Continuing coronavirus happenings (Part 4)

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Just look to NY. It’s supposed to be sarcasm, not how-to!

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Katie: I think the main thing is to stop with the vaccine monomania. Don’t get me wrong: Vaccines are necessary for this response, but not sufficient. It’s been bizarre to watch the Biden administration say “Get boosted right now” while also loosening guidance around gathering, masking, and distancing, and claiming that America can practically declare independence from the virus. These things don’t match up.

We need multiple approaches to reduce transmission. It’s going bonkers right now, and this is not a sustainable way to coexist with this virus. I’m not saying that people need to have mask mandates forever, but when transmission rates are this high, it is a good idea to think about masking, to think about testing more often, paying attention to who is up-to-date on their vaccines and making sure that our approaches are complementing each other. We still have huge issues with access to Paxlovid, access to tests, access to everything.

Isabel: What else should Americans be thinking about right now in regard to the pandemic?

Katie: I just hope that with all the news about different outbreaks and viruses, people don’t accept this as normal. This is not normal. This is a sign that our public-health responses are failing, that we’re not leveraging the resources we have. This could become our normal if we let it, but it shouldn’t have to.

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As of last week, more than 14 million children in the US have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. But it’s unclear how many have had long Covid.

One study published in July estimated that fewer kids have it than adults: 5% to 10% of children who have had Covid. Other researchers believe the number is much higher: around 26% of kids who have had Covid.

Children typically have some of the same symptoms of long Covid as adults do – including breathing problems, changes in taste and smell, brain fog, anxiety, depression, fatigue and sleep disorders – but they can also have serious problems that involve their organs.

A new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says kids with long Covid have a much higher chance of serious lung, heart, kidney and pancreatic problems than kids who did not catch the virus.

For the sake of their study, the CDC researchers define long Covid as involving symptoms four or more weeks after a Covid-19 diagnosis.

They used a large medical claims database to look for 15 long Covid conditions among 781,419 children and adolescents who had a confirmed case of Covid-19.

The study, published Thursday, found that children with long Covid had higher rates of an acute pulmonary embolism or a blockage in the lung that can cause a sudden shortness of breath, anxiety, chest pain, palpitations and dizziness.

They also had a higher rate of potentially serious heart conditions like myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and body aches. They had a higher rate of cardiomyopathy, a condition that makes it difficult for the heart muscle to deliver blood to the body and, in extreme cases, can lead to heart failure.

Children with long Covid also had a higher chance of kidney failure and were more likely to develop type 1 diabetes.

All of these conditions are rare or uncommon in this age group, the CDC says.

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A friend of mine recently came home from a week’s vacation in Seattle and didn’t bother wearing his mask on the plane home because he’s decided that he’s invulnerable. He has always been cavalier about wearing a mask, and figures if he hasn’t come down with it yet, he never will. His theory is that he uses a nasal spray for allergies every morning, and he smokes a lot of weed, so he’s guessing these are the secrets to his success.

I have tried to encourage him to wear a mask, but he just forwarded me an article saying that Apple has reversed their mask mandate for their employees, and everyone is supposed to respect everyone’s choices.

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well, if he gets annoyed at you for continuing to ask: just remind him he’s supposed to respect your choice to keep asking him.

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We had our first positive flu just yesterday. Honest to God, I have no idea what “normal” even means anymore.

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Will the 2023 vaccine be out this month? Or September?

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We haven’t heard for sure, but usually mid-late September

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Thanks!

As soon as it’s out - it’s in my arm.

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And now claims to have defeated Covid-19

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Do you want variants? /archer

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At my job: based on CDC guidance and Cook County case rates the employees now have the option to go mask-free indoors.

At my wifes job: hospital has gone back to weekly testing of unvaccinated employees because case numbers are so high.

Bloody mirror universes.

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My local, large teaching hospital, now allows no masks – but the out-of-date appointment phone service still requests outpatients to attend with a mask and no companions. I kept mine on.

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My sister is a doctor, and several family members came down with confirmed cases of covid this week, including her daughter. My sister was experiencing some symptoms yet initially kept testing negative on the first couple antigen and PCR tests. So, as they’re chronically under-staffed, her hospital told her that she should still keep coming in to work until testing positive, even though it was obvious she had it, and this was a super contagious strain. (And it’s not like they need her to work an overflowing covid ward. Just routine appointments.) Madness. She wore an N95 and worked a couple days until finally getting a positive test.

This is the medical system we have in our country. Don’t go into a hospital or doctor’s office right now unless you can’t avoid it, or maybe if you just recovered from a recent case of covid.

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