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For full disclosure - I really haven't been following science or "progress" of this stupid stupid virus. I didn't need my stress level going any higher. I knew that come fall, it will get worse for obvious reasons.

But our numbers are ski rocketing. Yes, I was told that we are testing more, but seeing over 100 positives a day when in March-May it was about 50 is scary.

Yesterday, I read a reprinted article from NY Times that went on and on about how it's getting really bad all over Europe and US.

So I guess my question is - if any of you have a crystal ball - how bad is this going to get??

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It depends on how people and gov’t react.

There’s basically no evidence treatments are working that well.  Trump said cases were going to 0 soon in February. If you decide to go by his pronouncements, I’ve got a bridge to sell you 😉 .

Without going into politics here are a couple of facts: Trump used the Regeneron product made from stem cells (derived from babies) in order to get better. I am 100% certain that any of the ordin

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Cases are increasing faster worldwide.  Deaths at this stage are still lower than the February March outbreak.  I think earlier harder lockdowns can mean shorter lockdowns long term but I’m not sure if they’ll happen or not.  We know more now about both prevention and treatment but who knows if that knowledge will actually be used.  

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1 minute ago, SereneHome said:

Well, the article said that people are tired of being careful and that's one of the reasons why things are getting worse....

Yup.
People have the capacity to change their minds.  If it gets bad enough (by their individual standards), maybe they will.  Or maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll be forced to. Maybe they won’t.  I try to hold hope, but plan to avoid those people as much as reasonably possible unless and until that hope is realized.

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Just now, Carrie12345 said:

Yup.
People have the capacity to change their minds.  If it gets bad enough (by their individual standards), maybe they will.  Or maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll be forced to. Maybe they won’t.  I try to hold hope, but plan to avoid those people as much as reasonably possible unless and until that hope is realized.

The sad thing is doing lockdowns or social distancing etc is so much less effective once things get bad than doing it just a bit earlier.

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13 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

Well, the article said that people are tired of being careful and that's one of the reasons why things are getting worse....

I think we all have the capability to model responsible behavior ourselves, which can help others to follow suit. Some of us can control our own exposure more than others, but we can all wear masks and avoid unnecessary exposure.

The vast majority of us can get flu shots, and choose not to eat inside in restaurants, or go to bars, or go to large gatherings. We do have choices. We can choose to accept the responsibility that comes along with freedom.

If things get bad in our communities, we can make the choice to stay home as much as possible. I think when things get really bad, that's what people *will* choose. But it would be smart and responsible to start it sooner, to help reduce the harm.

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My crystal ball says it will get a lit worse before it gets better. 
 

Quarantine fatigue and winter months not a good combination. No governors want to shutdown again - the political pressure (not to mention threats on their lives) is too great. 
 

 

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My state has had it's highest numbers ever over the past week, and things had been starting to look better in September, so cases are climbing here now. In the spring, our state's cases were mostly in urban areas and in institutions such as prisions and nursing homes; now there is diffuse spread throughout all of the counties and in rural areas as well as in cities.

I keep reminding my teens that things are worse now, rather than better. Because they were staying at home through all of spring and summer but now get to go to school (with masks required),  it's easy for them to feel like it is safer now, when it's really less safe. They are getting invitations to social events, and they don't understand why their friends are allowed to do things now, but we are still being cautious.

I think our state is heading in a bad direction now. One of our (Zoom) Bible study members said yesterday that she knows so many people with Covid right now, when she didn't before.

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The spread is definitely going to get worse because measures to prevent spread are decreasing. Hopefully, they have used the time that we gained with lockdowns and such to prepare for this- increased PPE, new treatments, and better experience with covid patients. If we prepared well, the increased spread won't necessarily lead to overwhelming the medical system.

I'm not super optimistic about that yet. So far I hear that PPE is still not available the way it needs to be but maybe we at least have better ideas of how to help patients. 

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20 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yes, we always expected another wave in the fall, and it’s here.

You should follow positivity and not case numbers, though.

It varies between .8 and 1.3 - what does that mean?

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20 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

School is the biggest thing driving our numbers up here, without a doubt. Both the actual school day and school related activities, meetings etc.  

All the schools around here start in person today or next week.  I'm so worried that will bring numbers up high and fast.  We had an influx when the University opened up and they only had a tiny percentage of people in classes, but students came anyway to live in their off campus housing and had parties and spread it like crazy.  Then the university went to all virtual but they can't force students to go home.  The city had to implement a new indoor and outdoor gathering restriction and are enforcing it heavily, mainly for obvious college student parties. Numbers are down again just in time for schools to go to in person. It is so stupid

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I expect various fluctuations depending on cyclical events / circumstances. There could be CV cases that are undiagnosed as well as symptoms present similarly to cold / flu.

