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CDC mask announcement (a new thread)


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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, KSera said:

 

Facts are important and they could have reported facts at the same time they used the facts to inform a different kind of guideline that wouldn’t have been as risky to those not yet vaccinated (as I keep saying, there are lots of adults still waiting for their second shots, and then there are all the kids). They could have said they since those who are vaccinated can largely remove their masks, they will lift the mask recommendation as soon as a certain vaccine benchmark and/or case number threshold is reached. 

Where I live, people 16- 64yo without high risks are just now getting their second vaccine this week, if they one of the lucky ones to get their first shot the week it opened up for them. So no, most adults here are not fully vaccinated nor have they had the opportunity to be so before this change happened. Add to that the 12-15 year olds that are also just now getting their first. And that is of course not even talking about the under 12 group. I does seem like they are not being considered. I do think the numbers will come back up because the CDC gave this guidance. That will not help those who are unable to be vaccinated at all or the breakthrough 5-10% cases either. 

3 hours ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

I'm wondering how many of those vaccinated are for sure getting their under 12 children vaccinated.  

I am the only one in my family fully vaccinated because I have higher risks. Some of my family members will get their second shot this week and my kids in the 12-15 group will get their first shots. I absolutely will vaccinate my child younger than 12. We have stayed home since March 2020 and so ready to be in public. We have higher risk people in our family, it was necessary to be this careful. We will continue to stay home until all of us can be vaccinated. Yes, I am thankful that we can stay home to stay safe and realize it is even worse for the ones who do not have that option. But we have also paid a price for doing this.  It is not easy. 

Edited by bluemongoose
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1 hour ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

I'm seeing 20-30 % or even more of cases are asymptomatic. 

And at least that many people are asymptomatic post vaccine. I’d like to see everyone provided with paid time to get vaccinated, whether that needs to come from the employer or the government. No one should have to be risking their health to that degree due to worry that they will be one of the people who needs to take a day off after being vaccinated. (The percentage  of people needing more than that is very small,  and missing work due to Covid would be more likely than being one of the people with longer vaccine side effects.)

1 hour ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Do you understand that people that cannot miss work did not quarantine in many cases? It could be financially devastating to their families.

That’s all the more reason to make sure they have ways to get vaccinated. Nobody should be having to go to work with Covid, and then they are exposing all their coworkers as well, which is part of why it spread so much in certain industries that lack benefits. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Kanin said:

Even so, that's 70-80% that are symptomatic. I can understand your husband not wanting to get another shot since he reacted badly, but for someone like me who had nothing other than a sore arm, the vaccine was no big deal. I don't know anyone who has reacted as badly as that, and I've probably talked to 20+ people about their experiences. The worst I heard from someone IRL was a 24 hour fever/blah. 

I wonder if there is any connection between reacting strongly to the shot and the possibility of reacting strongly to the real virus. 

My dh had flu-like symptoms for 10 days with the first shot and almost didn't get the second because of it.

This part is a general remark, not directed at Kanin:

Even people who have sick time or weekends often can't actually take sick time because they have to care for children or parents.  This is a huge issue for single moms.  Yes, the vaccine will likely have them out of commission for a shorter period of time than covid, but they figure their chance of getting covid even if the don't get vaccinated is much less than the chance of getting the vaccine if they do get vaccinated (cuz that's probably 100%.)

Edited by Syllieann
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I haven't read this whole thread (it moved fast), but man, the more I think about the CDC announcement, the worse I feel about it. I really hope none of our friends decide to follow this, because I am not going to see people unmasked. I'm just not. We're still in the middle of a pandemic!! My kids aren't vaccinated!! The variants are causing breakthrough cases!! 

(You should read this post as a primal scream, by the way.) 

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2 hours ago, Hilltopmom said:

In my local area, upstate NY where we’ve been masking since the beginning, I’ve seen all of the anti mask families I know this week posting messages saying “ha ha, jokes on them... now we don’t have to mask and can just lie about being vaxxed”.  “Sure, I’m vaxxed, wink wink”. Basically bragging about their plans to lie and stop wearing masks.

