• Quote of the Day
    "Connection is why we’re here…it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives."
    Brené Brown, posted by Daniel

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
19,646
Points
113
Oct. 14, 2021

After a brutal summer surge, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, the coronavirus is again in retreat.

The United States is recording roughly 90,000 new infections a day, down more than 40 percent since August. Hospitalizations and deaths are falling, too.

The crisis is not over everywhere — the situation in Alaska is particularly dire — but nationally, the trend is clear, and hopes are rising that the worst is finally behind us.

Again.

Over the past two years, the pandemic has crashed over the country in waves, inundating hospitals and then receding, only to return after Americans let their guard down.

It is difficult to tease apart the reasons that the virus ebbs and flows in this way, and harder still to predict the future.

But as winter looms, there are real reasons for optimism. Nearly 70 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, and many children under 12 are likely to be eligible for their shots in a matter of weeks. Federal regulators could soon authorize the first antiviral pill for Covid-19.

“We are definitely, without a doubt, hands-down in a better place this year than we were last year,” said Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research at Boston University.

But the pandemic is not over yet, scientists cautioned. Nearly 2,000 Americans are still dying every day, and another winter surge is plausible. Given how many Americans remain unvaccinated, and how much remains unknown, it is too soon to abandon basic precautions, they said.

“We’ve done this again and again, where we let the foot off the pedal too early,” Dr. Bhadelia said. “It behooves us to be a bit more cautious as we’re trying to get to that finish line.”

...By and large, they did not recommend canceling holiday plans; many said they themselves would be celebrating with friends and relatives. But they did suggest taking sensible precautions.

There is still time to be vaccinated or encourage loved ones to be vaccinated before Thanksgiving. Wearing masks in certain high-risk settings, hosting events outdoors when the weather is nice and taking rapid Covid tests before holiday gatherings are all common-sense strategies for reducing risk, experts said.

“It doesn’t mean Lockdown Christmas No. 2,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan. “But it does mean that we should all just be mindful that this is not completely over yet.”
 
Last edited:

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
19,646
Points
113
Oct 06, 2021

Despite the fact that more than 80 per cent of eligible Canadians are now vaccinated against COVID-19, infectious disease specialists from across the country agree that people still need to be careful this year about gathering to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend...

"If people choose to have gatherings where people are unvaccinated," Smith said, 'they have to realize that there is a greater risk."

All three doctors agree that getting together for the holidays is not "essential" and that there is no reason to feel obligated to invite anyone who is choosing not to get vaccinated against COVID-19...
 
Last edited:

gooblax

MVP
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
3,598
Points
113
Don't know if this deserves a new thread but the topic fits. Australian States and Territories are still using border closures to manage the spread of COVID. We have a national roadmap for removing border closures at 80% nationwide vaccination target, although states still have to implement that in their own ways. The QLD government (where I am) has released their roadmap to allow travel from a hotspot (e.g. Sydney, NSW where my family lives) from 17 December (our expected 80% vaccination date) as long as the individual meets a few criteria including being vaccinated and returning a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to crossing the border.

The second of those criteria is what concerns me - I've read about cases where positive recovered cases can continue to test positive even 90 days (with a PCR test, which is our govt's preferred test method although they "will consider the use of Rapid Antigen Tests for specific cohorts and specific testing situations as we get closer to higher vaccination rates and border openings") after recovering and no longer being contagious.

I can't get stuck in NSW due to returning positive tests.

I tried asking work about it - my manager said he'd be ok with me working from NSW for 2 weeks if that happens. But his 2 weeks was based on the 14 day isolation requirement if you're a positive case. Not on extended positive tests.

I tried calling the government hotline this morning (since they don't allow online or email inquiries). The hotline couldn't answer the question about what they do with recovered positive cases. Apparently they had a similar question yesterday. They forwarded me on to a nurse, who was confused about why I'd been forwarded to her. She did her best to research from the available information. In Australia we haven't had any of these long recovered positives, and she hadn't heard of that occurring. That's all she could tell me about it. She suggested talking to a GP if I have other questions.
The hotline also gave me another government number to talk about the border restrictions but I don't see that being helpful.

So basically... I don't think the government has itself organised enough for me to risk leaving the state at 80% vaccination, and I'll have to wait for 90% when the negative test requirement is removed. We don't know when/if QLD will get to 90%. We're the 2nd slowest Aussie state at only at 58% double dose, 73% first dose.
 

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
19,646
Points
113
Multiple low-probability events would have to occur, though, for your scenario, right?

Even if you somehow caught COVID despite being fully vaccinated (and possibly also wearing a mask at times), your symptoms should be relatively mild, if you had any at all. Therefore, despite some online articles that discuss the possibility, you would not likely test positive for very long, especially since "we haven't had any of these long recovered positives." And then your job would have to refuse extending the two weeks of remote work despite your very unique, newsworthy circumstances.

So with the three above factors multiplied, the chances seem to me to be no more than one in a million for the absolutely worst case scenario where you get COVID despite having been vaccinated, then have a uniquely long extended period of testing positive (which is the least likely event, especially if other, non-PCR methods are eventually used), and then are not accommodated by your employer.
 
Last edited:

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
19,646
Points
113
We are vulnerable and take risks everyday. Some potential risks may grab our attention (due to novelty, etc) and some may not (especially with habituation). Regarding novelty, I remember nuclear war drills decades ago when I was in elementary school. My father worked in a big government building, so I was glad he had an underground safe zone just for a nuclear emergency. Now, instead, kids are having to worry about active shooters.

More generally:


Attentional bias refers to how a person's perception is affected by selective factors in their attention...

When making decisions, attentional biases toward positive stimuli have been associated with numerous positive outcomes, such as increased social engagement, increased prosocial behaviour, decreased externalizing disorders, and decreased emotionally withdrawn behavior.[6][7] In contrast, individuals with clinically relevant symptoms, such as anxiety disorder[1] and chronic pain[8] are shown to prioritize threat cues over reward cues...

As expected, the anxious and depressed groups showed an attentional bias towards negative words compared to the normal control group. On a supraliminal level, the depressed group showed greater vigilance for threat stimuli than the anxious group. However, for subliminal threat stimuli, the anxious group showed a greater vigilance, which implies an anxiety-related bias on the subconscious level...

The issue of reward vs. threat was one thing I noticed the first year living with my husband. With his bipolar disorder, he was the opposite of me. He would generally see more reward and less risk -- one reason opposites may attract. Of course, this is also a factor that led him falling off a ladder and needing shoulder surgery, despite me warning (and pleading) with him about the risks.

So it's a matter of balancing out our predispositions:

The Happiness Trap: How To Stop Struggling And Start Living

"Evolution has shaped our brains so that we are hardwired to suffer psychologically: to compare, evaluate, and criticize ourselves, to focus on what we’re lacking, to rapidly become dissatisfied with what we have, and to imagine all sorts of frightening scenarios, most of which will never happen. No wonder humans find it hard to be happy!"

~ Russ Harris
You may also be underestimating your resilience in dealing with feared situations: "Joy can be slippery, but we get to keep our resilience."

In other words, when one feels that the other shoe may drop sooner than later, that will seem even worse if one is underestimating one's ability to cope.
 
Last edited:

gooblax

MVP
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
3,598
Points
113
I just don't think anything is adequately prepared. They'll eventually have to prepare it but I don't want to be a guinea pig. We don't yet have commercially available COVID test kits for home use, when we get them we still can't use them for QLD border entry, unless we can of they approve them for some (which?) circumstances. So factor in private clinic testing, unless that changes.

We haven't had the large numbers of cases that they've had in other countries so I don't think the data that the nurse looked up is representative of what could happen with free community spread. I'll be staying with an unvaccinated person (presumably) so that increases risk of contacting it. If I do contract it, unknown how long until I stop testing positive. Then the Govt doesn't help once you're stuck - you're pretty much on your own.

Mostly I just don't want to be in the situation I was in last year, having to talk to my manager on the phone.
 

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
19,646
Points
113
Mostly I just don't want to be in the situation I was in last year, having to talk to my manager on the phone.
Maybe go to an in-border meditation retreat instead :D

Of course, if part of you doesn't really want to go anyway (e.g. sharing living space with an unvaccinated relative), then it's actually rewarding to find additional reasons/rationales not to go.
 
Last edited:

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
19,646
Points
113
Regarding risk vs. reward:

“Our brains resist change, they rail against it, our amygdala will always want the safe bet. But are the obstacles truly insurmountable? Is it a brick wall? Or is it a sliding door, which, once you decide to approach it, begins to swish open? Because even though our brains prefer safety in the short run, in the long run they crave meaning, challenge, and novelty.”

And this reminds me of what Joseph Campbell said about "following your bliss":

“The people who seem happiest are the people who feel like they're able to express aspects of themselves that feel vital to them, that make them feel alive. It's not any particular path you have to take, it's being able to express the core of who you are." (Robert Waldinger to Barbara Bradley Hagerty)

(Both quotes are from Barbara Bradley Hagerty, Life Reimagined.)
 
Last edited:

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
19,646
Points
113

If other skills are not developed, then anything that is experienced as a threat to one’s control, is met with defiance and opposition. This creates an illusion of control, but severely limits the ability to consider other options or even consider that you may be wrong. A phrase used by such a person is “I won’t ……., even if it kills me.”

What is amazing to me is the fact that at an unconscious level, the person knows they are being self-destructive, but can’t back down from the defiant position. In counseling, this behavior is modified only when the person wants something more or is fearful of losing something...

When oppositional defiant feelings are driving behavior, facts don’t matter.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts


Top Bottom