Masks thread

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jtr1962

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As most know, from prior posts, I am in MS. As of yesterday, we've seen a 700% increase in exactly the last 30 days. The _rate_ has never, never, been this high.
I also noticed that your state has the dubious honor of having the lowest vaccination rate in the country. That undoubtedly accounts for those numbers.

Why is this important? Because the numbers that I am tracking are all pointing to this fall/winter being even worse that 2020.
We're on the same page. I'm actually starting to stock up on essential items out of fear that supply lines may be disrupted this fall/winter for weeks, perhaps longer.

When you combine the delta variant with 1) mask usage dropping like mad 2) emotional/mental fatigue as it relates to countermeasures 3) flu increase due to 1&2 4) flu increase due to almost certainly declining flu vaccine uptake 5) covid vaccine uptake has flatlined... ALL this points to a very, very nasty fall/winter in store for us.
The only hope to avoid this is if we can somehow convince the holdouts to get vaccinated. And also go back to mask mandates yesterday. I haven't stopped wearing one, but I noticed even in NYC where compliance has mostly been great mask usage is now dropping off dramatically. And our numbers are up, also. We bottomed out at 0.5% positive in late June. Now we're at 2% and rising. So no, Delta isn't going to spare us. It'll probably have far less effect here due to the higher numbers of vaccinated, but a wave is coming, no doubt about it.

I urge everyone to get your covid/flu vaccine. And yeah, the old argument about covid being survivable (mostly) applies... but that's the wrong angle to look at this from. That assumes you can RECEIVE care. Healthcare resources are finite, and speaking frankly from the ~6 close family members in healthcare... the medical community is really tired.
I got my second shot on Monday. My mom will get hers when she sees her doctor soon. Regarding covid being generally survivable, let's not be lulled into a false sense of complacency. Right now with current treatments I'm roughly estimating the case mortality rate at perhaps 0.5%. However, as you said, this assumes you'll receive medical care if you get it. If numbers keep rising, that's not a valid assumption. Without any treatments whatsoever, this disease appears to have a case mortality rate in the 5% to 10% range (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm basing this on the percent of hospitalized patients who died in NYC in the early stages when we really had no treatments. It was frightening.

The past surges did not continue forever (countermeasures were applied eventually), but delta spreads so MUCH faster than before... it appears that it will spread faster than we can respond emotionally, politically, and medically.
The viral load for delta is about 1,000x that of original covid. This thing is spreading like crazy.
 

turbodog

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I also noticed that your state has the dubious honor of having the lowest vaccination rate in the country. That undoubtedly accounts for those numbers.

...

My prediction is that you can add 'at this time' to your sentence. So far, states that patted themselves on the back didn't miss the party... they just arrived late.

My bet is that the more vaccinated (blue) states spike also... just slightly later.

The short version is that we can talk about causes/preventions/risks/etc (the input side of the equation), but the output side is that hospitals are filling up more NOW than in 2020 this time.

Also, RSV, for some unknown reason is widely prevalent, further consuming resources.

Covid/Flu shot and go on about your business...
 
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jtr1962

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I don't disagree. The open question is how bad will this get in the blue states versus the red states? Our numbers have already been ticking up for a month.

I'm really, really concerned about what may happen to the supply lines. That's literally keeping me up at night.
 

turbodog

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Reading the linked story on Delta yesterday - Doctor Gottlieb said we're already well into it and it will probably peak next month or during September.

https://hotair.com/ed-morrissey/2021/07/23/gottlieb-this-delta-wave-may-end-sooner-than-we-think-n404194

I haven't taken the time to add some additional calculations to my delta model, but reading this article makes me think...

Does 'ending in aug/sep' (which they call sooner than we think) mean what's implied... that infections will be low.

Or... since it's spreading faster than any variant so far... does this mean it will end sooner because it will have literally burned through the remaining vulnerable population (which is still a LOT of people)?
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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I haven't taken the time to add some additional calculations to my delta model, but reading this article makes me think...

Does 'ending in aug/sep' (which they call sooner than we think) mean what's implied... that infections will be low.

Or... since it's spreading faster than any variant so far... does this mean it will end sooner because it will have literally burned through the remaining vulnerable population (which is still a LOT of people)?

