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Will flu rates go down this year?


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28 minutes ago, SKL said:

I thought the reason it wasn't so effective was because it only targets certain flu strains, and some years (like this past year) they miss the strain(s) that are going to be most rampant / deadly.  My being vaxed will not save anyone else from catching what the vax doesn't prevent.

Shucks, don't talk sense here...

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I believe that flu rates will go down in areas where mask compliance is high. As for universities requiring the flu vaccine, I suspect that they have wanted to add it for years, and the climate s

The Dunning Kruger Effect The less one knows about a subject the more one tends to over-estimate ones knowledge. The more one knows about a subject the more one realizes how much he/she doesn't k

Because what "masks work" means is that they decrease transmission by some factor, and the factor depends on how good the mask is, how well you keep it on, how far away you stay away from people, etc.

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Shucks, don't talk sense here...

It's not sense because no one knows until after the fact that the flu vax didn't contain the most dangerous strains. That's like saying that I didn't get in a car accident when I drove here so wearing my seatbelt was stupid. Or the reverse, someone dies in a horrific accident while wearing a seatbelt and we conclude that because a seatbelt would not have made a difference in that accident, it was stupid to wear a seatbelt. 

The flu vaccine is an educated guess and it's prudent to do what you can to protect yourself against known risks. Like I wear my seatbelt when I drive or I buy insurance. Was my homeowner's a waste of money last year because my house did not burn down? 

Getting the flu shot is one of the easiest things that we can all do to protect ourselves and others from a deadly disease. If the flu shot was dangerous, difficult to get, or expensive then it might not make sense given that it's never a perfect match for the strains in circulation. But that's irrelevant because it easy, cheap, and safe for almost everyone. 

Everyone, regardless of age, should get a flu shot except those who cannot for medical reasons. 

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19 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

It's not sense because no one knows until after the fact that the flu vax didn't contain the most dangerous strains. That's like saying that I didn't get in a car accident when I drove here so wearing my seatbelt was stupid. Or the reverse, someone dies in a horrific accident while wearing a seatbelt and we conclude that because a seatbelt would not have made a difference in that accident, it was stupid to wear a seatbelt. 

The flu vaccine is an educated guess and it's prudent to do what you can to protect yourself against known risks. Like I wear my seatbelt when I drive or I buy insurance. Was my homeowner's a waste of money last year because my house did not burn down? 

Getting the flu shot is one of the easiest things that we can all do to protect ourselves and others from a deadly disease. If the flu shot was dangerous, difficult to get, or expensive then it might not make sense given that it's never a perfect match for the strains in circulation. But that's irrelevant because it easy, cheap, and safe for almost everyone. 

Everyone, regardless of age, should get a flu shot except those who cannot for medical reasons. 

Wearing a seatbelt and not getting into an accident doesn't change my body.

All drugs and vaxes have side effects, which vary from person to person.  I choose to use them very sparingly.  Others are free to make their own choices.

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

I thought the reason it wasn't so effective was because it only targets certain flu strains, and some years (like this past year) they miss the strain(s) that are going to be most rampant / deadly.  My being vaxed will not save anyone else from catching what the vax doesn't prevent.

Last I checked, it decreased disease severity even in less effective years. And I believe it has SOME efficacy every year. 

So, yes, chances are that your choice can affect other people. 

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Just now, Not_a_number said:

Last I checked, it decreased disease severity even in less effective years. And I believe it has SOME efficacy every year. 

So, yes, chances are that your choice can affect other people. 

If we ban every choice that "can affect other people," then say goodbye to a lot of things we take for granted.

A vax 100% affects the person being vaxed.  This is weighed against the much smaller likelihood of that person (a) getting the flu and (b) while contagious, coming in contact with someone who can't get vaxed but also can't survive the flu.

Honest question:  if the flu vax is so easy, cheap, and safe, then why don't they include all the known strains every year?

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Just now, SKL said:

If we ban every choice that "can affect other people," then say goodbye to a lot of things we take for granted.

It's always a balancing act. Obviously, it's not going to be "every choice." I think we tend to restrict the choices that cause the most harm... of course, it's a matter of opinion where exactly we should draw that line. 

 

Just now, SKL said:

A vax 100% affects the person being vaxed.  This is weighed against the much smaller likelihood of that person (a) getting the flu and (b) while contagious, coming in contact with someone who can't get vaxed but also can't survive the flu.

Honest question:  if the flu vax is so easy, cheap, and safe, then why don't they include all the known strains every year?

Honestly, I've been bad about getting the flu vaccine. And last year, I managed to get the flu early as a result, which had definitely made me wish I had gotten the flu vaccine. I was very sick for a week, quite sick for another week, and then coughing for a month. I don't know how many bags of Halls I went through. (I'm just assuming it was a flu, to be fair. I didn't get tested.) 

