News & Experiences continued

Louis

Private citizen
Messages
15,453
The UK is considering even stricter guidelines to include:
  • a ban on exercising with one person outside the support bubble (under the belief that this is allowing "coffee in the park")
  • masks required in workplaces (how is this not required now?!?!?)
  • possibly masks required in crowded outdoor spaces where it's not possible to distance (I think it would be easier to require outdoors, period), including in outdoor queues (again, shocked it's not required now)

View from the ground:
Coffee in the park is definitely happening. The parks and even some of the high streets are downright CROWDED.

I am not just sure how "enforceable" these rules would be - how are the police supposed to know if people are married / housemates / etc. getting coffee, or from separate households getting coffee. I tend to think it's better not to waste goodwill by creating more unenforceable rules. I'd prefer any new rules to be simple and enforceable - e.g., masks outdoors (period).
 

allezfred

Lipinski Stole My Catchphrase
Staff member
Messages
57,583
That new variant is very contagious. It is about to upload its fury in this country.....
It wasn’t the new variant. It was our government deciding to open up everything in early December for Christmas so retail and restaurants could make a quick buck when case numbers weren’t low enough. And allowing home visits at the same time.
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
Messages
3,930
Stage an anti-mask protest? Don't be surprised if you get sprayed with cleaning agent.


About a dozen demonstrators arrived at Westfield Century City mall, with some refusing to leave and citing medical exemptions for not wearing masks.

Video of the incident, uploaded to Twitter by Beverly Hills Courier reporter Samuel Braslow, shows one shopper appearing to spray a cleaning agent at some of the anti-maskers.

A man carrying a Target shopping bag can be seen brandishing the spray cleaner with his arm outstretched as the protest group mills around him.

"You're going to be arrested with that," one woman can be heard saying. "I'm going to arrest you for that, that's poison."

"You're spraying poison on us," another woman adds.
 

Miezekatze

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,509
It wasn’t the new variant. It was our government deciding to open up everything in early December for Christmas so retail and restaurants could make a quick buck when case numbers weren’t low enough. And allowing home visits at the same time.

Oddly now in Germany media and politicians are all panicky about the new mutation, because of what happened in GB and Ireland without anyone EVER mentioning that there were massive lifting of restrictions in both countries in December to go along with it :huh:

Even though I have to say if it keeps us from having bad ideas about reopening things in February, that may very well be a good thing.
 

allezfred

Lipinski Stole My Catchphrase
Staff member
Messages
57,583
Oddly now in Germany media and politicians are all panicky about the new mutation, because of what happened in GB and Ireland without anyone EVER mentioning that there were massive lifting of restrictions in both countries in December to go along with it :huh:

Even though I have to say if it keeps us from having bad ideas about reopening things in February, that may very well be a good thing.
The government here did this against the advice of its expert committee and now the government here is trying to gaslight us that it was all down to the new variant.
 

FGRSK8

Toad whisperer.....
Messages
19,703
Oddly now in Germany media and politicians are all panicky about the new mutation, because of what happened in GB and Ireland without anyone EVER mentioning that there were massive lifting of restrictions in both countries in December to go along with it :huh:

Even though I have to say if it keeps us from having bad ideas about reopening things in February, that may very well be a good thing.
I wish some of the leaders in this country would buy a clue what is happening in the UK and make wise decisions..
 

allezfred

Lipinski Stole My Catchphrase
Staff member
Messages
57,583
Speaking of variants, don't know if this was posted earlier but a new variant was discovered in Japan after testing four arriving passengers from Brazil at Tokyo Haneda Airport.

 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,379
I wish some of the leaders in this country would buy a clue what is happening in the UK and make wise decisions..
How are things looking for kids now in the UK? If I remember correctly, there was an early concern that children could catch & spread this variant more easily than the previous one? Are more children sick? Are schools closed there right now or open? I'm assuming that if more kids were getting serious symptoms or hospitalized that we would have heard because it would be really bad news, but I realized that I haven't heard anything in the press here about the new variant being a more serious problem with youth.

I read/heard yesterday that the new variant has now been found in 9 states, and Florida has now identified 22 cases:(.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
39,374
I was thinking of carrying a spray bottle around and spraying people without masks who got too close to me. But I was planning just to put water into it. That's because I didn't want to get arrested for hurting someone (or to hurt them for that matter) by spraying something they were allergic to.

So far I've been too lazy to do it and also mask compliance is pretty good around here.

