Hi all! Just a short post today. Hurricane Ida flooded my town yesterday. We’re fine. Just a cup of water in the basement, but Ian’s school closed. It was going to be his first full day in 18 months. He’s very disappointed, so I want to take him out to distract him.
A couple of weeks ago, I was very stressed out that the rising cases of COVID Delta was going push administrators to close schools and that we would be back to living in a cave again. I am not too worried about that anymore. There is zero public support for school shutdowns, so administrators and unions won’t do it. There might be interrupted education with quarantines, but not full shutdowns.
Which is a big relief to us, because kids like mine were totally screwed over by school and service shutdowns. However, I don’t think that COVID is going to go away. I fully expect to get sick sometime in the next year, even though I follow all the CDC random rules of the day.
When the shutdowns were imminent, we prepared by filling the pantry. Since we’re all going to get sick, we should also prepare. The best way to prepare for COVID is to get the jab, of course. There’s no question that it reduces symptoms and reduces the chance of a breakthrough infection.
The next best way is to be healthy. People with a higher BMI have a harder time with COVID.
I started getting healthier back in April. I always exercised and ate well, but I upped my standards big time. Daily runs, no sugar or white flour, reduced wine intake. I didn’t make these changes because of COVID. I just wanted to see if I was very strict about a diet, whether I could actually change the numbers on the scale. (It worked. Still losing.) The new life style is going to come in handy in the virus-world.
I know that GOOP is a popular punching bag, but I actually really love the food recipes on her website and newsletter. Last night, we made this sheet pan chicken. Huge hit. This sandwich looks excellent. In contrast to the Food Network people, she cooks food that I should be eating. Pretty much everything that Pioneer Woman cooks is bad news. Nobody should be eating fried steaks.
I totally bought into the NOOM method of eating — eat a lot of good stuff. Fill up your stomach with steamed broccoli and brown rice, so you don’t crave the cookies.
Because I’m shallow, my real goal from all this is to look hot in tight jeans, but if it also helps me weather the COVID storm then that’s good, too.
Picture: My running path.
23 thoughts on “We’re All Going to Get it. Prepared?”
This similar NYT recipe has roasted tomatoes and peppers. It was fantastic. I should make it again! Thanks for reminding me. 🙂
Oooh. Thanks. I’m trying to find uses for our garden tomatoes, so this is great.
FYI re masks:
A randomized controlled trial of mask wearing shows that wearing masks reduces COVID transmission: https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w28734/w28734.pdf
We are all wearing masks on our campus, except that a few bros can’t keep their noses covered. Ugh. Maybe I will bring in some decent KN95s for them, with the nose clip.
Looking at the study, it just says that promoting mask wearing increases the wearing of masks. I don’t see any details about Covid transmission rates. Can you point me to the page or section?
The report you linked to states, The intervention we report here is part of a larger study designed to evaluate the impact of mask
wearing on COVID-19 transmission (ClinicalTrials ID NCT04630054). In this paper we report on the first-stage outcome: the effect of the intervention on the prevalence of mask-wearing.
As far as I can tell, looking at ClinicalTrials.gov, the larger study was completed in June of this year, but that paper has not yet been published.
I would be interested in reading those results.
I saw some talk about the Bangladesh study earlier. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but this is what I remember seeing:
–It involved mask education (and maybe giving masks?) not mandates.
–Kids weren’t specifically studied. (?)
–Cloth masks didn’t work.
I’m also assuming that the people studied were not vaccinated. US adults are almost 3/4 vaccinated with 1st doses, so we’re in a different ball game.
I saw it through a Zeynep Tufekci tweet: https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1433440341240201220
She is enthusiastic.
Btw, I also disagree with the subject of this post: “We’re All Going To Get It.” I never got polio. I never got measles. Infection by a virus is not necessarily a given at any time.
I’m just hoping the wave is slow enough that people aren’t dying because the hospital is too full.
Me too. I think they say that things are leveling off.
We now like to keep a box or two of the Abbott home tests around for suspicious sniffles.
My husband has been researching getting a third shot. Our doctor said that he can’t officially prescribe it, but that people have been getting them.
I told my husband that given the myocarditis stuff in boys and younger men, it might be a good idea to wait and see–there isn’t any hard data available yet on whether it is beneficial or how risky it is for men his age. The Israelis should have some more info soon, since they’ve been very aggressive about third shots. My BFF and her husband (who were initially a bit hesitant) are also talking about doing a third shot.
I kind of wonder whether surreptitious 3rd shots aren’t wrecking our vaccination stats.
