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Double Retired
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31 Aug 2022, 4:04 pm

Matrix Glitch wrote:
I think I might have gotten it in early Jan before the news came out about it. Whatever I had was unlike anything I've had before and fit the symptoms.
In January 2020 I also had an odd respiratory infection. I do not recall the symptoms but I do recall that at the time I thought it was unlike any previous cold or flu I'd had. (And I have had a knack for getting respiratory infections since I was a very young child. Sigh...or cough.)

In late February 2020 I had open heart surgery which was complicated by cardiac tamponade which required emergency heart surgery later that same day. In later discussions the surgeon said he had no idea where the blood in my pericardium had come from but some months later I learned that some COVID patients had that kind of problem.

I will never know for sure but because of the above I suspect I may also have had COVID before there was officially a pandemic in the U.S.

In late June 2022 my bride and I did officially have COVID infections, even though we were both fully-vaccinated and double booster-shotted(?). And we both promptly received paxlovid prescriptions. Still, there were a couple of days I didn't feel well enough to Wordle.

After the beginning of the Pandemic I have spent as much time as possible sheltering in my COVID bunker (home!). By virtue of being a comfortably-retired Autie and strong INTJ I'm a natural for holing up at home. And whenever I leave it I wear a mask even though most places now consider it optional. (And since I started wearing the mask allergies have not bothered me and my only respiratory infection was that single COVID event...and I caught that at home.)


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31 Aug 2022, 10:45 pm

What I experienced was fever, fatigue and body aches that lasted about three days. It felt like my immune system was in overdrive to kill whatever virus I had. After the second or third day I had raspatory issues, but that wasn't any worse than what I usually experience when I get sick. They ran tests on my heart and cardiovascular system fairly recently due to a tachycardia issue I've had for at least 20 years and everything checked out a-okay. Beta blockers have so far eliminated the issue.



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01 Sep 2022, 10:24 am

While I'll never know what my respiratory infection was before my heart surgery I know COVID affected things afterwards...to my advantage!

I was supposed to go into physical therapy not too long after surgery and I really did not want to. The people responsible for supervising treadmills, etc., are undoubtedly NTs and I end up confused and angry from the vague and ambiguous directions they give...and the anger usually ends up being mutual. (NTs think "You know what I meant" but I don't!) Courtesy of the Pandemic the planned physical therapy was not possible. (An Aspie special interest of mine I think served perfectly well as a replacement...it involved repetitive tasks involving my legs and arms and I repeated the task a lot. I recovered well!)


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03 Sep 2022, 8:30 am

"Game-changer" Paxlovid turns into pandemic enigma

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The intrigue: There's growing concern about the link between Pfizer's antiviral pill and COVID rebound, in which patients test positive or have symptoms days after a course of the drug is completed. President Biden, First Lady Jill Biden and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci have each relapsed.

The FDA has asked Pfizer to investigate whether a second five-day course of the drug will prevent the virus from returning.

Pfizer executives in May suggested patients who can't clear the virus with the first course should take more, Bloomberg reported.


The big picture:Paxlovid use surged over the summer, with as many as one-third of reported coronavirus cases treated with the drug.

But uncertainty over what's causing the relapses, and whether the drug helps younger patients, is making some people wary of taking the treatment, physicians say.

At least part of the problem is that people are not routinely tested after taking Paxlovid, which makes it hard to establish how often rebound happens or why the virus lingers in some people, Leana Wen, an emergency physician and a professor at George Washington University, told CNN.

A large study of more than 109,000 people in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded the drug significantly reduced hospitalizations and deaths among patients aged 65 and older but that there was no evidence of benefit in younger adults.

The prospect of reinfection shouldn't discourage older or high-risk patients from taking the pills, said Yale infectious diseases specialist Scott Roberts.

"Rebound is almost always more mild than initial course," Roberts told Axios.

Paxlovid could have the added benefit of warding off long COVID, or symptoms that linger beyond the first 30 days after testing positive, and studies to determine this are underway.

But availability of the drug could change before clear answers emerge.
The Biden administration has only bought enough pills to supply Paxlovid through the middle of next year, after which it will transition to the commercial market, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O'Connell wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Between the lines: COVID rebound has also been observed in people who have not taken Paxlovid, and some experts believe it might be a natural course of the infection to see symptoms ebb, then return.

COVID's course "is not a purely linear process; it waxes and wanes a little bit," said Jonathan Li, a Harvard Medical School researcher and co-author of a pre-print that found high levels of rebound in people who hadn't been treated with the drug.

What they're saying:The consensus by the vast majority of people caring for COVID patients is that the rebound is not really a side effect of Paxlovid, it is more that are we really treating people for long enough or not?" Sarju Ganatra, a cardiologist at Lahey Hospital and co-author of the Clinical Infectious Diseases study, told Axios.

