Covid-19 thread

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Jun 27, 2013
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Margate, NJ
 
At my workplace we have entered phase 1 of returning to normalcy. Feels good to start getting back to normal operations around here. Not many cases in my town despite it being packed with tourists. We shall see Andy.
 
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Pennsylvania
 
Maybe we are crazy or in denial but we haven’t written off 2020 just yet. Currently planning a trip to spend 7 or 8 nights touring the San Rafael Swell in early October. My brother-in-law will be with us as he bought a new truck and is renting an expedition style teardrop. Of course, if everything shuts down again we’ll stay at home and I’ll scratchbuild a trailer for my new toy to drag around a 4x4 course I’ll build in my back yard. We can always imagine and pretend.
 

caz

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Is any one starting to mentally write off 2021 too? It might just be me.
Not at all!

I'm back to pretty much normal here. Seems like it is that way almost everywhere I go.
  • I stopped at Wawa this AM on my way to work for a breakfast sandwich and it was more packed than I have ever seen it
  • Traffic on my way home is as busy as ever
  • At Advance Auto yesterday none of the employees were even wearing masks
  • Numbers continue to drop even though things are opening back up
  • Hospitals have admitted fewer people than they do with the flu each year

I'm done worrying about getting it. It's in the back of my mind and I still take reasonable precautions, but it isn't stopping me from living a normal life.
 

iptman

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And really I think the true indicators are hospitalizations and non-comorbidity deaths not just confirmed cases since confirmed cases will obviously increase the more testing is done. I also think raw numbers can be deceiving. I always try to seek out the numbers of cases per 100,000 of population so at least there's a common denominator to reference across different population centers of the country. The worst offending numbers I see on the news reports are the percentage increases week to week. Is it really significant to report that in Wyoming they had a 300% increase in week over week cases if they went from .5 cases per 100,000 to 1.5 cases per 100,000?

In Virginia the VDH has a really informative dashboard that allows you to focus in on your specific county. In Fairfax where I live, which is the most populous county in the state, our positive case rate is 1.1%, hospitalizations rate is .13% and rate of death .037% (which includes comorbidity deaths), again, per 100,000 in population. Those numbers aren't terribly scary. And these are total numbers from the beginning of the pandemic.

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They also have a good graph that allows you to select regions of the state, in my case the northern region, with a 7 day moving average. And these are just total new cases, not hospitalizations so it includes asymptomatic positive cases and not relative to 100,000 of population but still a graph that should make you feel good based on the trajectory. So no, not worried about 2021 and really just waiting on my wife to start feeling more comfortable opening up than what any politician or scientist who happens to have the right connection to get on TV, has to say about it.

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Central PA
 
 
Is any one starting to mentally write off 2021 too? It might just be me.
Per Dr. Fauci: "A vaccine is likely to be 75% effective. About 75% of people will take it. That means 50% of the population will be relatively safe. That's not enough for herd immunity. So the most vulnerable of the populations won't be protected." Me: "So maybe 2021 is gone also. Unless I go into Kamikaze mode and just say "F***k it." Choices. choices.
 
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Per Dr. Fauci: "A vaccine is likely to be 75% effective. About 75% of people will take it. That means 50% of the population will be relatively safe. That's not enough for herd immunity. So the most vulnerable of the populations won't be protected." Me: "So maybe 2021 is gone also. Unless I go into Kamikaze mode and just say "F***k it." Choices. choices.
For me personally I'm not getting a rushed vaccine. I work at a school and Gov. Murphy said for Sept. that teachers and not students are required to wear masks. At the current rate of uptick in infections in the lower states I see another stay at home order coming before September in NJ. This is still the first wave and COVID combined with the Flu I see stricter mandates here in NJ.
 
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For me personally I'm not getting a rushed vaccine. I work at a school and Gov. Murphy said for Sept. that teachers and not students are required to wear masks. At the current rate of uptick in infections in the lower states I see another stay at home order coming before September in NJ. This is still the first wave and COVID combined with the Flu I see stricter mandates here in NJ.
They have no idea what they are doing here yet. Wait and see, I guess.
 
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Boise, Idaho
Not at all!

