Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 616136 times)

JEdwards

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5520 on: November 18, 2021, 06:48:48 AM »
JEdwards writes (my emphasis added):
The best that can be done, even in principle, is a randomized, controlled trial; and these trials have repeatedly and consistently shown that vaccination does in fact reduce hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID.

I comment:
Thank you and amen.
Which isn't what the article I linked to was talking about. It was talking about what slows the spread of the disease, and whether the vaccinated are more likely to get infected than the unvaccinated. When you deal with facts and reason, you simply take note of things. When we deal in propaganda, everything gets reduced to whether it promotes the preferred behavior or not. As I said before, the unvaccinated are not going to be convinced by people who don't seem to understand why they might not trust the same sources of information or who think they are just stupid and uncaring. When you dismiss some article or study not because you can point out flaws in it but merely because you're afraid that other people might take it wrong and therefore not behave the way you want them to, you simply play into their hands. You prove to them that they are right not to trust to you.
I followed the links you provided and read the analyses.  While the pseudonymous "Amanuesis" makes some interesting points, he or she also appears to succumb to the temptation to use data to support a preferred narrative.  Amanuesis cites a New England Journal of Medicine-published study from Qatar, which is probably the most comprehensive analysis available.  In this study, the authors calculated vaccine efficacy against asymptomatic disease at various points in time using the test-negative case control method.  After 6 months, the "point estimate" for efficacy was -2%, with a confidence interval ranging from -52% to +31%.  All this really means is that the estimate is very imprecise, and that no firm conclusion can be drawn regarding this particular endpoint.  However, Amanuensis seems to suggest that because the point estimate is (slightly) negative, there is good evidence that the vaccine increases asymptomatic infection after 6 months, which is a huge stretch.  This is somewhat analogous to claiming that a coin is biased because, after flipping it 100 times, it comes up heads 48 times and tails 52 times. 

Peace,
Jon

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5521 on: November 18, 2021, 08:20:50 AM »
JEdwards writes (my emphasis added):
The best that can be done, even in principle, is a randomized, controlled trial; and these trials have repeatedly and consistently shown that vaccination does in fact reduce hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID.

I comment:
Thank you and amen.
Which isn't what the article I linked to was talking about. It was talking about what slows the spread of the disease, and whether the vaccinated are more likely to get infected than the unvaccinated. When you deal with facts and reason, you simply take note of things. When we deal in propaganda, everything gets reduced to whether it promotes the preferred behavior or not. As I said before, the unvaccinated are not going to be convinced by people who don't seem to understand why they might not trust the same sources of information or who think they are just stupid and uncaring. When you dismiss some article or study not because you can point out flaws in it but merely because you're afraid that other people might take it wrong and therefore not behave the way you want them to, you simply play into their hands. You prove to them that they are right not to trust to you.
I followed the links you provided and read the analyses.  While the pseudonymous "Amanuesis" makes some interesting points, he or she also appears to succumb to the temptation to use data to support a preferred narrative.  Amanuesis cites a New England Journal of Medicine-published study from Qatar, which is probably the most comprehensive analysis available.  In this study, the authors calculated vaccine efficacy against asymptomatic disease at various points in time using the test-negative case control method.  After 6 months, the "point estimate" for efficacy was -2%, with a confidence interval ranging from -52% to +31%.  All this really means is that the estimate is very imprecise, and that no firm conclusion can be drawn regarding this particular endpoint.  However, Amanuensis seems to suggest that because the point estimate is (slightly) negative, there is good evidence that the vaccine increases asymptomatic infection after 6 months, which is a huge stretch.  This is somewhat analogous to claiming that a coin is biased because, after flipping it 100 times, it comes up heads 48 times and tails 52 times. 

Peace,
Jon
I do not disagree. The article is but one, and is presented by someone who deals in skepticism on purpose. While it is a stretch to attach any significance to 52 coin flips out of 100, it remains a point of data. Ignoring it is also a function of having a preferred outcome. Explanations that simply ignore inconvenient data or other possible explanations are not science at work, but articles of faith. I trust the vaccine. But it is just that, a matter of trust. Dealing with the unvaccinated is in a way more like encountering someone of a different religion —they have faith and trust in different things— rather than dealing with stupid people or mean people. I think that is what Charles doesn’t get.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5522 on: November 18, 2021, 09:18:50 AM »
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/the-upside-of-covid-hygiene-theater/ar-AAQLuTp

This article defends "hygiene theater" as understandable and important, claiming that it serves more purposes than actual hygiene and therefore should not be spoken about pejoratively. My own take on the article is that it is more evidence that people need religion and will invent one if they don't have one. The author talks throughout about faith in authority, the need for ritual, finding comfort beyond the rational, and so forth. Okay, but when something starts to take on the feel of a ritual without rational basis, people who don't share the view of authority behind it will start to recoil and object to things they wouldn't otherwise object to because it feels like being forced to participate in something else's irrational ritual.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 01:26:32 PM by peter_speckhard »

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5523 on: November 18, 2021, 10:10:45 AM »
This week we had our first in person circuit gathering in almost two years.  The discussion topic, after Eucharist, was the virus, the vaccine and our congregations.  One of the chief topics was dealing with vaccine misinformation, which leads to people, in many cases people of color, being reluctant to receive the vaccine.  All the pastors are vaccinated.  All the congregations state that they are pro-vaccination.  Most of the pastors have been asked to write letters of religious exception for people involved in vaccine-mandated employment, including me.

