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NateB

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That may be true locally, but the CDC says that going to establishments with eating and drinking on site is a significant risk factor. People who test positive who have not been in close contact with a known case are several times more likely to have been to an in-person bar or restaurant than people who tested negative.
Yes, he was only speaking of our county of just under 400,000 people. There is also the assumption that people are being honest with contact tracers when they ask places they have been and people they have been around. We all know how honest some people have been about this pandemic, which really complicates responding to it.
 

boatgeek

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Since my point of existence is truly localized the local truth is the only one which matters.
What I was getting at is that if you're not in the same county as @NateB then you might see a different risk level. Their county health department might have really good rules/guidance/enforcement that reduces risk, or there might be other local factors that influence the transmission rates*. For example, maybe restaurants need both good AC and heating for customer comfort in summer and winter, so they have good ventilation.

In counties that aren't like Nate's, the risk might be different, and I'm just pointing out that CDC has ID'd bars and restaurants as a significant risk. It is interesting that the study I linked doesn't show increased risk at other stores and places where people can keep masks on.

* Assuming, for the moment, that people aren't screwing with the contact tracing, though that's a slightly Pollyanna view of the world given what we know otherwise.
 

NateB

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Their county health department might have really good rules/guidance/enforcement that reduces risk, or there might be other local factors that influence the transmission rates*.
Our guidelines are average at best, but *most* restaurant owners have taken a reasonable approach with limited seating, increased space between parties, and decent ventilation aside from requiring masks when not seated at your table. I haven't dined in at any place in months and carry out lines are still long.

*A few, including one BBQ in the county south of me, have been very, very vocal about opposing the health dept guidelines because of their "God given rights" I just add them to my list of places to permanently avoid. I can only assume that if the health department requiring facial coverings violates their rights, than the health department requiring gloves to be worn while preparing meals and keeping food stored at the proper temperatures also violates their rights.
 

dr wogz

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NateB

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My town's mayor was transported by ambulance and admitted to the hospital for Covid after a short, live streamed only Christmas lighting event last night. He was diagnosed with Covid in early October, experienced mild symptoms for a short time and thought it was behind him. Now, he is in the hospital with continued inflammation causing shortness of breath and chest pain due to the effects of Covid.

When everyone was demanding "recovery" numbers, this is why it is difficult to count recoveries. So many people have long lasting effects and we don't yet know if is permanent damage or not.
 

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I think a lot folks are screaming to following the science until it impacts their own lives. We have a hug number of hypocrites out there. We also have a bunch of folks quoting science that have no idea what science is.
 

KC3KNM

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It’s hard to blame people for being hypocritical when the White House can’t follow the same guidelines.

We have a bunch of folks who “have no idea what science is” because the public school system is a joke. That said, I’d much rather someone be ignorant in the direction of being unnecessarily cautious than the other, which is why people making fun of those who wear masks in cars kind of irks me. Seems better that it’s worn more often than necessary vs not at all.

Maybe covid will help expose some shortcomings in our society and allow us to address them.
 

modeltrains

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While we're talking pandemic effects,
"Amtrak reported today preliminary results for fiscal year 2020 (October 2019-September 2020), including an operating loss of $801.1 million due to the pandemic. Operating revenues were $2.3 billion, a decrease of 31.9% over FY 2019. It also reported advancing $1.9 billion in infrastructure and fleet work.
Amtrak provided 16.8 million customer trips in FY 2020, down 47.4% with a year-over-year decline of 15.2 million riders, due to “pandemic-related travel demand reductions.” Acela ridership was down 52.5%. (For more details, see chart below.)"
https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/high-performance/amtrak-releases-fy-2020-data/

And as for connected larger issues,
“Let me start with the notion of making Amtrak “profitable.” Profitability is not Amtrak’s mission. Our mission, as defined by Congress, is “to provide efficient and effective intercity passenger rail mobility consisting of high-quality service that is trip-time competitive with other intercity travel options.” As our governing statute has recognized since the 1970s, Amtrak will never generate enough revenue to be profitable from an accounting perspective, i.e., to fully fund its operating and capital needs.

