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Contributor ○

Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

Yesterday, when we went to town to get supplies, the lumber company was full of young people without masks. Grocery stores were full of people with masks.

On Friday, most of Indiana will be going to stage 3 of its reopening plan. https://www.wishtv.com/news/indiana-news/most-of-indiana-moves-to-stage-3-of-reopening-on-friday/

The entire state is not opening back up.  Restriction stay in place in some counties.

For the rest of us, Stage 1 (March 24-May 4) was lock down. Only essential work and essential travel allowed.  As it turned out approximately 80% of the workforce was deemed essential.  Stage 2 (May 4-May 24) is a slight opening. Essential work and travel restrictions lifted. But, gatherings of no mone than 24 people, business at 50% capacity, bars and gyms remain closed, and personal services by appointment only. Stage 3 (May 24-June14) is currently being revised according to the information collected in Stage 2.  Revisions will also be announced Friday.

In stage 2, people 65 and older were still under self-quarantine with a stay-at-home order.  In stage 3, we are ordered to limit our exposure at work and elsewhere and to wear face coverings and to follow all of the other precautions when out.  Those things do not go away even in stage 5.  I'm sure they will remain until a vaccine is available.

According to the CDC, while the actual percentage differs slightly from location to location, the vast majority of deaths are in the 65 and older age group.  In some areas it 85% of the deaths.  The risk to the young is not nearly so severe and they are the ones opening the economy.

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

Small towns pose extra risks.  In 1950 Wytheville, VA had a population of 5,500.  They had a polio outbreak which had 185 cases and 17 deaths in Wytheville alone; by the time it was over, in the area there were over 1,200 cases stretching all the way to Norfolk.  It was the worst per capita outbreak in the US both in terms of those infected and those who died.  It is still known as the summer without children.  Patients were sent as far away as 250 miles.  It spread thought out Virginia, my brother thinks the girl down the street died from polio, I'm not sure, but I do remember she died.  

Today, parts of VA, WV and KY are especially vulnerable.  Lack of basic health care is the norm and the opioid epidemic has hit hard and is getting a second wind.  When the governor here acted, he could not have repeated Governor Battle's failure to act fast enough in 1950.  Governor Northam specifically mentioned the risk to rural communities and their need for vigilance.  

Meanwhile, I went to HomeDepot today.  It looked like a mob scene with no precautions.  So much was in disarray with even papers all over the floors, it reminded me of the accounts of the fall of Richmond in 1865 and all the broken barrels in the streets and papers laying all over like autumn leaves.  Needless to say, I left, my project can wait. 

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

Washington State just opened all medical services, with certain restrictions on distancing and body-temperature screening of those entering dental and medical facilities.

This is vital. So many on chronic care meds along with preventive screenings (paps, mamograms, stool guiac, PSAs) were simply not getting seen and the tests not done.  If the lock-down were continued, how many in this group would die or become very ill?

BruceM

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

Ok. I am in a college town next to the Michigan state capitol.

The state of Michigan, using data re covid-19 cases, is divided into eight regions. Two (regions 6 & 8) have now reopened--primarily to locals (which is what the locals prefer). Acknowledging their preference, our family cancelled a summer family gathering. 

Now my region--designated as Lansing--may soon reopen completely though summer school is cancelled.

However, rumors that all "small business" is closed is nonsense.  In the last two weeks or so these are the small business my wife and I have used:

1. The florist for mother's day.

2. My plumber.

3. Our landscaping service.

4. The local Staples twice--once for in person computer repair and once for home delivery of supplies.

5. Home delivery of dinners from local restaurants, not the big franchises. 

6. Opening of our pool at the end of the month--another small business.

7. On a somewhat larger scale, I have seen my personal physician and my wife has seen hers. 

8. We have shopped at and also received delivery from a local independent butcher shop.

9. I am scheduled to see my dentist and my ophthalmologist.

10. On my return from Florida in late March, I turned in my tax information to my accountant who is open and later went to his office to review the return which was efiled.

11. Next week I meet with my lawyer to review some documents. 

12. Car wash--staffed.

I have probably overlooked some other interactions with small business.