I actually have no idea why they don't include all the known strains. I'd guess it's not plausible because there are too many? Have you ever looked it up? I'd be curious. 

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Wearing a seatbelt and not getting into an accident doesn't change my body.

All drugs and vaxes have side effects, which vary from person to person.  I choose to use them very sparingly.  Others are free to make their own choices.

The choice I make is to not have my elderly parents around people who don't get the flu shot. 

You can choose not to get the flu shot. Like you say, it's your body so your choice. But this choice should prevent you from being around high risk people. 

And wearing a seatbelt actually increases some risks but overall it reduces risk for the population as a whole. 

Schools requiring the flu shot is reasonable. The risks and expense of the flu shot are significantly less than the benefit of the flu vaccine for the individual and for society. 

I can't think of anything that eliminates all risk. Everything we do requires us to weigh risks vs benefit. A reasonable precaution is one where the risk and expense of the precaution is far less than the risk of what is being prevented. 

The flu vaccine is a classic example of a reasonable precaution. 

Here's a link from the CDC about how they select the strains for the flu vaccinations. Selecting Viruses for the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine

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A couple of different / alternative minded perspectives:

From VitaminDWiki: 

  • "First, I estimate that only about 1/1,000 of people who think they have influenza A actually have influenza A. Most have other viruses."
  • "I continue to get a flu shot as does my wife and children. "

 

Interview of Dr. Cannell Dec 1 2010 talking about Institute of Medicine

Clip

DC:: I agree. In fact there is even a possibility that the flu vaccine is not going to work very well in people with high vitamin D levels. The Russians have observed that when they gave the flu vaccine in the summer, that they got much less of a reaction, you know, mild fever or body aches or anything. When they gave it in the winter, there was 10 or 15 times higher rate of having the symptoms.

The kind of reaction that the body makes when you get a flu vaccine decides how many antibodies it makes. In the absence of any side effects at all, you can assume your body is not making as many antibodies as the person next to you who had a slight fever and some muscle soreness after the flu shot.

And looking at the literature, it doesn't appear that the vaccine industry has ever even considered that possibility. They seem to have known for a long time that you can't take the flu shot too soon in the season or it doesn't work. They've never considered the possibility that it's only going to work if your vitamin D is deficient.

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Another alternative speculation: 

Zinc and vaccines: 

https://foundationforhealthresearch.org/modern-medicine-knew-of-zinc-cure/

 

zinc could be opposite of D — d needs to be in low season for vaccine to work (speculative idea post above) whereas zinc is needed to be present sufficiently for vaccine to work (explained idea below): 

 

 

“While physicians may not be convinced of the use of zinc to enhance the immune response, the very populations of people who don’t produce sufficient antibodies after vaccination, the very young and the very old, are commonly zinc deficient.
Zinc
works to maintain the size and function of the thymus gland. B-cells produced in your bone marrow are converted to T-cells in the thymus gland.
Thymus Gland (origin of T-cells)
The thymus gland is located below your breastbone (sternum) just below your neck.
 4
A pool of un-activated (naïve) T-cells that has not produced any antibodies is required to produce antibodies against new incoming bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that may infect the host.
Naïve T-Cells
produce antibodies against new incoming bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.
BEYOND VACCINES End of Vaccination Era
  5

BeyondVaccines.com
 Zinc deprived
thymus gland shrinks and does not maintain a healthy pool of naïve T-cells.
Studies involving zinc induced antibody production with vaccination are mixed. Reasons why the provision of zinc may not always help produce antibodies are:
(a) excessively high doses may over-produce metallothionein (meh-tallo-th-eye-o-neen), a binder of zinc and other heavy
6

metals such as cadmium, mercury, copper and aluminum. This may result in a normal zinc blood test but the zinc is not bio-available;
(b) insufficient supply of selenium and vitamin B6 to release zinc from metallothionein.
The over-binding of zinc to metallothionein may be overcome by starting a zinc regimen with low doses and work up to higher doses. Later, zinc release agents such as supplemental selenium and vitamin B6 can be consumed with zinc. Then more zinc should be bioavailable. “

Edited by Pen
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13 hours ago, SKL said:

I thought the reason it wasn't so effective was because it only targets certain flu strains, and some years (like this past year) they miss the strain(s) that are going to be most rampant / deadly.  My being vaxed will not save anyone else from catching what the vax doesn't prevent.