I'm back to pretty much normal here. Seems like it is that way almost everywhere I go.
  • I stopped at Wawa this AM on my way to work for a breakfast sandwich and it was more packed than I have ever seen it
  • Traffic on my way home is as busy as ever
  • At Advance Auto yesterday none of the employees were even wearing masks
  • Numbers continue to drop even though things are opening back up
  • Hospitals have admitted fewer people than they do with the flu each year

I'm done worrying about getting it. It's in the back of my mind and I still take reasonable precautions, but it isn't stopping me from living a normal life.
This didn't age very well. 🤣
 

iptman

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Not necessarily (assuming you mean the recent media coverage of the "cases spike"). Hospitalizations and deaths attributed to COVID (the numerator) are way down per 100,000 which is why you aren't seeing those numbers in the media. All the media is telling you is the case count (the denominator) is increasing. This is probably more attributable to the access to testing kits than anything else. If you're a herd immunity kind of guy this isn't a big deal. You would want the population (50 and younger) with the best chance of shrugging it off to get it. Plus I've read several hospital administrators say the patients they do admit now are significantly less symptomatic than in the early days, ie, less ICU beds and ventilators required. Again, these aren't things you'll see on the nightly news casts but are positives of the current COVID situation.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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I'm very torn about all of this - it's certainly a complex problem for everyone involved. The fear-mongering and politicization by the media isn’t making it better.

We got together with my wife's family this weekend for her birthday. Just before, we found out her brother had had a huge house party with friends and strangers alike the day before. I'm immune compromised and my wife's sister has a child on a ventilator (unrelated to Covid) so my wife told her brother not to come - but it certainly creates tension.

Likewise, my (extended) family wants to get together for 4th of July - which would be a meeting of me (immune compromised), my brother (immune compromised) my father (immune compromised) my grandmother (92 years old, immune compromised, lung issues), and several sisters in law, all of whom work in healthcare, and one of whom is a medical resident who treats Covid-19 patients in NYC.

Further, my mother in law wants us all to come to the beach (Ocean City Maryland) while they're down there next week - in addition to crowds, people are being beaten to death in riots on the boardwalk.

All of this to say, it is exhausting having to worry anytime you commit to do something with other people. We are (mostly) social beings/pack animals so this new normal is deeply unsettling to a lot of people. I’m also in a job the necessitates travel and meeting people - before the pandemic this was 3-4 days a week up and down the east coast. I do have to worry if things don’t move toward re-opening my company may start to ask why they’re paying me. I can only do so much from home.

I’m very much torn, every day, between the “f*ck it” camp and the “play it safe” camp. I desperately want to go back to seeing people and living a normal life and earning my commission again, but I’m technically in the “high risk” category. I’m just glad it seems to affect kids less, I’d be a mess if my daughter was more at risk. We certainly can’t hide in our houses forever, so I’m just going to wear my mask and try to avoid obvious “red flags” like big gatherings/crowds as best I can and do things as normally as I can.

These are strange times, to say the least.
 

iptman

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Likewise, my (extended) family wants to get together for 4th of July - which would be a meeting of me (immune compromised), my brother (immune compromised) my father (immune compromised) my grandmother (92 years old, immune compromised, lung issues), and several sisters in law, all of whom work in healthcare, and one of whom is a medical resident who treats Covid-19 patients in NYC.
I'm one of the more optimistic people out there but this would be a hard and fast NO for me. Not even a second thought.
 

RWBeringer4x4

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I'm one of the more optimistic people out there but this would be a hard and fast NO for me. Not even a second thought.
Same, we may, at the very least, ask the NYC doc to stay home - she of all people would understand better than most.

The trade-off here is that my grandmother, believe it or not, still lives alone on a 13 acre horse farm in NJ at 92. She's typically still very active in her church/community and outdoors in the garden, and the isolation and recent healthy issues are not doing good things for her mental state. She's not great on her feet these days and only drives if there's no other option - so she's basically stuck in front of the TV, which leads to lots of sleeping during the day, which means she can't sleep at night. Her only visits recently have been from my Uncle, who delivers food and helps keep the property up. Church services have moved entirely online, and she doesn't own a computer or have the internet. She's way off her routine and feeling very lonely/isolated - to the point where her doctors actually recommended she try to see her family some, and "risk it" so to speak, as feeling unneeded and isolated is actually starting to look like the greater of two evils. It's a very different situation from my own - I have a feisty toddler and a wife to keep me company. I can see how being eldery, sitting alone in a big empty house all day with limited mobility and (in her words) feeling "useless" can take it's toll, long term. It goes back to what I said - we can't hide from this forever - so I'm sure if we get together we'll all keep our distance and play it safe as best we can. What else can you do?

Honestly I'm more worried about Ocean City - I trust my family to play it safe but I don't trust a crowded beach in the least.
 

caz

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Lancaster, PA
 
 
 
I'm of the camp that we are all eventually going to get it no matter what we do. I refuse to stay locked down forever and have returned to a somewhat normal life. I do my best to take the proper precautions as to not endanger anyone unnecessarily, but I am not hiding from it.

My wife had it, My cousin's daughter had it, my aunt and uncle (74ish) had it, all are ok - granted all were previously healthy. My uncle never even stopped farming while in the midst of it! He is a tough old bird....

I've never been one to go out much and granted I am not the most social person around, so my "getting back to normal" may differ greatly from yours!

I have been hanging out with family and friends who I know are not idiots.