Lesson: Government is working in Michigan even as it now has to deal with a second catastrophe in the Midland area. The Governor takes advice and formulates policy based on empirical evidence.

As I noted earlier in this thread, Governor Whitmer has a 72% approval rating. There's no good reason to listen to squeaky wheels.

Bob

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

Here in Washington state I would say that most people believe that the initial lockdown and now phased-in reopening have gone extremely well.  Most people seem to believe that Governor Inslee was right to issue his stay at home order as early as he did.  Many lives were saved. Social distancing has worked.  Pharmacies remained open as an essential business.  For those that needed medical care, emergency rooms were of course open (my elderly mother-in-law had to go three times - scary).  Most people were able to communicate by video with their doctor. 

Our numbers have come way down.  They were high initially because of one nursing home in particular.  Nursing homes have been hit the hardest as well as meat-packing plants and migrant farm workers, who have no choice but to live close together.

But, fingers crossed, the trend will be with us, because of a gradual, monitored reopening, continued social distancing, and/or the summer/heat effect, or something else - there is still so much about this virus that we don't know. 

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

"Lesson: don't listen to out of state pontificators, especially those with a political agenda. Government is working in Michigan even as it now has to deal with a second catastrophe in the Midland area."

And I guess you should not listen to the Small Business Association of Michigan either. But for those who care, here's what they said in April...

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic and closure orders have created such an uphill challenge for small businesses that one out of every seven in Michigan aren’t sure they’ll be able to recover,” said SBAM President Brian Calley in a news release. “Michigan small businesses are truly struggling to survive.”

The April survey of 1,300 businesses also found out that 60% of businesses have laid off at least one employee.

Other results showed:

≤ 28% of business owners are positive their business will survive the pandemic, while 14% said they’re either likely to go out of business or close to it, per a late April survey.

≤ Nearly 45% of small businesses are closed.

≤ More than 50% of small businesses don’t have the ability for their employees to work from home.

≤ The majority — 72% — of surveyed businesses have applied for the Paycheck Protection Program, while 43% have applied for other loans or advances.

≤ A total of 56% of small businesses don’t believe they will be able to implement split shifts to limit exposure to the coronavirus.

≤ A total of 35% need additional physical space to meet social distancing guidelines.

≤ A total of 44% of small businesses indicated they don’t qualify for classification as critical essential infrastructure.

And that was in April. I wonder what a similar survey would say today nearly a month later?

BruceM

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

Well, yeah, Bruce.

Why do you think the government is sending so much money out (even if it doesn't get to many individuals and small businesses in need)?   That's not the fault of any governor. Covid-19 is a one-off.

It's an SBA issue with the PPP.

Take a look.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2020/05/20/in-many-of-the-hardest-hit-states-covid-19-smal...

You have got a hobbyhorse, and I don't choose to join your ride.

Bob

Addendum from Bloomberg Friday, May 22:

"The testimonies of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to the Senate Banking Committee this week -- conducted remotely -- were a window into the array of criticism brewing over the emergency lending programs the government is rolling out.

It's an historic exercise of monetary and fiscal collaboration: The Fed will buy $3.5 trillion of bonds -- mostly Treasuries -- this year, Bloomberg Economics estimates, which will largely cover a fiscal gap that may well top $3.7 trillion.

While many lawmakers applauded the duo's actions to stem the fallout from the pandemic, Mnuchin and Powell faced questions over delays in deploying allocated funds to businesses, and gaps in the Payment Protection Program."

It's about the program, not the governor(s).

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Explorer ○○

Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?


@bilperk wrote:

@BruceM wrote:

"Costco is one of the businesses Doing it correctly. EVERYONE. Must wear a mask. Even customers to go in. However Home Depot is not doing it correctly. I was told via a corporate phone call that they cannot tell employees to wear a mask where it is not mandated by authorities. "

@Gary1952 

Let's put that in perspective.

During the 2017/2018 flu season, about mid Nov through March, the CDC estimates the following happened as a result primarily of the B/H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic in the US

Number symptomatic: 45 million

Medical office visits due to flu symptoms: 21 million

Flu diagnosed hospitalizations: 810,000

Influenza Deaths: 61,000 (186 children, 20% of whom had been vaccinated)

So do you think masks should become a requirement at the beginning of each flu season?