A school nurse and a few teachers included 😞

I've already been thinking about how I'm not going to be driving upstate anytime soon 😕 . I guess this confirms it. I'll stay in nice highly vaccinated Manhattan... 

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2 hours ago, Syllieann said:

My dh had flu-like symptoms for 10 days with the first shot and almost didn't get the second because of it.

This part is a general remark, not directed at Kanin:

Even people who have sick time or weekends often can't actually take sick time because they have to care for children or parents.  This is a huge issue for single moms.  Yes, the vaccine will likely have them out of commission for a shorter period of time than covid, but they figure their chance of getting covid even if the don't get vaccinated is much less than the chance of getting the vaccine if they do get vaccinated (cuz that's probably 100%.)

It looks like over 5 million people have missed or skipped their second doses, some for the same reason your daughter almost didn’t take it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/25/business/covid-vaccines-second-doses.html

 

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Posted (edited)

Lots of thoughts.

I agree about younger kids being okay around just family for a while. There is a point for most school-aged kids where this changes, though. We are now over a year, and it’s the second end of school year with limitations. Someone compared to polio epidemics, but those were during the summer; kids weren’t limited from school and activities for over a year. It’s just a lot. 
 

I’m concerned about people unmasking a few weeks too soon. I don’t think masking was ever going to happen through the summer and into the fall, the way most people would like, with cases coming down like they are. Maybe in a couple of states they would have, and maybe those still will. 
 

I am not anti-mask at all. I think that it is hard to tease out any effects of masks from distancing, both voluntary and otherwise, and gathering limits. And I don’t see that public health was very good at showing where the infections were happening, other than the big outbreaks that were obvious. Even back in the summer and early fall when the contact tracing was pretty good, I never saw much about that, other than the obvious demographics of who was getting sick more often: lower income communities, minority communities, certain essential workers. 
 

I find it interesting how masks are described here as another tool just like vaccination is a tool, as though they are comparable. I don’t see it that way at all. It’s more like a Covid-infected person is like a gaping wound, and a mask is putting a little bandaid over it and going about your day. A vaccine is like preventing the wound in the first place, or having a tiny scrape instead that doesn’t even need a bandaid. 
 


 

 

 

Edited by Penelope
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23 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

It looks like over 5 million people have missed or skipped their second doses, some for the same reason your daughter almost didn’t take it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/25/business/covid-vaccines-second-doses.html

 

Yes, but that still means over 92% have gone back for their second dose. That’s a pretty darn high rate—higher than for other vaccine series like shingles. 

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21 minutes ago, KSera said:

Yes, but that still means over 92% have gone back for their second dose. That’s a pretty darn high rate—higher than for other vaccine series like shingles. 

Right, but they are forfeiting their immunity or a large part of it. At some point, anti-maskers can’t be blamed for everything.

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9 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Right, but they are forfeiting their immunity or a large part of it. At some point, anti-maskers can’t be blamed for everything.

I don’t understand the point or connection.

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13 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Right, but they are forfeiting their immunity or a large part of it. At some point, anti-maskers can’t be blamed for everything.

Since Pfizer gives 89 to 91 % immunity 15 days after the FIRST DOSE this isn't really true.

Moderna was 92.1 % immunity 15 days after the first dose.

This goes up for both vaccines after the second dose to even higher but no, they aren't forfeiting their immunity or a large part of it. 

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6 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I've already been thinking about how I'm not going to be driving upstate anytime soon 😕 . I guess this confirms it. I'll stay in nice highly vaccinated Manhattan... 

actually, I believe our county has the highest vaccination rate in the state, or at least it did a few weeks ago- I just happen to personally know a lot of the crazies & wanted to share what I’m seeing them spout 

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10 hours ago, kokotg said:

I'm annoyed with the school systems that have done that, too, but since it happened within hours of the CDC announcement, it's clear that they're linked. I think that was a predictable result and one reason why I think the CDC showed poor judgement in making the announcement when they did and in not clarifying what it meant for places like schools (they've since said they don't recommend getting rid of masking in schools this school year, but...too little, too late in a lot of cases).

