mostly spread by droplets/touching your nose and mouth, etc. Data so far suggests a milder than expected wave (preliminary data suggests it is already waning).

An elderly, immunocompromised friend told us recently (by phone, of course) that, since Covid started, the only time he ever goes outside of his apartment is Monday mornings at 4:45 a.m. Apparently, he sits in his car outside the local supermarket, wearing a mask and gloves, waiting for it to open. At exactly 5 a.m., he rushes into the store, loads up his cart, checks out, and is usually back home before 5:30 a.m. That's it. Besides this weekly excursion to the grocery store, our friend sits alone in his tiny, one-bedroom apartment, watching TV and reading all. week. long.

Another, much younger, immunocompromised friend told us recently that she has not left her home, at all, since last September. Not even once. For anything. She lives in an area where it's easy to have, basically, everything delivered, and she works from home.

If flu hospitalizations do end up being lower than expected this winter, just curious, what would lead you to believe that that was caused by mask wearing, specifically, and not the continuing propensity of people at risk to voluntarily socially distance themselves from other humans? I mean, if you never, or barely ever, leave your house, of course you're not going to catch the flu, whether you wear a mask or not. Without a control group who socially distance but don't wear masks, it seems like it'll hard to establish any sort of causal link between mask wearing and lower flu hospitalization rates. Or, am I missing something, Dr. Abe?

Your friends' situations are tough and I hope after this wave resolves they will be in a better position to do more out of the house.

With regards to your question:
Hospital workers would be a good example of people who can be examined pre and post-pandemic. Since we have to go to work and are at higher than average risk of respiratory illness, we're a good cohort to examine. Rates for influenza pre and post would be a variable (likely very high compliance regardless due to long-standing influenza vaccine mandates), potentially a survey of interactions outside of work and home to account for the factor you bring up, and crucially mask use (as hospitals did not mandate masks during flu season, but do mandate masks during the pandemic). As you mention, travel outside of work and the home will be a confounder, but since most hospital workers are not immunocompromised + vaccinated against COVID, I don't anticipate excess confounding. The reason this would work for influenza (and other respiratory illnesses) is the vaccine this season is less effective than normal. Other surrogate markers could be rhinovirus/adenovirus infection since those are mild and readily identifiable on standard testing.

That is a study that is ongoing at my hospital and others. Data looking at the 2020-21 flu season suggested lower rates of all respiratory illnesses (that paper is still in peer review).
« Last Edit: January 22, 2022, 07:47:32 PM by Abe »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #695 on: January 22, 2022, 07:48:48 PM »
A big question regarding utility of mask wearing for non-covid diseases will be answered with this yearís flu season. The primary detected strain this year is a particularly virulent one, and vaccines are only moderately effective against getting a symptomatic infection. If hospitalizations from that are lower than expected in February-March, it will suggest a benefit to masks, etc since there are not other effective ways to prevent transmission. This will be notable because influenza is mostly spread by droplets/touching your nose and mouth, etc. Data so far suggests a milder than expected wave (preliminary data suggests it is already waning).

Just out of curiosity, which strain is it?

Everyone here is still masked indoors so it will be useful to see our flu stats this spring.

H3N2. The bad influenza season about a decade ago and the 2017-18 one were the same.

I remember that one - DD got quite ill with it, spent the night in ER.  Nasty one.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #696 on: January 22, 2022, 07:55:41 PM »
If flu hospitalizations do end up being lower than expected this winter, just curious, what would lead you to believe that that was caused by mask wearing, specifically, and not the continuing propensity of people at risk to voluntarily socially distance themselves from other humans? I mean, if you never, or barely ever, leave your house, of course you're not going to catch the flu, whether you wear a mask or not. Without a control group who socially distance but don't wear masks, it seems like it'll hard to establish any sort of causal link between mask wearing and lower flu hospitalization rates. Or, am I missing something, Dr. Abe?

Here we are still wearing masks, mostly, so population levels of infection could be compared to the other winters that had the same strain as this year (H3N2), before people were wearing masks.  I would imagine that people who are severely immunocompromised were taking precautions for the flu in those years, since it was well known to be a nasty strain.  But just as we are worrying as much about hospital overloading* as about individuals for Covid, we have to look at population levels of flu.

*My Province just cancelled all elective surgeries.  Who knows when my friend will get her knee replacement done?  She has been waiting for months, the hospital space (and staffing) just isn't there right now.  And as elsewhere, it is the unvaccinated who are dis-proportionally represented.

Abe

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #697 on: January 22, 2022, 08:13:42 PM »
*My Province just cancelled all elective surgeries.  Who knows when my friend will get her knee replacement done?  She has been waiting for months, the hospital space (and staffing) just isn't there right now.  And as elsewhere, it is the unvaccinated who are dis-proportionally represented.

Here in Texas it's been hit-or-miss in terms of elective operations. Right now they are on hold. The total hospitalization numbers are similar to Delta (and higher than last winter), but ICU use is less (20% of hospitalizations with COVID instead of ~30%). In general we could make capacity for outpatient procedures, unless there was a major complication and needed ICU coverage.