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Hones question.  Cases are going up here but the severity of illness appears to be much less than last spring.  Our hospitalizations and ICU beds are way way down and no covid in ICU in our county.

Is that true most places?   In our are the 10 people I know that tested positive over the past week either had no or mild cold symptoms.  

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I don't know, worse may be relative. Our numbers are way higher than they've ever been and our deaths are basement bottom. Zero some days, very low others. (May it stay that way with the low deaths!) 

So if the demographic getting it is changing and the treatments are better and we're doing better overall, then that's I guess the best we've got. I don't see our governor jumping to do anything radical, even with the numbers up so much. As long as the outcomes are good, I think he's just riding it out and waiting for the new treatments. I think they just said we're finally getting therapeutics in our big city.

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2 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

Hones question.  Cases are going up here but the severity of illness appears to be much less than last spring.  Our hospitalizations and ICU beds are way way down and no covid in ICU in our county.

Is that true most places?   In our are the 10 people I know that tested positive over the past week either had no or mild cold symptoms.  

Exactly. That's what is happening here. Deaths way down, treatments working.

You've got Tr*mp out saying this is going to end soon, and he usually seems to be on the forward end with his claims. Maybe he's got data on where this is going.

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11 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

Hones question.  Cases are going up here but the severity of illness appears to be much less than last spring.  Our hospitalizations and ICU beds are way way down and no covid in ICU in our county.

Is that true most places?   In our are the 10 people I know that tested positive over the past week either had no or mild cold symptoms.  

It’s because we weren’t catching most people in the spring. It’s not less severe now; we’re just catching more mild cases.

This is why you should follow positivity, not case numbers.

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I just caught part of an interview with a nurse. I think she said she’s in Minnesota, but don’t quote me on that. She said the patients they’re seeing seem to be significantly more sick than the ones in the spring. FWIW

ETA: In my state hospitalizations are up. 

Edited by Pawz4me
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9 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Exactly. That's what is happening here. Deaths way down, treatments working.

You've got Tr*mp out saying this is going to end soon, and he usually seems to be on the forward end with his claims. Maybe he's got data on where this is going.

There’s basically no evidence treatments are working that well. 

Trump said cases were going to 0 soon in February. If you decide to go by his pronouncements, I’ve got a bridge to sell you 😉 .

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8 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

I just caught part of an interview with a nurse. I think she said she’s in Minnesota, but don’t quote me on that. She said the patients they’re seeing seem to be significantly more sick than the ones in the spring. FWIW

And @Medicmom2.0said this, too.

But I doubt either is true. The point is that when there are MORE cases, more are severe. So the cases hospitals see depend heavily on community spread. Mild cases don’t make it to the medical establishment when things are bad.

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53 minutes ago, Amethyst said:

My crystal ball says it will get a lit worse before it gets better. 
 

Quarantine fatigue and winter months not a good combination. No governors want to shutdown again - the political pressure (not to mention threats on their lives) is too great. 
 

 

Also, because lockdowns don't work according to the WHO as of a few weeks ago

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13 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

 

I don't know, worse may be relative. Our numbers are way higher than they've ever been and our deaths are basement bottom. Zero some days, very low others. (May it stay that way with the low deaths!) 

 

What about your positivity?

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1 minute ago, Heigh Ho said:

Dr. Fauci has been quoted as stating that the virus has mutated to becoming more transmissible and this form will likely be less potent.

That’s usually how it goes, yes. Link to Fauci’s quote?

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

What about your positivity?

Our positivity rate is about 5%.  That is lower than it was even though # of cases is way higher.   Now in our area almost anyone can get a test.  In the spring only those with severe symptoms (like needed hospital) could get tested.   So.....did we miss a lot of the positive cases early on as those people never got tested?

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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-12/world-health-organization-coronavirus-lockdown-advice/12753688

Basically, he said, lockdowns are not good ideas except in very limited conditions like what we had in NY and NJ for example in March.  And another WHO guy was talking about all the harms of lockdowns  to the poor, sick, etc.  

He said it should be a last idea not a first idea.  

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Just now, Ottakee said:

Our positivity rate is about 5%.  That is lower than it was even though # of cases is way higher.   Now in our area almost anyone can get a test.  In the spring only those with severe symptoms (like needed hospital) could get tested.   So.....did we miss a lot of the positive cases early on as those people never got tested?

Yes. You (and all states) missed a ton of mild cases earlier on. Positivity is actually a much better measure of the actual NUMBER of cases (including mild ones) in the community.

