News & Experiences continued

Louis

Private citizen
Messages
16,499
I used the Thanksgiving break to go to Madeira (autonomous island region of Portugal). Beginning yesterday, everyone (residents and visitors) has to show proof of vaccination AND (not or) proof of a negative test in the last week in order to do anything, including go to a grocery store.

The testing queues have been horrific, but testing is free for residents and visitors. Self-tests are not allowed. Everyone will be tested weekly, in one of 67 centers/tents. I believe arrivals will be tested at the airport now.

I can't say I'm a fan of this, but at least it's free and they're doing their best to make it efficient.
 

4rkidz

plotting, planning and travelling
Messages
13,136
I am bracing myself for the uproar when a fully vaccinated skater tests positive during the Olympics and cannot compete.
Can’t imagine there will be too many, depending on this new variant? I think many of us won’t be in uproar, it’s happened in other sports.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,750
I was under the impression that the main concern with the new variant wasn't how severe it was relative to other variants but whether it is vaccine resistant.
 

ballettmaus

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,979
But hey, we're restricting flights from South Africa come Monday... Yes, it would disrupt flight traffic if they restricted flights immediately but does anyone on any advisory team really think that there's any use to restricting flights three days after discovering a new variant? The effectiveness is iffy even if done immediately, so three days later sounds like it's definitely not worth the effort anymore.
 

mikey

...an acquired taste
Messages
5,158
show proof of vaccination AND ... proof of a negative test in the last week in order to do anything ... The testing queues have been horrific ...
This seems to be what Germany is transitioning to as well. They're calling it 2G+, meaning that you have to show proof of prior immunization (geimpft) or recovery from infection in the last 6 months (genesen) PLUS a negative test- most places that I am hearing about want the test to be within the last 24 hours, though. And no more self-administered home tests...
 

FGRSK8

Toad whisperer.....
Messages
20,172
I find it very curious that all the news dwells on the number of cases that are popping up. I have found nothing on how severe these cases are or are people ending up in the hospital. Even in South Africa where it occurred 3 weeks ago, all that has come out is the cases appear to be mild. No information on more severe cases or hospitalization.

Granted it only has been a couple of weeks but when the Delta first appeared,they quickly noted they were seeing more severe cases and hospitalization.
 

antmanb

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,518
I agree with bringing back the mask mandate in England. As inconvenient as mask wearing is, it's slightly less annoying when it's actually cold than when it's warm out. If it avoids a lockdown even better...not that i'm convinced many people will fall in line with a lockdown (and not hat anyone in the Tory party believes the rules apply to them anyway :rolleyes: )

In reality though the stats for hospital admissions up to November are very positive. Anecdotally my friends who work in the NHS say they're doing business as usual with not a lot of C19 cases in. The daily death rate is running far lower than the flu/pneumonia daily death rate so as long as the vaccines are doing what they need to and keeping people from being seriously ill then surely its going as well as it can?
 

Orm Irian

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,375
I find it very curious that all the news dwells on the number of cases that are popping up. I have found nothing on how severe these cases are or are people ending up in the hospital. Even in South Africa where it occurred 3 weeks ago, all that has come out is the cases appear to be mild. No information on more severe cases or hospitalization.

Granted it only has been a couple of weeks but when the Delta first appeared,they quickly noted they were seeing more severe cases and hospitalization.
I've seen South African doctors referencing fatigue as the primary symptom associated with the Omicron variant; they think this may have been part of the reason why it slipped under the radar for a while, as with a different constellation of symptoms it wouldn't have been recognised as C-19 to start with.

South Africa was between waves when it got established there, so everyone will be watching there for the next few weeks to see how it moves through the population, whether hospitalisations and deaths increase (deaths being a lagging indicator, we wouldn't expect to see increases there just yet), what a severe case of Omicron variant looks like and whether it can out-compete Delta, I think.
 

Dobre

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,750
The U.S. donated 9 million doses to Sub-Saharan Africa this week:

Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Togo.

As far as I've read recently, South Africa has too many people choosing not to get vaccinated.