Mobility is not a moneymaker if you have to pay for 100% of the cost of getting from point A to point B. No mode of passenger transportation fully pays for itself. Airline tickets, the cost of driving, and commuter train and bus fares would all be prohibitively expensive if users had to fund all costs associated them. Even our roads and interstates, which road advocates used to love saying were “user funded,” require billions in subsidies each year, with the feds now providing more than $157 billion in general revenue subsidies for the insolvent Highway Trust Fund since 2008. And, of course, airlines don’t build airports, and government at various levels provides substantial subsidies to transit systems. The costs of intercity passenger rail just happen to mostly run through Amtrak, and as a result the full expense of our mode is easier to see. Given this, Amtrak funding has always been a target by critics and competitors that like to forget the subsidization that occurs across all modes.

Facing such an environment, Amtrak has had to try to make the best possible use of its limited resources in order to advance vital capital projects and make a case for greater investment to support our mission. As long-term observers of our business, many of you know that Amtrak has never been provided the necessary public investments we’ve needed to truly serve our nation and thrive. We’ve always been forced to prioritize keeping the railroad running over making improvements, expanding the network and modernizing our services. When you hear us talk about improving the economics of our services and our company, it is not because we are trying to “turn a profit,” but rather because we must try to stretch our woefully limited funding further, so we can keep our trains running safely and address urgent investment needs.”
https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/intercity/defining-amtraks-true-mission/
 

NateB

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Apparently, my county is now one of the worst hot-spots in the US. Our health commissioner continues to state the biggest blame is private, multi-houehold gatherings.

 

jbrracer

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Apparently, my county is now one of the worst hot-spots in the US. Our health commissioner continues to state the biggest blame is private, multi-houehold gatherings.

I’m just a few miles south of you in wells.
 

Flyfalcons

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Hopefully Flyfalcon will forego a hospital visit if he ever has the need to go to one and let that space and the personnel needed focus on someone who truly wants treatment - that way he can become one of the disposibles he doesn't seem to care about.

BTW - my mother passed away at 90 several years ago and I would give anything to have been able to celebrate 1 more year with her - how dare you trivialize a person's worth! NO life should care a price tag on it.
Every time a member of my family has died it was a sad occasion. But I would never expect other people to forcibly lose their income by government decree so that I could have had just a little more time with them. So many families are facing hunger because of our response to this virus, often a response with little to no actual science behind it. Then you have the rise in suicide, drug overdose, domestic violence, etc. But feel free to jam into a Walmart to get all your shopping in, and swing by the essential liquor store on the way home so you can watch 22 unmasked, heavily breathing men pile onto each other in the name of chasing a ball around a field. Maybe during the commercial break you can watch the Austin mayor remind you to stay home, as he sends his message from his daughter's destination wedding in Mexico. Makes total sense.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Things are getting dire here in California. We‘ve been on a local county stay-at-home order for a couple of weeks, and now I believe there is a statewide order. ICU capacity is almost gone, especially in the southern parts of the state. Breaking the state down into 5 regions, this is where they each stand in ICU capacity.
  • Northern California 22.4%
  • Bay Area 12.2%
  • Greater Sacramento 15%
  • San Joaquin Valley 0%
  • Southern California 0%
If you are in the San Joaquin valley or Southern CA, don’t get covid, and also don’t have a heart attack, stroke, or accident that would land you in the ICU, because you’re not getting in.

I’ve been cautious all along, but I’ve returned to being extra careful about limiting my trips to the store. I’m back to once every 2.5 to 3 weeks.

My wife and I get out for walks every day to keep our sanity, but other than that, we really aren’t going out unnecessarily. All of our normal holiday fun is canceled—just not worth it.
 

afadeev

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Every time a member of my family has died it was a sad occasion. But I would never expect other people to forcibly lose their income by government decree so that I could have had just a little more time with them. So many families are facing hunger because of our response to this virus, often a response with little to no actual science behind it.
It's easy to criticize, it's hard to lead and make painful tradeoffs.
Do you have a proposal for mitigating the virus death count that is better than what any country in the world is attempting to do today?
If so, please formulate it, and share it with the world.

Otherwise, the US unemployment rate for November 2020 was 6.7%.
Not the worst, not the best.

.....because Science!
And what exactly do you have against science?
 

kuririn

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But I would never expect other people to forcibly lose their income by government decree so that I could have had just a little more time with them.
What you call forcibly losing their income by government decree most of us would call saving lives by government decree.
There are government and private programs to mitigate the economic hardship of closed businesses and lost wages. Stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, SNAP, food banks, depression, suicide and domestic abuse counseling.
What government programs do you know of that will mitigate death?