A number of states that were hot spots have cooled down. Missouri (which was in the news a lot the a few weeks ago) has peaked out:
At 37 new cases per 100k per day, they are now well below the US average, which is 50 per 100k per day.
I saw that 2 teachers in a TX school district died of COVID this past week. Was that near you?
Wendy said, “I saw that 2 teachers in a TX school district died of COVID this past week. Was that near you?”
Unfortunately, yes, that was in our news zone. One of them was 41.
The district closed the school down for a week..
Semi-related to exercise, I just learned a friend of mine appears as an anonymous skater in the background of some shots in this film: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9552250/
In happier news, without a vaccine requirement (but with lots of arm-twisting), Hometown U. has gotten student vaccination slightly over 70% and employee vaccinations are at almost 85%.
Hometown U. is not contributing much to county COVID numbers, despite twice weekly testing of unvaccinated faculty and staff.
With an estimate of 120 million people infected (4x the recorded infections) and deaths of 767000 (1.3x the reported deaths), we get a case fatality rate of 0.006. If we applied that to the 2/3 of the population still estimated not to have had COVID, another 1,329,000 people would die (2x the number who have died already).
Hopefully, vaccines improve the CFR compared to the entire pandemic period (as well as better treatment) so that even with weak control and endemic spread, that many people don’t die.
That being said, I don’t thinks schools will close (more than temporarily) unless students begin dying or enough teachers/staff die that it affects the willingness of teachers to work. The suburban Waco district closed for a week after two teacher deaths for COVID.
Our school district (classes started 2 days ago!) has a COVID dashboard. Will see the first update tomorrow.
bj said, “With an estimate of 120 million people infected (4x the recorded infections) and deaths of 767000 (1.3x the reported deaths), we get a case fatality rate of 0.006. If we applied that to the 2/3 of the population still estimated not to have had COVID, another 1,329,000 people would die (2x the number who have died already).”
The percentage thought to have been infected varies a lot from state to state.
If you look at the “percent ever infected” there, it ranges from 18% (Vermont) to almost 67% (Arizona). A lot of states are in the fifties with regard to how many residents have been infected.
“Our school district (classes started 2 days ago!) has a COVID dashboard. Will see the first update tomorrow.”
Fun! I need to remember to check ours.
Our university has a Covid dashboard that, a full two weeks after the arrival of students, has zero information. Vaccination is “expected” but not required, and unvaccinated students have to test once a week or face disciplinary action, but that requirement didn’t “kick in” until this week. So, no required intake testing.
Our serpentlike associate provost told us with a straight face earlier this week at faculty senate that the reason for this was that the person who maintained the dashboard was out with an injury. Because of course inputting four numbers (number of tests, percentage of positives; number of vaccination cards verified, number not) would be beyond most people’s capabilities. I suspect that once our 10th-day enrollment numbers are up, the injury will be magically healed.
At least when I went in for my optional test yesterday there were actually some students there. I am visiting my parents this weekend, who are in their 80s and getting more and more nervous about delta, wondering how soon they will be able to get a booster.
I hope the positivity rate isn’t horrible, but I’ve already heard from a few sick students so we’ll see.
Yes, my back of the envelope calculation used the estimates from the CDC for the entire country, which, I think, would reflect the number of american deaths. If the estimates were right, people didn’t get it again, and everyone got it, and the percent of people dying didn’t change, more people have already died in AZ, FL, TX than in WA, VT and thus, in WA & VT, relatively more people would die than have died already.
But the 1.3 million would still stand (if we didn’t get any better at treating, vaxing, targetting protecting). Note that the NE epidemic in NY/NJ/CT was very bad in the beginning, but got better, so their deaths/infections are probably lower than they were in the beginning now.
“Our university has a Covid dashboard that, a full two weeks after the arrival of students, has zero information.”
“Our serpentlike associate provost…”
“I suspect that once our 10th-day enrollment numbers are up, the injury will be magically healed.”
“I am visiting my parents this weekend, who are in their 80s and getting more and more nervous about delta, wondering how soon they will be able to get a booster.”
It is possible to just go out and get one…Not endorsing, but it is happening already.
“I hope the positivity rate isn’t horrible, but I’ve already heard from a few sick students so we’ll see.”
Hometown U. (70+% vaccinated students/nearly 85% vaccinated employees) is reporting just over 1% positivity (I believe that’s a combination of surveillance testing and sick student testing). They’re supposed to be testing the unvaccinated twice a week–last spring it was everybody once a week. A moderate initial campus surge seems to be subsiding. There’s a much bigger community surge underway.
