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COVID-19 (Aka China Virus)


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12 minutes ago, torqued said:

If not, which precautionary measures would you make permanent?

-I would like to see more emphasis placed on not working/going to school when sick. Zoom class for when somebody is sick. Make sick days something people take without getting question. Ideally mandate them but I know that won’t fly in the US. 
-Telemedicine options. Do I really need to go into a doctors office for everything? No and it keeps me from being in a room with other sick people. 
-Wearing mask when you have a cold/don’t feel well but still need to be in public. There is data suggesting the reason Japan and other countries in the region had lower rates of COVID is because mask usage was already a cultural norm. 

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26 minutes ago, torqued said:

Are you cool going back to business as usual and accepting tens of thousands of flu deaths as a cost of living?

Yes. It fluctuates but averages around 38,000 a year. Roughly the same number of people who die in the U.S. from auto accidents annually.

Yes, the line has to be drawn somewhere. Torqued, what's your line? The 200,000 you asserted as Prozacs line is ~5% of the U.S. annual birth rate, maybe that's a good reference?

The problem with many of these arguments is that instead of a cost to society/humanity, many people only view it as a cost to self/surroundings. (i.e. their line is "1, but only if its me")

Edited by brwwg&b
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9 minutes ago, Prozac said:

False choice. Never said I was in favor of lockdown. Nor is that a viable long term strategy. Vaccinating a population against a pandemic novel virus with no pre existing human immunity is a viable strategy that will work. You don’t have to like it, but the world we live in is one that will continue to place severe restrictions on what we previously considered normal life. Why so resistant to simple and effective mitigation strategies that will get our kids back in school and our economy back on its feet? 

Ok, I misunderstood the extent of preventative measures you are in favor of. No lockdowns, but no schools, restaurants, or concerts, either. Fair?

Apologies if I am again misunderstanding, but I think you're saying even after a vaccine arrives, you still believe there should still be severe restrictions.

If we continue to have severe restrictions after the vaccine, is it really reasonable to say the economy will get back on its feet?

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16 minutes ago, Prozac said:

False choice. Never said I was in favor of lockdown. Nor is that a viable long term strategy. Vaccinating a population against a pandemic novel virus with no pre existing human immunity is a viable strategy that will work. You don’t have to like it, but the world we live in is one that will continue to place severe restrictions on what we previously considered normal life. Why so resistant to simple and effective mitigation strategies that will get our kids back in school and our economy back on its feet? 

So I'm curious now: What is your opinion on the human right to bodily autonomy? Do you not think that people have a right to decide what goes in their bodies and the sanctity of their body? 

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17 minutes ago, brwwg&b said:

Yes. It fluctuates but averages around 38,000 a year. Roughly the same people who die in the U.S. from auto accidents annually.

Yes, the line has to be drawn somewhere. Torqued, what's your line? The 200,000 you asserted as Prozacs line is ~5% of the U.S. annual birth rate, maybe that's a good reference?

The problem with many of these arguments is that instead of a cost to society/humanity, many people only view it as a cost to self/surroundings. (i.e. their line is "1, but only if its me")

Great. I think your number is perfectly acceptable. Even though we've demonstrated we can wipe out flu deaths, you're willing to return that number to the historical norm to live a normal life.

Me? I don't have a line. If I were to select an arbitrary number of deaths as being acceptable, you could easily argue "why not 1 less?" or "why not 1 more?". Which is what I'm doing with Prozac. I know it's an unwinnable debate. I just want to see if he'll throw a number out there. Sorry, Prozac.

What I would say is there is a minimum level of freedom I will accept. I'm more than happy to make extraordinary efforts of my own accord to keep the people around me safe. I am not willing to give anyone else the authority to mandate it.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, torqued said:

Ok, I misunderstood the extent of preventative measures you are in favor of. No lockdowns, but no schools, restaurants, or concerts, either. Fair?

Apologies if I am again misunderstanding, but I think you're saying even after a vaccine arrives, you still believe there should still be severe restrictions.

If we continue to have severe restrictions after the vaccine, is it really reasonable to say the economy will get back on its feet?

I think you are indeed misunderstanding. I want the skeptics and everyone else to get vaccinated ASAP so that we can get rid of social distancing/masks/etc. This is no way to live. If only 50% of Americans get the vaccine we only prolong our collective suffering. In the meantime, I advocate making decisions that not only benefit yourself, but society as a whole. Again, by making the selfish decision today, we prolong the amount of time our collective society will feel the pain. 