This after the CDC announcement there has been immense pressure to drop the mask mandate in schools. There’s only 2 weeks left hopefully they can remain strong and keep the mandate since the vast majority of students can’t get vaccinated or are not fully vaccinated but my hopes are not high. There’s no chance there will be a mask mandate for k-6 in the fall. 

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1 hour ago, Hilltopmom said:

actually, I believe our county has the highest vaccination rate in the state, or at least it did a few weeks ago- I just happen to personally know a lot of the crazies & wanted to share what I’m seeing them spout 

Oh, cool. But a lot of upstate isn’t like that, right?

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6 hours ago, Penelope said:

 

I find it interesting how masks are described here as another tool just like vaccination is a tool, as though they are comparable. I don’t see it that way at all. It’s more like a Covid-infected person is like a gaping wound, and a mask is putting a little bandaid over it and going about your day. A vaccine is like preventing the wound in the first place, or having a tiny scrape instead that doesn’t even need a bandaid. 

I’d guess masks cut rates by 50% and vaccines cut them by 95%. But it’s multiplicative, right? So then if you do both, risk goes down from 5% to 2.5%. Making your risk half of what it worth seems worthwhile even starting with a smaller number. For instance, it about doubles what one can do with a given risk budget.

(I’m estimating the numbers here. The point is the idea.)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

I’d guess masks cut rates by 50% and vaccines cut them by 95%. But it’s multiplicative, right? So then if you do both, risk goes down from 5% to 2.5%. Making your risk half of what it worth seems worthwhile even starting with a smaller number. For instance, it about doubles what one can do with a given risk budget.

(I’m estimating the numbers here. The point is the idea.)

No, if the vax is 95% effective, the risk becomes 5% times whatever the risk would be if you were unvaxed.  So far in roughly 1.5 years, about 10% of Americans have tested positive or presumed positive for Covid, with new daily cases below 0.01% of the population, and let's double that to account for about half of Americans being immune (the cases are happening mostly in the non-immune half).  Your risk of catching covid today, if vaxed, is then 5% x 0.018% or 0.0009%.  Multiply that times, say, 100 days that you want the mask mandates to continue, and it's 0.09% risk that you could catch Covid.

The vax supposedly greatly reduces your chances of getting significant symptoms even if you do catch Covid.  So for fun, let's say that reduction is 80%.  So your risk of getting Covid with significant symptoms in the next 100 days is approximately 0.018% times the rate at which people with Covid get significant symptoms in your demographic (let's say 50% for fun, though it's probably less) or 0.009%.  So theoretically a good mask on top of your vax (assuming your 50% above is correct) would reduce your risk of getting significant Covid symptoms in the next 100 days from 0.009% to 0.0045%.

Of course if a risk of 0.009% for symptomatic Covid isn't acceptable to you, by all means mask up, but don't be too surprised or judgmental if other vaxed Americans don't.

[ETA I revised the #s upward for better logic.]

Edited by SKL
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Posted (edited)

Just read the yesterday's newsletter from Amber Schmidtke, the immunologist I follow who mostly talks about GA numbers. She's not happy. She mentions stuff I hadn't thought enough about, like how it's still the most vulnerable populations who have been vaccinated at the lowest rate AND who say they want the vaccine "ASAP" but still have barriers to access.

https://www.facebook.com/AmberSchmidtkePhD/posts/303829588055385

Quote

For those who haven’t been vaccinated, with people unmasking in their community even though they’re also not vaccinated, the risk just went up in a big way. I wish that I had advance warning on this so that I could have gotten one last haircut for my kids. We’re no longer taking them to the store, even masked. Each family is back to having to calculate their own risk tolerance in a shifting landscape where it is harder to identify what or who those risks are. People who are immunocompromised feel forgotten. It feels like whatever led to this decision, it was rushed and not well thought out and a lot of people feel let down. There’s chatter that CDC will provide clearer guidance this week for schools and businesses. But it’s hard to put toothpaste back in the tube. In public health every word matters. The stakes are high. The wrong words were chosen here. We’ll have to see what the impact the words have in terms of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

 

Edited by kokotg
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On the CDC website, this is the language:

"Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

As previously mentioned, it's still on state/local/school district policymakers to be sensible.  If they are lifting mask mandates in schools where Covid numbers aren't pretty, then they are stupid and they are accountable to their constituents.

