Coronavirus.



  • @toby Well, it's a free country, right? So if someone doesn't want to be vaccinated against Covid, no one can force them to. But with freedom should come responsibility. Refuse vaccination? Then accept being refused hospitalization.

    Up here in the great white north, we have just seen the first death attributable to unvaccinated Covid sufferers taking up all available hospital beds, leaving a woman to die in the waiting room. Yes, it was in a redneck area, but that probably is small consolation to the woman's family.

    If I were crowned King of North America tomorrow, my first ruling would be "No vaccination -- no hospitalization".



  • @David-Harris said in Coronavirus.:

    So if someone doesn't want to be vaccinated against Covid, no one can force them to.

    Nope. See this bit in case you missed it in my wall of text up thread:

    @toby said in Coronavirus.:

    The year was 1904, and when his politically charged legal challenge to the $5 fine for failing to get vaccinated made its way to the Supreme Court, the justices had a surprise for Rev. Jacobson. One man’s liberty, they declared in a 7-2 ruling handed down the following February, cannot deprive his neighbors of their own liberty — in this case by allowing the spread of disease. Jacobson, they ruled, must abide by the order of the Cambridge board of health or pay the penalty.

    @David-Harris said in Coronavirus.:

    If I were crowned King of North America tomorrow, my first ruling would be "No vaccination -- no hospitalization".

    While appealing on a "sense of fairness" level, I am afraid punishing the guilty would do little to reduce the vast petri dish of unvaccinated covidiots. At least not until it was too late. For them at least. Meanwhile, more infections translates into more opportunities for mutations. And that is what may well get the rest of us in the end unless we take some kind of action sooner rather than later.

    So what to do? Now that I am aware of the US Supreme Court precedent noted up thread, I would favor mandatory vaccinations w/meaningful penalties for non compliance. Maybe utilize a sliding scale based on net worth and/or income so the affluent talking head influencer type will still feel the pain. Shrink that petri dish asap. Added bonus is that we could use all those fines to dig the country out of debt.... 😏



  • Seems I was slightly ahead of my time in the post above...

    Biden puts the screws on the unvaccinated

    In remarks at the White House Thursday evening, Biden scolded the vaccine resistant, saying the punitive action was the fault of Americans who couldn’t bother to play by the rules. Instead, he said, they played politics with a life-saving vaccine, endangering loved ones and coworkers. He then announced a wide-ranging raft of mandates, including all federal workers and even private companies that employ more than 100 people. Those who don’t comply could face fines.

    Biden underscored that “a 25 percent minority” — some 80 million Americans — hadn’t been vaccinated.

    “That 25 percent can cause a lot of damage, and they are,” Biden said. “The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals, are overrunning the emergency rooms and intensive care units, leaving no room for someone with a heart attack, or [pancreatitis], or cancer.”

    Although, spin doctoring being what it is, I would not exactly characterize this as "putting the screws on the unvaccinated". Far from it. More like a slightly firmer nudge. At least until meaningful fines actually become the head of the hammer. Too freakin' little, too freakin' late - cowardly poll driven "leadership". Sigh... color me jaded.... Closing on a positive note: Better late than never, eh? 👍 🐕



  • Ran across this on Wikipedia whilst researching some dubious (to me) claims about Ivermectin:

    COVID-19 misinformation

    The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in misinformation and conspiracy theories about the scale of the pandemic and the origin, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. False information, including intentional disinformation, has been spread through social media, text messaging,[1] and mass media. False information has been propagated by celebrities, politicians, and other prominent public figures. Multiple countries have passed laws against "fake news", and thousands of people have been arrested for spreading coronavirus disease 2019 misinformation. The spread of COVID-19 misinformation by governments has also been significant.

    Commercial scams have claimed to offer at-home tests, supposed preventives, and "miracle" cures.[2] Several religious groups have claimed their faith will protect them from the virus.[3] Without evidence, some people have claimed the virus is a bioweapon accidentally or deliberately leaked from a laboratory, a population control scheme, the result of a spy operation, or the side effect of 5G upgrades to cellular networks.[4]

    The World Health Organization (WHO) declared an "infodemic" of incorrect information about the virus that poses risks to global health.[5] While belief in conspiracy theories is not a new phenomenon, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this can lead to adverse health effects. Cognitive biases, such as jumping to conclusions and confirmation bias, may be linked to the occurrence of conspiracy beliefs.[6] In addition to health effects, harms resulting from the spread of misinformation and endorsement of conspiracy theories include increasing distrust of news organizations and medical authorities as well as divisiveness and political fragmentation.[7]

    Seems quite the epidemic of social media manipulation vs. science, fact, logic, and reason. Which, hey, modern times we might as well toss those right out the window when trying to grok how to combat this 'chit.