I also read one post saying there are issues with countries not ordering vaccine because they cannot get it distributed? Is this because of the refrigeration requirements? Or is it a perennial issue that has negatively impacted distribution in these countries for all vaccines? (Possibly the answer is both, depending on the location?)
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
Messages
4,793
The NY Times devoted its morning email to Omicron. Since it's an email and not an article, I am bringing the whole thing over:

The public reaction to new *********-19 variants has followed a familiar cycle. People tend to assume the worst about two different questions — whether the variant leads to faster transmission of the ********* ***** and whether it causes more severe illness among infected people.​
The first of those worries came true with the Alpha and Delta variants: Alpha was more contagious than the original version of the *****, and Delta was even more contagious than Alpha. But the second of the worries has largely not been borne out: With both Alpha and Delta, the percentage of ********* cases that led to hospitalization or death held fairly steady.​
This pattern isn’t surprising, scientists say. Viruses often evolve in ways that help them flourish. Becoming more contagious allows a ***** to do so; becoming more severe has the potential to do the opposite, because more of a *****’s hosts can die before they infect others.​
It is too soon to know whether the Omicron variant will fit the pattern. But the very early evidence suggests that it may. Unfortunately, Omicron seems likely to be more contagious than Delta, including among vaccinated people. Fortunately, the evidence so far does not indicate that Omicron is causing more severe illness:​
  • Barry Schoub, a South African virologist who advises the government there, has said that Omicron cases have tended to be “mild to moderate.” Schoub added: “That’s a good sign. But let me stress it is early days.”
  • Dr. Rudo Mathivha, the head of the intensive care unit at a hospital in Soweto, South Africa, said that severe cases have been concentrated among people who were not fully vaccinated.
  • Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, a top health official in Israel, emphasized yesterday that when vaccinated people were infected, they became only slightly ill, according to the publication Haaretz.
  • As The Times’s Carl Zimmer wrote, “For now, there’s no evidence that Omicron causes more severe disease than previous variants.”
In the initial days after a new variant is discovered, I know that many people focus on worst-case scenarios. The alarming headlines can make it seem as if the ********* may be about to start all over again, with vaccines powerless to stop the variant.​
To be clear, there is genuine uncertainty about Omicron. Maybe it will prove to be worse than the very early signs suggest and cause more severe illness than Delta. But assuming the worst about each worrisome new variant is not a science-based, rational response. And alarmism has its own costs, especially to mental health, notes Dr. Raghib Ali, an epidemiologist at the University of Cambridge.​
“Of course we should take it seriously,” Ali wrote on Twitter, “but there is no plausible scenario that this variant is going to take us back to square one (i.e. the situation pre-vaccines).”
Absent new evidence, the rational assumption is that ********* is likely to remain overwhelmingly mild among the vaccinated (unless their health is already precarious). For most vaccinated people, ********* probably presents less risk than some everyday activities.​
On “Meet the Press” yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci emphasized the continuing power of vaccination, even against variants. “It may not be as good in protecting against initial infection,” Fauci said, “but it has a very important impact on diminishing the likelihood that you’re going to get a severe outcome from it.”​
Katelyn Jetelina, an epidemiologist, made a similar point in her Substack newsletter this weekend:​
Do not take Omicron lightly, but don’t abandon hope either. Our immune systems are incredible.
None of this changes what you can to do right now: Ventilate spaces. Use masks. Test if you have symptoms. Isolate if positive. Get vaccinated. Get boosted.​
Government leaders can take an additional step, though: Improve global vaccine distribution. Variants are more likely to emerge in places with low vaccination rates, and less than 10 percent of people are vaccinated in many parts of Africa. (Look up the rate for any country.)​
This weekend, Andy Slavitt, a former ********* adviser to President Biden, called for “the mass shipment of hundreds of millions of vaccines” to southern Africa.​

More on Omicron​

 

Judy

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,705
The U.S. donated 9 million doses to Sub-Saharan Africa this week:

Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Togo.

As far as I've read recently, South Africa has too many people choosing not to get vaccinated.

I also read one post saying there are issues with countries not ordering vaccine because they cannot get it distributed? Is this because of the refrigeration requirements? Or is it a perennial issue that has negatively impacted distribution in these countries for all vaccines? (Possibly the answer is both, depending on the location?)
I think it is a mix of all your points. I also agree with the refrigeration requirements .. no way that Pfizer could be used. I think Moderna is at regular refrigerator requirements? It's fair to say that they would be the most difficult to vaccinate for many reasons.
 

Spikefan

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,870
I saw a news story, don’t remember where, that they are airdropping Pfizer to remote areas of Africa. Remote clinics send specifics on exactly how many people they will have on a certain day, then the specific number of vaccine is dropped at a location on that day. They send the precise amount since it has to be used quickly. It sounds like this has been successful so far. Of course getting people to those clinics is likely the hardest part.
 

Judy

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,705
I saw a news story, don’t remember where, that they are airdropping Pfizer to remote areas of Africa. Remote clinics send specifics on exactly how many people they will have on a certain day, then the specific number of vaccine is dropped at a location on that day. They send the precise amount since it has to be used quickly. It sounds like this has been successful so far. Of course getting people to those clinics is likely the hardest part.
That would be amazing if it can reach the medical people to administer it. I think a lot of people are willing to take it. I know my friend whose husband is from Kenya and his family was on board with vaccinations. I'll ask her tonight if they are vaccinated as that conversation was months ago.

There really has to be a world combined effort.
 

sk8pics

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,276
As far as I've read recently, South Africa has too many people choosing not to get vaccinated.
Yeah, this was true for a long while. I have a friend who lives in South Africa and she was reluctant to get vaccinated for a long while. There is not a lot of trust in the government, and she has some ideas of natural health and treatments vs. medicine and vaccines. But she eventually signed up for a shot, then she got YNW. She got very very sick. After she recovered, she eventually got vaccinated too. We were all relieved she recovered. She, her husband, and her mother all got it. Her mother had lasting cardiac issues, her husband got only slightly ill, and then she was very sick but not hospitalized, though she said she felt like she was going to end up in the hospital.
 

Judy

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,705
I asked my friend and her husband's family hasn't been vaccinated due to it being very difficult to get. They are more than willing to get it.

There is no doubts the govt over there are 😳.


(not sure why the robot comment but it does link correctly to the article).
 

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
20,547
As of today, there have been 801,237 deaths attributed to you-know-what in the United States. This is more than the population of North Dakota.

There have been 49,292,311 reported cases in the U.S. That is roughly the combined population of California and New Jersey and does not reflect instances where people were infected but did not get tested.

Worldwide, there have been 5,224,403 reported deaths. That is about as many people who live in Palestine. There have been 262,371,931 reported cases. That is about as many people as live in Indonesia.

If you would like to do something to limit the increase in these numbers, you can make a donation by following this link.
 

Miezekatze

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,192
Our new German chancellor is now advocating making vaccination mandatory, he advocates implementing the law until end of February. In this case Germany would be the second country to make vaccinations mandatory in Europe. Austria is working on a general vaccination mandate beginning February 1st, 2022.

In Czech Republic there also are discussions.
 

skategal

Bunny mama
Messages
8,841
This is the last day here in NS for employees in all government sectors be vaccinated.

No shot after today, you are put on unpaid leave and can’t come back until you are vaccinated.

Compliance has been really high. 98%+ for most sectors.

So happy to get the unvaxxed teachers (at least 1) and staff (2-3) out of our school.
 

skatfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,101
I used the Thanksgiving break to go to Madeira (autonomous island region of Portugal). Beginning yesterday, everyone (residents and visitors) has to show proof of vaccination AND (not or) proof of a negative test in the last week in order to do anything, including go to a grocery store.

The testing queues have been horrific, but testing is free for residents and visitors. Self-tests are not allowed. Everyone will be tested weekly, in one of 67 centers/tents. I believe arrivals will be tested at the airport now.

I can't say I'm a fan of this, but at least it's free and they're doing their best to make it efficient.
Sounds like a strategy that can be sustained without lockdowns.
 

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