That’s not the only reason why its effectiveness varies. Even when it’s well matched, it’s between 40 to 60% effective in preventing hospitalization. There’s also the issue that those most at risk – – particularly the elderly – – do not respond as well to flu vaccines, even when they are well matched. That means as many people as possible being vaccinated reduces the risk to those who are not going to be as well protected by the vaccine itself.  I say all that in response to your original statement the people who are worried about the flu can protect themself by getting the flu vaccine. I also say that as someone who has not gotten a flu shot every year in the past myself, and in fact have gone long periods of time without doing them mostly because of the questionable efficacy many years, combined with the fact that I take very seriously many other measures that are shown to decrease flu. This year, we will all have flu shots though, as the benefit of decreasing flu rates across the board is too high not to. 

13 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Shucks, don't talk sense here...

That was pretty rude.

Edited by kand
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11 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

It's not sense because no one knows until after the fact that the flu vax didn't contain the most dangerous strains. That's like saying that I didn't get in a car accident when I drove here so wearing my seatbelt was stupid. Or the reverse, someone dies in a horrific accident while wearing a seatbelt and we conclude that because a seatbelt would not have made a difference in that accident, it was stupid to wear a seatbelt. 

The flu vaccine is an educated guess and it's prudent to do what you can to protect yourself against known risks. Like I wear my seatbelt when I drive or I buy insurance. Was my homeowner's a waste of money last year because my house did not burn down? 

Getting the flu shot is one of the easiest things that we can all do to protect ourselves and others from a deadly disease. If the flu shot was dangerous, difficult to get, or expensive then it might not make sense given that it's never a perfect match for the strains in circulation. But that's irrelevant because it easy, cheap, and safe for almost everyone. 

Everyone, regardless of age, should get a flu shot except those who cannot for medical reasons. 

I agree. I’ve always gotten the flu shot and it’s always been more about protecting those around me more than myself. Just in my immediate family we have asthma, people fighting cancer, elderly, etc. Not to mention friends, neighbors, and coworkers who might be at higher risk for complications. Personally, I very rarely get sick and have never had the flu. And I don’t take any drugs, except an occasional acetaminophen. I wasn’t even taking vitamins before the pandemic. But I’ve always done all of the recommended vaccines.

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8 hours ago, Pen said:

 They've never considered the possibility that it's only going to work if your vitamin D is deficient.

That's kind of blowing my mind. And conversely, does that mean by keeping your vitamin D levels up you're *less likely* to get the flu anyway? It's definitely dramatic how much better I've been doing for viruses the last couple years. Several things changed for me (turmeric, lower stress, getting vitamin D levels way up, etc.). I wasn't sure what to attribute it to, but I'll take it. :biggrin:

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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

To whom? I was agreeing with @SKL and poking at the people don't like anyone to QUESTION the common medical line. 

*shrug* I question everyone and everything. Sometimes I happen to agree with the "common medical line," though, and that's the case for vaccines. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

To whom? I was agreeing with @SKL and poking at the people don't like anyone to QUESTION the common medical line. 

But what she wrote was not sensible. As I noted, her assertion was full of logical holes. 

Can't question the "common medical line?" Where does that end? I don't think any of us have training in epidemiology. I would like to believe that I could read a few things online (or maybe many things online) and figure out everything I need to understand about the flu so I could "question the common line." But I know my limitations. I don't have sufficient training to understand that properly. 

What is dismissed as the "common medical line" comes from people with much better training that any of us have. Are they always right? No. And I think they would admit that. For example, I've never seen an educated vaccine expert claim that there are no risks from vaccines or the influenza vaccine provides perfect protection. The more knowledgeable you are the more able you are to know that you don't know everything. 

When you have a small bit of understanding about something and you think something makes sense is actually when you make the worst conclusions. 

Think about a subject that you understand very well. One that you've studied extensively over time in a somewhat formal way. Do you think you know everything about this subject? In your particular case, you seem very knowledgeable about learning disabilities. Given your knowledge, do you believe that learning disabilities in children are completely clear, understandable, and everything that needs to be known has been figured out? Or you feel like as you learned more, you realized that there was so much more to learn and understand about the human brain? 

Do you get frustrated when someone claims that something that you understand well is simple and clear-cut when you know that it isn't? 

The more you understand a subject the more ambiguities you see and the more you realize what you don't know. This is true in everything. 

In a practical sense what this means is that we should be careful when think something is "common sense." That's usually a good indication that we don't understand it fully and we're falling prey to a failure in logical reasoning. 

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27 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

 

Think about a subject that you understand very well. One that you've studied extensively over time in a somewhat formal way. Do you think you know everything about this subject? In your particular case, you seem very knowledgeable about learning disabilities. Given your knowledge, do you believe that learning disabilities in children are completely clear, understandable, and everything that needs to be known has been figured out? Or you feel like as you learned more, you realized that there was so much more to learn and understand about the human brain? 

Do you get frustrated when someone claims that something that you understand well is simple and clear-cut when you know that it isn't? 

