All things political. Coronavirus Edition. (9 Viewers)

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Maxp

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I fear we are really going to be in a bad place due to the obvious cuts to the federal agencies that deal with infectious disease, but also the negative effect the Affordable Care act has had on non urban hospitals. Our front line defenses are ineffectual and our ability to treat the populous is probably at an all time low. Factor in the cost of healthcare and I can see our system crashing. What do you think about the politics of this virus?
 

wardorican

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I saw a story about a couple from Alabama who traveled 1000 miles total to get vaccinated in MS. (MS, of course, singled out LA in making a statement about how LA residents can't get vaccinated in MS). The doctor at the hospital where they got it was interviewed about vaccinating people he knew weren't from MS and said, "It's not like we would turn them away if they had to travel here for an operation, so why should we turn them away when it comes to potentially saving their lives?" Dude has a point. Making this a state by state issue is ridiculous. Any US citizen should be able to get a vaccination in any US state as long as they meet the criteria. States sitting on a surplus of vaccine should be shipping it to states with diminished reserves. Why make this harder than it has to be?
Yeah, I'd rather they don't encourage people going to different states (unless you're like near the boarder), but I wouldn't turn them down either.
 

insidejob

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Yeah, I'd rather they don't encourage people going to different states (unless you're like near the boarder), but I wouldn't turn them down either.
I don't think anyone is encouraging it, but these people tried for weeks to get vaccinated in Alabama and couldn't get it done because of the inadequacy of Alabama's system of vaccine distribution. It was Alabama that discouraged them from getting it locally more than anything. I just hope that Louisiana doesn't have this issue, especially in the GNO area.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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Louisiana finally recognized that teachers should be considered front line workers if they expect them to teach school in person and they became eligible yesterday to get vaccinated starting Monday. I was so happy for my sister when I saw that. Then yesterday evening, she sent me a text that said there aren't any available appointments for teachers for weeks and she just has to keep calling back everyday to find out when she can get it. It'd be nice if they thought about logistics before hand and not after they've got a mess on their hands.
We were told we couldn’t start calling until Monday
dang
 

DaveXA

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We were told we couldn’t start calling until Monday
dang
Imo, I think this where the state needs to coordinate with the school boards to get the vaccine distributed. They should set up a couple of school gyms in each district and get all of the teachers a day off to go get vaccinated. Just an idea. I don't know what's feasible, but having all of the teachers do this individually seems really inefficient to me.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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Imo, I think this where the state needs to coordinate with the school boards to get the vaccine distributed. They should set up a couple of school gyms in each district and get all of the teachers a day off to go get vaccinated. Just an idea. I don't know what's feasible, but having all of the teachers do this individually seems really inefficient to me.
Your first time trying to figure out Louisiana?
 

SaintForLife

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Very informative interview with Michael Osterholm on the upcoming severe Covid spike due to the new variants. I'll post part of the interview, but it's better to listen to the interview.

I saw your appearance on Meet The Press on Jan. 31, saying the darkest days of the pandemic could be ahead, and I was pretty shocked. I mean, 18 days have passed, a lot has happened. How are you feeling about that now?
I'm more convinced that that's actually the case. I think right now what we're seeing is basically the lull before the storm. I liken it in a sense to — imagine we're all sitting on this beautiful sand beach on the Gulf somewhere. Blue skies, temperature of 80 degrees, slight breeze, not a cloud in the sky. And we're trying to tell people, "Get ready to evacuate." Everyone is saying "Why? this makes no sense." But we can see that Category 5 hurricane 400 miles south of the beach heading straight towards the beach. And that's what these variants represent right now.

Is the Category 5 hurricane, specifically the B.1.1.7. Because we're hearing that it will end up being the dominant variant or the others that are emerging?
Yeah, it is the B.1.1.7 variant. Just to give a background so people understand: A variant of this virus is just one that has experienced mutations. And they do that all the time. There have been many, many, variants of the virus since its first emergence. But we have a category of variants called variants of concern — VOCs. And these are viruses that have mutated to do one of three things or a combination thereof.

First, do they transmit easier, more widespread, than the other viruses would do? More transmissibility? Number two, do they cause more serious illness, including death? And number three, are they able to evade the immune protection that we get from either vaccine or natural infection, and in some cases, even the treatment with the monoclonal antibodies?

