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COVID - Getting Past the Anger or Embrace it?


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10 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Oh, weird. Were there a lot?

A few.  Biggest were the Livingston Circle (which is still basically a circle but they added a bunch of lights) and the Ledgewood Circle (now a triangle).  

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5 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

 

eta: on the idea that in the USA we aren't used to following rules that didn't go through legislative debate, or that this "not used to" has effected our mask thing. We see these huge bills get passed where people aren't reading them, or even if the politician read it, the average Joe on the street didn't and doesn't even know it's happening. C-SPAN is not our most popular channel. Building codes about stair depth, electric wire rules, we assume are there for good reason even if we personally don't understand it. We expect ourselves and others to follow the sometimes-seemingly "arbitrary rules" in our society and give a lot of assumption that the rules were made for societal benefit, and do not ask for proof of debate, or need the rules re-debated every 40 years *just because* our generation didn't get to listen to the debates the first time. 

I was about to respond to this too. I can't find a cite for this but I believe Americans are actually more likely to be arbitrary rule followers than in other cultures. For example, Americans generally abide by traffic laws and parking restrictions. 

I'm not buying the claim that Americans are too accustomed to freedom to abide by a mask mandate when we accept all kinds of restrictions on speech and behavior. 

 

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10 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

It's also true that stop signs have been studied at length.  Red colors and octagonal shapes didn't occur by accident.  The current manifestation of stop signs is a result of many years of testing on effectiveness of the "messaging" for lack of a better word.  We haven't had the luxury of studying covid at the same level because...........time.

We didn’t wait for perfect data with stop signs either.  The first ones were various shapes and colors, including black or blue.  We just started using them and tweaked them over time as more data came out, over about a hundred years.  
 

https://99percentinvisible.org/article/red-white-sometimes-blue-how-safety-shaped-the-octagonal-stop-sign/

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9 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

And there's decent evidence we DON'T have optimal road signs. For instance, there's good evidence rotaries are much more efficient than stoplights and stop signs, if I remember correctly.  

Dumb question - what's a rotary? Is that the circle where there isn't a stop sign or traffic lights and drivers merge in and out of the lanes? They are very common in Northern Arizona and I hate them, probably because I'm not used to them. 

I always think of this scene when I drive through a traffic circle. Is this what you mean by a rotary? 

 

 

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re process for navigating from starting point to Better policy measures around masking

10 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

I don't even want perfect.

I only want better than we have.  And by better, I don't mean more strict, I mean better targeted and more reasonable. 

And it would be fantastic to debate what "better targeted and more reasonable" means without accusations of "human rights infringment" OR "maskholes are evil murderers."

Fair enough. 

What would you see as a better / more appropriate / more persuasive-not-coercive / "legitimate" process to get from where we were a year ago, with this pandemic staring us down but with lousy data... to policies that were Better than where we actually are?

Who would do the better research, ask the better questions, compile the better designed studies, manage the messaging?  (Forex: a central government entity like CDC, or a non profit university or research entity like Johns Hopkins... or 50 public health departments across the 50 states... or a consortium of for-profit mask-makers or pharma companies or Purell manufacturers or whatever). 

How long would a reasonable interval be, to conduct such studies before trying to implement any policy measures at all?

Who would then take leadership in consolidating / integrating research results and transforming it into policy measures?  (Forex: the federal executive, or US Congress, or governors, or 50 state public health departments, or 50 state legislatures... bearing in mind that a number of states have very short legislative sessions).

I am genuinely interested.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Wheres Toto said:

All the rotaries/circles we had around here were switched to lights and stop signs (triangles essentially).  They may be more efficient but at least around here, they weren't safer (because...people). 

We had some small ones put in over the last couple of years, and some are okay. The one I hate most has very limited visibility. Before it was there, I think the main road didn't have to stop, and the side roads did. It's on a little bit of an incline, and they created a grassy knoll in the middle, so you can't see around it. Now that they are used to it, people drive like they are the only vehicle in the circle, which means fast, so if you have to wait to enter the circle because a vehicle is close, you are then stuck utterly stopped until all the cars have gone through (if they don't just keep coming) because you're no longer going at a nice speed to merge. Additionally, NO ONE signals when they're leaving the circle, so you don't know if a car coming your way is about to leave the circle or stay in it--if they are leaving the circle, there goes your tiny spot to merge (it's small, so if you can see a car, it's too late to merge unless that car is leaving). Fun times.