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I have now spoken to two people whose fully vaccinated (Pfizer) family members have caught Covid in India. One person has three vaccinated family members with Covid  right now. I really hope they pull through without having to find a hospital because it’s chaos over there. 

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5 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

I have now spoken to two people whose fully vaccinated (Pfizer) family members have caught Covid in India. One person has three vaccinated family members with Covid  right now. I really hope they pull through without having to find a hospital because it’s chaos over there. 

AFAIK they don't have the Pfizer vax in India.  Whatever vaxes they have there don't seem to be nearly as effective as the mRNA ones.

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35 minutes ago, SKL said:

Of course if a risk of 0.0045% for symptomatic Covid isn't acceptable to you, by all means mask up, but don't be too surprised or judgmental if other vaxed Americans don't.

No, I see that. I don’t think of that as a particularly scary risk, obviously. It does rather assume cases stay constant, though, and that we aren’t undercounting...

I don’t think you can do the 80% on top of the 95%, by the way. You should just do the protection against severe disease as a separate calculation.

But I wasn’t arguing that vaccinated people should mask in the current situation... merely that both offer a useful layer of protection and that we shouldn’t dismiss mask as bandaids. If I do the above calculations for my kids, their chances of getting COVID this summer goes from 1% to 0.5%. To me, that’s actually a pretty serious difference. Now, those are still pretty small numbers, which maybe does suggest that one should be calmer about it, especially since the chance of a negative COVID outcome for kids is low...

I wish I could estimate COVID risks for kids better, sigh. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I was curious so I went looking for some information.  I know that Arkansas lifted its mask mandate March 30.  I looked to see how that had affected cases in the state.  I can tell you most people that I know there are not masking unless they are required, and not even all of the time then.  The people I know are probably 50/50 on being vaccinated.  So it's a good test case for the new CDC guidelines.  As of today Arkansas has 39% of the state with at least 1 dose, 29% fully vaccinated, so less than the national level.  

It doesn't seem like lifting the mask mandate in March has made a bit of difference in their cases, even with the relatively low vaccination rate.  It's been holding steady at less than 200 cases a day.  I'm guessing there is enough immunity between vaccine and natural infections to keep it that low even without masking.  

*I'm not saying masking isn't important or helpful*  It just seems like the vaccines are doing the heavy lifting at this point and the sky hasn't fallen in this particular state with no mask mandate. 

I'm honestly surprised, I thought for sure cases would have exploded, especially because they opened restaurants back to 100% capacity at the same time and they were PACKED last time I was there.

image.png.5cff6c8082f772b01c60fade60169b4e.png

 

https://usafacts.org/visualizations/covid-vaccine-tracker-states/state/arkansas

Edited by HeartString
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2 minutes ago, HeartString said:

I was curious so I went looking for some information.  I know that Arkansas lifted its mask mandate March 30.  I looked to see how that had affected cases in the state.  I can tell you most people that I know there are not masking unless they are required, and not even all of the time then.  The people I know are probably 50/50 on being vaccinated.  So it's a good test case for the new CDC guidelines.  As of today Arkansas has 39% of the state with at least 1 dose, 29% fully vaccinated, so less than the national level.  

It doesn't seem like lifting the mask mandate in March has made a bit of difference in their cases, even with the relatively low vaccination rate.  It's been holding steady at less than 200 cases a day.  I'm guessing there is enough immunity between vaccine and natural infections to keep it that low even without masking.  

*I'm not saying masking isn't important or helpful*  It just seems like the vaccines are doing the heavy lifting at this point and the sky hasn't fallen in this particular state with no mask mandate.  

image.png.5cff6c8082f772b01c60fade60169b4e.png

 

https://usafacts.org/visualizations/covid-vaccine-tracker-states/state/arkansas

I don’t think you can conclude anything from this. The spread of this thing is bizarre and comes in huge waves. Lots of states were fine until they weren’t.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don’t think you can conclude anything from this. The spread of this thing is bizarre and comes in huge waves. Lots of states were fine until they weren’t.