I did not write the letter.  a) it was a friend of a friend of a member.  b) no reason was given by that person - through the means I had to know about what that person was thinking - for their need for the religious exemption.  So - no letter.  Plus - one of the preeminent rationales for declining the religious exemption is that the church or church body has always spoken negatively about the vaccine for religious reasons.  Again - not the case.

But letters have been written for the reason that the denomination and pastor are opposed on principle to the vaccine if and then if true because of the use of aborted fetal tissue.  I don't know about the success rate of those letters, but that's how and why they were written.

More on that conversation through the day.

Dave Benke

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5524 on: November 18, 2021, 10:27:57 AM »
We discussed the exemption requests in winkel on Tuesday as well.  I received one via email from a daughter of a fire fighter in a mutual aid department here in our country, no doubt because I am one of the only fire chaplains in the area and they probably don't have a pastor.  Our CV received one as well.  Neither of us wrote a letter of exemption, especially since the Synod itself is not on record for this.  That said, a neighboring pastor in a nearby city did write such a letter.  We must be careful here, regardless of our views of the vaccine.  I am vaccinated, as is my family.  Many in my church are vaccinated. I respect the freedom of choice here, and understand that some have what they consider legitimate concerns about the long-term safety of this vaccine.  That said, however, our church does not have a position on exemption.  It also does not require it. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5525 on: November 18, 2021, 10:45:13 AM »
We discussed the exemption requests in winkel on Tuesday as well.  I received one via email from a daughter of a fire fighter in a mutual aid department here in our country, no doubt because I am one of the only fire chaplains in the area and they probably don't have a pastor.  Our CV received one as well.  Neither of us wrote a letter of exemption, especially since the Synod itself is not on record for this.  That said, a neighboring pastor in a nearby city did write such a letter.  We must be careful here, regardless of our views of the vaccine.  I am vaccinated, as is my family.  Many in my church are vaccinated. I respect the freedom of choice here, and understand that some have what they consider legitimate concerns about the long-term safety of this vaccine.  That said, however, our church does not have a position on exemption.  It also does not require it.

That's pretty much the same as out here.  The pastors involved all stated that they were on record as being pro-vaccine, and the sign of their pro-vaccination posture was that they and their families are vaccinated, that they were vaccinated purposefully and without coercion/mandate.  That's pretty much the way persuasion works.  Do what I do. 

Whatever the concerns people have, unless you say "I was pressured into taking the vaccine, and wouldn't have without that pressure" people know you took it on purpose, that you have not (unless otherwise indicated) had the virus, and that you are in service to Lord and Church having had three shots including booster. 

Dave Benke

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5526 on: November 18, 2021, 10:58:45 AM »
We discussed the exemption requests in winkel on Tuesday as well.  I received one via email from a daughter of a fire fighter in a mutual aid department here in our country, no doubt because I am one of the only fire chaplains in the area and they probably don't have a pastor.  Our CV received one as well.  Neither of us wrote a letter of exemption, especially since the Synod itself is not on record for this.  That said, a neighboring pastor in a nearby city did write such a letter.  We must be careful here, regardless of our views of the vaccine.  I am vaccinated, as is my family.  Many in my church are vaccinated. I respect the freedom of choice here, and understand that some have what they consider legitimate concerns about the long-term safety of this vaccine.  That said, however, our church does not have a position on exemption.  It also does not require it.
 

....Whatever the concerns people have, unless you say "I was pressured into taking the vaccine, and wouldn't have without that pressure" people know you took it on purpose, that you have not (unless otherwise indicated) had the virus, and that you are in service to Lord and Church having had three shots including booster. 

Dave Benke

As are those who have not had the shots.

James S. Rustad

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5527 on: November 18, 2021, 01:20:05 PM »
Minnesota hospitals are overflowing with Covid cases, the vast majority of them people who have refused the vaccinations.
   I have a personal stake in this.
   My left knee - totally destroyed, probably because of decades of skiing and running - now delivers crippling pain, making it almost impossible to walk significant distances, and by mid-day usually means I do not want to walk on it at all, although I must because the normal duties of the day need to be done, and my visually-impaired wife cannot do them.
   The knee replacement was to be Dec. 2, but will probably not take place then because it is "elective surgery" and the crowded hospitals have no beds and lack enough staff to handle post-op care. I do not know when I will be able to schedule the surgery; and there are hundreds of people like me.
   More importantly, there are hundreds of people who need testing and other surgical procedures to remove aggressive cancers, correct conditions worse than my bum knee, or alleviate other problems, some of them potentially life-threatening.
   My niece, a nurse here for nearly 30 years, says the Covid patients in the hospitals critically impact care for hundreds and hundreds of people. The CEO of a major hospital coalition here has been on television pleading for people to get vaccinated and take precautions (those ineffective masks  ::) , for example) so that health care can be provided for their neighbors.
   Beloved Spouse and I will manage, and we have access to various types of care, which we will use if necessary. But many people do not have this, and they will suffer needlessly, largely because too many people have refused to be vaccinated.
   Beloved Spouse and I get our booster shots this afternoon, after she sees the neurologist about the compressed disk fracture that cut short our New Jersey trip and makes her walking difficult. I hope she will not need anything requiring a hospital bed.