The other three I encounter have significantly more visibility, so they are a little better. All of them went up without any signs indicating that the entire intersection changed (I think during months I was not taking the kids places, so I hadn't seen any construction), so it was quite a shock to come upon them in the wild (at least one I encountered the first time at night, and there are no lights in the areas where these are located). 

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Our governor educated people about masks and pleaded for them to wear them for months before he mandated it. He said over and over that the people of our state were people of goodwill who would do the right thing. Not so much--they wouldn't mask in significant numbers until he mandated it.

 

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3 hours ago, Wheres Toto said:

 

All the rotaries/circles we had around here were switched to lights and stop signs (triangles essentially).  They may be more efficient but at least around here, they weren't safer (because...people). 

There’s a lot of data on this one.  Traffic circles increase accidents in the first year but decrease major injuries and fatalities. Until people get used to them there will be more accidents but at lower speeds and at angles that cause less damage. They eliminate high speed T-bone crashes that kill people.

This is a good example of people using experiential data and “common sense” to come to poor conclusions. People see the increase in accidents at the local intersection and think the traffic circle is less safe. Then they lobby to get rid of them. The people whose job it is to study the numbers know that we’re fixing more bumpers but burying fewer bodies.

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13 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Mask mandates take the pressure off of individual businesses to keep their work place safe. Most businesses here in my state were vocally for the mask mandate. 

I haven't read many pages now because I don't care to argue about masks. It's a waste of time as people are pretty religious and absolutely sure their way is right.

 

But I will say this was true where I live too. I guess a certain segment of the population no longer believes in property rights.  Before the our mask mandate was put into place I had to nail something at a Fed Ex place that had printing. An older lady with a small business was in there trying to come up with a sign that would get people to listen. She was like "do you think adding older owner would help" "small business" "please". She couldn't figure it out. There is a word that describes a person who must have the right to barge into a small business and frighten this older woman and trespass and break her rules on her property but I won't mention it here. Truth is truth and if you are that person you need help.  That is why the mandates were started here. 

 

 They also have no qualms with putting low wage workers in the awkward position of not being able to do their job without arguing with grown ups throwing temper tantrums like two year olds. Since this segment of the population overlaps largely with the "do it legally crowd" the idea of making a legal mandate sounded promising. What they didn't realize is they only want other people to follow the law. 

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Speaking of people being angry.....my sister who lives in Houston is angry because she has to get a negative test to fly.  Her husband is training out of town and she is going to spend the long weekend with him.  She actually said, 'it pisses me off.'  I said, 'why does it make you mad?'  And she said, 'Because I just think the whole world has gone over board and its bulls***I'm just not freaked out.'

I said' I am not freaked out but I have a healthy respect for the damage it has done and can do.  I will be 56 this year and I have AFib.  I don't want Covid and I sure don't want to give it to anyone else.'

Her reply, 'Yea, everyone looks at it differently.'

I did not even reply because I don't want to fight with her.  But I wanted to say, 'Looking at what differently?  The facts?'  

But I know she doesn't even agree with the facts of 550,000 Covid deaths in the US.

It is just mind blowing.

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2 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Speaking of people being angry.....my sister who lives in Houston is angry because she has to get a negative test to fly.  Her husband is training out of town and she is going to spend the long weekend with him.  She actually said, 'it pisses me off.'  I said, 'why does it make you mad?'  And she said, 'Because I just think the whole world has gone over board and its bulls***I'm just not freaked out.'

I said' I am not freaked out but I have a healthy respect for the damage it has done and can do.  I will be 56 this year and I have AFib.  I don't want Covid and I sure don't want to give it to anyone else.'

Her reply, 'Yea, everyone looks at it differently.'

I did not even reply because I don't want to fight with her.  But I wanted to say, 'Looking at what differently?  The facts?'  

But I know she doesn't even agree with the facts of 550,000 Covid deaths in the US.

It is just mind blowing.

agreeing with you.  This is another reason why not only mask mandates are good, but mandates for things like negative tests before flying - which now the government (FAA, I think) is backing the airlines up on. 

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16 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Mask mandates take the pressure off of individual businesses to keep their work place safe. Most businesses here in my state were vocally for the mask mandate. 