Not concluding anything other than the sky didn't fall even though I had thought at the time that it would.  I predicted doom and gloom when they lifted the mandate and it didn't come. Simply an example of a time I was wrong.  Arkansas has been spared from the worst of things through out this whole thing though, through sheer luck I think. 

 

Edited by HeartString
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43 minutes ago, SKL said:

On the CDC website, this is the language:

"Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

As previously mentioned, it's still on state/local/school district policymakers to be sensible.  If they are lifting mask mandates in schools where Covid numbers aren't pretty, then they are stupid and they are accountable to their constituents.

I'm perfectly capable of thinking that multiple groups/people acted stupidly here. I'm a multi-tasker like that.

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14 minutes ago, HeartString said:

Not concluding anything other than the sky didn't fall even though I had thought at the time that it would.  I predicted doom and gloom when they lifted the mandate and it didn't come. Simply an example of a time I was wrong.  Arkansas has been spared from the worst of things through out this whole thing though, through sheer luck I think. 

 

I guess I wouldn’t predict much of anything, personally. We saw whole states that were fine for months and months until they weren’t. It’s a pretty chaotic system.

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From our governor to our school superintendents:

Dear Education Leader,

Thank you for your hard work this year to provide safe and healthy in-person educational opportunities to Ohio’s students. As you may have seen, the Centers for Disease Control recently revised their recommendations around mask guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated. While Ohio will be amending its health orders to comply with this new CDC guidance, in order to maintain consistency and model safe behavior for Ohio’s students, these changes do not affect the existing order requiring the use of facial coverings and other health protocols in our schools. With limited numbers of students vaccinated, it is important that we continue these safety measures through the end of the current school year. I appreciate the efforts that you have undertaken locally to protect students and I look forward to continuing to work together for Ohio’s kids.

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8 minutes ago, SKL said:

From our governor to our school superintendents:

Dear Education Leader,

Thank you for your hard work this year to provide safe and healthy in-person educational opportunities to Ohio’s students. As you may have seen, the Centers for Disease Control recently revised their recommendations around mask guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated. While Ohio will be amending its health orders to comply with this new CDC guidance, in order to maintain consistency and model safe behavior for Ohio’s students, these changes do not affect the existing order requiring the use of facial coverings and other health protocols in our schools. With limited numbers of students vaccinated, it is important that we continue these safety measures through the end of the current school year. I appreciate the efforts that you have undertaken locally to protect students and I look forward to continuing to work together for Ohio’s kids.

It’s nice that your state is following cdc guidelines. Not all of us are that fortunate. 

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

No, if the vax is 95% effective, the risk becomes 5% times whatever the risk would be if you were unvaxed.  So far in roughly 1.5 years, about 10% of Americans have tested positive or presumed positive for Covid, with new daily cases below 0.01% of the population, and let's double that to account for about half of Americans being immune (the cases are happening mostly in the non-immune half).  Your risk of catching covid today, if vaxed, is then 5% x 0.018% or 0.0009%.  Multiply that times, say, 100 days that you want the mask mandates to continue, and it's 0.09% risk that you could catch Covid.

The vax supposedly greatly reduces your chances of getting significant symptoms even if you do catch Covid.  So for fun, let's say that reduction is 80%.  So your risk of getting Covid with significant symptoms in the next 100 days is approximately 0.018% times the rate at which people with Covid get significant symptoms in your demographic (let's say 50% for fun, though it's probably less) or 0.009%.  So theoretically a good mask on top of your vax (assuming your 50% above is correct) would reduce your risk of getting significant Covid symptoms in the next 100 days from 0.009% to 0.0045%.

Of course if a risk of 0.009% for symptomatic Covid isn't acceptable to you, by all means mask up, but don't be too surprised or judgmental if other vaxed Americans don't.

[ETA I revised the #s upward for better logic.]

Odds are low, if you are not a child.