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17 minutes ago, FLEA said:

So I'm curious now: What is your opinion on the human right to bodily autonomy? Do you not think that people have a right to decide what goes in their bodies and the sanctity of their body? 

Absolutely. I don’t want the government to have to force you to do anything. What I really want is for you to come to the conclusion on your own that this vaccine is worth the small risks. Certainly the risks of not having a vaccinated population (lives lost, extended economic misery, severe interruptions to education, etc.) outweigh the small risk to your person, wouldn’t you agree?  Regardless if you do or not, as I’ve stated previously, I do think market forces will be enough to convince most of us to get it. 

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30 minutes ago, Prozac said:

I think you are indeed misunderstanding. I want the skeptics and everyone else to get vaccinated ASAP so that we can get rid of social distancing/masks/etc. This is no way to live. If only 50% of Americans get the vaccine we only prolong our collective suffering. In the meantime, I advocate making decisions that not only benefit yourself, but society as a whole. Again, by making the selfish decision today, we prolong the amount of time our collective society will feel the pain. 

How are you making these assumptions about what the risks are? The effectiveness?

The only pieces of information you could possibly use to derive that conclusion are pharmaceutical company press releases.

Remember this?

 

Edited by torqued
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The real issue with a vaccine is that the disease doesn't cause enough suffering in the population to get people motivated.

If COVID-19 left your children paralyzed and in an iron lung the discussion wouldn't be so concerned with #freedom.

However, even in the early 20th century during the polio pandemic there was a strong anti-vax movement.  Learned that from a Stuff You Should Know podcast while I was studying for my Gender Studies major.

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7 hours ago, Homestar said:

The real issue with a vaccine is that the disease doesn't cause enough suffering in the population to get people motivated.

If COVID-19 left your children paralyzed and in an iron lung the discussion wouldn't be so concerned with #freedom.

However, even in the early 20th century during the polio pandemic there was a strong anti-vax movement.  Learned that from a Stuff You Should Know podcast while I was studying for my Gender Studies major.

A large part of that is the vulnerable population that is really at risk for this disease isn't valued as highly by our society as children or even middle aged adults. This is reflected in the court systems where the elderly usually recieve the smallest wrongful death claims. Generally, when people have obtained senior age we feel that they've already lived a good life, and any further time they get is just additional blessing. When a person over 60 dies it does not invoke the same sense of dissapointment at the objective loss of potential that life held. At 60, a person has already given about all they will give to society in their life. But when a child dies, we tend to be appalled because we think of how much growth and contribution that child had in front of him/her. 

This is culturally different than say Japan were elders are revered for their contributions and there is a heavy obligation to take care of them. 

There's a mathematical moral problem with the risk of a vaccine as well. 

First off, when people say the vaccine is safe they mean short term. There has been no long term test done on any of the COVID vaccines. It would be impossible given the time frame and developers have come out and said the world is not willing to wait and see what a 3-4 year study might bring when people are still living in lockdowns. So we don't know things like 1.) Does the vaccine increase risk to cancer? 2.) Does the vaccine increase risk to heart disease? 3.) Does the vaccine increase risk to infertility. Etc... We are making the assumption that those probabilities are low based on the existing body of knowledge of a new technology that has never been administered in human patients before. As you all know, an assumption is a calculated risk. 

So to the mathematical argument is we are taking a potentially enormous risk (by sample size not by probabilities) when we inoculate the human population. Does that risk outweigh the risk that is assumed by the over 70 population with a 13% chance of dieing, and is that risk worth it to save 1-8 years of their nearly over life. If the vaccine has a 1% chance of increasing the risk to certain types of cancer for instance, how many people will assume that risk and how early will their own lives be terminated? 

 

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2 hours ago, FLEA said:

A large part of that is the vulnerable population that is really at risk for this disease isn't valued as highly by our society as children or even middle aged adults. This is reflected in the court systems where the elderly usually recieve the smallest wrongful death claims. Generally, when people have obtained senior age we feel that they've already lived a good life, and any further time they get is just additional blessing. When a person over 60 dies it does not invoke the same sense of dissapointment at the objective loss of potential that life held. At 60, a person has already given about all they will give to society in their life. But when a child dies, we tend to be appalled because we think of how much growth and contribution that child had in front of him/her. 