BruceM


US deaths 17000.  A vaccine is available and reduces the likelihood of getting the flu.  Many people refuse to get the vaccine but we don't require them to.  The flu is less contagious than COVID.  Less dealy than COVID.  Treatable unlike COVID.  Did you complain when you saw the sign that said: "No shirt, no shoes, no service" when you took your wife out to dinner?


I think the reaction is overblown.  I know medical AND public health professionals who think the same way.  There are others who don't.  As you all know, the risk is minimal to the vast majority of the population.  The risk is significant to the small minority who's immune system is vulnerable.  I have friends, family and neighbors who are "vulnerable" and I take precautions with them in mind.  I do not however wear a mask in public.

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?


@BearMkt wrote:


I think the reaction is overblown.  I know medical AND public health professionals who think the same way.  There are others who don't.  As you all know, the risk is minimal to the vast majority of the population.  The risk is significant to the small minority who's immune system is vulnerable.  I have friends, family and neighbors who are "vulnerable" and I take precautions with them in mind.  I do not however wear a mask in public.


Why don't you wear a mask?  Not wearing one is like not wearing a seatbelt when you drive.  An no, the risk isn't minimal to the vast majority, according to every health expert.  First, about 25% of the population is 60 or over, with many more reaching that every day (boomers).  Then add all the people under that age with some sort of compromised immunity, and you have a significant population.  In addition, even if it was true, are you seriously suggesting that it is alright for the 75% who may be at lower risk, to continue to infect the 25%.  Not wearing a mask in public is just not being a good citizen. Period.  And in some locations, illegal.  Good luck.

 

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?


@bilperk wrote:

@BearMkt wrote:


I think the reaction is overblown.  I know medical AND public health professionals who think the same way.  There are others who don't.  As you all know, the risk is minimal to the vast majority of the population.  The risk is significant to the small minority who's immune system is vulnerable.  I have friends, family and neighbors who are "vulnerable" and I take precautions with them in mind.  I do not however wear a mask in public.


Why don't you wear a mask?  Not wearing one is like not wearing a seatbelt when you drive.  An no, the risk isn't minimal to the vast majority, according to every health expert.  First, about 25% of the population is 60 or over, with many more reaching that every day (boomers).  Then add all the people under that age with some sort of compromised immunity, and you have a significant population.  In addition, even if it was true, are you seriously suggesting that it is alright for the 75% who may be at lower risk, to continue to infect the 25%.  Not wearing a mask in public is just not being a good citizen. Period.  And in some locations, illegal.  Good luck.

 


BTW, a feeling of "overblown" is exactly what one would expect when a public health effort is successful.  As someone who worked in public health for 40 years, good public health is what doesn't happen that might have happened without it.  In most cases, the public doesn't even really know it's going on, or take it for granted.

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

No masks for the flu are required. There is a flu shot each year and I take it. Covid-19 has no shot. That is the difference. My beef is that HD SHOULD be protecting their CUSTOMERS.

I have said it before; Covid-19 is like a bad flu season without a vaccine. 


@BruceM wrote:

"Costco is one of the businesses Doing it correctly. EVERYONE. Must wear a mask. Even customers to go in. However Home Depot is not doing it correctly. I was told via a corporate phone call that they cannot tell employees to wear a mask where it is not mandated by authorities. "

@Gary1952 

Let's put that in perspective.

During the 2017/2018 flu season, about mid Nov through March, the CDC estimates the following happened as a result primarily of the B/H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic in the US

Number symptomatic: 45 million

Medical office visits due to flu symptoms: 21 million

Flu diagnosed hospitalizations: 810,000

Influenza Deaths: 61,000 (186 children, 20% of whom had been vaccinated)

So do you think masks should become a requirement at the beginning of each flu season?

BruceM


 

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

Which is why we should all wear a mask.  Agree?  The HD can only protect if listened to and even then only so far.  More mitigation or partial prevention than any kind of full protection.

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

Comparisons between influenza (the "flu") and COVID-19 can be problematic.  Yes, their symptoms can be similar, but they are caused by totally different viruses.  This is a fundamental point, but often forgotten, and so important.  The coronavirus could be similar to some of the different strains of the flu virus, but also could be totally different: perhaps most importantly, more contagious and more deadly.  