You might want to check out this thread, and specifically, graphs like this:

 

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1 minute ago, TravelingChris said:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-12/world-health-organization-coronavirus-lockdown-advice/12753688

Basically, he said, lockdowns are not good ideas except in very limited conditions like what we had in NY and NJ for example in March.  And another WHO guy was talking about all the harms of lockdowns  to the poor, sick, etc.  

He said it should be a last idea not a first idea.  

Actually, he’s saying it shouldn’t be a primary method. It’s supposed to give you time to regroup. I would hope we all know that...

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7 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Actually, he’s saying it shouldn’t be a primary method. It’s supposed to give you time to regroup. I would hope we all know that...

Tell that to Gavin Newsome. 

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30 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

Hones question.  Cases are going up here but the severity of illness appears to be much less than last spring.  Our hospitalizations and ICU beds are way way down and no covid in ICU in our county.

Is that true most places?   In our are the 10 people I know that tested positive over the past week either had no or mild cold symptoms.  

Not here. I'm in a town of about 75k. Our hospital currently has 56 people hospitalized, when their facilities are designed to hold 48 people. We've been having 3-4 people die per week for the last 4-6 weeks. These are people of all ages, not just the elderly. Hospitalized numbers have been as high as 65. 

We have a mask ordinance in place, but many people are ignoring it or outright rebelling against it. 

Kansas City had a news article about some hospitals temporarily turning away ambulances because covid had stretched their resources. 

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The spring crisis was extremely geographically concentrated. That affects whether things look "better" or "worse" in our particular area and circumstances.

For people living outside the NY/NJ/CT and west coast pockets, it didn't feel real. Now that it's spread, things actually ARE worse in other areas. And (despite ongoing partial closure, and continued cases) things are better in NYC, which is no longer facing extreme medical sector overload.) There are still cases to be sure, but it feels now like a war of attrition.

But elsewhere in the US, when back in April this all looked like an overblown hoax, things are very much worse.

At the big picture level, there are aspects that are clearly much better now: the early PPE and mask shortages have eased, medical professionals have learned better treatment protocols (apparently just having sick patients lie on their stomachs makes a material difference), there is vastly greater testing capacity (albeit unevenly accessible in different parts of the country).

But where 6 months ago vast parts of the country weren't seeing it up close... so it's natural that once it comes closer, things feel worse. Things *are* worse, locally.

 

The flu epidemic of 1918-20 lasted over two years and ultimately infected a third of the world's population in ~4 rolling "waves," before the virus (apparently) mutated to a less virulent form. So long as "naturally occurring herd immunity" is the de facto plan, that is the most on-point model we can look to as to what to expect.

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1 hour ago, Ausmumof3 said:

The sad thing is doing lockdowns or social distancing etc is so much less effective once things get bad than doing it just a bit earlier.

I have been in favor of more stringent, short lockdowns than long, drawn out milder lockdowns, But, now I am beginning to see places that did lock down months ago when there were no, or few cases in the area.  These places are now seeing outbreaks.  Some areas in Europe locked down hard by mid-March, although things were not bad in that particular country,  and are now seeing outbreaks.  From what I hear from some students in Central and South America, there countries were locked down even harder in the spring with few cases, but now there numbers look like much of the rest of the world.  

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I don't want to play negative, but while our state has had low death data over the past 17 days or so (there was a large number reported on 10/2), our ICU numbers are climbing. So I am not sure. I really really hope that others are right and that the treatment protocols we have presently are much more effective and that we won't see those death numbers creep up. Of course, as discussed here previously, death numbers are not the only ones to consider. If someone is in the ICU for months and/or continues to be a longhauler, those losses impact our communities as well.  

It's impossible for me to say what will happen in our state.  I see a lot of people who are just done. I see people who were previously careful now doing social things when our numbers and positivity are climbing. It don't know. I really hope I am wrong, but I think we are going to have a rough fall. 

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2 minutes ago, cintinative said:

our ICU numbers are climbing.

That could be why they're sending in therapeutics. They've said in other interviews that the federal gov't is targeting what they send by need. So you could connect those dots, hope the therapeutics work, hope the death rates stay down.

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9 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don’t like how he’s handled it, as I’ve said!!

I don't keep a running list of your posts/opinions, lol. What's wild to me is that people in CA seem so FAVORABLE of his approach. I read these Disney blogs, etc. and they just seem to totally drink the koolaid. I had a trip planned to there for next year that is getting killed by his insanity. Total bummer, as it would have been great. 

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re Fauci on mutation

26 minutes ago, Heigh Ho said:

Dr. Fauci has been quoted as stating that the virus has mutated to becoming more transmissible and this form will likely be less potent.