The more you understand a subject the more ambiguities you see and the more you realize what you don't know. This is true in everything. 

In a practical sense what this means is that we should be careful when think something is "common sense." That's usually a good indication that we don't understand it fully and we're falling prey to a failure in logical reasoning. 

The Dunning Kruger Effect

The less one knows about a subject the more one tends to over-estimate ones knowledge. The more one knows about a subject the more one realizes how much he/she doesn't know. It's another very harmful and very dangerous epidemic infecting this country.

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3 hours ago, PeterPan said:

That's kind of blowing my mind. And conversely, does that mean by keeping your vitamin D levels up you're *less likely* to get the flu anyway?

 

That’s apparently true, but not proven. There have been studies where high (not dangerous high) D does as well as vaccine. 

It is probably more complicated in that good D level but inadequate C, Zinc, A, Iodine, etc is still probably a problem. 

 

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@PeterPan 

https://www.fxmedicine.com.au/blog-post/vitamin-d-vs-flu-vaccine-there-stand-out-winner 

 

 

but a vaccine is once and done, while vitamin requires consistent use on an acceptable schedule. Studies that looked at using a single bolus D dose did not have as good results

 

ETA: otoh getting vitamin D status (plus others) good probably has more benefits beyond less flu or less severe flu ... bones, mood, etc benefits as well 

Edited by Pen
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I think there's a possibility flu rates will go down for the following reasons:

--Mask wearing. Even where everyone isn't wearing masks and many aren't wearing them correctly I think there is enough proper mask wearing to affect flu transmission.

--Hand washing. People are washing their hands the way they should have been doing all along. If it continues (and I don't know if it will, we rarely even hear about it anymore), it will reduce flu transmission.

--Vaccination. I don't mean anti-vaxers. They aren't going to change their minds. However, the people who aren't anti-vax but just always tend to put off getting the flu vaccine and often don't get around to getting it will be more likely to get it this year, which will hopefully reduce the number of cases.

Edited by Lady Florida.
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1 hour ago, Pawz4me said:

The Dunning Kruger Effect

The less one knows about a subject the more one tends to over-estimate ones knowledge. The more one knows about a subject the more one realizes how much he/she doesn't know. It's another very harmful and very dangerous epidemic infecting this country.

Yes, and I think smart educated people naively assume that this can't happen to them. No one is an expert on everything so we're all susceptible to it. 

There are things that seem to make sense but actually don't. "I don't want to put something in my body." Sounds reasonable doesn't it? 

Think about fear of flying. Doesn't it seem reasonable to be more concerned about flying 40K feet above the ground at a high speed in a small steel plane? 

Another example - fear of self driving cars. Doesn't it seem reasonable to be concerned about being in a vehicle that is controlled by a machine? 

But we actually know that self driving cars are safer than human driven cars and we know that driving is risker than flying. 

Human beings, in general, don't make good assessments of risk. There are many reasons for this but one is common sense or "sounds reasonable" thing or "follow your gut." That's when our brains are looking to reach a conclusion and move on and it is often when we reach an incorrect conclusion. 

ETA that what is really going on here is that people don't want to get to the flu vaccine so they are looking for reasons to justify what they've already decided to do. 

Edited by Ordinary Shoes
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42 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

I think there's a possibility flu rates will go down for the following reasons:

--Mask wearing. Even where everyone isn't wearing masks and many aren't wearing them correctly I think there is enough prper mask wearing to affect flu transmission.

--Hand washing. People are washing their hands the way they should have been doing all along. If it continues (and I don't know if it will, we rarely even hear about it anymore), it will reduce flu transmission.

--Vaccination. I don't mean anti-vaxers. They aren't going to change their minds. However, the people who aren't anti-vax but just always tend to put off getting the flu vaccine and often don't get around to getting it will be more likely to get it this year, which will hopefully reduce the number of cases.

Plus general social distancing.  The social distancing by itself will decrease levels of flu, but it matters how much people continue to do that.  A lot of schools are closed, which should help tremendously, since schools are often a big driver of flu in communities.  Mask wearing and hand washing should help a great deal.  

Out of curiosity, any recommendations for vitamin A?  It's fat soluble, so I'm kinda cautious about adding it in, since unlike D, I have no idea of my status.  

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2 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Plus general social distancing.  The social distancing by itself will decrease levels of flu, but it matters how much people continue to do that.  A lot of schools are closed, which should help tremendously, since schools are often a big driver of flu in communities.  Mask wearing and hand washing should help a great deal.  

Out of curiosity, any recommendations for vitamin A?  It's fat soluble, so I'm kinda cautious about adding it in, since unlike D, I have no idea of my status.  