The B.1.1.7 variant, which some people refer to as the U.K. variant, which emerged in England, which has now spread to a number of areas throughout Europe and the Middle East, has those first two characteristics. It surely is much more transmissible 30 to 70 percent more transmissible, and it surely is causing more severe disease, including increased deaths and hospitalizations.

But it hasn't yet, in a widespread manner picked up that third characteristic, the one about evading the immune protection. …

Just this week, CDC is updated, it's now in 42 different states documented, I'm sure it's in all 50 states. And what we're following right now is almost a similar scenario, as we saw in the European countries that have been so hard hit by this virus in terms of, you know, weeks of early transmission where the level appears to be low, but then it picks up very quickly. And if you think about doubling numbers, you know, two to four to eight to 16 doesn't mean big changes. But if you start doubling 2,000 to 4,000 to 8,000 to 16,000. Those are big numbers. And that's what we're worried about — this virus is following that same path in North America as we have seen in Europe and the Middle East.

 

GrandAdmiral

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Louisiana finally recognized that teachers should be considered front line workers if they expect them to teach school in person and they became eligible yesterday to get vaccinated starting Monday. I was so happy for my sister when I saw that. Then yesterday evening, she sent me a text that said there aren't any available appointments for teachers for weeks and she just has to keep calling back everyday to find out when she can get it. It'd be nice if they thought about logistics before hand and not after they've got a mess on their hands.
What district is she in?

So what the state is doing with schools is they are making them request what they need for their eligible staff. At first they told schools they would provide the forms. Then they reneged. Districts are going to be behind the time with trying to get this stuff together, forcing teachers to try to go it alone.

My CEO is married to an assistant school superintendent. By the time things were all said and done, the district is going to be providing the spots and the names. In the end we are going to be vaccinating their teachers and support staff on site at the schools so there is no class time lost to finding vaccines.

This will end up being the second school district my organization will end up vaccinating.
 

GrandAdmiral

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Imo, I think this where the state needs to coordinate with the school boards to get the vaccine distributed. They should set up a couple of school gyms in each district and get all of the teachers a day off to go get vaccinated. Just an idea. I don't know what's feasible, but having all of the teachers do this individually seems really inefficient to me.
They are. There just very slow and unorganized with it right now. If a district was smart, they would do better partnering with a healthcare facility to let them administer the vaccines. That kills the logisitcal issues of finding the staff to administer and store the vaccines.
 

MT15

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What the health experts in my state are being optimistic about is that we have now vaccinated around 60% of the 70+ age group. And their cases, hospitalizations and deaths are already declining. This age group is where most of the severe disease occurs. We are now concentrating on the 60+ age group, which is another group where severe disease is more likely. (we have already done medical personnel and front line). So the outlook from our public health experts is much more optimistic than what I read above from Osterholm. I saw this article in the Atlantic that also seems more optimistic. Haven’t read all of it yet.

 

GMRfellowtraveller

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They are. There just very slow and unorganized with it right now. If a district was smart, they would do better partnering with a healthcare facility to let them administer the vaccines. That kills the logisitcal issues of finding the staff to administer and store the vaccines.
Mine is an Independent school and it seems like this is what we’re doing - coordinating through a provider
 

brandon

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Imo, I think this where the state needs to coordinate with the school boards to get the vaccine distributed. They should set up a couple of school gyms in each district and get all of the teachers a day off to go get vaccinated. Just an idea. I don't know what's feasible, but having all of the teachers do this individually seems really inefficient to me.
This really is nothing new and is totally doable. You don’t even have to give the teachers a day off.

Every year in both school districts I’ve been in, the district partners with a local pharmacy for the flu shot. The pharmacists and trained techs go to each school in the district and spends half a day to a full day, depending on the size of the school, administering vaccines to teachers and staff immediately before and after school, or on the teachers’ planning periods. The whole district can be done by one pharmacy in a week.

Mobilize every pharmacy in the state and supply them with enough vaccine and you could do every teacher in the state in probably two weeks, max.

Our district already has a partnership for covid vaccine distribution with the local hospital system to knock it out even faster...but there’s no vaccine available for it.
 

GrandAdmiral

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Mine is an Independent school and it seems like this is what we’re doing - coordinating through a provider
It really is the best way to go at it. The only thing districts will need to do is provide the place(s) and the arms. The health facility has better access to the supplies because they're ordering already and they have the personnel. Win-win.
 

insidejob

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What district is she in?