    A wade, to be sure, but some interesting reading for those w/o better things to do... 😜

    We've got very poor air quality hereabouts as of late so I've had to be hiding inside and spending, perhaps too much, time down the rabbit hole... 🐰 🐕



  • @toby Couple of things

    First, in response to your note a couple of posts above about the US making vaccines mandatory in 1904: I don't think we're in 1904 anymore Toto. The US government might have been able to do that over a century ago, but there is no way such a law could be passed today. Your next-door neighbor can give a great big Fuck-You finger to you and to the rest of the country (and world) and remain unvaccinated. And there is nothing you, or your government, can do to force the needle into his shoulder. The best we can do is to deny him access to restaurants, gyms, pubs, concerts... and hospitals. And in the US you probably can't even do that.

    Second, regarding your thought above that misinformation -- deliberate or otherwise -- is an internet-based modern phenomenon, my response is to ask you to go back to 1904 again. No internet. No TV. No radio. Just the local newspaper... which was owned and controlled by one man. You had no ability to fact-check what his reporters wrote. You didn't have to fall down the rabbit hole to become misinformed, you just had to read the only news source available to you.

    Then radio. Not much different, given that the same guy that owned the local/regional paper probably owned the radio station, too. But, if you were a bit of a geek, you might be able to tweak your radio to pick up stations from other places. Some of which might be owned by a guy with different views.

    Then TV. Again, not much different at first, because the same guy that owned the local paper and radio station probably also owned the local TV station.

    At some point, maybe in the 1960s, things changed. Even in your little local town you could choose to watch several different national network news broadcasts on your TV, and, with a bit of effort, read newspapers from faraway places.

    But it is only with the wide availability of internet access that most folks have the ability to really research any topic they choose...

    ...which, of course, most of them don't, because they only want to reinforce the beliefs their friend/brother/pastor/politician has already led them to...

    And a final note: Here in the province of BC (your northern neighbor), the government has mandated a vaccine passport. No one will force you to take the needle, but if you don't, you won't be eating in a restaurant, working out in a gym, or having a beer in a pub after tomorrow.



  • Whilst visiting with my nurse sister today she apprised me of the "mu variant", which is raising cause for concern, as it seems to be more resistant to vaccines. She got the info a couple weeks ago from UCLA Medical Center but I'd not seen anything about it so I looked it up. Yep, sure enough, the cat is now out of the bag. Anywho... Geronimo, here ya' go!

    COVID-19: New Mu variant could be more vaccine-resistant

    In its weekly epidemiological update, published on Tuesday, WHO warned it was becoming increasingly prevalent in Colombia and Ecuador, and showed signs of possible resistance to vaccines.

    Mu was first identified in Colombia in January 2021, and since then, there have been “sporadic reports” of cases and outbreaks in South America and Europe, WHO said.

    While the global prevalence of Mu among sequenced COVID-19 cases is below 0.1%, its prevalence has “consistently increased” in Colombia and Ecuador, where it is now responsible for around 39% and 13% of infections, respectively.

    Reports on the variant’s prevalence should be “interpreted with due consideration” given the low sequencing capacity of most countries, the agency said.

    More resistant to vaccines

    Mu is the fifth variant of interest to be monitored by the WHO since March. It has a number of mutations that suggest it could be more resistant to vaccines, the health agency warned, but stressed that further research would be needed to confirm this.

    Preliminary data show a reduced effectiveness of vaccines “similar to that seen for the Beta variant”. The WHO said it would be monitoring “the epidemiology of the Mu variant in South America, particularly with the co-circulation of the Delta variant…for changes”

    More infections

    As of 29 August, over 4,500 sequences (3,794 B.1.621 sequences and 856 B.1.621.1 sequences), genome sequences, analysed samples of the virus taken from patients, have been designated as Mu in the past four weeks. The sequences are used to track how it moves through the population, on an open-source genome repository, known as GISAID.

    Most of these have been reported in the U.S (2,065) and Colombia (852), Mexico (357) and Spain (473).

    Although this figure will be affected by both sequencing capacity, surveillance and the total number of cases in an area.

    The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 124,811 people in Colombia, according to a WHO report on Wednesday.

    More than 4,905,258 confirmed cases have been officially diagnosed across the country since the start of the epidemic. As of August 27, a total of 34,247,170 doses of vaccine had been administered.