Even though I have to say if it keeps us from having bad ideas about reopening things in February, that may very well be a good thing.
That's been my attitude. If it this is what it takes to get people to take this ***** seriously, I'll go with it.
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
Messages
3,930
A Democratic representative from New Jersey has tested positive.

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) announced that she has tested positive for the ********, and she believes she contracted it as a result of her Republican colleagues refusing to wear masks while the U.S. Capitol was under siege last week...

“While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents,” said Watson Coleman. Her statement added that she previously received Pfizer’s ******** vaccine when lawmakers and government leaders were given priority access to the first dose rollout.

Watson Coleman’s statement also takes aim at her Republican fellow representatives, saying she is convinced that “she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots. As reported by multiple news outlets, a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.”

As Watson Coleman’s statement addressed, there have been multiple accounts of Republican congressmen who refused to mask up while sheltering in place during the insurrection.

Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-PA) told the media that she took cover in a secure room where numerous people refused to wear masks, wouldn’t take one when offered to them, and some were “openly flaunting” their refusal to do it. There has also been a video of Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) offering masks to Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene, Markwayne Mullin, Andy Biggs, Scott Perry, Michael Cloud and Doug LaMalfa, all of whom declined to take one.
 

acraven

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,232
US vaccination stats from the CDC as of 9 AM today (Monday, Jan 11):

Doses distributed ("recorded as shipped"): 25,480,725
First doses administered: 8,987,322 (2.7% of population)
Percentage of shipped doses used: 35.3% (the best so far)

The program delivering vaccinations to care homes (whose stats are included in the totals) is finally showing some improvement--or perhaps the providers are finally beginning to get their reporting in gear. For quite some time the utilization percentage wasn't much better than 15%; today it's over 22%.

The Washington Post's state-level tracker can be found here. Today's update isn't available yet.
 

Louis

Private citizen
Messages
15,453
I believe schools in the UK are closed.


Yes, but they remain open for children of essential workers and vulnerable students, so it's comparable to what many U.S. posters would call "hybrid," except there isn't a choice.

The only exceptions will be the children of critical workers and those deemed vulnerable, who will be able to physically go to school each day. The government has clarified this can include children without access to a laptop at home or a quiet place to study.

This is a key difference compared to the U.S., where "closed" means "closed." Many of the areas with the greatest number of case, e.g., London, have the greatest number of children still needing to go to school.
 

Miezekatze

Well-Known Member
Messages
15,509
Yeah, in Germany closed means "closed, except for exceptions a, b, c, d, e,...z" and lockdown seems to mean "75% go to work normally".

In the kindergarten of my friend 80 out of 120 children are present in the "emergency care".

Since today we have a stricter lockdown, which in my states manifests itself by 2 rules being a bit stricter, one new rules is not implemented and 1 restriction was lifted.

I keep being surprised that our numbers are never THAT horrid.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
Messages
65,861
Some good news, my primary care doc says the monoclonal antibodies are having good results in reducing symptoms and hospitalizations if you get them as soon as possible after symptoms start. They are approved for use in the US for everybody over 65 at this point, but as they become more available will be approved for everybody. He said it's made a big difference with many of his older patients.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,379
I'm not even sure how we get notified...
I called my local clinic today. The secretary had me call the local health department. The lady at the health department said they expect to start the next phase in a couple days. She put me on the list & is calling me back.

Anyway, none of that may be relevant for you; but essentially it worked for me to call my regular health care provider and ask for advice about who to contact. (Once it looked like my phase might be coming up). I'm glad I called beforehand, without waiting to read that the next phase had started. I didn't realize we were as close to starting that phase as the health department believes we are; but I thought I had better call because it's a small county & once they start vaccinating, they have to do a certain amount at one time. I heard that they did over a hundred at once for health care & first responders recently in a local community so . . . I didn't want to sign up late, find out I had missed a vaccination event like that, and then have to try to travel somewhere farther away.
 

sk8pics

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,945
I was at BJs today and the parking lot didn’t look too bad, and it didn’t feel like it was that crowded, but the line to check out was huge. In spite of that, it moved fast and I got in and out in about 40 minutes. I was hurriedly trying to load my stuff back into the shopping cart after scanning everything and the woman behind me said, “Oh, don’t worry, take your time.” She was so pleasant, it was very nice.

Mask compliance is generally excellent. I saw one woman, going the wrong way down an aisle :rolleyes:, who had her nose and mouth out from under her mask.:rolleyes: And one man who had his mask down but would pull it up when he approached anyone.:rolleyes::rolleyes: He was also talking on the phone and complaining about how he can’t tell if someone is mad at him for a real reason (“like if I piss someone off on purpose or accidentally...”). I just hurried off, thinking, why are you deliberately pissing people off?:scream:

But anyway, mask use was excellent and people kept their distance. No Bounty paper towels but they had a no name brand.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
Messages
39,374
Because I adopted a dog, I've been out a lot in the past 3 days. Four trips to 2 different Pet Food Express stores, a visit to the shelter, and a visit to the vet. Ugh.