Charles, I don't disagree that the evidence is that COVID shots work.  I have had three of them myself so far.  I do disagree about masking with cloth - the biggest study done on this showed results that were not statistically significant for cloth masks.  The result for surgical masks was statistically significant.  That's not a disagreement about masking - it's a disagreement about which masks to wear.

When you berate those who are not vaccinated and use the language you usually use, you make them less likely to listen.  Thanks a whole lot.


Dave Benke

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5528 on: November 18, 2021, 02:12:54 PM »
When you berate those who are not vaccinated and use the language you usually use, you make them less likely to listen.  Thanks a whole lot.

In this highly progressive corner of the world, the public figures who urge vaccination, which is all of them, do not use the berating language.  But once in awhile those speaking on public service announcements to a certain community - let's say West Indians which is a big and somewhat non-vaccinated group - will wag a finger in the West Indian way. 

In my parish context, we simply keep bringing up those who have had the shots and want to say they're happy they're vaccinated.  The hesitant are often still hesitant, but they receive a positive message from many different quarters. 

It's a process, and the berate mode (DiBlasio is often although not so much in this case the Berater in Chief) is not effective. Now - DiBlasio went from not berating to vaccine mandates, which is the topmost upgrade from berating.  And - in terms of vaccination, it worked.  I don't think the incoming guy would have done that, but who knows for sure?

Dave Benke

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5529 on: November 18, 2021, 02:17:57 PM »
I don’t know the vaccination status if most people. Among those whose status I know, most are vaccinated. But it isn’t something I bring up other than back in late winter when I got vaccinated I let the congregation know so as to be able resume communion visits and put people at ease.

Charles Austin

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5530 on: November 18, 2021, 03:09:24 PM »
These days, I think we should be like the African-American pastors; some prominent ones are strong, vocal advocates for the vaccines.
Why would we not advocate for that which saves lives?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. It is now clear that the election of 2020 was not stolen. But we see now how it was nearly stolen after the balloting. Some of our top officials assisted by corrupt lawyers, attempted to steal the electoral college. Some true patriots saved us.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5531 on: November 18, 2021, 03:17:40 PM »
These days, I think we should be like the African-American pastors; some prominent ones are strong, vocal advocates for the vaccines.
Why would we not advocate for that which saves lives?
It isn't that we make a point of NOT advocating for things that save lives. It just isn't my primary business. I almost never talk about snowmobile safety, the importance of life vests, regular colonoscopies, or a whole bunch of other things that save lives. I'm on board with all those things, but they don't come up much and I mostly interact with grownups who can make their own decisions. When I interact with children, it is either my own children or else in a setting when I have more important things to talk about. And I'm not not going to dispense medical information that their parents might object to.

Jim Butler

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5532 on: November 19, 2021, 08:22:52 AM »
Here is an interesting article. It seems that many African countries have low vaccination rates, but also very low incidents of COVID infection. Scientists can't figure out why.

https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-science-health-pandemics-united-nations-fcf28a83c9352a67e50aa2172eb01a2f
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5533 on: November 19, 2021, 08:32:12 AM »
These days, I think we should be like the African-American pastors; some prominent ones are strong, vocal advocates for the vaccines.
Why would we not advocate for that which saves lives?

Salzburg is beautiful, Charles.
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #5534 on: November 19, 2021, 09:23:18 AM »
If getting the vaccine and the corresponding booster does not provide a sufficient sign of support on my part, I don't think that openly advocating for it in my position as pastor will sell it to others who are hesitant at this point.  Some here will disagree, of course, but my people know that I am a theologian.  I am the guy they go to for answers about God and the scriptures.  I am not a scientist.  I am not a doctor.  I have no credentials in the medical field.  I sometimes hear people speak about the use of mRNA and their concerns about it.  I finally looked that up on Google. I remembered RNA and DNA from probably as far back as high school. But I can't say I remember much after all these years.  Some people think that it could alter their own DNA.  One 'board certified genetic counselor' said that it won't (https://informeddna.com/mrna-vaccines-and-your-dna/).  He's probably right. And he does a great job of breaking down the complexities and helping me understand. But should I become the one to be the so-called expert to explain this? I believe it is the job locally of my local county health board, along with other medical experts, to sell this.  And to find a way to communicate so that average, everyday people can understand.  Maybe that's where it's breaking down.  They haven't found a way to effectively communicate to the average person.  I don't know.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI