Open Thread for Sick Days

Hi all! Sick days here. Chat among yourself until I return.

30 thoughts on “Open Thread for Sick Days

  1. The US has now done more COVID vaccinations in absolute terms (4.66 million) than any other country on earth.

    In terms of population covered:

    #1 Israel (13.5%)
    #2 Bahrain (4% but not advancing)
    #3 (UK and US at 1.4%–UK has got to be ahead though, because their 1.4% dates from Dec. 31 and ours is from Jan. 4)

    The Danes are at 0.8% and the Russians are supposedly at 0.55%, but that’s the closest anybody is to the top 4 right now. Our Canadian cousins have done 1/38 as many COVID vaccinations as we have, and (in terms of percentages) have covered 1/4 as much of their population as the US has.



    Small states continue to be the US stars for percentage of population vaccinated.

    #1 South Dakota (3.05%)
    #2 West Virginia (2.93%)
    #3 North Dakota (2.92%)
    #4 Alaska (2.59%)
    #5 Vermont (2.56%)
    #6 Maine (2.49%)
    #7 DC (2.41%–not a state, but I feel deserves a position on the list)
    #8 Rhode Island (2.29%)
    #9 Tennessee (2.23%)
    #10 Montana (2.2%)

    The sub-1% states are: Kansas (0.69%), Georgia (0.72%), Alabama (0.81%), North Carolina (0.97%) and Michigan (0.99%). The big 4 are more middling: CA at 1.15%, TX at 1.43%, Florida at 1.23% and New York at 1.54%.

    The worst US states would be high-fliers if you transplanted them to Europe.

    There may be some transcription mistakes, but this is basically correct.

    It’s been a fantastic month for small states to show their stuff!


    1. I had a fever and a sore throat for one day. And another day of just being sleepy. I had a COVID test this morning and have to wait 3-5 days for the results. In the meantime, I’m quarantined from the rest of the house in my bedroom. Ugh.


  3. I’m glad some of those smaller states have been able to push out the vaccine (especially those whose health care systems I understand poorly and would have worried about, like West Virgina). But we need to note that CA, which is mediocre in terms of its per capita performance, has administered 20X the number of vaccines. I don’t think we can conclude much about the strength of vaccination programs yet.

    I like to compare comp states (say, why is TN doing better than Kentucky? or Vermont beter than NH? ) , but, even then, which such small numbers, we could see shifting trends in days and weeks and months.


  4. So, at what point do vaccination percentages translate into changes in policy about opening up businesses/schools/workplaces/social services, etc.?
    Has this been discussed?

    Because we’re never going to get to 100% – and in some places I’d say we’d be pushing to get to 80%


      1. Which is closer to 80% of people, since some of those the author is counting as previously infected won’t know that they were.

        The article also doesn’t consider changes in the virus, including the new variant first seen in Britain.


  5. I prefer the CDC’s site. By the way, there’s an interesting anomaly in New York City’s reported deaths on the CDC website–they’re much, much lower in this second wave than one would expect from the number of reported cases. I can think of a few reasons for this:

    1) some person who makes the reports died or retired, and the new person doesn’t have the password to the files (don’t laugh)

    2) the city is sending serious cases to other hospitals, outside the city, so the deaths count as New York state cases, but not as New York City cases

    3) The new variant is not as deadly as the prior versions. I read somewhere that it’s in the throat, not deep in the lungs. So, more infections, but fewer deaths.

    For what it’s worth, toggle the different options for New York City, and compare it to the other states.

    It looks like the death rate really leveled off in NYC, while the case rate increased, around October or so.


    1. Cranberry said, “I prefer the CDC’s site. By the way, there’s an interesting anomaly in New York City’s reported deaths on the CDC website–they’re much, much lower in this second wave than one would expect from the number of reported cases.”

      I think it’s mostly that there was practically no testing available during the spring wave.


      1. No, because it (the lack of deaths, compared to the # of cases, in NYC the fall) also shows up in the CDC’s excess death report:

        The excess deaths, presumably from Covid, do show up for NYC on this chart in the spring, but not the fall. Not to say that there are no deaths, but it’s ~20 to 30 or so new deaths per day this month. In the spring, there were hundreds of deaths per day in NYC attributed to COVID.


    2. New York was the first state to have heavy COVID infection, and the first patients were of necessity guinea pigs. So the death rate was much higher as doctors figured out what therapies worked.

      Also, Cuomo’s initial insistence that nursing homes admit COVID-infected patients may have lifted the death toll in the first wave, by spreading infection among the most vulnerable population.


      1. “Also, Cuomo’s initial insistence that nursing homes admit COVID-infected patients may have lifted the death toll in the first wave, by spreading infection among the most vulnerable population.”

        I believe this is actually one of the main reasons that the death toll in New York was so high. The idea at the time was that there would be a desperate shortage of hospital beds, so moving people to nursing homes would help prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed. This tragically spread the infection among the most vulnerable, who died in horribly large numbers, but also proved unnecessary since the worst of the first wave never materialized.


    1. More concerned about information emerging on the South African Covid variant – which means that it’s not only more transmissable (like the UK one), but may be more resistant to the existing vaccines.

      And, of course, the longer it is until vaccines are rolled out world-wide, the greater the likelihood of further mutations — just like a normal flu virus.


  6. Interesting article about the changes in Covid-Avoidance-Behaviour not being permanent.
    We have a Covid tracing app – which you are supposed to use to record where you’ve been (the data is kept on your phone – not stored centrally – so relatively secure). All businesses and public services (e.g. libraries & churches) are legally required to post QR scan codes prominently at their entrances. Although there is no legal requirement for Kiwis to use the app or to scan in.

    There was reasonable uptake and usage during the first 2 lockdowns (apart from technology and teething issues) – especially during our Auckland community outbreak in August. People perceived a real risk, and acted to assist with managing it.

    In the run-up to Christmas we were bombarded with advertising on multiple platforms, about remembering to scan in over your holidays. Especially as many Kiwis will be travelling – and so out of their usual home/school/work/supermarket routines (so harder to remember where you’ve been and when) – and potentially coming in contact with a lot more people.

    This was reinforced following the emergence of the new Covid variant in Britain (with much greater transmissibility) which is now here in managed isolation in NZ.

    Close to a total failure. Scan-in rates are dropping rapidly over the summer.
    Which reinforces my belief that this kind of tracking is simply not sustainable long-term in Western democracies. If governments want a tracking solution, they need to find a hands-free one.
    Also, once immediate perceived risk is gone, people rapidly revert to pre-crisis behaviour.


  7. Second-best comment on the race for Georgia’s Senate seats: “Never piss off a romance writer when a happy ending is on the line.”


  8. Does what is going on right now inside and outside the Capitol bring pause to anyone who isn’t already anti-Trump? I am, not surprisingly, horrified. I have been disappointed time and again that the behavior seems to bring no consequences, but maybe the Georgia results are a tiny inkling of a positive sign.


    1. What I do not understand is the lack of preparation. I knew this was going to happen. Anyone paying attention knew this was going to happen.

      My favorite part of this is that Mitt Romney apparently yelled “This is what you’ve gotten, guys!”


  9. This seemed like the better thread to say I hope you are feeling better soon Laura. And take care out there everyone. 🙂


    1. Oh thanks, Jenn. My doctor doesn’t think I had COVID. People are still just getting regular viruses and colds. I’ll get the test results back in a couple of days, but she said that I still have to do a full quarantine for another week, because the tests aren’t accurate. Ugh.

      I’m basically back to normal. I’ll be back to blogging after I finish up a late writing deadline.


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