Whenever we think of the flu, we think of the current strains of the flu and their effects, with a vaccine.  As we all know, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus.  There may never be.  Scientists have been unable to develop vaccines for a number of diseases.  It is not a given.

Even if we develop a vaccine, it has to be safe, effective and available.  Yes, this is obvious, but we forget that we had have developed safe, effective, available vaccines already for the recent strains of the flu virus.  These vaccines not only prevent contraction of the disease but also lessen severity.

Right now we have no immunity to the coronavirus.  So, if we are going to compare it to a strain of the flu, it should be to the Spanish flu of 1918.  That strain is believed to have killed between 50 and 100 million people worldwide.  That is a huge number - at the top end more than died in World War I and II combined.  Perhaps more than died in the Black Death.  The greatest loss of life in human history.  Of course, we have made much progress in medicine since then.

I recently read a good book about that strain:  Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, written by Laura Spinney and published in 2017.  It is an easy read; one can skim parts that may not be of much interest.  But I learned a lot.  For example, based on genetic testing most experts now believe that it started in Kansas.  Yes, Kansas.  It probably jumped from birds to people there and infected new army recruits at Camp Funston, who then were shipped to France.  World War I aided its spread from there.

But it didn't start in Spain.  One theory is that it got that name because when if finally became recognized, the Spanish king and his advisors had become infected and this became publicized.  But now and forever it will be incorrectly known as the Spanish flu, which is why the World Health Organization decided, after much debate, to refuse to name pandemics after where they allegedly started.  Imagine if that pandemic, perhaps causing the greatest loss of life in human history, was forever known as the Kansas flu or the American flu...

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?


@SeahawksFan wrote:

Comparisons between influenza (the "flu") and COVID-19 can be problematic.  Yes, their symptoms can be similar, but they are caused by totally different viruses.  This is a fundamental point, but often forgotten, and so important.  The coronavirus could be similar to some of the different strains of the flu virus, but also could be totally different: perhaps most importantly, more contagious and more deadly.  

How viruses are similar or dissimilar is really not relevant. What matters is how we respond to their infestation, and this is true with bacteria and protozoa for that matter. Vaccines in effect give us the viral infection in a low enough dose to cause our immune system to generate the antibodies it needs to henceforth repel the virus as it does to hundreds of other viruses to which we've developed antibodies over our lifetimes.

Whenever we think of the flu, we think of the current strains of the flu and their effects, with a vaccine.  As we all know, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus.  There may never be.  Scientists have been unable to develop vaccines for a number of diseases.  It is not a given.

The vaccine is way oversold. The common belief seems to be that if a vaccine is developed for COVID-19, all of our concern will be over. The CDC measures how well a vaccine protects the host from its calculated Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) ratio, which is what percent of those infected by the virus will not require medical treatment. For the 2017-2018 B/H1N1 epidemic, the vaccine VE was only 40%, meaning 60% of those who took the vaccine got the flu anyway and the infection was serious enough to require medical attention. Of course, this will vary with the type of virus, age and medical condition of those infected by the virus. What will the VE be for a COVID-19 vaccine? I have no idea, but looking through the VE's of other vaccines over the years, it looks like 50% to 70% is where most reside.

it has to be safe, effective and available.  Yes, this is obvious, but we forget that we had have developed safe, effective, available vaccines already for the recent strains of the flu virus.  These vaccines not only prevent contraction of the disease but also lessen severity.

Right now we have no immunity to the coronavirus.  Oh but we do.....if you're like about 98% to 99% of those under age 65 who were positive for COVID-19 (currently about 1.66MM), you now have immunity. So, if we are going to compare it to a strain of the flu, it should be to the Spanish flu of 1918. No, no, no, no, no. That particularly nasty strain of A/H1N1, upon infecting the host, caused the host's immune system to essential dump all of its cytokines into the bloodstream that effectively shut down the immune system, opening up the host to (usually) fatal opportunistic bacteria that would lead to death, usually with 24 hours, and in the case of the Spanish Flu, affecting mostly young healthy males.  This pathology has absolutely NOTHING to do with what the COVID-19 virus is up to. That strain is believed to have killed between 50 and 100 million people worldwide.  That is a huge number - at the top end more than died in World War I and II combined.  Perhaps more than died in the Black Death.  The greatest loss of life in human history.  Of course, we have made much progress in medicine since then.