The CDC threw kids under the bus by not taking the social reality of the threat posed by anti-vaxers/anti-maskers into account. But you know that.

Bill

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Posted (edited)

I just got an email from DDs ortho and from our school district announcing masks would still be required. What a relief. So far, I haven't seen most local shoppers dropping their masks, also a relief. The store clerks at my local grocery stores are still masked too. I did watch a ~75yo man pull a cigarette from his lips and shuffle into Food Lion unmasked but he was definitely the exception. The swift emails indicate just how much pressure is out there for everyone to drop all mask requirements tho, in contravention of the guidance.

Edited by Sneezyone
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53 minutes ago, SKL said:

AFAIK they don't have the Pfizer vax in India.  Whatever vaxes they have there don't seem to be nearly as effective as the mRNA ones.

No, vaxxed American residents went "home" to help care for family members in India.  I do understand that the viral load is off the charts there, and that statistically some percentage of people will get Covid after being vaccinated.  I worry about local governments relaxing precautions when they have x percentage vaccinated or a y percent positivity rate.  India and Brazil are only 15 hours away on any given day.  This is a global problem and it feels a bit like we're trying to set up a peeing section in a swimming pool and thinking your fine if you don't go there. Travel restrictions help, but they're not perfect and the US is not an island.

I don't want to get complacent prematurely because we're tired of it all.  People have been complaining about being tired of it all for an entire year now but we're still passing this baton around. I get it.  I HATE wearing a mask and have never had to do it for more than an hour or so at a stretch, but I don't feel we have the global, or even local, vaccination rates to let our guard down quite yet.  Yes, it's time to open things back up, but it doesn't feel (to me) like it's time for naked faces indoors.

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

I have now spoken to two people whose fully vaccinated (Pfizer) family members have caught Covid in India. One person has three vaccinated family members with Covid  right now. I really hope they pull through without having to find a hospital because it’s chaos over there. 

That’s scary. How sick did they get?

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27 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

That’s scary. How sick did they get?

It's too soon to tell.  They're just getting started, but none of them are dangerously ill.  I hope they don't get TOO sick and are able to care for their families like they planned.

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6 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

It's too soon to tell.  They're just getting started, but none of them are dangerously ill.  I hope they don't get TOO sick and are able to care for their families like they planned.

I really hope they don’t get super sick.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I’d guess masks cut rates by 50% and vaccines cut them by 95%. But it’s multiplicative, right? So then if you do both, risk goes down from 5% to 2.5%. Making your risk half of what it worth seems worthwhile even starting with a smaller number. For instance, it about doubles what one can do with a given risk budget.

(I’m estimating the numbers here. The point is the idea.)

I saw an interesting chart from CDC data. It was organized by death rate per 100,000, not infection rate, so doesn’t directly speak to your examples. They listed both death rate and 97% of reduction of that death rate, by age. I presume the 97% is reduction of risk of death if vaccinated? I’m not sure. Anyway, it is always stark to see the age differentials. The risk of a *vaccinated* person over 35 is still higher than an unvaccinated child under 12, and gets to be many times higher the older you go, even though the absolute numbers are very small. 
 

Not wanting to contribute to a mask debate, but how much we estimate they help makes a difference in how useful we think masks are as an additive. When not everyone is wearing them anymore, it is not a source control question, but protection to the wearer. The only trial we have for that did not show a 50% benefit for a surgical mask, so I assume it is less than 50%, and from all the many previous mask studies for influenza, I assume much less than 50%, perhaps negligible to up to 20-30% tops. I would not put my faith in any efficacy for a single cloth mask. And I do think there is some element of faith, or belief, involved.

It’s all a guess until you have trials. There is some sort of mask study being done in Guinea-Bissau. It would be nice if public health could have a real number estimate for any future infection control efforts. 

2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don’t think you can conclude anything from this. The spread of this thing is bizarre and comes in huge waves. Lots of states were fine until they weren’t.

I wonder about this, too. Nobody thinks we will see a big wave again here, but there could be smaller ones. It’s just so unclear how much natural immunity a given place has.
 