 

I take a vitamin A softgel of 25,000 IU every time or every other time (depending on other factors like if foods eaten had high A or not) I take my 50,000 IU D (which is ~ weekly now but was only ~ twice during summer when there was sunning available) .   I don’t know that that’s optimal, but is what I am doing. (Or iow about 1/4 to 1/2 the IU of A compared to D) .   This is much higher A than I used to have where I only had about 90 IU of preformed A to 2,000 IU of D.   I also get some beta carotene in my multi, plus from green and orange plant foods. 

I was having less good night vision which I thought was due to age, but notice it has improved since I have increased the A amount. So I probably do need more A than I had previously had. 

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1 minute ago, Pen said:

 

I take a vitamin A softgel of 25,000 IU every time or every other time (depending on other factors like if foods eaten had high A or not) I take my 50,000 IU D (which is ~ weekly now but was only ~ twice during summer when there was sunning available) .   I don’t know that that’s optimal, but is what I am doing. (Or iow about 1/4 to 1/2 the IU of A compared to D) .   This is much higher A than I used to have where I only had about 90 IU of preformed A to 2,000 IU of D.   I also get some beta carotene in my multi, plus from green and orange plant foods. 

I was having less good night vision which I thought was due to age, but notice it has improved since I have increased the A amount. So I probably do need more A than I had previously had. 

Do you find weekly high doses of D to be as effective as lower daily doses?  Most of the high dose D formulations I've found were D2 rather than D3, and I didn't have as much success as I did when I turned to lower daily doses of D3.  Of course I also started K at about that time, too, which might have made a difference.  

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27 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Do you find weekly high doses of D to be as effective as lower daily doses?  Most of the high dose D formulations I've found were D2 rather than D3, and I didn't have as much success as I did when I turned to lower daily doses of D3.  Of course I also started K at about that time, too, which might have made a difference.  

 

Since Covid is the first that I am using the larger doses of D less often (other than prescription D2 when I tested as being in single digits — though had I known more or had a computer then to do research I would have used D3).  

 

I checked My D level after being on this type D3 plus K2 (or K1 K2 combo) and had best D level I have ever had .   I did not take it for a few weeks before test so that I would not get a level that just reflected a temporary rise. For me it was apparently better than my own daily lower dose method. Though that could reflect the formulation, not schedule. The same company has a 5,000 IU version. 

I did it partly because (1) it is type that the man who runs VitaminDWiki has used for many years - he gives his own method with this D3 for summer and winter use (and also describes topical and nebulized use too);

2 it is easier to get my teen to take it on a less frequent basis;

3 I have tried when I can to time dose for day before (or to time appointment for day after my dose day) something like going in to the public school for registration where I think I will have extra potential for exposures   — I got test and expect that my level is good, but figure a boost right before likely viral exposure might be good timing

4 and now an added reason is experiment with it nebulized 

 

it is D3

Bio-Tech Pharmacal - D3-50 - 100 Count https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000A0F2B2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_1t4BFb68BG42Z

 

There’s a less expensive one that comes up, but this is the company the VitaminDWiki founder said he has used successfully himself- plus when I asked if link via his site gives income to site he said no he derives no financial benefits from it.   It’s still a year or more supply for most people at less than $25.   I think it is a lanolin derived one so if allergic to that it would not be a good choice.  The VitaminDWiki founder suggested trial with a small amount to make sure there’s no bad reaction before taking the full big dose.  

 

Hope this helps! 

Edited by Pen
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51 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Plus general social distancing.  The social distancing by itself will decrease levels of flu, but it matters how much people continue to do that.  A lot of schools are closed, which should help tremendously, since schools are often a big driver of flu in communities.  

 

Well, you also have idiot governors like mine. Public schools have been open for more than a month because he required them to offer in person classes. Most also have online options but there are still plenty of students going to school and plenty of schools then closing due to someone testing positive. He made a sudden announcement yesterday that restaurants can now open to 100% capacity, catching even restaurant owners by surprise. He allowed bars to open last week. And he decreed that colleges and universities cannot punish students who have parties and other large gatherings. I didn't read it closely so I don't know if that only applies to public state schools or private colleges as well. Even if it's just public we have three very large public universities and a number of not as big but still very big ones. Ugh. 

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Just now, Lady Florida. said:

Well, you also have idiot governors like mine. Public schools have been open for more than a month because he required them to offer in person classes. Most also have online options but there are still plenty of students going to school and plenty of schools then closing due to someone testing positive. He made a sudden announcement yesterday that restaurants can now open to 100% capacity, catching even restaurant owners by surprise. He allowed bars to open last week. And he decreed that colleges and universities cannot punish students who have parties and other large gatherings. I didn't read it closely so I don't know if that only applies to public state schools or private colleges as well. Even if it's just public we have three very large public universities and a number of not as big but still very big ones. Ugh. 