I recently read a good book about that strain:  Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, written by Laura Spinney and published in 2017.  It is an easy read; one can skim parts that may not be of much interest.  But I learned a lot.  For example, based on genetic testing most experts now believe that it started in Kansas.  Yes, Kansas.  It probably jumped from birds to people there and infected new army recruits at Camp Funston, who then were shipped to France.  World War I aided its spread from there.

But it didn't start in Spain.  One theory is that it got that name because when if finally became recognized, the Spanish king and his advisors had become infected and this became publicized.  But now and forever it will be incorrectly known as the Spanish flu, which is why the World Health Organization decided, after much debate, to refuse to name pandemics after where they allegedly started.  Imagine if that pandemic, perhaps causing the greatest loss of life in human history, was forever known as the Kansas flu or the American flu...yes....seems subterfuge and cover-up were effective in this case. The reason 'Spanish' drew the short straw as the geographic naming title wasn't because someone in Spain got the flu, but because Europe and the US did not allow media coverage of the outbreak due to the war, but the Spanish press, for whatever reason, had no such information black-out, and so began broad reporting of it, and so the outbreak was attributed to the geography of the first published reports. And this strain of A/H1N1 didn't originate in Kansas...that was just believed to be the first US cluster. The prevailing theory is it was carried back by service members from Europe, who most likely carried it from China where certain mammals and birds get very close to food production, providing excellent opportunity for the mixing of common viral strains.

BruceM


 

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

America, America, what has happened to us.  Shaming people for wearing or not wearing a mask.  

At first, I didn’t want to wear a mask.  Then, when I first wore one in March, I wondered if I looked stupid.  I looked like one of those Asians I used to giggle at.  Next, I evolved to a place where I started to wonder how much the mask protected me.  I had a few N95s so I felt safer.  And now I finally have gotten to the point that I realize my mask keeps me from getting other people sick.  And it also protects me.  I look at it as a common courtesy.  I pick up after my dog, I don’t pass gas at church, I put down the toilet seat if women are around, I brush my teeth, etc. I don’t see wearing or not wearing a mask as political.

Weren’t we told to treat our neighbors as ourselves?  It is so sad that we have become this way.  

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Explorer ○

Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

BruceM:  With respect, I have to disagree.  With respect to the origination, my information comes from the book I referenced.  Sure, maybe the author is wrong.  But she wrote an entire book about the Spanish flu, just recently, after she claims she reviewed all the evidence.  All I can say is that she makes a compelling scientific argument, based on the genetic material.

With respect to the potential dissimilarity between the various strains of influenza and the Coronavirus, all I can say is that it does make a difference.  There is so much still that we don’t know.  I wish that I were as convinced as you that exposure to the virus produces (complete? permanent?) immunity.  Just this past week we saw a case of a 20 year old male that had recovered from COVID-19 only to later develop this newly discovered inflammatory syndrome affecting children that hospitalized him for four days.

With respect to the need for a vaccine, I take it that you believe that we can achieve herd immunity without a vaccine.  From what I have read, that will take so many deaths... As I mentioned, it is not a given that we will develop a vaccine, but the thought of our world without one is hard to bear.

Finally, I wonder about your belief that the pathology of the Spanish flu is so different from that of the Coronavirus.  The author of this book made clear that there is much we don’t know about the Spanish flu.  After all, it was 100 years ago.  Medical science was fairly primitive.  There was little record-keeping. We know especially little about it outside of Europe and the US.  And with respect to the Coronavirus today, I thought that cytokine storms, which you say were a big issue with respect to the Spanish flu, are a big issue now.  As I understand it, it can be our body’s own overreaction that kills us.  

Please enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

 

 

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?


@bilperk wrote:

@BearMkt wrote:


I think the reaction is overblown.  I know medical AND public health professionals who think the same way.  There are others who don't.  As you all know, the risk is minimal to the vast majority of the population.  The risk is significant to the small minority who's immune system is vulnerable.  I have friends, family and neighbors who are "vulnerable" and I take precautions with them in mind.  I do not however wear a mask in public.