I haven't read further yet, but this is a really important point.   Small businesses, especially, are hurting.  To put the onus on a small business owner to say 'no you can't enter without a mask' is just passing the buck and really unethical, at least to me.  There are enough anti-maskers that small business owners will suffer financially if they, themselves, have to enforce something that the state should really be enforcing themselves (because it's a public health issue).    We should be looking for ways to help small bus owners, not hurt them.    
 

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3 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Speaking of people being angry.....my sister who lives in Houston is angry because she has to get a negative test to fly.  Her husband is training out of town and she is going to spend the long weekend with him.  She actually said, 'it pisses me off.'  I said, 'why does it make you mad?'  And she said, 'Because I just think the whole world has gone over board and its bulls***I'm just not freaked out.'

I said' I am not freaked out but I have a healthy respect for the damage it has done and can do.  I will be 56 this year and I have AFib.  I don't want Covid and I sure don't want to give it to anyone else.'

Her reply, 'Yea, everyone looks at it differently.'

I did not even reply because I don't want to fight with her.  But I wanted to say, 'Looking at what differently?  The facts?'  

But I know she doesn't even agree with the facts of 550,000 Covid deaths in the US.

It is just mind blowing.

Wow...wait inside the United States??? Our daughter is flying tomorrow. Does she need a negative Covid test???

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15 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

Wow...wait inside the United States??? Our daughter is flying tomorrow. Does she need a negative Covid test???

Depends on where she is flying to.

Nobody cares when you leave their location but rather if you bring it to their location. So you need to check where she is flying into.

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17 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Mask mandates take the pressure off of individual businesses to keep their work place safe. Most businesses here in my state were vocally for the mask mandate. 

Yes, not to mention, it takes the pressure off employees, who may have a boss who thinks the masks are stupid. If said employee can shrug and say, “Yeah, I know, but it’s mandatory, so here I am in a mask,” it’s all so much better and easier than having an argument point constantly. 

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39 minutes ago, WildflowerMom said:

I haven't read further yet, but this is a really important point.   Small businesses, especially, are hurting.  To put the onus on a small business owner to say 'no you can't enter without a mask' is just passing the buck and really unethical, at least to me.  There are enough anti-maskers that small business owners will suffer financially if they, themselves, have to enforce something that the state should really be enforcing themselves (because it's a public health issue).    We should be looking for ways to help small bus owners, not hurt them.    
 

Similarly, we should be looking for ways to *help* workers we've rhetorically designated as "essential," not hurt them or force *them* into the position of saying "no you can't enter without a mask.* 

It's pretty weak sauce, to OTOH designate workers as "essential," but then fail to support funding and/or public policy that enables their getting better ventilation / better spacing / customer masking. Yet we've gone the exact opposite direction, in indemnifying employers from liability. And don't get me going on raising the minimum wage for these so-called "essential" workers.  It's been revealing.

 

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10 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

Similarly, we should be looking for ways to *help* workers we've rhetorically designated as "essential," not hurt them or force *them* into the position of saying "no you can't enter without a mask.* 

It's pretty weak sauce, to OTOH designate workers as "essential," but then fail to support funding and/or public policy that enables their getting better ventilation / better spacing / customer masking. Yet we've gone the exact opposite direction, in indemnifying employers from liability. And don't get me going on raising the minimum wage for these so-called "essential" workers.  It's been revealing.

 

Pam, you always deserve kudos for your thoughtful responses, but today I am awarding you **extra bonus points** for your very excellent use of the term “weak sauce”. 🙂. Thanks for the much needed giggle today. 

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15 hours ago, Bootsie said:

To me, though, the Ten Commandments are different.  GOD gave the commandments to guide humans (who were not always wise, unselfish, and compassionate).  Mandates are made by humans (who are not always wise, unselfish, and compassionate) to control other humans because those humans many not always be wise, unselfish, and compassionate.  I see no logical reason to believe that those who make the mandates are more wise, less selfish, and more compassionate on average than the people who are deemed not to be wise enough, unselfish enough, or compassionate enough to make good decisions on their own. 

Hmmm... Interesting perspective, and I'm open to being persuaded differently!  But I guess I still think of the goal as the same:  To think less of ourselves, and more about how our actions affect others.  

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45 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

Wow...wait inside the United States??? Our daughter is flying tomorrow. Does she need a negative Covid test???

Covid tests aren't required for the flight itself. (The CDC has considered that and just rejected that measure in February).  But some locations do require a 14 day quarantine after arrival in their area if you do not have a negative Covid test.  She should check local requirements and abide by them. 