So what the state is doing with schools is they are making them request what they need for their eligible staff. At first they told schools they would provide the forms. Then they reneged. Districts are going to be behind the time with trying to get this stuff together, forcing teachers to try to go it alone.

My CEO is married to an assistant school superintendent. By the time things were all said and done, the district is going to be providing the spots and the names. In the end we are going to be vaccinating their teachers and support staff on site at the schools so there is no class time lost to finding vaccines.

This will end up being the second school district my organization will end up vaccinating.
Idk what district she's in. She's a teacher at Ben Franklin High School.
 

Dragon

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Very informative interview with Michael Osterholm on the upcoming severe Covid spike due to the new variants. I'll post part of the interview, but it's better to listen to the interview.

I saw your appearance on Meet The Press on Jan. 31, saying the darkest days of the pandemic could be ahead, and I was pretty shocked. I mean, 18 days have passed, a lot has happened. How are you feeling about that now?
I'm more convinced that that's actually the case. I think right now what we're seeing is basically the lull before the storm. I liken it in a sense to — imagine we're all sitting on this beautiful sand beach on the Gulf somewhere. Blue skies, temperature of 80 degrees, slight breeze, not a cloud in the sky. And we're trying to tell people, "Get ready to evacuate." Everyone is saying "Why? this makes no sense." But we can see that Category 5 hurricane 400 miles south of the beach heading straight towards the beach. And that's what these variants represent right now.

Is the Category 5 hurricane, specifically the B.1.1.7. Because we're hearing that it will end up being the dominant variant or the others that are emerging?
Yeah, it is the B.1.1.7 variant. Just to give a background so people understand: A variant of this virus is just one that has experienced mutations. And they do that all the time. There have been many, many, variants of the virus since its first emergence. But we have a category of variants called variants of concern — VOCs. And these are viruses that have mutated to do one of three things or a combination thereof.

First, do they transmit easier, more widespread, than the other viruses would do? More transmissibility? Number two, do they cause more serious illness, including death? And number three, are they able to evade the immune protection that we get from either vaccine or natural infection, and in some cases, even the treatment with the monoclonal antibodies?

The B.1.1.7 variant, which some people refer to as the U.K. variant, which emerged in England, which has now spread to a number of areas throughout Europe and the Middle East, has those first two characteristics. It surely is much more transmissible 30 to 70 percent more transmissible, and it surely is causing more severe disease, including increased deaths and hospitalizations.

But it hasn't yet, in a widespread manner picked up that third characteristic, the one about evading the immune protection. …

Just this week, CDC is updated, it's now in 42 different states documented, I'm sure it's in all 50 states. And what we're following right now is almost a similar scenario, as we saw in the European countries that have been so hard hit by this virus in terms of, you know, weeks of early transmission where the level appears to be low, but then it picks up very quickly. And if you think about doubling numbers, you know, two to four to eight to 16 doesn't mean big changes. But if you start doubling 2,000 to 4,000 to 8,000 to 16,000. Those are big numbers. And that's what we're worried about — this virus is following that same path in North America as we have seen in Europe and the Middle East.


Which is precisely why we have been in a kind of lockdown since december 12th. 117 have as you said doubled every week. Started at 2% and is now approaching 50% of all those tested but by keeping the overall infection numbers down and doing heavy contact tracing besides implementing harsher quarantine conditions (2 weeks quarantine - 3 x negative tests at 5, 10 and 14 days) on those exposed to 117 we hope to keep it under controll
 

J-DONK

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What the health experts in my state are being optimistic about is that we have now vaccinated around 60% of the 70+ age group. And their cases, hospitalizations and deaths are already declining. This age group is where most of the severe disease occurs. We are now concentrating on the 60+ age group, which is another group where severe disease is more likely. (we have already done medical personnel and front line). So the outlook from our public health experts is much more optimistic than what I read above from Osterholm. I saw this article in the Atlantic that also seems more optimistic. Haven’t read all of it yet.

Moderna and Pfizer both reiterated their supply commitments, and with the J&J vaccine being approved any day. Every single adult who wants a shot will have one before even the summer. The last leg of this will be getting the anti-vaccine group on board.
I know these people won't listen, but the mRNA vaccines were possible because of the work on cancer vaccines. If they get cancer 10 years from now, chances are they are going to take a mrna cancer treat.
 

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