Why don't you wear a mask?  Not wearing one is like not wearing a seatbelt when you drive.  An no, the risk isn't minimal to the vast majority, according to every health expert.  First, about 25% of the population is 60 or over, with many more reaching that every day (boomers).  Then add all the people under that age with some sort of compromised immunity, and you have a significant population.  In addition, even if it was true, are you seriously suggesting that it is alright for the 75% who may be at lower risk, to continue to infect the 25%.  Not wearing a mask in public is just not being a good citizen. Period.  And in some locations, illegal.  Good luck.

 


Because I take other precautions like keeping a little distance and not letting a stranger breath or cough on me.  I've stayed home more than I ever had for the past 9 weeks and I think the risk to the economy is worse.  As I said, for the elderly and those with other health issues it can lead to serious illness. My interpretation of the data is that for healthy people, the risk is minimal and I am not minimizing the risk to those who are not healthy.  Something is going to kill all of us eventually. I still think the response is a little overkill, that's all. . 

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Re: When — and How — Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?


@BruceM wrote:

@SeahawksFan wrote:

Comparisons between influenza (the "flu") and COVID-19 can be problematic.  Yes, their symptoms can be similar, but they are caused by totally different viruses.  This is a fundamental point, but often forgotten, and so important.  The coronavirus could be similar to some of the different strains of the flu virus, but also could be totally different: perhaps most importantly, more contagious and more deadly.  

How viruses are similar or dissimilar is really not relevant. What matters is how we respond to their infestation, and this is true with bacteria and protozoa for that matter. Vaccines in effect give us the viral infection in a low enough dose to cause our immune system to generate the antibodies it needs to henceforth repel the virus as it does to hundreds of other viruses to which we've developed antibodies over our lifetimes.

Whenever we think of the flu, we think of the current strains of the flu and their effects, with a vaccine.  As we all know, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus.  There may never be.  Scientists have been unable to develop vaccines for a number of diseases.  It is not a given.

The vaccine is way oversold. The common belief seems to be that if a vaccine is developed for COVID-19, all of our concern will be over. The CDC measures how well a vaccine protects the host from its calculated Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) ratio, which is what percent of those infected by the virus will not require medical treatment. For the 2017-2018 B/H1N1 epidemic, the vaccine VE was only 40%, meaning 60% of those who took the vaccine got the flu anyway and the infection was serious enough to require medical attention. Of course, this will vary with the type of virus, age and medical condition of those infected by the virus. What will the VE be for a COVID-19 vaccine? I have no idea, but looking through the VE's of other vaccines over the years, it looks like 50% to 70% is where most reside.

it has to be safe, effective and available.  Yes, this is obvious, but we forget that we had have developed safe, effective, available vaccines already for the recent strains of the flu virus.  These vaccines not only prevent contraction of the disease but also lessen severity.

Right now we have no immunity to the coronavirus.  Oh but we do.....if you're like about 98% to 99% of those under age 65 who were positive for COVID-19 (currently about 1.66MM), you now have immunity. So, if we are going to compare it to a strain of the flu, it should be to the Spanish flu of 1918. No, no, no, no, no. That particularly nasty strain of A/H1N1, upon infecting the host, caused the host's immune system to essential dump all of its cytokines into the bloodstream that effectively shut down the immune system, opening up the host to (usually) fatal opportunistic bacteria that would lead to death, usually with 24 hours, and in the case of the Spanish Flu, affecting mostly young healthy males.  This pathology has absolutely NOTHING to do with what the COVID-19 virus is up to. That strain is believed to have killed between 50 and 100 million people worldwide.  That is a huge number - at the top end more than died in World War I and II combined.  Perhaps more than died in the Black Death.  The greatest loss of life in human history.  Of course, we have made much progress in medicine since then.

I recently read a good book about that strain:  Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, written by Laura Spinney and published in 2017.  It is an easy read; one can skim parts that may not be of much interest.  But I learned a lot.  For example, based on genetic testing most experts now believe that it started in Kansas.  Yes, Kansas.  It probably jumped from birds to people there and infected new army recruits at Camp Funston, who then were shipped to France.  World War I aided its spread from there.