While I'm here we may as well discuss the Swedish Experiment. This seems to be in line with your concept of keeping businesses open while maintaining safeguards such as mask wearing and social distancing. Here we are months later after implementation and the general concensus is that it has been an unmitigated disaster. The King and Prime Minister have called the policy a failure. The number of deaths in Sweden is more than it's Scandinavian neighbors (Norway, Finland and Denmark) COMBINED.
Other countries instituted lockdowns and quarantines when needed. They followed the science. Sweden went their own way to their detriment. Is that what you would have the USA do? Possibly millions of deaths instead of hundreds of thousands? Just to keep your paycheck flowing?
Shameful.

And finally what about "draconian" state mandates? The ones that use this term don't know what the word truly means. Draconian is when a Chinese state public health worker in PPE kicks and stomps a woman walking the streets of Wuhan because she is not supposed to be outdoors, even though she is wearing a mask. Draconian is when Wuhan health officials lock in a family in their apartment with an outside padlock because they are quarantined. I have seen the video months ago. It really happened. What people here are calling draconian is, at worst, inconvenient.
 

Marc_G

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While I'm here we may as well discuss the Swedish Experiment. This seems to be in line with your concept of keeping businesses open while maintaining safeguards such as mask wearing and social distancing. Here we are months later after implementation and the general concensus is that it has been an unmitigated disaster. The King and Prime Minister have called the policy a failure. The number of deaths in Sweden is more than it's Scandinavian neighbors (Norway, Finland and Denmark) COMBINED.
Other countries instituted lockdowns and quarantines when needed. They followed the science. Sweden went their own way to their detriment. Is that what you would have the USA do? Possibly millions of deaths instead of hundreds of thousands? Just to keep your paycheck flowing?
Shameful.
To reinforce Kuririn's point, the Swedish approach of light, late intervention resulted in 10X the cases and 10X the deaths per capita compared to either Norway or Finland. These countries are highly comparable in terms of the population demographics and way of life, so they can be directly compared.
 

OverTheTop

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The other thing was that they chose that approach to provide a better financial outcome. The final result in that area was remarkably similar to the countries that did shut down. Their experiment failed in that regard too.
 

modeltrains

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Now that's kinda interesting,
A Russian scientist who was said to have worked on a coronavirus vaccine was found dead with a stab wound outside a St. Petersburg high-rise, authorities and local media said over the weekend. ... The outlet also reported that Kagansky, whose affiliations included the Maryland-based National Cancer Institute and the University of Edinburgh, was recently working on a Covid-19 vaccine in Scotland.
The Vladivostok-based Far Eastern Federal University, where Kagansky led the Genomic and Regenerative Medicine Center at its School of Biomedicine, said it mourns the death of an influential scientist whose works were regularly published in leading global scientific journals.
 

modeltrains

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And while Russia is being mentioned, seems like US and UK aren't the only places with resistance to the vaccine;
December 21, 2020
Russia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Gets Mixed Reaction
People in the United States and Europe welcomed the arrival of the western-made coronavirus vaccine. However, the Russian-made vaccine has not been as popular in Russia.
There are reports of empty medical centers that offer the vaccine to health care workers and teachers. These groups are the first members of the public permitted to receive it.
Russian officials and state-controlled media said the Sputnik V vaccine was a major development. It was approved on August 11. But among Russians, there is concern about the vaccine. Some fear it was hurried to the public while it was still being tested for effectiveness and safety.
Russia faced international criticism for approving a vaccine for tens of thousands of people that had not completed all its testing. Experts both in Russia and worldwide warned against its use until the tests are completed.
...
Some experts say public trust may be an issue.
“I don’t so much worry about Sputnik V being unsafe or less effective than we need it to be,” said Judy Twigg. She is a political science professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who specializes in worldwide health issues.
“I worry about whether or not people are going to be willing to take it in Russia,” she said.
A study in October by the Russian Levada Center showed that 59 percent of Russians were unwilling to get the shots even if they were offered for free.

I’m Susan Shand.
The Associated Press reported on this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor.
 

modeltrains

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So, tell me, how much coronavirus is being spread this week?