This is culturally different than say Japan were elders are revered for their contributions and there is a heavy obligation to take care of them. 

There's a mathematical moral problem with the risk of a vaccine as well. 

First off, when people say the vaccine is safe they mean short term. There has been no long term test done on any of the COVID vaccines. It would be impossible given the time frame and developers have come out and said the world is not willing to wait and see what a 3-4 year study might bring when people are still living in lockdowns. So we don't know things like 1.) Does the vaccine increase risk to cancer? 2.) Does the vaccine increase risk to heart disease? 3.) Does the vaccine increase risk to infertility. Etc... We are making the assumption that those probabilities are low based on the existing body of knowledge of a new technology that has never been administered in human patients before. As you all know, an assumption is a calculated risk. 

So to the mathematical argument is we are taking a potentially enormous risk (by sample size not by probabilities) when we inoculate the human population. Does that risk outweigh the risk that is assumed by the over 70 population with a 13% chance of dieing, and is that risk worth it to save 1-8 years of their nearly over life. If the vaccine has a 1% chance of increasing the risk to certain types of cancer for instance, how many people will assume that risk and how early will their own lives be terminated? 

 

You’re right. There is absolutely a lack of knowledge about the long term effects of a COVID-19 vaccine. There is also the same lack of knowledge about COVID-19.

The risks are not the same, not equal, and not currently knowable.  I’m sure those who developed the vaccine could tell you why [they’re reasonably sure] the vaccine is safe.  Would you trade 4 years of economic ruin and decreased life expectancy to call them on it?

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17 hours ago, Prozac said:

Certainly the risks of not having a vaccinated population (lives lost, extended economic misery, severe interruptions to education, etc.) outweigh the small risk to your person, wouldn’t you agree?

Devils advocate: 90% of the population has < 1% chance of dying from covid, if they get it to begin with. For a majority of the population, where is the personal incentive to get a vaccine with no longterm data, just to try to increase their chance of life from 99.x% to 99.y%? It may make a lot more sense for those who are in an elevated risk situation, whether if it’s themselves or someone they live with/interact closely with on a regular basis. But overall, 90% have a 0.x% of death and an unknown % chance of negative consequences of taking this vaccine. It’s not a “small” risk to your person as you stated, it’s an unknown risk. That risk may turn out to be very low, it also may turn out to be unacceptably high. Give it several years of data build up and people will soften to the idea if the longterm data supports the currently unsupported “small risk” side of the argument. I hope it is low risk and works like a champ, but we simply don’t know yet. 
 

My body my choice - acceptable for abortion (killing millions depending on your view), but not acceptable for injecting synthetic/man-made shit into your body that may or may not end in terrible longterm effects. Non-sensical.

Edited by brabus
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1 minute ago, jice said:

Would you trade 4 years of economic ruin and decreased life expectancy to call them on it?

False dichotomy.
 

Economic ruin is a choice that has been made for us at primarily the gubernatorial level. We could choose to not keep sticking the economic-destruction revolver in our mouth and pulling the trigger, but we decide of our own free will to do it. We could have an open economy while using sensible “middle ground” methods to reduce the effect of viruses,  but we have chosen not to. The bogey man is not COVID, it’s ultimately runaway governors. 

How has our life expectancy changed? I don’t think we have nearly enough data to change the “official” average life expectancy values. I’m not saying it won’t go down, but I don’t think we can accurately make a statement one way or the other on that one at this point. And if it goes down, will it be drastic or insignificant from a historical perspective? The only true answer is we don’t know yet.

 

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Valid points about low chances of death and life expectancy likely not changing significantly. But there are probably other costs than just deaths.

What do you think about having our healthcare system maxed out for an indeterminate amount of time? Many states are projected to reach >100% bed capacity in the next 3 weeks, and that could just as easily affect your circle of people you care about.

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Here is an excerpt from the Mayo Clinic’s website. Basically, for vaccines to work, you need a large portion of the population to participate in order to curb transmission. Thus the “we should only vaccinate at risk populations” argument doesn’t really hold much water. 