But it didn't start in Spain.  One theory is that it got that name because when if finally became recognized, the Spanish king and his advisors had become infected and this became publicized.  But now and forever it will be incorrectly known as the Spanish flu, which is why the World Health Organization decided, after much debate, to refuse to name pandemics after where they allegedly started.  Imagine if that pandemic, perhaps causing the greatest loss of life in human history, was forever known as the Kansas flu or the American flu...yes....seems subterfuge and cover-up were effective in this case. The reason 'Spanish' drew the short straw as the geographic naming title wasn't because someone in Spain got the flu, but because Europe and the US did not allow media coverage of the outbreak due to the war, but the Spanish press, for whatever reason, had no such information black-out, and so began broad reporting of it, and so the outbreak was attributed to the geography of the first published reports. And this strain of A/H1N1 didn't originate in Kansas...that was just believed to be the first US cluster. The prevailing theory is it was carried back by service members from Europe, who most likely carried it from China where certain mammals and birds get very close to food production, providing excellent opportunity for the mixing of common viral strains.

BruceM


 


@BruceM 

The vaccine efficacy is more important than vaccine effectiveness, or at least should be considered with it  The efficacy ratio tells us the % reduction in disease incidence in a vaccinated group compared to an unvaccinated group.  If the % reduction is very high, then the vaccine effectiveness is less important.  For example, the measles vaccine is 97% effective.

For the 2017-2018 B/H1N1 epidemic, the vaccine VE was only 40%, meaning 60% of those who took the vaccine got the flu anyway and the infection was serious enough to require medical attention"

I don't believe this is correct.  A VE of 40% would mean that 60% of those who were vaccinated and then got the flu anyway, needed medical attention.  It does not mean that 60% of those vaccinated got the flu anyway.

And the flu is the worst example you can use for VE because "flu" is a name we give to a whole host of viruses.  Each year, the CDC tries to guess which of these flu viruses will be circulating and prepares a vaccine against that.  Sometimes they guess right and sometimes they don't.  Other disease vaccines are far more effective.  COVID is a single virus as far as we know, and so a vaccine would likely have a high effectiveness.

 

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@BearMkt wrote:

@bilperk wrote:

@BearMkt wrote:


I think the reaction is overblown.  I know medical AND public health professionals who think the same way.  There are others who don't.  As you all know, the risk is minimal to the vast majority of the population.  The risk is significant to the small minority who's immune system is vulnerable.  I have friends, family and neighbors who are "vulnerable" and I take precautions with them in mind.  I do not however wear a mask in public.


Why don't you wear a mask?  Not wearing one is like not wearing a seatbelt when you drive.  An no, the risk isn't minimal to the vast majority, according to every health expert.  First, about 25% of the population is 60 or over, with many more reaching that every day (boomers).  Then add all the people under that age with some sort of compromised immunity, and you have a significant population.  In addition, even if it was true, are you seriously suggesting that it is alright for the 75% who may be at lower risk, to continue to infect the 25%.  Not wearing a mask in public is just not being a good citizen. Period.  And in some locations, illegal.  Good luck.

 


Because I take other precautions like keeping a little distance and not letting a stranger breath or cough on me.  I've stayed home more than I ever had for the past 9 weeks and I think the risk to the economy is worse.  As I said, for the elderly and those with other health issues it can lead to serious illness. My interpretation of the data is that for healthy people, the risk is minimal and I am not minimizing the risk to those who are not healthy.  Something is going to kill all of us eventually. I still think the response is a little overkill, that's all. . 


Too bad you don't understand it, Bear.  "Because I take other precautions like keeping a little distance and not letting a stranger breath or cough on me."  Sorry but this is just ignorance of the situation.  You don't wear a mask to keep others from infecting you, you wear it to keep you from infecting others.  And when everyone wears one, it works both ways.  Yes, for healthy people, like you the risk is minimal.  So that gives you the right to be selfish and perhaps endanger others because you will be alright?  What about your mother or grandmother?  Do they ever go to the store?  Do you want someone infecting them because he/she/they/them didn't wear a mask?  Don't be a child.  This stuff is serious.

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