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51 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

Wow...wait inside the United States??? Our daughter is flying tomorrow. Does she need a negative Covid test???

Agreeing with others that she needs to check specific locations.  We flew abroad in February, and were required to have a Covid test before boarding.  It wasn't the airline's policy, but the country's policy.  The airline wouldn't let us board without that test result, because they didn't want to be stuck having to immediately fly us home.  HOWEVER, I haven't heard of actual states that are requiring that??  I could be wrong.  Quarantining might be required though.

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13 minutes ago, J-rap said:

Agreeing with others that she needs to check specific locations.  We flew abroad in February, and were required to have a Covid test before boarding.  It wasn't the airline's policy, but the country's policy.  The airline wouldn't let us board without that test result, because they didn't want to be stuck having to immediately fly us home.  HOWEVER, I haven't heard of actual states that are requiring that??  I could be wrong.  Quarantining might be required though.

This is on Southwest Airline's site regarding flying to New York.  This reads as if a negative test within 72 hours of departure to NY (even for domestic flights) is required

image.thumb.png.da2efd99f44f1367b0d97a3192b697d3.png

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3 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

This is on Southwest Airline's site regarding flying to New York.  This reads as if a negative test within 72 hours of departure to NY (even for domestic flights) is required

image.thumb.png.da2efd99f44f1367b0d97a3192b697d3.png

Wow, I didn't realize some states were requiring this now!

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6 minutes ago, J-rap said:

Wow, I didn't realize some states were requiring this now!

Now? Maine has required either 14 (might have changed to 10 now, not sure) day quarantine or a negative test to enter the state since last spring. It really helped keep the number of visitors down last summer and I’m hoping against hope that the requirement stays the same this summer (I'd love to see a vaccination requirement, of course—that’s the best!). 
 

There are a few exceptions for other New England states now who follow similar protocols. 

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44 minutes ago, J-rap said:

Agreeing with others that she needs to check specific locations.  We flew abroad in February, and were required to have a Covid test before boarding.  It wasn't the airline's policy, but the country's policy.  The airline wouldn't let us board without that test result, because they didn't want to be stuck having to immediately fly us home.  HOWEVER, I haven't heard of actual states that are requiring that??  I could be wrong.  Quarantining might be required though.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/covid-19-testing.jsp?anchorLocation=DirectURL&title=covid19testing

I didn't see Hawaii on their list but I know that Hawaii also requires a 14 day quarantine and has been very strict about it. 

Nevermind.  I was looking for Hawaii under North America but it is listed separately. 

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14 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Now? Maine has required either 14 (might have changed to 10 now, not sure) day quarantine or a negative test to enter the state since last spring. It really helped keep the number of visitors down last summer and I’m hoping against hope that the requirement stays the same this summer (I'd love to see a vaccination requirement, of course—that’s the best!). 
 

There are a few exceptions for other New England states now who follow similar protocols. 

Yes, I know some have required quarantine for a long time now, but I didn't realize some states were requiring a negative Covid test before arrival.  Certainly makes sense though!

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5 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/covid-19-testing.jsp?anchorLocation=DirectURL&title=covid19testing

I didn't see Hawaii on their list but I know that Hawaii also requires a 14 day quarantine and has been very strict about it. 

Nevermind.  I was looking for Hawaii under North America but it is listed separately. 

Definitely makes sense, especially given it's an island.

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15 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

 

 

Second....require specific types of masks.  Mask mandates are "any mask is better than no mask" and I think we can all agree................that's simply not true.  It's not.  A mask mandate that includes standards that require that masks being sold meet XYZ standards....I mean that shouldn't be hard.

 

 

Truly, I keep hearing people say this...but I paid attention today when I was out, and I didn't see ANYTHING but the fashion 2 layer masks or surgical masks or N95 masks in public. I mean, I've seen two people in the past month or so in a bandanna pulled over their face, but even in "ignore it and it will go away" Florida, those wearing masks are wearing the right kind, almost always. Studies were on 2 layer masks, those are what are being sold, for the most part, so...I think this may be an overblown concern?

As for how much it reduces risk...if a cashier spends 5 minutes with say, 10 Covid positive people  in a day, day after day, that seems like a significant amount of exposure. More over  it only takes ONE covid positive person sneezing near the cashier to deliver way more virus than is needed to infect someone. Sure, most people won't sneeze, but some will. 