Yes, but: "This is where having a well-designed, well-controlled study helps us understand disease better, and this is the challenge of anecdotal reports. Without a control, it's really hard to know what's actually happening," said Kara Chew, an infectious disease physician at University of California Los Angeles.

The bottom line: Paxlovid remains an important tool to keep some people out of the hospitals, especially with the highly contagious Omicron variant still circulating and many people not staying current on boosters, experts said.

Isolation will also be critical as long as enough people are experiencing COVID rebound and stay infectious beyond the five-day isolation period recommended by the CDC.


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03 Sep 2022, 10:02 am

The Latest Version of Protection from the COVID Pandemic is Almost Upon Us.
It will give us protection from the latest variant, the Omicron variant.

With fall and winter looming, along with an anticipated seasonal surge in COVID cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention greenlit a new tool for battling the pandemic: updated booster shots. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the shots earlier this week.

The new shots target the Omicron subvariant BA.5, the dominant version of the virus. The updated boosters could roll out within days.

Source: What to Know About the New Booster Shots


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06 Sep 2022, 9:00 pm

10.5 million children lost a parent or caregiver because of covid, study says

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More than 10.5 million children have lost one or both parents during the coronavirus pandemic — nearly double the previous estimates — according to data released Tuesday.

Southeast Asia and Africa suffered the greatest rate of losses, with one out of every 50 children affected compared with one out of 150 children in the Americas, according to the research letter published in JAMA Pediatrics.

Among the countries with the highest rates of parent and caregiver deaths are Bolivia, Peru, Namibia, Egypt, Bulgaria, South Africa, Ecuador, Eswatini, Botswana and Guyana, the analysis found. Before the pandemic, there were an estimated 140 million orphaned children worldwide.

Children in countries with lower vaccination rates and higher fertility rates were more likely to be affected, according to the modeling analysis, which is based on deaths that exceeded what would normally be expected in a year. The numbers take account of deaths that occurred from January 2020 through May 2022 and were produced through a collaboration between modelers at the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Imperial College London, among others.

The 10.5 million children who experienced the loss of one or both parents include 4.2 million in Southeast Asia, 2.5 million in Africa, 1.5 million in the Americas, 1.5 million in the Eastern Mediterranean region and 500,000 in Europe. In the United States, which is grouped with other nations in the Americas, about 250,000 children lost one or both parents.

Child and family advocates said the humanitarian crisis has parallels to the situation created by the AIDS epidemic.

Carolyn Taverner, co-founder of Emma’s Place, which provides grief counseling in Staten Island, has been working the entire pandemic with children and families that have experienced the loss of a parent because of covid-19. She said public health policymakers should think about providing support not just for a short time but for the long term.

Many resources are available in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, she said, but those tend to wane over time.


U.S. plans to shift to annual coronavirus shots, similar to flu vaccine
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White House coronavirus coordinator Ashish Jha said Tuesday the newly reformulated omicron-targeting boosters mark an “important milestone” in the U.S. pandemic response, moving the country to a point where a single annual coronavirus shot should provide a “high degree of protection against serious illness all year.”

The cadence would be similar to that of the annual flu shot, which could be administered at the same time.

“I really believe this is why God gave us two arms — one for the flu shot and the other one for the covid shot,” Jha said.

Heading into the third fall of the pandemic, Jha and other Biden administration health officials urged eligible Americans to get an updated booster now.

Staying up to date on coronavirus vaccination can get the country back “to a more normal set of rules,” Jha said, allowing businesses and schools to stay open.

Barring curveballs from new variants, “it is reasonable to expect, based on what we know about immunology and science of this virus, that these new vaccines will provide better protection against infection, better protection against transmission and ongoing and better protection against serious illness,” he said at Tuesday’s news briefing.


People who recently caught Covid can wait a few months to get omicron booster, top health official says
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People who recently caught Covid can wait a few months to get a new omicron booster, White House Covid response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on Tuesday.

Studies have found people who caught Covid after vaccination have substantial protection against the virus, though the data is based on omicron variants that are no longer circulating in the U.S. and immunity wanes over time.

“If you’ve had a recent infection or were recently vaccinated, it’s reasonable to wait a few months,” Jha told reporters during a news conference Tuesday.


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07 Sep 2022, 7:33 pm

On Sept. 1, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the use of updated COVID-19 booster shots that are specifically tailored to combat the two most prevalent omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5. The decision comes just a day after the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization of the shots. The CDC’s backing will enable a full roll-out of the reformulated vaccines to begin within days.

The new booster shots – one by Moderna and another from Pfizer-BioNTech

Source: Updated COVID-19 booster shots are now available.