I have noticed that mask compliance is 99.9% but social distancing is about 0%. 🤷‍♀️

I now need to go back to the vet at least one more time to pick up my dog. I think I'll order everything else on Chewy.com that I was going to get at PFE. But my dog desperately needs work on his mouth so more vet visits are in order.

I really hate going out this much. I had gotten to the point where it had been 2 weeks before I'd been in physical proximity to anyone not in my household and now I have to start the clock over.
 

acraven

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,232
I was able to make a vaccination appointment today. It didn't go totally smoothly; the process reminded me of what often happens when buying All-Event tickets to US Nationals on Day 1. So here are some suggestions for folks whose jurisdictions use an on-line sign-up process. (I realize different websites will be used.)

- Figure out as soon as you can what the process will be. Bookmark the website. (Google vaccination with the name of your city, county or state. If that doesn't work, try vaccination sign-up.)

- Consider doing a trial run before you are eligible for vaccination. That will show you how the process works, what info you'll need (I needed an "insurance number" and an "insurance group number" but left the latter blank for Medicare), and what your location options may be. You'll probably have to give fake answers to some of the questions so you appear to qualify at the time of the test run.

- If you know you should be able to book an appointment but the website still only lists groups before yours (in my case, the website still said it was for medical personnel only), try anyway. Answer the questions honestly. If you are allowed to make an appointment, you're fine.

- I had a problem with the location/time selection; they were late loading the appointment times, so the individual sites' screens initially offered no date/time choices. Then the lists of appointment times appeared one vaccination site at a time and immediately started disappearing as others booked them. I don't know a workaround for that, but it you have looked at the locations ahead of time, you will have had a chance to think about where you are willing to go if your choices are limited.

- If you're given an opportunity to get on an email list for announcements about availability of vaccinations to new groups of people, take advantage of it, but don't trust it. I still haven't received a notification from the DC government, and all the week's appointments were filled hours ago. The medical center where most of my doctors are located, which is one of the vaccination sites, sent me a message at 7:15 PM, again hours after all the appointment slots were filled.

- Don't expect to be able to book two appointments with one pass through the registration process. If there are two of you in the same priority group, consider using two devices so you can get through the process more quickly, before all the appointments are snapped up. If you don't do this, there is a real risk one of you will have to wait for the next week.
 
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Orm Irian

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,033
The state of things in Australia:
  • Brisbane is out of its three-day lockdown having had no community transmission cases since it started (the partner of the medi-hotel cleaner with the B117 variant of the ***** has also contracted it but the transmission chain is known, so not a problem there). The city is still under some restrictions and there is a mask mandate in place for the next ten days.
  • New South Wales has escaped a full-blown second wave and the Northern Beaches are now out of lockdown but the state is, as usual, chugging along with a low level of community transmission cases (five today) that could blow up into a high level at any point, but refusing to entertain the idea of suppression, unlike all the other states and territories. Thanks, Gladys.
  • Victoria has had no cases of community transmission for six days now, but is bringing in over a thousand people to play in and officiate some bloody stupid pointless tennis tournament, thus increasing the possibility that community transmission will get established again because, all efforts to create one notwithstanding, there is no such thing as a closed system when it comes to this *****.
  • All other states are likewise free of community transmission at this time. Border restrictions vary.
 

*Jen*

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,766
New South Wales has escaped a full-blown second wave and the Northern Beaches are now out of lockdown but the state is, as usual, chugging along with a low level of community transmission cases (five today) that could blow up into a high level at any point, but refusing to entertain the idea of suppression, unlike all the other states and territories. Thanks, Gladys.
This is actually incorrect. The NSW strategy is suppression and the low numbers show that NSW has successfully suppressed a second wave for a second time.

All the other states are going for elimination - did you mean to say elimination rather than suppression? I also wish NSW would go for elimination!

Meanwhile we have started testing air crew on arrival (local and foreign). How have we only just started this?! Apparently airlines have been threatening not to fly into Australia because when their staff test positive, they have to be quarantined and the remainder of the crew as “close contacts” aren’t allowed to fly passengers home. A higher percentage of air crew have been testing positive than passengers...and until recently they were relied on to self isolate :rolleyes: This is why the northern beaches residents all staunchly believe that a pilot is behind the outbreak....and they’re probably right.
 