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35 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Now? Maine has required either 14 (might have changed to 10 now, not sure) day quarantine or a negative test to enter the state since last spring. It really helped keep the number of visitors down last summer and I’m hoping against hope that the requirement stays the same this summer (I'd love to see a vaccination requirement, of course—that’s the best!). 
 

There are a few exceptions for other New England states now who follow similar protocols. 

fully vaccinated people are exempt now from the quarantine or negative test requirement in Maine. I think that's true of all NE states--I'm following pretty closely since that's where we're supposed to be going this summer (well, not Maine, but NE/NY): https://www.maine.gov/covid19/keepmainehealthy/faqs

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1 hour ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Covid tests aren't required for the flight itself. (The CDC has considered that and just rejected that measure in February).  But some locations do require a 14 day quarantine after arrival in their area if you do not have a negative Covid test.  She should check local requirements and abide by them. 

Well she is flying from Indianapolis to Dallas. I don't think either have a requirement. She will only be here over the long weekend. All of us gathering this weekend are vaccinated except her. I've looked. I don't think her college has any requirement either. 

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20 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

So, that was interesting.

 

I entered the typical information for my girl scout meetings.  Certainly, some of it was averaged or estimated, but I did the best I could.

 

I got a 1% risk.  Remove masks....I got 2%. 

 

I then put in my best (and honest best.....this was just quick calculations, I am sure that I could drill down with more effort) estimates for a typical grocery store visit.  I got 10% non masked, but 6% setting masks at average.  SO, making my best estimation for human behavior, the reduction was 4%.

 

I then put in my best estimates for DH's work.  A well ventilated place as it is a manufacturing facility.  By changing only the masking, I got 29% with the mask requirements in place, vs 74% with no masking. 

 

THAT.....that is what I call significant difference.

 

1% to 5% difference isn't what I call significant. 

 

I am super interested in what this all is based on because genuinely.............................it's exactly what I am looking for.  It's the kind of information I want mandates based on.  I will be playing with that for several hours.

Yes, but you are in the grocery store for a short while, the clerk is there much much longer. 

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50 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Truly, I keep hearing people say this...but I paid attention today when I was out, and I didn't see ANYTHING but the fashion 2 layer masks or surgical masks or N95 masks in public. I mean, I've seen two people in the past month or so in a bandanna pulled over their face, but even in "ignore it and it will go away" Florida, those wearing masks are wearing the right kind, almost always. Studies were on 2 layer masks, those are what are being sold, for the most part, so...I think this may be an overblown concern?

As for how much it reduces risk...if a cashier spends 5 minutes with say, 10 Covid positive people  in a day, day after day, that seems like a significant amount of exposure. More over  it only takes ONE covid positive person sneezing near the cashier to deliver way more virus than is needed to infect someone. Sure, most people won't sneeze, but some will. 

So, how many grocery stores are there in Florida?  1600?  If there were three cashiers in each of those stores who were checking out 10 customers who were presymptomatic or asymptomatic each day, there would have to be 48,000 presymptomatic/asymptomatic customers in the grocery stores day after day for there to be that much exposure.  With diagnosis running about 5000 per day, that would mean almost 10 times as many people as being diagnosed in a given day are infected with no symptoms and going to the grocery store day after day.  

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9 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

So, how many grocery stores are there in Florida?  1600?  If there were three cashiers in each of those stores who were checking out 10 customers who were presymptomatic or asymptomatic each day, there would have to be 48,000 presymptomatic/asymptomatic customers in the grocery stores day after day for there to be that much exposure.  With diagnosis running about 5000 per day, that would mean almost 10 times as many people as being diagnosed in a given day are infected with no symptoms and going to the grocery store day after day.  

Honestly, with what a PIA testing is, I wouldn't be surprised if there were 10 times as many. And having spoken with people, do not assume that those diagnosed are staying home. 

But even if we cut that in half, over a week it is a lot of potential exposure. And one person coughing on them or sneezing is enough. And even if the risk isn't super high, for most people to mask 1 hour or less in the grocery store is not a huge burden. I actually really dislike masking - I have trouble understanding people without lip reading and would struggle in say, a school environment or workplace to mask all day - but for an hour at the store, yeah, I manage. 