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08 Sep 2022, 9:24 am

Trigger warning: https://publichealth.jhu.edu/2022/covid ... res-no-one


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08 Sep 2022, 12:20 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:

One of the last holdouts the New York Metro area mass transit gave in and dropped mask mandates. Society has learned to live with it. People have no idea what learning to live with it is going to entail. As you so aptly described it will be, it is a lot worse then COVID fatigue.

The mask mandate come down because rates have been coming down. They are still high and way above previous summers. Unlike many areas in this area the new school semester is just starting and a lot of kids take public transportation to school meaning the subways and buses will be more crowded with unmasked people.

I can’t see the drop in cases lasting. Maybe because so many got sick over the summer the rates will stay “acceptable” for awhile. But the amount of people of getting boosters is fairly low the amount of under 5’s vaxxed is very low. I don’t see people suddenly rushing to get the new vaccine that has not been tested in humans. Bottom line is that immunity from getting vaxxed and getting COVID will wane.

This study did not take into account Omicron so maybe somehow there will be less Long Covid. I am not confident about that but that is the choice we made.


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09 Sep 2022, 7:16 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
One of the last holdouts the New York Metro area mass transit gave in and dropped mask mandates.
The mask mandate come down because rates have been coming down.

I saw that, that's ridiculous. Not only did they drop mask mandates, but their signs are mocking people who continue to mask, and implying that wearing a mask improperly is somehow acceptable >_<

As if people who mask don't catch enough ridicule and harassment :roll:

Rates are coming down because people aren't testing anymore, or they're using home tests which don't get reported.

Idunno about NY, but here in MI they've been testing sewage, and Coronavirus is still going strong. (of course, we don't have mask mandates anymore, because the Gov doesn't want any more kidnapping attempts)

We're heading into spike season, so I guess we'll see.


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ASPartOfMe
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09 Sep 2022, 10:21 am

SabbraCadabra wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
One of the last holdouts the New York Metro area mass transit gave in and dropped mask mandates.
The mask mandate come down because rates have been coming down.

I saw that, that's ridiculous. Not only did they drop mask mandates, but their signs are mocking people who continue to mask, and implying that wearing a mask improperly is somehow acceptable >_<

As if people who mask don't catch enough ridicule and harassment :roll:

Rates are coming down because people aren't testing anymore, or they're using home tests which don't get reported.

Idunno about NY, but here in MI they've been testing sewage, and Coronavirus is still going strong. (of course, we don't have mask mandates anymore, because the Gov doesn't want any more kidnapping attempts)

We're heading into spike season, so I guess we'll see.


LIRR mask mandate dropped, effective immediately, Hochul says
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Masks are no longer required on the LIRR and other mass transit systems in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday, ending a pandemic protocol described by an MTA board member as having become “basically unenforceable.”

The shift in policy to face masks being "encouraged, but optional," effective immediately, comes as the state officially registers a lower level of COVID-19 positive tests than in recent weeks, with hopes that the falling numbers could be a signal the COVID-19 pandemic, if not yet waning, is finally becoming manageable.

“We have to restore some normalcy to our lives," Hochul said at a news conference in Manhattan.

The mask requirement will remain, however, in health care facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes.

While Hochul lifted the mask requirement on the Long Island Rail Road and other mass transit systems across the state, many riders have already ditched the mask coverings — often far more than half in many train cars.

At the height of the pandemic, MTA officials took an aggressive stance in urging riders to mask up, including with the threat of $50 fines for violators. In April 2021, the MTA reported that compliance rates, including on the LIRR, were about 98%.

But riders noticed a significant drop in compliance over the last year, especially after mask mandates were dropped in most other settings.

Gerard Bringmann, chairman of the LIRR Commuter Council and an MTA board member, estimated that fewer than 50% of passengers have been wearing face coverings as of late. Bringmann said the policy had become “basically unenforceable” and “should have been lifted months ago.”

The state will post signs on the trains, buses and subways reminding of the policy change, but with an appeal to politeness: "Masks are encouraged but optional. Let's respect each other's choices."

Hochul encouraged people to respect others' choices.

“I walk the streets of Manhattan almost every day and I see people still wearing them," she said. "That is their choice. We encourage them to do that."

On mass transit: “Do not judge your fellow passengers on what their choices are," she said. "Let’s be respectful."

Bringmann said that before Hochul's announcement Wednesday, it had become unrealistic to expect conductors or MTA police to confront every rider who was in violation because there were so many.

“It was just ticking off the riders who were adhering to it, seeing people who weren’t adhering to it, and there was no punishment, no consequences,” Bringmann said. “The trains would stop running, basically, because you’d have people on every train that refused.”

Anthony Simon, who heads the union representing LIRR conductors, said he, too, was “pleased” the governor dropped the mandate.