Last summer the southern half of the US had spread. That was before anyone was immune, and now that more are, they are saying it will be more seasonal. When we had the 2009 pandemic, there was a lot of sickness over the spring and summer, outside of the usual flu season, but after that it went back to a fall/winter illness. 

 

Edited by Penelope
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, HeartString said:

I was curious so I went looking for some information.  I know that Arkansas lifted its mask mandate March 30.  I looked to see how that had affected cases in the state.  I can tell you most people that I know there are not masking unless they are required, and not even all of the time then.  The people I know are probably 50/50 on being vaccinated.  So it's a good test case for the new CDC guidelines.  As of today Arkansas has 39% of the state with at least 1 dose, 29% fully vaccinated, so less than the national level.  

It doesn't seem like lifting the mask mandate in March has made a bit of difference in their cases, even with the relatively low vaccination rate.  It's been holding steady at less than 200 cases a day.  I'm guessing there is enough immunity between vaccine and natural infections to keep it that low even without masking.  

*I'm not saying masking isn't important or helpful*  It just seems like the vaccines are doing the heavy lifting at this point and the sky hasn't fallen in this particular state with no mask mandate. 

I'm honestly surprised, I thought for sure cases would have exploded, especially because they opened restaurants back to 100% capacity at the same time and they were PACKED last time I was there.

image.png.5cff6c8082f772b01c60fade60169b4e.png

 

https://usafacts.org/visualizations/covid-vaccine-tracker-states/state/arkansas

Or, those who chose to drop masking when it wasn't mandated weren't masking regularly or effectively anyway.  We've been doing college visits this year, and I can attest that in cities in TN, AL, GA, AR, and MO, masking was pretty common. Truck Stops also generally enforced it, and most people complied at highway rest areas. But in any random gas station in a rural part of any state, you could assume that most people would not be masked, even though there might be signage on the door mandating it. It didn't seem to matter whether it was a state level mandate or a patchwork of local ones-there was a definite lack of consistent compliance outside of urban areas.  I will be interested in seeing what happens in TN, where there was never a statewide mandate, now that the cities are being forced into dropping theirs, but again, I suspect the change will be smaller because those who didn't want to mask were already able to drive a few miles away and avoid it. 

 

Edited by Dmmetler
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14 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

Or, those who chose to drop masking when it wasn't mandated weren't masking regularly or effectively anyway.  We've been doing college visits this year, and I can attest that in cities in TN, AL, GA, AR, and MO, masking was pretty common. Truck Stops also generally enforced it, and most people complied at highway rest areas. But in any random gas station in a rural part of any state, you could assume that most people would not be masked, even though there might be signage on the door mandating it. It didn't seem to matter whether it was a state level mandate or a patchwork of local ones-there was a definite lack of consistent compliance outside of urban areas.  I will be interested in seeing what happens in TN, where there was never a statewide mandate, now that the cities are being forced into dropping theirs, but again, I suspect the change will be smaller because those who didn't want to mask were already able to drive a few miles away and avoid it. 

 

yes, that's why I like to look at more controlled settings like schools where enforcement is easier. Though certainly not universal, I'm sure. Disney World would be a great place to study how effective a universally enforced mask mandate is, but of course contact tracing isn't nearly good enough here for that to work. But I still volunteer to go there and study it 😉

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I’m making a prediction that by some time in June, if cases continue to be at this level or declining more, CDC will say that children under 12 can also be unmasked in most places. 
 

And it will come with an announcement that there is new science, but really it is what they already know now. They do these things step-wise, and they will wait for the end of the school year. I could be wrong, but I am reading the tea leaves. 🙂 Bookmarking post to check back in a few weeks. 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, kokotg said:

yes, that's why I like to look at more controlled settings like schools where enforcement is easier. Though certainly not universal, I'm sure. Disney World would be a great place to study how effective a universally enforced mask mandate is, but of course contact tracing isn't nearly good enough here for that to work. But I still volunteer to go there and study it 😉

From what I have read, there are school studies that support masking, and some that don’t. I think if they could figure out factors like ventilation and filtration and get down into the nitty-gritty of what is happening in the school, those things might matter more. Little kids in a cloth mask in the same room for hours with each other, every day- the aerosol work seems to suggest that ventilation might be more important than cloth masking in that situation (just my non-expert take).
 