Almost none of my cases are elective, so we've been plugging along. I've had a few patients who got COVID and are recovering, their operations are delayed 3-4 weeks.

elaine amj

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I read that the one advantage the US has over Canada is more hospital beds per capita. So the number of sick patients the US can handle would overwhelm Canadaís hospital system. So kinda makes sense why Canada has had to be far more cautious. Of course, Canadaís death rate is only 1/3 of the US.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/health-systems-canada-us-omicron-1.6308357


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LD_TAndK

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Re: Where do you stand on "living with Covid", "getting back to normal"
« Reply #699 on: January 23, 2022, 03:33:31 AM »
My answer to "where I stand on living with Covid" has shifted slightly, as it seems that I am probably on the list of those with Long Covid. (According to the doctor, there isn't really a formal definition of Long Covid, other than just basically "some lingering symptoms lasting weeks or longer after the illness has passed and the infection cleared.")

That sounds dramatic, but really it is more weird and irritating than anything. Now, I didn't actually get a Covid test when I was sick. They were starting to be hard to find and I didn't think knowing for sure was actionable, since I could easily stay home and isolate.  So I won't be on any actual accounting, if there was such a thing.  But I was pretty sure it was Covid, and my doctor thinks it was as well (after the fact) based on the timing, symptoms, and the Weird Thing, which is inflammation-related and Covid is known for being inflame-y. 

It seems I have dermatographia, aka 'skin writing'.  It's an inflammation reaction, most commonly caused as the result of an infection. Can last weeks or months.  Basically, my skin gets really itchy (like the worst mosquito bites ever; it is sort of a hot itch, different than just a usually itch one experiences).  If I scratch it--not hard, just like one would for a normal itch--or even just bump it, there is a shooting fire under my skin.  Like someone has injected burning oil and it is spreading.  But the really freaky part is that a few minutes later, angry, hot, red welts appear in the exact pattern of the contact.  I can run a fingernail fairly gently over my arm in the shape of letters and 5 minutes later, I'll have an angry-looking red word appear on my arm in raised letters.  It will also hurt.

I was sick for about a week, and this started at the end of that week.

Thankfully, it has been well-managed with Zyrtec, though my sense is that the Zyrtec is lasting less and less time, and where I used to be able to take every other day, now at the end of the day, just before the next dose, I'm feeling itchy again and occasionally get the welts (which Doc says are a form of hives). That's a bit concerning because without the Zyrtec, it is entirely miserable. Like, I don't quite know how I'd function.  But we aren't to that point and I'm hoping we never get there, and that if we do, there is something else or a higher dose of Zyrtec's active ingredient, or something else. I'm also taking Quercetin, a supplement known to help with inflammation, suggested by my doc as a "can't hurt" thing. 

Really, I'm fine.  As long as the Zyrtec continues to work, it's just a minor annoyance, really.  But maybe it is also a reminder that there are so many things with this disease that we just don't know or understand.  And that "very few healthy people are dying" isn't the only factor we need to consider.

(FTR, I am fully vaxxed and boosted. I got sick before the booster's full efficacy was in effect, if that matters.)
OMG. I have  Dermatographia too! As far as I know I never had COVID. The hives started a week after my booster shot. Initial case of hives was horrible, even my ears swelled. I went to Urgent Care and was given a shot of Benedryl and Steroids and then a week of steroids. As soon as I finished the steroids they started back up again. I am managing with Zyrtec plus a Benadryl on the nights it gets bad. Itís been almost 2 months and Iím just starting to see long periods without outbreaks of miserable hives.

Thanks for sharing this.  It does make me feel slightly better to know I'm not the only one, but I'm sorry you are dealing with this, too.

Interesting that you mention yours happening after vaccination.  I wonder if this is a known/recorded side effect of the vaccine.  I actually got sick about 9 days after my booster, and the dermatographia started toward the end of my illness, probably on about day 5 (so ~11 days after booster).  I mentioned all that timing to the doctor, but I was mostly focusing on the fact that I'd been sick, not the booster, so it is hard to say whether she dismissed the booster because I did, or if she was just fairy certain, based on what I said, that it was more related to the illness.  I was still pretty sick when it started.  At first I thought maybe I had randomly gotten bed bugs or something, because I'd spend nearly all my time in bed when it started happening. I though the itchiness might be from bites, and the welts might be the bites themselves, but it soon became clear that wasn't the issue.  Point being, I was still sick, but on the tail end of it, when this started. 

I'm not yet 2 months out from my first symptom of the dermatographia, so I'm hopefully that mine will follow a similar pattern to yours and start easing at that point (or earlier!).  I'm going to stay on the daily Zyrtec for another few weeks at least, and then maybe take a short break to see if it is still A Thing, unless I can already tell that based on the breakthrough symptoms at the tail end of the Zyrtec.

My BIL had this issue and definitively narrowed it down to the booster. He did not have this reaction from the original shots. He did have an larger than is now standard booster before they dialed the dose back (I forget the amount).

It started about a week after the booster. He tested for covid which was negative, then went through an allergy test and came back negative for anything. Ultimately he was on steroids and antihistamines and it cleared up in about three weeks.