The hot zones near me seem to have numbers supporting that statement, but hard to tell due to the data suppression.  

has mutated, or can reasonably be expected ultimately -- in the future -- to mutate to a less virulent form?

I heard him say something last night on 60 Minutes that the general pattern of viruses is (eventually) to mutate toward less virulent forms.  I did not hear him say, last night, that he's seen evidence that the COVID 19 has done so at this point.

 

To the extent that overall death rates seem to have ticked down, that seems to be largely because younger/ less fragile people are getting it and surviving.  Within any given age cohort, the improvement is fairly modest and -- I think -- mostly being attributed to better treatment protocol (not so much new wonder drugs like the antibody cocktail, whose quanitites are still too limited to drive the numbers, but more mundane protocols like body position and oxygenation protocols and ordinary steroids).

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6 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I don't keep a running list of your posts/opinions, lol. What's wild to me is that people in CA seem so FAVORABLE of his approach. I read these Disney blogs, etc. and they just seem to totally drink the koolaid. I had a trip planned to there for next year that is getting killed by his insanity. Total bummer, as it would have been great. 

I think it varies. There are definitely trade offs... there’s definitely been surprisingly few deaths. But of course, people’s lives are being impacted. I personally think they should have focused more on contact tracing and they should by now have more tests. 

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16 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

I have been in favor of more stringent, short lockdowns than long, drawn out milder lockdowns, But, now I am beginning to see places that did lock down months ago when there were no, or few cases in the area.  These places are now seeing outbreaks.  Some areas in Europe locked down hard by mid-March, although things were not bad in that particular country,  and are now seeing outbreaks.  From what I hear from some students in Central and South America, there countries were locked down even harder in the spring with few cases, but now there numbers look like much of the rest of the world.  

That’s because lockdowns solve nothing. They give you time, that’s all.

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19 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

The flu epidemic of 1918-20 lasted over two years and ultimately infected a third of the world's population in ~4 rolling "waves," before the virus (apparently) mutated to a less virulent form. So long as "naturally occurring herd immunity" is the de facto plan, that is the most on-point model we can look to as to what to expect.

That’s kind of my current model, frankly.  Although I’m hoping the Northeast manages to be South Korea.

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re direction in which COVID 19 virus may be mutating -- "better" or "worse"

6 minutes ago, Heigh Ho said:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/dr-fauci-just-warned-of-a-new-covid-mutation/ar-BB19trpZ  this is similar to the one I heard.....Dr. F is being interviewed and asked his thoughts on the Houston study, the one reporting the mutation at Amino Acid 614.

The thing that worries me is the data; as you know from local reporting, the hot spot inhabitants here aren't taking the family in to get the official diagnosis.

Ah, thank you.

Sounds like that study didn't find that the virus has mutated toward lesser lethality (="better" from humans' point of view), but rather that it may have become more efficient in transmission (="worse" from humans' POV).

Quote

Fauci wanted to make clear what, exactly, that story meant. "I think also in that story was a demonstration that we want to make sure that people don't misinterpret," he said. "And that is, this is an RNA virus and RNA viruses tend to mutate easily because they don't have a good proofreading mechanism when they replicate and mutate. So they continue to develop these mutations. Most of the times—overwhelmingly most of the time—those mutations are not associated with any functionally relevant change in the virus. The most recent one that was highlighted in that article was a mutation at amino acid number 614, which when they looked at it, they found out that it bound better to receptors. And therefore very, very likely would be better in transmission. They then looked at the epidemiological curves and they found that the evolution of that mutation coincided with big spikes in the number of cases."

That is to say, the mutation that the Houston study looked at appears to have made the virus more easily transmittable (sigh), NOT less likely to kill us.

He did say last night that as a general matter, over the long run, viruses tend to mutate toward *less likely to kill most hosts.*  As seems to have ultimately happened in 1920. But I don't think we're at the long run point yet, however interminable it already seems.

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1 hour ago, Ottakee said:

Hones question.  Cases are going up here but the severity of illness appears to be much less than last spring.  Our hospitalizations and ICU beds are way way down and no covid in ICU in our county.

Is that true most places?   In our are the 10 people I know that tested positive over the past week either had no or mild cold symptoms.  

I heard the opposite from a nurse. She said people are much sicker. She works PT at the nursing home and hospital.

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16 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

That’s because lockdowns solve nothing. They give you time, that’s all.

Time for what?  Parts of the US are seeing large outbreaks now.  I am not hearing of hospital overruns, lack of ICU beds, and other issues that were occurring earlier this year.  Does that mean that those areas took the time to address those issues and that even though there are increased numbers of COVID cases the lockdown was successful in addressing the supplies needed for medical care?  How can we measure the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of lockdowns?  

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