But I agree that workplaces and schools and such, with people sitting in a room together sharing air for 8 hours a day is the highest risk, outside of unmasked close interactions like parties, family events, etc. 

 

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2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

So, that was interesting.

 

I entered the typical information for my girl scout meetings.  Certainly, some of it was averaged or estimated, but I did the best I could.

 

I got a 1% risk.  Remove masks....I got 2%. 

 

I then put in my best (and honest best.....this was just quick calculations, I am sure that I could drill down with more effort) estimates for a typical grocery store visit.  I got 10% non masked, but 6% setting masks at average.  SO, making my best estimation for human behavior, the reduction was 4%.

 

I then put in my best estimates for DH's work.  A well ventilated place as it is a manufacturing facility.  By changing only the masking, I got 29% with the mask requirements in place, vs 74% with no masking. 

 

THAT.....that is what I call significant difference.

 

1% to 5% difference isn't what I call significant. 

 

I am super interested in what this all is based on because genuinely.............................it's exactly what I am looking for.  It's the kind of information I want mandates based on.  I will be playing with that for several hours.

So, the absolute risk reduction from 2% to 1% seems small, but that's a relative risk reduction of 50% - which is huge.  On a population level, a 50% relative risk reduction is actually really meaningful, even when it seems like it's just reduced from small to slightly smaller.  Half as many cases and half as much stress on the health care system.   Reducing absolute risk from 10% to 6% represents a similarly significant reduction in relative risk.  These kinds of numbers would be totally acceptable (amazing, actually) for drug trials - we put people on drugs for life for worse numbers than that (Ie statins relative risk reduction for coronary death of 28%, absolute risk reduction from 9% to 6.7%,  only 2.3%.

 

ETA - all the drugs for cardiac primary and secondary prevention are in this neighbourhood for ARR - statins, beta-blockers, ACEI, NOACs.  Even aspirin, the superstar of cardiac prevention drugs,  only has an ARR of between 2 and 8%.  For each indivudual, the ARR is modest.  But on a population level, the effects are enormous.

Edited by wathe
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1 hour ago, kand said:

 

 

as far as what those numbers you got mean though, if they are accurate, then I think they are a lot more significant than you are saying. Going from a 1% risk to a 5% risk isn’t a 4% increase, it means your risk has increased by five times. That’s a huge increase. Stats people? @Not_a_Number?

Yes, yes, yes.   When applied to a population, a five-fold increase is enormous - even if only a small proportion of the population is affected.  

The difference between, say, 5 and 25 emergency department registrations per hour is the difference between business as usual and total overwhelm.  This scales up to hospital capacity, health care system capacity really quickly, even if those cases represent a small proportion of the population

Relative risk vs absolute risk.

Edited by wathe
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re whose risk reduction

4 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

So, that was interesting.

...I then put in my best (and honest best.....this was just quick calculations, I am sure that I could drill down with more effort) estimates for a typical grocery store visit.  I got 10% non masked, but 6% setting masks at average.  SO, making my best estimation for human behavior, the reduction was 4%....

(I haven't played around with the calculator yet.)

Others have already addressed the scale issue; perhaps another math-y type can speak to exponential growth rates once community spread kicks in as well.

But within the calculation itself: is that the reduction in risk to you, a shopper nipping in and out, or in the aerosolized particles in the air the store workers who are there for their entire shifts are breathing?

 

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14 minutes ago, Pam in CT said:

re whose risk reduction

(I haven't played around with the calculator yet.)

Others have already addressed the scale issue; perhaps another math-y type can speak to exponential growth rates once community spread kicks in as well.

But within the calculation itself: is that the reduction in risk to you, a shopper nipping in and out, or in the aerosolized particles in the air the store workers who are there for their entire shifts are breathing?

 

This is important.

Another slightly tangential take on the same theme:  Patients often sneak/take their masks off after they've been placed in an assessment room, while they are waiting for the MD or other assessment staff, and then pop their mask back on when the provider enters the room.  This behaviour is low-risk to the patient (they are alone in a room with a closed door, after all) but it's not low risk for the staff.  While the patient is waiting maskless in the exam room with a closed door, they are filling the room with their respiratory plume, which the HCP has no choice but to breathe while doing the assessment.  And here, unless performing an AGMP, the HCP is in a medical mask.  Not an N95.