My take on the doctor's opinion is we already have a lot of people infected with Delta that haven't been counted as Delta positive, and therefore it's on its way to winding down over the next two months. I didn't interpret his opinion as Delta infections are or will be low, just that it's winding down not ramping up.
 

raggie33

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Very unfortunate. Sorry for you and their family.

he was a super nice man ive been a family freind for years. oddly enough he loved flashlights he always seemed to enjoy seeing my lights. he was a few decades older then me. i was shocked when he got covid and more so to find out he died
 

Poppy

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I haven't taken the time to add some additional calculations to my delta model, but reading this article makes me think...

Does 'ending in aug/sep' (which they call sooner than we think) mean what's implied... that infections will be low.

Or... since it's spreading faster than any variant so far... does this mean it will end sooner because it will have literally burned through the remaining vulnerable population (which is still a LOT of people)?

My take is that it is spreading faster than expected and the surge that was expected to occur in September, will occur sooner, and will peak sooner. He didn't touch on how many will be infected at the time of the peak, nor did he discuss any predictions of whether, or how overwhelmed, our hospitals may be at the time of the peak. He did mention that we have treatments, and knowledge of how to treat that we didn't have during the initial surge.

He mentioned that there is a LOT we DO NOT KNOW about where we are in the pandemic because there isn't enough testing going on; and that the CDC should do more cohort studies, including trying to determine how effective the current vaccines are, at reducing the levels of virus shed, of those who were vaccinated. In particular, he stated that we do not know, how much a vaccinated person, who has a delta break through infection, will shed delta virus, and the amount when asymptomatic, vs symptomatic. He stated that the delta variant produces 1000 times shedding than the original does.

I read the hotair article, than the cbs article it linked to, and then watched the squawk-box video.
 
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KITROBASKIN

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Clearly the the threadstarter is ok with the bend in content here.

Hopefully most places will continue to let people decide whether to mask up or not, whether to vaccine or not, whether to stay home or not, and toilet paper panic is ever-so 2020 history in the rear-view mirror.

Our wonderful beloved rabbit injured herself which required some veterinarian visits. In the clinic lobby most people were maskless, including staff. But in the small exam room, son (under 12 years old) and I (Pfizer vax'd) used masks as a courtesy even though the techs were without. The vet was behind a mask.

Maybe 10% masked at stores, higher percentage of staff than customers. Went to a party yesterday. One family was masked until eating time, then they never put them back on; Perhaps 60 people inside and outside a co-worker's home.
 

Poppy

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I too have worn a mask as a courtesy. Not so much anymore.

Doctor Gottlieb spoke to the need to educate on the difference in Quality of masks, and that the cloth ones do not offer protection, but that for protection one should use a N95 mask or better.

For the most part I have worn a surgical mask, which is good for protecting others from me, but not so good to protect me from others.
It was easily proven to myself.

Early on when I was very concerned about getting infected and bringing it home, I rarely left my property, except to go food or toilet paper shopping. When I did, I wore a half face respirator. When I walked through the soap section of the store, I didn't smell a thing. Later, when I was wearing a surgical mask, I could smell all of the soaps, and flowers (in the small floral section). It was very obvious which mask gave better protection.

AM-JKLWDvqmZyh7b5omDf0XbwFmQjVlbHow7sblYFj8ou5g-hNHPyFzANTdMASxFzbzqjXeVj1eF4DKRtLGiNvhChZNASUu9UtDEMrTYS4icVXTu4LoxBSi3R4-CQ-PtjojY5Bqz_DNeVbOVyPXonngeOoYi=w741-h789-no
 
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turbodog

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...He stated that the delta variant produces 1000 times shedding than the original does.

...

Those are the rough numbers I have seen also... and they are reasonably peer-reviewed so I feel they are more or less accurate.

That said... masks will become less useful if everyone infected is basically a super-spreader. And given the mental/physical fatigue, the days of widespread masking are probably over unless people start dying in the streets.

I see more and more get the shot, but it's a trickle. We need lines at vaccine locations again.
 

Poppy

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I got mine in January and February. There was limited availability and went be appointment only. There was a constant flow of people through the pharmacy, but since it was scheduled, there wasn't much of a line.

I agree with the sentiment that we need lots of people getting vaccinated NOW!

Both here and abroad!
 

turbodog

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This applies to the delta variant and the official thread title.