 


 

What percentage of a community needs to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity? It varies from disease to disease. The more contagious a disease is, the greater the proportion of the population that needs to be immune to the disease to stop its spread. For example, the measles is a highly contagious illness. It's estimated that 94% of the population must be immune to interrupt the chain of transmission.

How is herd immunity achieved?

 

There are two paths to herd immunity for COVID-19 — vaccines and infection.

Vaccines

A vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19 would be an ideal approach to achieving herd immunity. Vaccines create immunity without causing illness or resulting complications. Herd immunity makes it possible to protect the population from a disease, including those who can't be vaccinated, such as newborns or those who have compromised immune systems. Using the concept of herd immunity, vaccines have successfully controlled deadly contagious diseases such as smallpox, polio, diphtheria, rubella and many others.

 

Reaching herd immunity through vaccination sometimes has drawbacks, though. Protection from some vaccines can wane over time, requiring revaccination. Sometimes people don't get all of the shots that they need to be completely protected from a disease.

In addition, some people may object to vaccines because of religious objections, fears about the possible risks or skepticism about the benefits. People who object to vaccines often live in the same neighborhoods or attend the same religious services or schools. If the proportion of vaccinated people in a community falls below the herd immunity threshold, exposure to a contagious disease could result in the disease quickly spreading. Measles has recently resurged in several parts of the world with relatively low vaccination rates, including the United States. Opposition to vaccines can pose a real challenge to herd immunity.

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21 hours ago, Negatory said:

What do you think about having our healthcare system maxed out for an indeterminate amount of time?

That’s a worthy consideration. While I skimmed the top few google hits of MSM articles basically claiming the hospital system is going to implode and we’re all fucked (of course they included quotes from well respected people like Newsome and Cuomo). I then referenced the department of health:  59% of ICU beds occupied (all patients), 68% of in-patient beds occupied (all patients). The average, combined occupancy for all beds 1975-2015 (this is the date range I could find from the CDC) was 69%. We’re currently sitting at a 63.5% combined average (source is US Dept of Health). So has COVID increased short term hospitalization use, I think absolutely. But the data does not support the fire and brimstone “maxed out” messaging from the MSM and some governors. Of course continuous assessment is prudent, and YMMV at the local town/city level, but at the national level/big picture, let’s stop buying into the apocalyptic messaging and actually form viewpoints and decisions on the data, and not on hypothetical fear-mongering.

 

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That’s a worthy consideration. While I skimmed the top few google hits of MSM articles basically claiming the hospital system is going to implode and we’re all ed (of course they included quotes from well respected people like Newsome and Cuomo). I then referenced the department of health:  59% of ICU beds occupied (all patients), 68% of in-patient beds occupied (all patients). The average, combined occupancy for all beds 1975-2015 (this is the date range I could find from the CDC) was 69%. We’re currently sitting at a 63.5% combined average (source is US Dept of Health). So has COVID increased short term hospitalization use, I think absolutely. But the data does not support the fire and brimstone “maxed out” messaging from the MSM and some governors. Of course continuous assessment is prudent, and YMMV at the local town/city level, but at the national level/big picture, let’s stop buying into the apocalyptic messaging and actually form viewpoints and decisions on the data, and not on hypothetical fear-mongering.
 


I would agree with you that ICU beds probably aren't a national problem, but rather a state/local problem. The federal problem is how to help states share limited resources, and maybe procure extra resources to help the states.

Just be careful looking at federal stats vs state/regional stats for hospital resources. Just because the US has extra capacity doesn't mean an individual state/city does.

Throw in the complication of stabilizing and moving a COVID positive ICU patient, and they may not be able to move very far to get treatment, not to mention insurance/payment issues with potentially moving out of network. Moving 1 or 2 patients is probably easily doable, but if you have to move dozens, it gets much harder, especially when distances increase.

We're also semi locked down, so fewer people are out driving, going out, etc, which may also be driving down the demand for ICUs.

I think the concern with the healthcare system is that we can't surge indefinitely like we have been so far in the pandemic. And burn out is a real thing, and unlike military pilots with an ADSC, medical staff could just quit if they don't want to deal with it anymore.

There's a similar parallel to the AF pilot shortage-ops units are manned at about 100%, and the missions needed are getting done. Pilots on average are exceeding their minimum dwell time requirements. So that must mean mean there's no pilot shortage...
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36 minutes ago, jazzdude said:

I think the concern with the healthcare system is that we can't surge indefinitely like we have been so far in the pandemic. And burn out is a real thing, and unlike military pilots with an ADSC, medical staff could just quit if they don't want to deal with it anymore.