(Hospital ventilation is usually pretty good, but not always.  And overcrowded ED's are often forced to use non-conventional assessment spaces - the "exam room" might very well have been designed as an office space or even a storage closet, with ventilation to match the intended use.  I have seen patients in ante-rooms, converted offices, converted storage closets etc during this pandemic.)

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So it's interesting that some have brought up seat belts as a comparable that we mostly all do with out complaining because it saves lives -- I remember (age alert!) when the seat belt laws started going in, and there was a LOT of complaining and ignoring going on for a LONG time.   It is only as later generations have grown up always wearing seatbelts that it has become the norm.    I think the mask thing hits the same buttons in people but worse in that it is 'only' a mandate and not a law, not to mention that people don't expect it to be long term.

 

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4 hours ago, ktgrok said:

Honestly, with what a PIA testing is, I wouldn't be surprised if there were 10 times as many. And having spoken with people, do not assume that those diagnosed are staying home.

 

Well if diagnosed people don't stay home, asking people to wear masks doesn't seem like it will help much 😞  

But, I have trouble with some of these types of estimates.  If there are 10 times as many people sick each day relativ eto the numbers that are being reported, that would turn Florida's 2 million cases into 20 million cases with a population of just over 21 million almost eveyrone in Florida would have already had COVID.  

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4 hours ago, kand said:

My understanding is they based it on in-depth analysis of the 3000 something people on the diamond cruise ship last year. They were able to look at all kinds of things to try to figure out what things increased and lowered risk, and by how much.

 

as far as what those numbers you got mean though, if they are accurate, then I think they are a lot more significant than you are saying. Going from a 1% risk to a 5% risk isn’t a 4% increase, it means your risk has increased by five times. That’s a huge increase. Stats people? @Not_a_Number?

Looking at the paper from which this calculator is based Mechanistic transmission modeling of COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship demonstrates the importance of aerosol transmission | PNAS it look as if they were trying to determining the mechanisms by which the virus was transmitted (surface, aerosol, etc.)  It was more focused on methods of transmission than on what increased or lowered risk.  For example, they were not comparing the results from people wearing masks and those who were not wearing masks.  They have to be bringing in some other method of risk reduction from masks into their calculator.

They do say that the calculation is based upon several superspreading events, and therefore may overestimate risk.  It also makes these assumptions:

  • "Assume at least one infector and one susceptible individual are present in the indoor environment,
  • Assume the infector(s) is/are at their peak infectivity"

Thus if you want to know what the risk is that you would get COVID in one of those situations, you would need to condition this upon the probability of their being an infected person at the peak of their infectivity at the time.  If there is a 10% chance that the person meets that descritption, then there is a 10% chance of the of the 5% chance that you would be infected, or a 0.5% chance of being infected.  If there is a 1% chance that the person in the room with you is infected, then the chance of being infected is 0.05%.  

 

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Just now, Bootsie said:

Looking at the paper from which this calculator is based Mechanistic transmission modeling of COVID-19 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship demonstrates the importance of aerosol transmission | PNAS it look as if they were trying to determining the mechanisms by which the virus was transmitted (surface, aerosol, etc.)  It was more focused on methods of transmission than on what increased or lowered risk.  For example, they were not comparing the results from people wearing masks and those who were not wearing masks.  They have to be bringing in some other method of calculating risk reduction from hand washing and masks into their calculator.

They do say that the calculation is based upon several superspreading events, and therefore may overestimate risk.  It also makes these assumptions:

  • "Assume at least one infector and one susceptible individual are present in the indoor environment,
  • Assume the infector(s) is/are at their peak infectivity"

Thus if you want to know what the risk is that you would get COVID in one of those situations, you would need to condition this upon the probability of their being an infected person at the peak of their infectivity at the time.  If there is a 10% chance that the person meets that descritption, then there is a 10% chance of the of the 5% chance that you would be infected, or a 0.5% chance of being infected.  If there is a 1% chance that the person in the room with you is infected, then the chance of being infected is 0.05%.  

 

 

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Quantifying the risk in different indoor situations seems complicated. I doubt that there are that many people who could do that. We know that the most likely place for spread to occur is when people are inside and around other people. It seems simplest to say wear a mask when you are indoors with other people not in your bubble.

Let’s face it we’ve been trying for a year to share the message that wearing a mask is most effective at protecting others, not yourself, and so many seem unable to understand that simple message. I don’t see it going well to ask people to figure out very much about specific risks in specific places.