“Our crews have had a difficult time trying to convey the message of the continued mask mandate,” said Simon, general chairman of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. “This will avoid future confrontations and provide consistency with other transportation agencies in our region.”

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, MTA chairman Janno Lieber displayed the new signs announcing the change and said they are already going up at train stations.

Lieber acknowledged that mask compliance in transit “definitely went down” and the MTA chose “not to increase conflict” by strictly enforcing the mandate.

Long Beach commuter Mark Hassin said the low compliance rate should have been a signal to MTA officials and state leaders to step up enforcement of the policy, not drop it.

“I think at this point, it’s still a mistake [to remove the mandate]. You’ve got different variants running around. … Why jump the gun?” said Hassin, of Atlantic Beach, who has complained to the MTA repeatedly about the high number of passengers violating the agency's mask policy.

“The reality is they never enforced it. They never did what they said," said Hassin, who has observed as few as "4 or 5" masked riders in a train car holding "50 or 60 people."

"Why put in a mandate to begin with if you’re not going to enforce it?" he asked.


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10 Sep 2022, 6:29 pm

And now NY announces a state of emergency for polio.

...but "you do you"...


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13 Sep 2022, 10:32 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Double Retired wrote:


Gosh!

Like that businessman in Japan who...not only managed to survive the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima, but...was so dedicated that...he went back to work the next day, and...took his previously scheduled business trip...to Nagasaki!

Right in the middle of his presentation in front of the board of directors in Nagasaki he saw the same weird light come through the window - that the A bomb gave off at Hiroshima. And he dived under the table and survived the second A bomb.


Oh ye gods, it's like that "incredibly dark joke" I posted not long ago where the doctor puts the guy diagnosed with all these diseases and more is put on a diet of pancakes and flounder because that's all they can slide under the door to his room. :lol:



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15 Sep 2022, 8:13 am

https://nypost.com/2022/09/13/bill-hade ... mmys-2022/

Sad that Fonzie is not the role model he used to be :cry:

The NYP, being what it is, of course had to take a jab at maskers at the end of the article :roll:

Quote:
Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several states suspending many COVID-19 restrictions, some people with disabilities still live in fear of contracting the virus.

More like, we live in fear BECAUSE the restrictions have been lifted. Nobody else is going to prevent us from getting sick anymore, we have to rely on ourselves now and just cross our fingers.


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15 Sep 2022, 10:03 am

The new COVID shots are becoming available. They just began giving them in my state (Indiana) this week. I was one of the first in line to receive the new shot that protects both the earlier versions of COVID along with the most recent variant, the OMICRON variant. I received my shot two hours ago. So far the only adverse reaction that I feel is the development of a fever blister on my lips. I do not know if this is shot related or not. I have had fever blisters many times in the past. I will give you an update when I am further along.

It will take two weeks for my body to fully develop an immunity to the current strain of COVID. I expect the next big surge in the northern U.S. will occur in the November time frame if it comes at all. So the timing is good. My immunity should be in place by November.


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15 Sep 2022, 10:57 am

jimmy m wrote:
The new COVID shots are becoming available. They just began giving them in my state (Indiana) this week. I was one of the first in line to receive the new shot that protects both the earlier versions of COVID along with the most recent variant, the OMICRON variant. I received my shot two hours ago. So far the only adverse reaction that I feel is the development of a fever blister on my lips. I do not know if this is shot related or not. I have had fever blisters many times in the past. I will give you an update when I am further along.

It will take two weeks for my body to fully develop an immunity to the current strain of COVID. I expect the next big surge in the northern U.S. will occur in the November time frame if it comes at all. So the timing is good. My immunity should be in place by November.

Despite all the hoopla I do not expect enough people to take this vaccine to make a significant difference in any future wave.

It is going to come down this indoor season to the same things.

How fast immunity wanes.

If there is another variant how severe it is is, how much does it evade vaccines, how contagious is it?

Now that people are crowded together indoors how bad is this flu season going to be because a combination of a bad flu and COVID seasons could further strain the health care system.

SabbraCadabra wrote:
https://nypost.com/2022/09/13/bill-hader-only-one-wearing-a-f-king-mask-at-emmys-2022/

Good to see Bill Hader receiving no blowback from his peers and praise from the audience. Hollywood and the people who watch the Emmy’s are only representative of part of the population.

School kids are going to pick on anybody that is acting different.

I don’t believe a lot of the you have a choice arguments are sincere. If they are going to make a freedom of choice argument they kind of have to say wearing a mask is valid choice in order not appear hypocritical. I envision mask wearers being told they are getting fired because they don’t fit in, or they are making people feel uncomfortable. Even if they are not outright fired people that don’t fit in don’t get promoted.


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