Yeah.  I don't think flu rates will got down much at all in Florida, I'm sorry to say.  

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

Studies that looked at using a single bolus D dose did not have as good results

I know, I've wondered why anyone POSSIBLY thought that was a good idea. I take my vitamin D very diligently and regularly, and I have labs to monitor levels. D as such a strong effect on methyl levels (and sleep and and) that I've wondered how anyone tolerates those massive once a week doses.

 

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1 hour ago, Terabith said:

Out of curiosity, any recommendations for vitamin A?  It's fat soluble, so I'm kinda cautious about adding it in, since unlike D, I have no idea of my status.

Vitamin A is usually in a multi vitamin for adults. When I was searching through our genetics, I did find something that indicates A tending to run low. I kinda figured that's why I feel better when I eat carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. I also take a multi vitamin every day. I should check to see if it's in there, hmm. I had to switch when the brand I used to take stopped producing.

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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Vitamin A is usually in a multi vitamin for adults. When I was searching through our genetics, I did find something that indicates A tending to run low. I kinda figured that's why I feel better when I eat carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. I also take a multi vitamin every day. I should check to see if it's in there, hmm. I had to switch when the brand I used to take stopped producing.

I'm not taking a multi currently.  I probably should.  I just got overwhelmed looking at the options.  I should probably take probiotics, too, but they're so expensive and I don't really feel better on them usually.  Multis are at least reasonably cheap.  I need to just do it.  Honestly, I just get sick of swallowing pills, what with my regular meds and all the covid prevention stuff.  But one with A and selenium would be good.  

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6 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I should probably take probiotics, too, but they're so expensive and I don't really feel better on them usually. 

Probiotics are strangely controversial. There are all these theories about probiotics vs. prebiotics, inulin (fiber that feeds the good bugs), etc. I finally gave up and started eating yogurt every day. I take D-Mannose and occasionally have fiber gummies for the inulin. Seems ok.

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33 minutes ago, Terabith said:

  Honestly, I just get sick of swallowing pills,

 

That was another benefit of once per week

 

33 minutes ago, Terabith said:

what with my regular meds and all the covid prevention stuff.  But one with A and selenium would be good.  

 

Thorne 2/day has 200mcg Selenium. Many do not have 

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I pondered this just the other day. 

I was never a big fan of flu shots (can explain this later if anyone cares) but our agency said in the fall of 2019 that we have a "choice" of not getting the flu shot but will have to wear a mask while on company time and property. HAHA. I got the shot because it sounded very impractical with the way we handled clients BACK THEN to wear a mask. One supervisor even said: "I would wonder what was wrong with a person if they wore a mask." HA again! We have been wearing masks now anyway - flu shot or not - since March. Do I need another flu shot or will I just continue wear the mask which I have to wear anyway? I could upgrade to a N mask.

For those wearing masks and keeping to themselves flu rates should decrease. If we assume there will be no traditional Christmas parties, etc, that might help too.

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On 9/24/2020 at 8:56 AM, PeterPan said:

Three, why are some schools/universities justifying adding requirements for the Flu vaccine IF MASKS WORK?   

Why do you wear your seatbelt if your airbags work? 

 

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On 9/25/2020 at 12:39 PM, Æthelthryth the Stormy said:

My thoughts of one reason flu cases should decrease here this year is that they are now actually cleaning things in schools. They don't normally do much in public schools along those lines unless there is a severe outbreak of flu or noro or something, in which case they will finally, reluctantly do a deep clean of the school. Otherwise it's largely on the teachers to bother to wipe down desks- but stair rails? Tables? Lockers? Nope. All of which is a huge contributor to kids catching it at schools and daycares. It is seriously disgusting how dirty most schools are as far as lack of disinfection of desks and tables and shared surfaces. So if the schools actually do what they are supposed to now, that alone should greatly reduce flu transmission, as students catch it from contaminated surfaces at the school and bring it home to parents, etc. 

Amen! Bolding by me: I taught outside classes in two different high schools in the spring, and I was so disgusted I started a thread here asking people if their schools were clean, lol. 

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In some areas of the southern hemisphere confirmed flu rates were way down.  I don't think we'll see exactly the same thing in the US for the same reasons we aren't doing as well with covid cases in general.  Here is a good article regarding Australia and their measures and impacts.

Having worn a mask for a few years during flu season, along with stringent hygiene routines that meant my kids didn't really have to transition to much other than mask themselves with covid, I believe a mask will help decrease the likelihood I'll get the flu or covid.

Edited by melmichigan
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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Stormy said:

Yes, it is really insane. Before this crazy year I have had some friends with kids in PS and they complained about the teachers wanting so many Clorox wipes on the supply lists, but I was always telling them "you should be glad they are asking!" I have to laugh that I went from being that paranoid person to everyone to...........well, some people have way out paranoid me since, lol, I'll just leave it at that. 