Orm Irian

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,033
This is actually incorrect. The NSW strategy is suppression and the low numbers show that NSW has successfully suppressed a second wave for a second time.

All the other states are going for elimination - did you mean to say elimination rather than suppression? I also wish NSW would go for elimination!

Meanwhile we have started testing air crew on arrival (local and foreign). How have we only just started this?! Apparently airlines have been threatening not to fly into Australia because when their staff test positive, they have to be quarantined and the remainder of the crew as “close contacts” aren’t allowed to fly passengers home. A higher percentage of air crew have been testing positive than passengers...and until recently they were relied on to self isolate :rolleyes: This is why the northern beaches residents all staunchly believe that a pilot is behind the outbreak....and they’re probably right.
No, I said suppression because I meant suppression. No state in Australia can aim for elimination because we all consistently have new cases coming in from returning travellers, but we can aim for suppression of community transmission as a baseline and work back towards that as fast as possible any time the ***** escapes from containment. NSW, in contrast to every other state and territory, has demonstrated over and over that while it may talk about suppression, in practice it considers that while no community transmission would be lovely, it's unrealistic, and that a few cases a day - with occasional clusters breaking out and taking quite a while to tail off as a result of those cases being present - is a tenable situation. That is not suppression; it's toleration and attempted management of low-level spread.
 

*Jen*

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,766
No, I said suppression because I meant suppression. No state in Australia can aim for elimination because we all consistently have new cases coming in from returning travellers, but we can aim for suppression of community transmission as a baseline and work back towards that as fast as possible any time the ***** escapes from containment.
Except that elimination from the community is what all states (even NSW) achieved, under the official strategy of “suppression”, and now all states (except NSW) continue to want 0 cases in the community - which is elimination.

NSW having a handful of cases per day in a disease that is R2 is suppression. Getting from a cluster with 150 cases to 5 cases in a day, all with known sources? Suppression. WA having 0 cases in the community is elimination.

I would love for NSW to go for elimination, and I don’t think it’s unrealistic despite what Gladys says. But seriously, the rolling average is 3 cases per day - something most countries would dream of - while the economy is open and ticking along. That’s suppression 🤷‍♂️

Even the WA premier today complained about NSW going for “suppression” and not “elimination”...
 

*Jen*

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,766
Sorry for the double post - but here’s a very good article in the AFR about suppression/elimination.

Semantics aside, we agree. Gladys should have locked down the northern beaches on 17 December and brought in a mask mandate that day, and had she done so the Berala outbreak may not have occurred. If I were any other state premier, I’d have shut the borders to NSW too. NSW is completely out of step with the rest of the country...but completely consistent with the national strategy.

Given the rolling average of 3, it really wouldn’t take much to stamp this out and eliminate (until the next quarantine leak). But Sydney is the most populous city, lockdown would kill many businesses and we got down to zero cases (albeit very slowly) after the July outbreak (which was far worse)...so I can understand why they won’t freeze the economy when cases aren’t spiking. But equally - Gladys should stop bleating about other states closing their borders because if no one who has eliminated this thing wants to invite that risk back in.
 

Louis

Private citizen
Messages
15,453
UK news is reporting that the Trump administration is now recommending the "UK approach" of using all available vaccine now, not holding back any supplies for the second dose. This relies on the assumption that vaccine production will continue to increase. The administration is also recommending opening up the vaccine pool to all 65 and older and all with a pre-existing condition that puts them at serious risk.

(Replace * with o)
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
Messages
3,930
Another Democratic member of Congress has tested positive after sheltering in place with non-mask wearing Republicans.

In her statement Monday night, Jayapal’s office took care to highlight that “the duration in the room was multiple hours, and several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one,” linking to video showing Delaware representative Lisa Blunt Rochester pleading with a group of Republicans to put on the masks she was offering them. They included newly elected Georgia representative (and QAnon enthusiast) Marjorie Taylor Greene, Arizona representative Andy Biggs, Pennsylvania representative Scott Perry, Texas representative Michael Cloud, and Oklahoma representative Markwayne Mullin, who can be heard rebuffing Rochester’s proffered mask by telling her, “I’m not trying to get political here.” (Greene’s office would later tell CNN, “Congresswoman Greene is a healthy adult … She does not believe healthy Americans should be forced to muzzle themselves with a mask. America needs to reopen and get back to normal.”)

Jayapal’s statement includes her call to levy “serious fines … on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol,” as well as the suggestion that “any Member who refuses … should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy.”
 

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