I would not go to a large family gathering.
 
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Not necessarily (assuming you mean the recent media coverage of the "cases spike"). Hospitalizations and deaths attributed to COVID (the numerator) are way down per 100,000 which is why you aren't seeing those numbers in the media. All the media is telling you is the case count (the denominator) is increasing. This is probably more attributable to the access to testing kits than anything else. If you're a herd immunity kind of guy this isn't a big deal. You would want the population (50 and younger) with the best chance of shrugging it off to get it. Plus I've read several hospital administrators say the patients they do admit now are significantly less symptomatic than in the early days, ie, less ICU beds and ventilators required. Again, these aren't things you'll see on the nightly news casts but are positives of the current COVID situation.

I will push back on this a bit. You are correct that the case count is increasing, but the rate of hospitalizations and deaths is down because younger people (18-35) are contracting the virus in greater numbers because of bars, clubs and gyms reopening and they generally have a less severe response. However, some still end up in very serious condition or dead. This causes two main problems, Emergency Departments can still be over taxed by people seeking treatment at the hospital, even if that treatment is less intense, but the main concern is that younger people tend to live in multi-generational homes, so they come home with it and weeks later their parents or grandparents realize they have been infected and have a much more severe reaction.

We are currently 9th in the world in deaths per 100k population. Being #1 is bad, not good.

Our new cases have exploded since states have re-opened.

More testing will show more positive results, but it doesn't make more positive results. Think of it this way ... women that are pregnant are still going to be pregnant regardless of them having a pregnancy test or not, but having them take pregnancy tests right away will show more pregnancies. Covid-19 is slightly different in that some people can be asymptomatic, so they may be sick and never know it, all the while passing it on to everyone they spend time with when not distancing or wearing a mask.

Herd immunity may not work like you think it does. It does not make anyone immune. It refers to slowing the transmission rate to the point that you are unlikely to be exposed because many people have already had the disease and recovered. It would take a minimum of 70% of a population for that to kick in and the current % of infected population is way below that figure. This still kills a lot of people before it even comes close to working.

Here in PA we seem to have done a fairly solid job of slowing the spread overall and I am thankful for that, but cases are rising again and I worry we will see a spike since everyone in my part of PA seems to need to head to the beach in June and beaches usually mean restaurants, bars and crowds.

@caz ... you are very fortunate that several in your direct family have beaten Covid-19 without a poor result. Lancaster is a very hot spot right now.

I try my best to use unbiased research and stay as current as possible on things. I just want everyone to be and stay safe.

I fully expect schools to get closed shortly after opening or never re-open this fall. My wife is a teacher and as @Stevesnj said, kids won't be required to wear masks. So if a child tests positive you quarantine their teacher, the class and all the kids they ride the bus with?!?!? They may make it until Halloween max, then it's back to Zoom sessions. I expect my restaurant to close for in house dining again if cases pick up. We are already seeing it elsewhere in the country.

I don't see sports working this fall either. Football especially seems like a pipe dream. Basketball sounds like it has all the answers until some people start to test positive or you think about how it would be to be a 22-28yr old millionaire that is famous and you can't leave the "bubble" to go out or see a girl while hanging out with a whole bunch of other rich, famous, young friends. Let alone the quarantine lasting 9 weeks if you make the finals.

I am not optimistic. I try to be a realist. Realistically, almost all my friends are "over this" and just want to get back to how things were. I just tell them I will see them some time in 2021 ... hopefully. I will just live in my bubble in the woods and work on truck issues until they find a cure or I slip up and end up sick.

/rant
 
Joined
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in Jersey near Philly YO!
 
I'm very torn about all of this - it's certainly a complex problem for everyone involved. The fear-mongering and politicization by the media isn’t making it better.

We got together with my wife's family this weekend for her birthday. Just before, we found out her brother had had a huge house party with friends and strangers alike the day before. I'm immune compromised and my wife's sister has a child on a ventilator (unrelated to Covid) so my wife told her brother not to come - but it certainly creates tension.

Likewise, my (extended) family wants to get together for 4th of July - which would be a meeting of me (immune compromised), my brother (immune compromised) my father (immune compromised) my grandmother (92 years old, immune compromised, lung issues), and several sisters in law, all of whom work in healthcare, and one of whom is a medical resident who treats Covid-19 patients in NYC.

Further, my mother in law wants us all to come to the beach (Ocean City Maryland) while they're down there next week - in addition to crowds, people are being beaten to death in riots on the boardwalk.

All of this to say, it is exhausting having to worry anytime you commit to do something with other people. We are (mostly) social beings/pack animals so this new normal is deeply unsettling to a lot of people. I’m also in a job the necessitates travel and meeting people - before the pandemic this was 3-4 days a week up and down the east coast. I do have to worry if things don’t move toward re-opening my company may start to ask why they’re paying me. I can only do so much from home.