I think one of the things that has thrown me the most over this pandemic is how few people gave any thought to cleanliness before. Like the hand washing. Is this really a news flash? But apparently it was. As was asking if the kids' school bothered to clean and disinfect anything ever, much less during flu season. People just never thought about it, or if they did they didn't act on it. I think people just took it as a matter of course perhaps. Like that lice outbreaks at PS are normal. Flu outbreaks are normal....kids being sick all the time is just part of being a kid, rather than hey, perhaps the school has some role to play here with sanitation, habits and cleanliness. Maybe at least that part will reset for a few years and people will be more proactive with simple cleaning techniques and not sending sick kids to school to grab that Perfect Attendance award (be it at work for the parent  or school for the kid). I doubt it, but maybe. 

I'm not sure that it was actually a newsflash for people but rather that it's very difficult for people to stay home when they are sick. I think most of us were regularly in public, around other people, when we or our kids were sick. Most employers penalize people for taking too many unscheduled absences. Like many working moms, I tried to save my sick days for when my DD was sick so I would go into the office unless I was very sick. I'm sure that I worked many times when I was contagious. It was reciprocal because my co-workers all did the same thing. If your kids are in school, they start harassing you if the child misses more than a few days a semester and can even refuse to let your child advance. You need doctor's notes if the child is out more than a day or two requiring you to take the child to the doctor. 

Lice outbreaks at school are normal, especially with little girls with long hair. It's not about hygiene because it's so contagious and hair washing does not prevent them. I've been through several school lice outbreaks and the schools always took it very seriously. They did lice checks and if your child was positive, you had to pick them up from school immediately and not return without proof that you did a treatment at a lice clinic. When the flu was spreading in school, it was don't ask, don't tell. Lice are gross but they are completely harmless. Ironically some of the people I know who blew off COVID completely freaked out when we were affected by a lice outbreak. 

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3 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I'm not sure that it was actually a newsflash for people but rather that it's very difficult for people to stay home when they are sick. 

This is very true. When money is at stake, people will go to work sick. When a doctor's note (which equals money) is required, students will go to school sick. 

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1 hour ago, katilac said:

This is very true. When money is at stake, people will go to work sick. When a doctor's note (which equals money) is required, students will go to school sick. 

And parents who will be evicted if they can't work because the are living week to week will be forced to leave kids home alone or keep an older child home as well.  Here if your work requires you to get a medical certificate they are supposed to pay for it but I have never been asked for one.  I have given a couple if the doctor thought I needed to be off a week or so.

 

No one had ever asked me for proof my child was sick or has had live treatment either.  We don't have live clinics anyway.  I know some of the schools in some areas have the kids go outside and comb their hair vigorously each morning and clean their teeth as they know live are always going to be present in at least one kid due to overcrowding and poor living conditions.

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One thing that always surprised me was how different the rules were for child daycare vs public schools. In child care centers, we spent a lot of time cleaning, and that was with a separate person who cleaned at night. Pretty much all surfaces had to be washed every time they were used, mats that were covered by sheets and used only by one child had to be disinfected once a week with the sheet changed, toys were rotated and got a dunk in bleach water before they came back on rotation, etc. In public schools, not so much. We had custodians who emptied trash and did floors, lunch tables were wiped down, etc, but as far as shared materials go? Not so much. I got two days at the end of the school year to clean and pack my entire music classroom, and honestly, that was the only time anything was likely to be cleaned all year unless I noticed a kid sneezing all over it and cleaned it myself. 

 

One thing I LOVE about my center is that I have a great custodian who handles my room, even pre-COVID. And I plan to keep things like having the kids go wash their hands (while I wipe down the keyboard), individual materials boxes kept in the studio, etc. It just plain really isn't a big hassle to do it that way, and if it keeps us all a little safer during flu season, so much the better.  Honestly, I wouldn't mind keeping masks during the peak cold/flu season, either. 

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1 hour ago, lynn said:

With all the covid precautions it should go down.   I'm  concerned that flu will get covid diagnosis.

Even though there are distinct tests for both?

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1 hour ago, Frances said:

Even though there are distinct tests for both?

Here, right now, it's the opposite. It is far easier to walk in and get a flu test than a COVID test, and if you're positive for the flu, you're not encouraged to go elsewhere to get a COVID test if that particular clinic/office doesn't do them, but to treat/wait out the flu. Hopefully not many people have both!

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13 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

Here, right now, it's the opposite. It is far easier to walk in and get a flu test than a COVID test, and if you're positive for the flu, you're not encouraged to go elsewhere to get a COVID test if that particular clinic/office doesn't do them, but to treat/wait out the flu. Hopefully not many people have both!