Dr. Hoeg, who published the Wisconsin schools paper, posted some screenshots on Twitter from this group of schools, with four million students, where masks vs. no masks for students don’t seem to show a difference, though this isn’t controlled. 
https://covidschooldashboard.com

 

I would love to see Disney World numbers! I wonder if they have any way for people to report if they got sick within a certain time frame of their visit, to keep track of those numbers privately. That is one more good thing about lower numbers; they can better study viral transmission in outbreaks again. 

 

Edited by Penelope
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27 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

Or, those who chose to drop masking when it wasn't mandated weren't masking regularly or effectively anyway.  

 

I would guess that would be true of the non-vaccinated people that will choose not to mask now too.  

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2 minutes ago, Penelope said:


 

Dr. Hoeg, who published the Wisconsin schools paper, posted some screenshots on Twitter from this group of schools, with four million students, where masks vs. no masks for students don’t seem to show a difference, though this isn’t controlled. 
https://covidschooldashboard.com

 

 

 

Yes, the covid school dashboard is all self-reported data, and last I checked the number of schools reporting that didn't have a mask mandate was so small it was pretty much meaningless. When I was looking at it back in the fall/winter, it was very, very heavily tilted toward schools in New York. I've compared school districts near me with and without mask mandates, and the difference is stark. 

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4 minutes ago, HeartString said:

I would guess that would be true of the non-vaccinated people that will choose not to mask now too.  

I think that will depend heavily on what part of the country. In places with strict mask mandates that have been strictly followed, I think it will be different. I haven’t seen anyone indoors without a mask since last spring.

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Where I am everyone seems to mask, but only barely.  Noses are often out, so many gaitors which at least one study showed were ineffective. 
 

I do know that among my Arkansas friends several had said they refused to mask at all or only if specifically asked by a store employee. So the mask mandate wasn’t followed well.

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1 hour ago, Penelope said:

I would not put my faith in any efficacy for a single cloth mask

Well, to be fair, I'm not using a cloth mask. Happy Masks have filters and decent seals. I've been thinking about whether to get a better mask, but I'd certainly use something better than a cloth mask if I wanted protection to ourselves. 

 

1 hour ago, Penelope said:

Anyway, it is always stark to see the age differentials. The risk of a *vaccinated* person over 35 is still higher than an unvaccinated child under 12, and gets to be many times higher the older you go, even though the absolute numbers are very small. 

For death, yes. I've seen those stats. For hospitalization, I'd guess not. For long COVID, we really don't know, I think. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Since Pfizer gives 89 to 91 % immunity 15 days after the FIRST DOSE this isn't really true.

Moderna was 92.1 % immunity 15 days after the first dose.

This goes up for both vaccines after the second dose to even higher but no, they aren't forfeiting their immunity or a large part of it. 

I’m glad that over 5 million(and probably growing as more people experience bad side effects)people who don’t get the second shot is not a problem, then.

Edited by AbcdeDooDah
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46 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

I’m glad that over 5 million(and probably growing as more people experience bad side effects)people who don’t get the second shot is not a problem, then.

What do you think should be done about it?

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4 minutes ago, kokotg said:

What do you think should be done about it?

Well someone mentioned on one of these threads the Secret Service held Trump down and gave him his vaccine that way.

maybe that is something to explore?!

 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, kokotg said:

What do you think should be done about it?

Nothing. I don't care who does or does not get the shot. 

Or who does or does not wear a mask.

Science says there are many reasons for spread that have nothing to do with masks.

 

Edited by AbcdeDooDah
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2 minutes ago, AbcdeDooDah said:

Nothing. I don't care who does or does not get the shot. 

Or who does or does not wear a mask.

Science says there are many reasons for spread that have nothing to do with masks.

Right. There are many reasons for spread. All of them involve exchanging germs. 

Masks don't cause spread. Masks are a mitigation tool for spread. 

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