If delta's viral loads are 1000x other variants... then

1. Masks will certainly be less effective, probably a lot less.

2. However, if they are only effective in the low single digits... that's still important given the extremely rapid rise of delta cases. In essence, their raw number effectiveness becomes useful due to how bad delta is.

Another week should be interesting.
 

idleprocess

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This applies to the delta variant and the official thread title.

If delta's viral loads are 1000x other variants... then

1. Masks will certainly be less effective, probably a lot less.

2. However, if they are only effective in the low single digits... that's still important given the extremely rapid rise of delta cases. In essence, their raw number effectiveness becomes useful due to how bad delta is.

Another week should be interesting.

A sub-100% is better than a 0% reduction. Of course throw more cr_p at something imperfect and eventually something gets through. It would help if people would select masks on basis of effectiveness rather than whatever trendy print (or kickstarter hucksterism) they feature and N95/KN95/FFP2/P100 are a very solid step up from cloth and surgical masks.

But it's mid-2021, the populace is tired of masks and all the various mitigation practices, a majority of those who are going to get vaccinated likely have, and the willingness to enact and enforce the sort of mandates everyone grumbled about in 2020 is immensely reduced. So I expect Delta to do what it will do and countermeasures will be both reactive and phoned in.
 

bykfixer

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The original concept was that a face cover thwarts propellents from travelling as far when expelled from the person. Thereby reducing the likliehood of droplets making it more than say, 2 feet (or less). And with another person standing say 4 feet away it meant viral load would not actually travel far enough to reach another person. Alpha, Beta, Delta…whatever.
Has this new variant somehow magically managed to become like smoke and just woft through the air despite the physical barrier of a face cover catching moisture droplets?
Has the CDC suddenly discovered (gasp) that inoculation or not it travels from person to person? That despite their best efforts, a large slice of the population does not have direct access to said inoculation? Particularly the disenfranchised community where many have to walk everywhere they go?

I still see about a 50/50 ratio of folks wearing face covers nearly everywhere I go. The troubling aspect is how many wear one while crossing the parking lot only to remove them when they arrive indoors. It's not uncommon to see people (alone) drive up and park their car wearing a face cover, walk to the building wearing the cover then removing it once they are in the congregate setting. That is completely backwards. But it's pretty common here where I live.
 

idleprocess

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The original concept was that a face cover thwarts propellents from travelling as far when expelled from the person. Thereby reducing the likliehood of droplets making it more than say, 2 feet (or less). And with another person standing say 4 feet away it meant viral load would not actually travel far enough to reach another person. Alpha, Beta, Delta…whatever.
Has this new variant somehow magically managed to become like smoke and just woft through the air despite the physical barrier of a face cover catching moisture droplets?
Has the CDC suddenly discovered (gasp) that inoculation or not it travels from person to person? That despite their best efforts, a large slice of the population does not have direct access to said inoculation? Particularly the disenfranchised community where many have to walk everywhere they go?

I still see about a 50/50 ratio of folks wearing face covers nearly everywhere I go. The troubling aspect is how many wear one while crossing the parking lot only to remove them when they arrive indoors. It's not uncommon to see people (alone) drive up and park their car wearing a face cover, walk to the building wearing the cover then removing it once they are in the congregate setting. That is completely backwards. But it's pretty common here where I live.

Viral load for delta is immensely greater than the alpha strain that was previously dominant, which combined with its tendency to produce breakthrough infections means that the vaccinated can spread it around even if asymptomatic.

The initial guidance on mask usage was - as we could easily deduct then and know now for certain - a gambit to keep citizens from snapping up all the medical-grade PPE before it could be diverted to the healthcare system. First the guidance was masks aren't necessary, then the slow pivot towards cloth/surgical masks, finally the obvious admission that superior media performs better than inferior filter media - even if worn imperfectly - but please please don't horde ≥N95 PPE.

Plenty of logistical barriers to getting vaccinated - transportation as you have mentioned but also lack of internet access, lack of a smartphone, and the devilishly difficult task for many of taking time off work both in terms of securing permission and the pain of lost wages. That's in addition to the conceptual hurdles that a large slice of the populace is facing.

Apparent mask usage is perhaps 10% in the small slice of the DFW area I roam around - and most of that is establishment staff. Maybe it's the region's miserable heat ~6 months of the year, but pretty much no one is walking across parking lots with a mask on.
 
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