Dec. 24, 2020 | 6:54 AM After a couple of turns doing chest compressions, Aldapa realized he had been sitting next to the man’s wife during his breaks. He struck up a conversation, asking about her husband’s medical history, any recent exposures to COVID-19 and any tests for the virus. She told him that her husband had been short of breath and that he was planning to get tested when they got home, Aldapa said.

The in-flight tragedy set off a flurry of questions and finger-pointing. Aldapa has since developed mild COVID-like symptoms, including a headache, fatigue, body aches and a minor cough, though he has tested negative three times.

He said that United called him Sunday but that he hasn’t been contacted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The L.A. County Department of Public Health has not contacted him either, he said. In a statement to The Times, the department declined to comment about its involvement in the investigation and contact-tracing effort, saying only that it “will continue to work with CDC to notify patients as appropriate.”

The CDC did not respond to requests for information.

United said it is sharing information about the incident with the CDC.
 

cwbullet

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And while Russia is being mentioned, seems like US and UK aren't the only places with resistance to the vaccine;
A lot of folks are resistant. I set an example for my staff by taking it.
 

modeltrains

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A lot of folks are resistant.
And a concern is that those of us who have dysfunctional immune systems and a family history of people who can and do have odd reactions to medications will be unthinkingly lumped in to the "antivax antiscience resistors" by at least some individuals within the idiot American general public if not by the entirety of it.

Granted, it's not the same thing as vaccinations, but right now active in my mind is that I still remember the absurdity of when I got allergy shots in the 1980s I had a nasty reaction a couple times and from there on out the clinic had to keep me for half an hour afterward to see if I was going to have an immediate allergic reaction to the shots which were supposed to help me not have allergic reactions to things.

But, yeah, there are a couple medications where if I take it I'm likely dead pretty quick.
And several others where my body has made it painfully clear those are not welcome here.
 

NateB

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People in your position are exactly why I am happy to vaccinate myself. While I'm relatively healthy and unlikely to have serious repercussions from most illnesses, I'd hate to spread something to someone who would have a harder time fighting an illness.

There will always be a few loudmouthed exceptions, but I think for those who cannot take a vaccine a simple reply of "I cannot take it" would appease most people. No other explanation should be necessary to anyone except your doctor or nurse.Unfortunately there will always be the liars and incredibly inconsiderate folks to make your lives harder.
 

cwbullet

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People in your position are exactly why I am happy to vaccinate myself. While I'm relatively healthy and unlikely to have serious repercussions from most illnesses, I'd hate to spread something to someone who would have a harder time fighting an illness.

There will always be a few loudmouthed exceptions, but I think for those who cannot take a vaccine a simple reply of "I cannot take it" would appease most people. No other explanation should be necessary to anyone except your doctor or nurse.Unfortunately there will always be the liars and incredibly inconsiderate folks to make your lives harder.
Same here. I planned to wait till after Xmas, but I was not about to let the last VAX go to waste. I ran the vaccine test run that day. We had a last-minute cancelation due to cold feet. Once a vial is open you have 6 hours to use it. It would have expired by the next day. I took the shot.
 

hobie1dog

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They told me I wouldn't last a week if I get it. I can only produce 30% of my normal inhale pressure, and 40% of the normal exhale pressure and having a dead right diaphragm muscle doesn't add up to a good survival rate. I'll take it as soon as I can get it.
 

Devin Batten

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If you've had the virus and recovered do you still need the vaccine? And if so, then why is the vaccine more potent at having our immune system produce the antibodies than how evolution has designed?
 

OverTheTop

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Down here we are doing well. Our state has had no community transmission for nearly 50 days. Only cases are from interstate or overseas and they are in quarantine. We did have a holiday to Sydney booked but an outbreak there has closed borders to that state. We have switched to a nice spot in South Australia now for that trip.

We were lucky enough to not hear of any family or friends getting covid since the beginning of the epidemic. That changed yesterday (Christmas day) when we heard three of our relatives in Croatia (ages 10 to 60) and one in the UK were diagnosed with covid :(. The one in the UK is a bit of a worry as she has MS and is not very ambulant or active. She has not left the house for most of the year and was infected by one of the daily carers that come each day. She is in hospital now so care should be good. Let's hope it turns out well for everyone.
 
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