For a long time here it was the same. There was also a period where you couldn’t get either, unless you were admitted to the hospital, due to a swab shortage. I don’t know the current situation.

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On 9/26/2020 at 2:00 PM, Pen said:

 

I take a vitamin A softgel of 25,000 IU every time or every other time (depending on other factors like if foods eaten had high A or not) I take my 50,000 IU D (which is ~ weekly now but was only ~ twice during summer when there was sunning available) .   I don’t know that that’s optimal, but is what I am doing. (Or iow about 1/4 to 1/2 the IU of A compared to D) .   This is much higher A than I used to have where I only had about 90 IU of preformed A to 2,000 IU of D.   I also get some beta carotene in my multi, plus from green and orange plant foods. 

I was having less good night vision which I thought was due to age, but notice it has improved since I have increased the A amount. So I probably do need more A than I had previously had. 

Pen, can you tell me what brand of Vitamin A you’re taking? 

Thanks!  🙂 

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7 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

Pen, can you tell me what brand of Vitamin A you’re taking? 

Thanks!  🙂 

 

NB- I have not done as much research on A as on D — my current selection is Carlson.  

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The studies cited in these letters might be helpful in the arsenal of "will it, won't it".

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/wp-content/uploads/09-03-20-U-of-CA-Complaint-with-exhibits.pdf

https://physiciansforinformedconsent.org/physicians-for-informed-consent-sends-cautionary-letter-to-uc-board-of-regents-regarding-its-new-flu-shot-mandate-emphasizes-lack-of-scientific-basis/

Based on the evidence that it spreads on surfaces, not many are practicing proper mask hygiene, and most states/cities are mandating masks coupled with the probability that we will be testing more for influenza, I think the numbers will be up.

Edited by hopeallgoeswell
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1 hour ago, hopeallgoeswell said:

The studies cited in this letter might be helpful in the arsenal of "will it, won't it".

https://physiciansforinformedconsent.org/physicians-for-informed-consent-sends-cautionary-letter-to-uc-board-of-regents-regarding-its-new-flu-shot-mandate-emphasizes-lack-of-scientific-basis/

 

Based on the evidence that it spreads on surfaces, not many are practicing proper mask hygiene, and most states/cities are mandating masks coupled with the probability that we will be testing more for influenza, I think the numbers will be up.

So what would be the reason for flu numbers to go up here when they went down during Covid quite dramatically in the southern hemisphere? Also, having looked up the group who put out that statement, Physicians for Informed Consent, it’s not a reputable group that I would trust.

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1 hour ago, hopeallgoeswell said:

FYI, this group opposes all mandated vaccines.

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On 9/25/2020 at 12:01 PM, SKL said:

 

Honest question:  if the flu vax is so easy, cheap, and safe, then why don't they include all the known strains every year?

I didn't see this answered. I know they have been working on a universal vaccine and there have been trials.

Quote

 

A universal flu vaccine has eluded scientists for decades. Unlike other viruses, influenza has a rapid-fire mutation rate and thousands of different strains, which complicates the process. With several candidates now in development and a fresh batch of federal funding, researchers say a universal flu vaccine could be within reach, though it may be years before a vaccine is ready for human use.

The push to develop a universal flu vaccine has intensified in recent years, given unusually severe flu outbreaks and emerging pandemic strains, like the swine flu.

But it has been a slow process, partly because researchers are testing multiple strategies as the virus continues to mutate, says Saint Louis University professor of infectious disease and internal medicine Daniel Hoft.

More than one of these approaches might be effective, says University of Georgia professor of infectious diseases Ted Ross — and it's possible vaccines could be tailored to fit different demographic groups.

"It may turn out that the best vaccines we have are designer vaccines for specific populations," Ross says. "We could type people based upon their age or immune history or health status and say, 'Well, you need to have vaccine A and another group needs vaccine B.' "

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a branch of the NIH, is throwing its weight behind the push for a universal flu vaccine.

The federal agency announced in February 2018 that it would begin prioritizing universal flu vaccine development. Since then, it has created a network of research centers across the country and awarded $51 million in funding in the first year of the program.

Still, Ross says it will likely be another 10 to 15 years before a product is on the market — and it may require more federal funding to get there.

And, he warns, even a universal flu vaccine may not provide permanent protection.

"We would love to have a vaccine that would last for life, like we do for smallpox or mumps or rubella," says Ross. "But in reality, flu changes so often, and it's going to constantly keep throwing us curveballs. A vaccine that lasts for two or five years would be a great improvement."

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/02/27/807743274/researchers-step-up-efforts-to-develop-a-universal-flu-vaccine

 

 

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