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The Covid-19 Thread: News, Preparation Tips, Etc

Melaninme

Well-Known Member

Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member

Covid is surging in Europe. Experts say it’s a warning for the U.S.

U.S. states could look at Europe and take it as “a sign that the U.S. might still see resurgences, as well,” evolutionary biologist Tom Wenseleers said.​

Nov. 14, 2021, 4:30 AM EST / Updated Nov. 15, 2021, 10:59 AM EST

As Europe finds itself at the center of the Covid-19 pandemic once again, experts say it should serve as a warning to the U.S. and other countries about the coronavirus’s unremitting nature.

Case numbers have soared across the continent — more than 50 percent last month — and the worrying trend has continued this month as winter begins to bite.

Dr. Hans Kluge, the director of the World Health Organization’s Europe region, warned Nov. 4 that the region was "back at the epicenter of the pandemic," and his words proved prescient.

The WHO said Friday that nearly 2 million cases were reported across Europe in the previous week — the most the region has had in a single week since the pandemic began.

In recent weeks, Germany reported record daily numbers of new infections, with more than 50,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The Netherlands also reported more than 16,000 cases — the country’s most since the pandemic began — prompting the government to begin a partial lockdown Saturday that is set to last at least three weeks.

As case numbers surged toward the end of last month, Belgium reimposed some Covid restrictions, including a requirement to wear masks in public places. People also have to show the country’s Covid-19 pass to enter bars, restaurants and fitness clubs. The passport shows that they have been fully vaccinated, have had recent negative tests or have recently recovered from the disease.

The country nonetheless recorded more than 15,000 daily cases last Monday.

Despite the surge, daily death rates in all three countries have remained relatively stable compared with past spikes, and experts have credited high vaccine uptake for weakening the link between the numbers of cases and hospitalizations and deaths.

"Luckily, the high vaccination coverage limits the death toll and hospitalizations there to a large extent," Tom Wenseleers, an evolutionary biologist and biostatistician at KU Leuven, a university in Belgium, said Wednesday in an email.

Belgium, which reported hundreds of deaths at the start of the pandemic and then again last autumn, when a second wave of cases forced a national lockdown, has had its "hospital capacity tested" in recent weeks, Wenseleers said. But overall deaths appear largely to have been decoupled from high case rates, he said.

'Truly disastrous'


However, the same cannot be said for Eastern Europe, where, he said, the situation is "truly disastrous."

Over the last three weeks, Romania, with 591; Bulgaria, with 334; and Latvia, with 64, have reported record daily death numbers, according to Johns Hopkins data. Case numbers have also surged.

Saying the surge was "worrying," Wenseleers said he believed low vaccine uptake and high vaccine hesitancy were largely to blame.

"It’s not due to lack of vaccines," he said, noting that the joint procurement of vaccines at the European Union level meant all 27 member states "were able to buy equivalent quantities of vaccines."

"Despite having access to vaccines, those countries did not manage to convince their population to get vaccinated," he said.

At least 1 in 3 people in countries in eastern Europe do not trust the health care system, compared to an average of 18 percent across the EU, a European Commission poll known as the Eurobarometer found, Reuters reported.

Romania and Bulgaria are among the countries with the lowest rates of vaccine uptake across the continent, according to the EU’s vaccination tracker.

The latest data showed that less than 23 percent of the adult population in Bulgaria had been fully vaccinated, while just over 25 percent had had at least one shot. In Romania, just under 34 percent of the population above age 18 had been fully vaccinated, while almost 38 percent had had at least one dose.


A woman holds a poster at an anti-Covid vaccination protest in Sofia, Bulgaria, last month.Hristo Rusev / Getty Images

The Eurobarometer poll showed that respondents in both countries were among the least likely to express enthusiasm for getting vaccinated.

The vaccination tracker also showed that other Eastern European countries have low vaccination rates compared to their Western neighbors.

That "means that high case rates there translate [into] a very high death toll," Wenseleers said.

Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said that as the first winter with the delta variant approaches, he was "not sure if people in Eastern Europe appreciate how punishing the pandemic continues to be in the time of delta."


Protesters hold a poster reading "Stop compulsory vaccination" at a demonstration against "compulsory" vaccination in Riga, Latvia, in August.Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

"It’s unremitting," he said. With some Eastern European countries "at the extreme end of vaccine hesitancy," he added, "there’s no possibility of dealing with this pandemic under these conditions."

In Austria, which has long been a bridge between east and west, the government ordered a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated people Sunday to slow the fast spread of the coronavirus.

The move means unvaccinated people older than 12 will be banned from leaving their homes from midnight Sunday, except for basic activities like working, food shopping, going for walks — or getting their shots.

“It’s our job as the government of Austria to protect the people," Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg told reporters Sunday in Vienna. “Therefore we decided that starting Monday ... there will be a lockdown for the unvaccinated.”

Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, said the high death rates should be “a warning” for other countries with low vaccination rates.

While he said he believed the most effective approach is multipronged, including coronavirus measures like mask-wearing and social distancing, he said vaccines and booster shots are critical to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Wenseleers agreed, saying people in the U.S. should take heed of the situation unfolding across Europe.


People wait in line to get their shots at a "marathon of vaccination" at the National Library in Bucharest, Romania, last month. Daniel Mihailescu / AFP via Getty Images

U.S. states both with high and low vaccination rates could take Europe’s case numbers as "a sign that the U.S. might still see resurgences, as well," he said.

On both sides of the Atlantic, "convincing as many people to get vaccinated should be the top priority," along with "setting up booster campaigns" for those most at risk, he said.