    So much for shrinking the petri dish of anti vaxxers. Too little, too late, I fear.





  • @David-Harris Yep. Populated by an over abundance of Covidiots.

    @David-Harris said in Coronavirus.:

    But it is only with the wide availability of internet access that most folks have the ability to really research any topic they choose...

    That may have been true of the 1990's and very early 2000's Internet but modern times big corps, big data, and the increasing prevalence of AI driven "bubbling", especial by the Big 5 results in very skewed information. Those of us geek enough to be aware of this can take steps to combat "perception management", "echo chambers", search engine "bubbling" and such but as things consolidate more and more into fewer and fewer big corporate players that bar is becoming increasingly high.

    For example, I was reading a security paper recently that estimated something like sixty percent of Facebook's user base is AI driven bots. That is a majority of the "user base". Not all owned by Pupeteer in Chief Zuckerberg but also various well funded political, government and commercial interests. It really is a freakin' jungle out there and it is only getting worse. Here are a couple links that speak to this:

    I think the legal precedent is there for mandatory vaccinations here in the U.S. as the highest court in the land already established such in a 7:2 split in 1904, thereby providing strong legal precedent. The decisions of justices who've gone before them has historically been highly respected. Modern times, U.S. Supreme courts have admittedly been focused more on social policy issues than litigating the law itself. So.... my retired legal eagle (and right wing) father expects/hopes this precedent will be over turned.

    As for the hospital situation, as mentioned above, my sis-in-law was denied admittance a couple weeks ago due to no room at the inn. I give Southern Idaho another couple weeks before "Crisis Standards of Care" are declared here as well. Should be interesting, no? I'm back in hunkered down mode. Seems a few more folks are "getting it" this time around but, alas, once again most/many are defiantly sticking to their politard loyalties. Who'd of thunk it? No shortage of insanely stupid people in Idaho. Ironically, the panhandle used to be the democrat stronghold of the state (comparatively).

    But thanks for the feedback, mon! Good to read that you're still alive and well. 👋

    P.S.; Yes, I agree that there is a lot more info available modern times. But with all the info herding and bubbling going on and being exponentially escalated by AI it is increasingly challenging for the average, non tech user who is unawares to find it amid the cacophony of mis/disinformation. Be great if the news, for example, actually got back to reporting the news rather than some talking head's opinions and slants. In this regard, I think there was much greater accountability before "control the message" politards gutted the FCC's oversight.



  • More on US Supreme Court Vaccination Precedent

    A couple essays by a law professor on this topic:

    1. What the Supreme Court Has Said About Mandating Vaccines for School: Jacobson v. Massachusetts

      State and local governments in the United States have mandated immunizations as a prerequisite for attending public schools for quite some time. The Supreme Court has heard several challenges to these mandates and has consistently ruled the mandates to be constitutional.

    2. Jacobson and the Contemporary Jurisprudence

      Two history-oriented challenges may be raised against Jacobson from very different directions. One would be that Jacobson predated the period in which individual rights carried weight. The other would be that Jacobson should be rejected because one of its progenies is the (correctly) infamous case of Buck v. Bell. Neither challenge has merit.

    I note these essays were published in 2019. Why has it taken so long for the "mainstream media" to pick up on this, eh? Hmm... 🤔



  • For example, I was reading a security paper recently that estimated something like sixty percent of Facebook's user base is AI driven bots. That is a majority of the "user base

    I suspected something like this!

    Waiting to see more!



  • Those of who actually read the Israeli study (and a couple others linked up thread) probably already had this figured but looks like the CDC are not the only one skeptical about boosters. Encouraging that the FDA has not bowed to political arm twisting and is sticking with the science. Of course the science may change as we learn more but for now:

    FDA sounds skeptical note on Pfizer booster shot

    The Food and Drug Administration refrained from endorsing a Covid-19 booster shot from Pfizer and BioNTech in an analysis posted Wednesday ahead of a crucial advisory committee meeting.

    The agency appeared skeptical about the companies' assertion that an apparent drop in immune protection conferred by their Covid-19 vaccine is likely due to the passage of time, rather than the emergence of the hyper-contagious Delta variant.

    Meh, just follow the money. Pfizer stands to gain yet more millions from a booster. Their lobbyists must be in fits over this, eh?



  • Idaho: Crisis Standards of Care Activated Statewide

    Well, it is official: The entire State of Idaho is now in Crisis Standards of Care mode.