I’m very much torn, every day, between the “f*ck it” camp and the “play it safe” camp. I desperately want to go back to seeing people and living a normal life and earning my commission again, but I’m technically in the “high risk” category. I’m just glad it seems to affect kids less, I’d be a mess if my daughter was more at risk. We certainly can’t hide in our houses forever, so I’m just going to wear my mask and try to avoid obvious “red flags” like big gatherings/crowds as best I can and do things as normally as I can.

These are strange times, to say the least.
Underlying conditions here and I'm not going to risk myself since I live in a densely populated area, the 3rd highest cases and deaths in my county. I don't want to risk things and being in a school with 1800 students and 200 teachers everyday i think it's easier to be safe than 2nd guessing what a news station might say. I prefer expert advice and facts over guessing. At the moment the consensus is to wear a mask, distance and sanitize. It's just not that difficult is it?
 

iptman

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Northern VA
 
 
I've heard other people use the "pregnancy" example and I think it's a false analogy. The vast majority of pregnant women end up having a baby regardless of a positive pregnancy test. To make that analogy work the "baby" in COVID terms is death and obviously the COVID mortality rate is several orders of magnitude less than the pregnancy to birth rate.

I'm a numbers guy so that's what I like to reference to assuage my concerns. This table is from the CDC website and it's exactly what helps me not be fearful of this virus. The table shows the cases of COVID where patients were sick enough to require hospitalization and it shows it by age group and, my favorite, per 100,000 of population. These are national numbers so if you could find a similar table for where you live it might be more relevant but this is what I found so I'll use it.

This tells me the chances of contracting COVID and needing hospitalization (meaning this excludes asymptomatic and people who handled their business at home) for my age group demographic is only .094%, less than a tenth of one percent. What I'd really like to see is this same table but with the mortality rates as well. Looking at the JHU data, cummulative deaths per 100,000 in the US is currently 36 or .036%. But if you had that data broken down by age group you could imagine the distribution might look similar to the below hospitalizations. Obviously no one wants to get COVID and I think we should all do our best to prevent its spread, certainly to the most vulnerable in our population, but not at the expense of individual freedom.

I got my first hair cut today in 4 months. It also happens to be the first time I've put on a mask to go out in public. I haven't stepped foot in a store in 3 months, instead using curb side delivery (Home Depot, Ace, Giant, etc) or just ordering things I need and having them shipped. But I'm also not one of these people that thinks private businesses have to cater to me. I have no problem any private business requiring masks to enter their premises and I will absolutely respect that. I will choose not to go in to those businesses if there are other options available to me. So far this has worked, it may not in the future.

Schools here in Fairfax County have given us until July 10th to decide between 2 days per week in room instruction (no recess, no PE, art, foreign language teachers come to you and lunch at your desk) or 4 days a week 100% virtual classrooms taught by who knows which teachers. It's the first time in our 11 years of being parents that we're considering home schooling our 3 school age kids. Virtual classrooms sucked and I don't see how successful 2 days of in person instruction followed my 2 days of solo homework is going to be. Crazy times.


COVID1.PNG
 

caz

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Lancaster, PA
 
 
 
@caz ... you are very fortunate that several in your direct family have beaten Covid-19 without a poor result. Lancaster is a very hot spot right now.

Interestingly, my wife just interviewed for a position at the largest area hospital today. It was a grueling 6 hours of interviews!

Through that time, they told her they have recently shut down 2 covid units, they are back to 100% on elective surgeries, they are beginning in person meetings of staff again.

They specifically stated they are not seeing an uptick despite what the numbers say.
 
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South Central PA
 
 
I disagree on the pregnancy analogy. Testing for Covid-19 is testing to see if you have it, testing for pregnancy is testing if you are pregnant. Covid testing isn't to see if you will die and pregnancy testing isn't to see if you will ever be pregnant. They are yes or no tests.

@iptman You seem to be very assured that there is little chance you will come into contact with Covid-19 to become infected and then also confident you will be fine if you do. These are personal choices that everyone needs to make. I respect yours and the current data says you may be right. I absolutely get that outlook, I'm just doom and gloom and don't like the odds for myself.

Cases are increasing daily as is the overall rate of spread. Fauchi just said today that we may get to 100k cases per day if we don't make changes soon (currently at ~40k/day). The rate of hospitalization looks fine, but you need to also consider the capacity of local and regional healthcare systems. If cases overload the number of ICU beds, ventilators or dialysis machines you end up with a much lower standard of care and deaths will rise dramatically.

I'm equally worried about a.) myself getting infected and having a negative outcome and b.) getting infected and being asymptomatic and spreading it to friends, family and co-workers and they have negative outcomes.

Link to the same info as above from @iptman:
 
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