TLDR - Covid is spiking in Europe. Western Europe is fairing better because high vaccination rates have limited deaths and hospitalizations. In contrast, Eastern Europe is seeing a spike in hospitalizations and deaths because of skepticism of the health care system and vaccines. This is a indicator of what's to come for the US. We'll likely see resurgences across the country and higher morbidity in states with lower vaccination rates.
 

yamilee21

Well-Known Member
We have an awful lot of deer in the United States, and apparently, the deer have an awful lot of Covid. Up to 80 percent of deer sampled from April 2020 through January 2021 in Iowa were infected with Covid. This study examined lymph nodes from roadkill and those killed by hunters, and found active infections, not just antibodies as in a previous study. This is a problem, because…
Widespread infection among North America’s most ubiquitous game species could make eradicating the pathogen even more difficult, especially if they became a reservoir for mutations that eventually spilled back over to humans.
The concern is that if this disease spills over to rodents, we may be doomed.
But there is helpful advice, for any of you who hunt:
In the meantime, several states have advised deer hunters to take precautions when dealing with white-tailed deer: wear rubber gloves and perhaps a mask when field dressing and processing; sanitize hands and instruments after dressing; and bag carcass remains before disposing in trash. Health officials say eating cooked venison carries little risk as long as it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/02/science/deer-covid-infection.html?referringSource=articleShare

Original study: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.10.31.466677v1
 

Peppermynt

Defying Gravity
We have an awful lot of deer in the United States, and apparently, the deer have an awful lot of Covid. Up to 80 percent of deer sampled from April 2020 through January 2021 in Iowa were infected with Covid. This study examined lymph nodes from roadkill and those killed by hunters, and found active infections, not just antibodies as in a previous study. This is a problem, because…

The concern is that if this disease spills over to rodents, we may be doomed.
But there is helpful advice, for any of you who hunt:


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/02/science/deer-covid-infection.html?referringSource=articleShare

Original study: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.10.31.466677v1
:nono: I just can’t. Mother Nature has obviously had enough of us.
 

Evolving78

Well-Known Member
Well everyone was talking about why flu cases were down last year and now there are outbreaks happening at large universities. Oh and these kids will be coming home this week for the holidays… the lockdown and remote learning kept a lot of things under control. I guess I will get my teens and I the flu shot and get my youngster the Covid vaccine. We will do that over the holiday weekend.
 
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sunshinebeautiful

Well-Known Member
Well everyone was talking about why flu cases were down last year and now there are outbreaks happening at large universities. Oh and these kids will be coming home this week for the holidays… the lockdown and remote learning kept a lot of things under control. I guess I will get my teens and I the flu shot and get my youngster the Covid vaccine. We will do that over the holiday weekend.

I'm about to do the same thing and go on and get this flu shot
 

oneastrocurlie

Well-Known Member
Politicians want to block it but medical professionals are saying please don't.



Several dozen health care experts also signed onto the joint statement, including Michelle Williams and Ashish Jha, the deans of Harvard University and Brown University’s public health schools, respectively; Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute; former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas R. Frieden; and former White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt.

The health care groups’ push conflicts with Republican-led efforts to blunt Biden’s vaccine-or-testing mandate. All 50 Senate Republicans on Wednesday filed a formal challenge through the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to overturn rules issued by federal agencies if a majority in both chambers oppose them. A congressional vote on the rule is expected in coming weeks.
 

Melaninme

Well-Known Member

Peppermynt

Defying Gravity
Scheduled for my booster on Friday. My mom had hers today. Both of us are Moderna girls.
Had my booster Friday around 3:30pm. Like clockwork the fever (99.6 is the high so far) started around 3pm today. It’s gone down and up and sitting around 99.4 at the moment. Tired, headachy off and on, and entire left arm aches up to my neck and shoulders.

I’ll be fine though and I’m cheering :weird:on my little T and B cells who’ve obviously said, “WTH, I thought we dealt with this spike protein crap months ago. Everyone line up for duty! Time to kick some spike protein butt!!”:brucelee:
 

MamaBear2012

Well-Known Member
Took my 5 year old and 9 year old for their 1st shot today. It was easy peasy. I told my son that if his arm is sore when he wakes up, we will just stream church online. When DH went to tuck him into bed he was like, "I think my arm will be sore in the morning." :lachen:

When we went to the site for the vaccinations, the woman was like, "You're doing all three of you?" I said, "Just those two." She said, "For testing?" I was like, "Nope, their first vaccination shot." I should have thought about my booster. I need to check and see when I'm supposed to do that. Is there a time frame from when you had your second shot? I think my second one was at the end of April.

One of the Pre-K classes at my kids' school had to quarantine on Wednesday. A lot of kids at the school are vaccinated. A lot of them. I do some volunteer stuff at the school and I've had so many of those kids want to show me their bandaid from their shot. But of course our little 4 y/o Pre-K kids aren't eligible for the vaccine yet, so I'm thinking they were just being cautious after a positive case in the class.
 

starfish

Well-Known Member
Cases are surging in Colorado according to the LA Times. (I can't seem to post the link to the article). California's population is just as vaccinated (62.8%) as theirs (62.7%) so we're paying close attention. I'm starting to get paranoid about it all over again, even though I'm triple vaccinated. I just might start wearing a n95 out instead of just a surgical mask. I feel like we'll have to get boosters like we get flu shots. I'm here for ALL the shots.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
Well everyone was talking about why flu cases were down last year and now there are outbreaks happening at large universities. Oh and these kids will be coming home this week for the holidays… the lockdown and remote learning kept a lot of things under control. I guess I will get my teens and I the flu shot and get my youngster the Covid vaccine. We will do that over the holiday weekend.
Yep.
Flu hit FAMU and FSU campuses hard last week. We are tracking it at my job right now.
 
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