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28 minutes ago, kand said:

I think a lot of the people who fight back about masks don’t like the implication that this is something people could get used to, because they don’t want that to happen. I have been thinking lately about something I’d forgotten about, and that’s the way many of the mask conversations on this forum at the beginning of the pandemic had a strongly anti-Asian  component from the people who were outspoken against mask wearing.  There were a lot of comments like, “this isn’t China” and “we don’t do that here.”  I imagine it may be disconcerting to those people that so many people in the USA  are just fine with having to wear masks for now.  It’s hard for me to explain how my brain got from your seatbelt comments to that, but I promise you it makes sense in my head 😂

I  like the idea of (hopefully many of us) wearing a mask when we know we've got a cold (or signs of one) -- and it's become normal enough that maybe that will become the norm here whereas pre-covid, that would have been very strange here in the US (unlike Asia). 

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9 hours ago, kand said:

I agree that’s really not particularly helpful overall, but someone was asking for such a thing, so I provided a link to the one I recently saw. I certainly wouldn’t expect it to be numerically accurate, but it’s an interesting thing perhaps for people to see the different factors that are at play – – size of room, type of airflow, how many people, length of time, type of mask, etc., etc.

It is very interesting and I wasn’t meaning to be negative about it. I was thinking more about how many people would actually be able to use it accurately to assess risk in different situations and therefore make good decisions in a case by case manner.

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For me personally, one of the most disconcerting aspects of of my personal risk management calculus is:

I have no d@mn idea about how well any particular indoor space is ventilated and filtered.

None. At all.

Home Depot is huge and open, with very high ceilings, and they're in the building business for crying out loud, so maybe they have decent venting and filtration?  Maybe?  But OTOH there are no windows, at all.

Whereas the marvelous French restaurant in a wondrously renovated old inn that we used to go to in the Beforetimes has soaring French doors and 5' windows on every wall.  And it's renovated, so maybe they overhauled the HVAC system?  But OTOH in the winter every one of those windows is closed, double-glazed and well sealed.

My three local supermarkets have no windows, and the buildings have all been there for 25++ years.  The only information I have, is that HVAC is likely to be lousy.  Similarly the big box Walmart, not known for incurring expense that is invisible to customers but workplace safety.

The public school cafeteria where I worked two elections, counted ballots and also availed of the wifi when we lost power for 8 days over the summer -- the indoor space where I actually have spent more hours than any other since all this began -- is kinda old and I have doubts about the HVAC... but they hurl open every window, even in the November election and, I understand from parents whose kids have ventured into hybrid IRL class, straight through the winter.

What's better? 

I have no idea.  I am singularly unable to assess that risk.  I do not have the data.  I never *will* have the data.  That data is not collectible; every indoor space is different.  It is not possible to glean it.

And yet I am quite certain that HVAC and filtration matter more than any other single variable, including masking.

So I'm left with two options: t1. hrow up my hands and "nothing matters, nothing I can do, let er rip"; or 2. Vastly curtail my time indoors anywhere to the greatest extent I'm able. 

It is disconcerting.

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11 hours ago, kand said:

I think a lot of the people who fight back about masks don’t like the implication that this is something people could get used to, because they don’t want that to happen. I have been thinking lately about something I’d forgotten about, and that’s the way many of the mask conversations on this forum at the beginning of the pandemic had a strongly anti-Asian  component from the people who were outspoken against mask wearing.  There were a lot of comments like, “this isn’t China” and “we don’t do that here.”  I imagine it may be disconcerting to those people that so many people in the USA  are just fine with having to wear masks for now.  It’s hard for me to explain how my brain got from your seatbelt comments to that, but I promise you it makes sense in my head 😂

 

I think this is an excellent point. How can we “other” if the person/act/item has become normalised? 
 

 

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Well I sure hope masks work.  MDD started to have a sore throat and elevated temp Tuesday. She is a strep carrier so we assume it's that.  In the morning our Dr. tells us to get a Covid test to rule it out.  DH gets one to so he can work ( critical worker with slightly different rules) if she has a fever.  Well instead he comes back positive for Covid.  He was in a room for 12+ hours the night before with his crew. He always masks and is not symptomatic so hopefully no one else gets it.  Though it's probably where he got it but he was with a different crew early because of OT.   If it takes out a crew let alone 2 there will be serious trouble. It's not like their are subs for nuclear operators.

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