My Hometown U. sophomore says that some of her classmates report that Hometown U. is cutting off their wifi when they get vaccinated, quit testing, but forget to upload photos of their cards–so they are actually doing that–it’s not just empty talk. (Hometown U. is also supposed to be locking scofflaws out of the gym and suspending unvaccinated students who are in flagrant enough violation of testing requirements.)
bj said, “If the estimates were right, people didn’t get it again, and everyone got it, and the percent of people dying didn’t change”
I keep hearing anecdotes locally about people getting it twice, even in one case after having been vaccinated, so counting is kind of dicey.
“Our serpentlike associate provost told” eek.
my elder’s university has a dashboard, for the last 7 days,15 positives in the current week, with a 0.2% positivity rate (with about 7K tests). They’ve warned that there will be positives as people arrive and that they plan to manage.
The students are 97% axed, faculty/staff 96% (with a mandate). Vaxed students take tests 1/week, unvaxed (with an exemption) 2-3x a week.
Dining halls are open, but kiddo is questioning the concept of dining halls maybe forever and sending pictures of food being cooked in the suite instead: honey glazed chicken and “Autumn Sun” basil-roasted spaghetti squash and pasta with garlic, onions and arugula (aka the weird leftovers in the fridge).
I just filled out a questionnaire from school. We’re 1 week into a school-ordered two-week mandatory mask period, and they want some feedback. My BFF (who doesn’t have kids at our school but is plugged into local gossip networks) says that a number of 7th grade moms boycotted by pulling their kids out for the 2 weeks.
Some questions from the questionnaire:
“The CDC and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend masking indoors to
limit the spread of COVID in schools. Do you feel that School should
follow the guidelines of these entities?” (Me: No.)
“Should School allow students and parents to make their own individual
decisions requiring masking at school?” (Me: Yes.)
“Would you be in favor of a change in current protocols that would reduce
the quarantine requirements for masked, close contacts in our School
community? (Currently, close contacts (masked or unmasked) who have not had
COVID in the last 90 days or are not vaccinated, have to quarantine for 10
days with the option to take a test after day 5 and return on the 8th day
after exposure.)” (Me: Yes.)
“Do you agree with the current policy that allows students who have had
COVID in the last 90 days, or who are fully vaccinated, to not need to
quarantine when they are a close contact if they remain symptom-free, and
remain masked for 14 days?” (Me: Yes.)
In the comment box, I expressed support for no masking in the elementary school, higher quality masks versus cloth, greater use of rapid tests, and mentioned the British study supporting testing versus quarantining for schools, the Spanish study that shows that kid age is more important than masking for transmission, and WHO’s advice against masking under 6. I also mentioned that a number of European countries do not mask elementary students.
My husband needs to fill out one, too, and then I’m planning on sending some article links to the school COVID task force.
This was weird:
“More than 83 percent of Americans had COVID-19 antibodies before the surge of the Delta variant began, according to a new study of blood sample specimens by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
“The CDC tweeted on Thursday: “Data from blood donations show Americans w/ COVID-19 antibodies increased from 20.5% to 83.3% after the rollout of #COVID19 vaccines.””
This is based on blood donations, so it may not be representative. It also doesn’t tell you how the kids are doing, as they won’t be giving blood.
My guy Pradheep J. Shanker (a radiologist) comments on twitter:
“I am not sure this is good or bad. If 83% had antibodies, and we still didn’t have herd immunity…”
“My guess is that people who are being mildly exposed might see antibodies, but those aren’t very strong or effective; and that a large viral load would overcome that antibody protection.
That means there is a huge spectrum here…”
Or, possibly, the kind of people who donate blood are doing pretty well in terms of immunity, while those who don’t give blood aren’t.
Interesting study based on testing blood donations (the link from the article, Newsweek shouldn’t be citing the CDC, the study was coordinated at UCSF collaborating with a number of blood banks): https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2784013?guestAccessKey=b2cebb88-d0dc-43fa-bfee-daeff7dc6594&utm_source=For_The_Media&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ftm_links&utm_content=tfl&utm_term=090221
July 2020: 3.5% total antibodies
May 2021: 20.2% for infection-induced antibodies; 83.3% for combined infection- and vaccine-induced antibodies (does that make it 63.1% for vaccine antibodies?)
Measles, which is known for being extremely infectious, R0 of 12-18 in estimates, is thought to need a 95% vaccination rate to prevent spread (ie, “herd” immunity). The delta variant has estimates of R0 from 5-9 (even with our current mitigations), so also requires high levels of immunity to prevent spread (though I don’t know what the calculation would be).
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