There's a similar parallel to the AF pilot shortage-ops units are manned at about 100%, and the missions needed are getting done. Pilots on average are exceeding their minimum dwell time requirements. So that must mean mean there's no pilot shortage...

 

Shack. Members of this board have talked about pilot burnout and lack of appreciation for years, if we don’t change course we could very well do the same thing to our medical staff. It’s easy for them to quit and transfer their skills to an outpatient setting. 

It’s also hard to look at ICU beds now because their use always lags infections by 2-4 weeks. So hospitals won’t see the results of Thanksgiving gatherings until mid December and by then it will be too late. 

Finally from what I’ve been told within our medical system COVID patients require a lot more work then a typical ICU patient. Add that to being in a MOPP 4 level of protection every time you step into a room for 9+ months and you have a recipe for burnout. 

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@jazzdude dude hits on my concerns.  Our local numbers are not inline with the averages you found @brabus.  I'm not saying they're wrong, there's just less hospitals here in the great-wide west, and less that can deal with COVID.  Our current numbers -

Percent of all non-ICU Bed Occupied     57.1%
Percent of all ICU Beds Occupied     85.7%
Percent of Referral Center ICU Beds Occupied     88.8%

Average and median age for hospitalization have dropped by a year in about 2 weeks.  % ICU beds and Referral Center were over 91% during "wave 2" peak.  It's only going to get worse.  Especially since we had an anti-mask demonstrations, one through a store the other week...


On top of the work the medical community is putting in, we've also got demagogues claiming the doctors are getting paid extra to lie about COVID.  I know if I was getting slammed at work, being told my work was a lie, and not being listened to when trying to get around the emergency...yea.  I'm looking for a way out.  But, I don't have the dedication Dr's and nurses do.  Nor the student loans.

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I do think one of the good things in the response has been states taking an active or leading role for their states. Much closer to their population, so local areas can have mitigations based on their needs (or based on what they value).

It's probably one of the clearest points on the need for strong state governments and not just centralizing power in the federal government. COVID (and to a lesser extent all the race/BLM issues that have flared up) also bring to light the importance of local and state elections (just as important as the federal level). As an aside, it has made me reconsider (or at least added a consideration to) where I'd be willing to retire based on the state's pandemic response.

A nation-wide lockdown, or other heavy measures, don't make sense at the federal level. The situation is different in different parts of the country. Plus we're a very large country, spanning many different climates and population densities, so comparisons to other countries (like New Zealand, which is much smaller, and an island) may not really be valid. Rather, the federal government should be funding research (CDC, vaccine programs, etc), publishing recommended guidelines, and making resources available as states need them while balancing limited resources.

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It’s easy for them to quit and transfer their skills to an outpatient setting. 


Nurses probably can move easier.

But doctors are pretty much locked in. An ER doc or surgeon can't quit and move to family practice-they are locked into their specialty, and to switch specialties, they'd have to go back through a residency (which has limited seats already, so it'd be like stealing an FTU seat for requal in place of a initial qual).

Maybe something along the lines of a cardiologist or pulmonologist could break out from a hospital, but then they're having to either find an outpatient clinic that's hiring (at likely lower pay than a hospital) or start a private practice business in the middle of a pandemic, and in both cases still having to treat COVID positive patients (though not in an ICU setting, but still donning PPE).

But a doctor that quits is likely out of the business of treating patients, and the pipeline to replace them is much longer than creating a military pilot (4 years med school plus 2-5+ years of residency, vs 1 year UPT plus 1 year FTU plus 2 years as wingman/copilot).

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So our Sq is soliciting volunteers for COVID vaccine volunteers. I guess our base is getting a limited number and it's a trial run.

What really makes me scratch my head is that nobody can answer if it will DNIF us, if we will get sick/symptoms, how long the trial is (besides the fact that it is two doses), and several other seemingly obvious questions/answers. Not sure if this because nobody knows or if it's just bad communication from the top down on this tasker.

If it doesn't DNIF me, I don't get stupidly sick, and I can avoid ROM/prison lodging rooms on my TDYs I think I'd rather roll the dice with the vaccine.

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