    Idaho expands Crisis Standards of Care statewide due to surge in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization (emphasis added):

    September 16, 2021

    The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) has activated Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) in accordance with IDAPA 16.02.09 – Crisis Standards of Care For Healthcare Entities. CSC is activated statewide because the massive increase of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization in all areas of the state has exhausted existing resources. CSC was activated on Sept. 6 in North Idaho. This activation, declared today, expands the declaration to the rest of the state.

    This action was taken after St. Luke’s Health System requested that CSC be activated. DHW Director Dave Jeppesen convened the CSC Activation Advisory Committee virtually on Sept. 15. The committee recommended that CSC be activated statewide.

    “Our hospitals and healthcare systems need our help. The best way to end crisis standards of care is for more people to get vaccinated. It dramatically reduces your chances of having to go to the hospital if you do get sick from COVID-19. In addition, please wear a mask indoors in public and outdoors when it’s crowded to help slow the spread” said DHW Director Jeppesen. “The situation is dire – we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident.”

    What Are The "Crisis Standards of Care"?

    Crisis Standards of Care (pdf file link):

    The Idaho Crisis Standards of Care Plan will be implemented when a disaster event overwhelms usual health and medical capabilities and capacities, resulting in an inability of the healthcare system to provide the standard levels of care to patients. This plan provides the structure needed for collaborative development of crisis standards of care clinical guidance by the State of Idaho Disaster Medical Advisory Committee, comprised of subject matter experts, and the dissemination of guidance to the seven public health districts and the healthcare system in Idaho.

    Things get more interesting about eighteen pages in where they begin defining triage categories and actions.

    395c2e7f-ce9b-4f9f-bbc2-f353c58ef12a-image.png

    Buckle up. Should be an interesting ride. I don't have yesterday's hospitalization and death tolls off the top of my head but just got off the phone w/a health care worker who'd called to advise me thusly: Stay indoors and away from crowds even if you are fully vaccinated.



  • Covid-19 boosters: 5 takeaways from CDC's big vaccine meeting

    Data reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine advisory committee on Wednesday suggests benefits to giving Covid-19 boosters to elderly Americans and long-term care home residents — potentially setting up the independent panel to endorse a third dose of Pfizer and BioNTech's shot for those groups.

    The Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon decide whether to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech booster and for whom. The agency's own outside advisory committee on Friday recommended allowing a third dose of the companies' shot for people 65 and older and those at high risk of severe disease. In doing so they bucked the Biden administration's plans for a broad booster rollout this month.

    The CDC panel's role begins once the FDA authorizes the booster dose. The CDC's vaccine advisers will refine exactly who is eligible — in this case, that will likely involve defining "high risk." Those discussions are set to culminate on Thursday afternoon, but only if FDA authorizes the shot by that morning.

    I shall just list the takeaway bullets here. Please see linked article for expansion.

    1. The goals of vaccination might be changing.

    2. The elderly show the clearest need for boosters at this point.

    3. Nursing-home residents face special risks, even with a boost.

    4. Experts are worried about confusing the public.

    5. The booster rollout could be messy.

    Stay safe. 🐕



  • Covid Data Visualizations

    Courtesy Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center

    I have drilled down to State/Province maps and then selected Idaho:

    422e5800-26f6-48f0-85d2-177c28480e7f-image.png

    From the above we can readily visualize the impact of vaccines arriving on the scene: As vaccinations ramp up the weekly cases and deaths decline. Shortly after vaccinations level off (read covidiot anti-vaxxer hold outs) the highly contagious delta variant arrives and both cases and deaths rise exponentially. Exponential growth is particularly evident in the Weekly Deaths graph, rampaging amongst the unwashed until hospitals become overwhelmed and "Crisis Care Mode" is declared.

    Continuing to focus on deaths, since so many hereabouts claim they've had hangovers worse than Covid** and that people are not dying, we may further observe the following take home from the last two weeks:

    1. Week of 9/12: I'm interpreting the graph to read appox. 95 deaths.

    2. Week of 9/19: Deaths have now reached new peaks since the Covid-19 epidemic began at approx. 165.

    That is approx. a 60% increase in deaths in just the past week.

    The astute among us may note also that while the increase in new cases has begun to level off, deaths continue to rise exponentially. Perhaps stemming from our maxed out health care system?

    Next couple of weeks should be... "interesting"... How are things in your neck of the woods, eh?

    ** A certain steak house a couple towns west is even selling t-shirts proudly proclaiming thus - among other defiant alt-right slogans. Sigh.. stupid is as stupid does...


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