Author Topic: Coronavirus news  (Read 399015 times)

D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3570 on: April 19, 2021, 12:30:44 PM »
The infection breakthrough rate among the fully vaccinated is .0008% (according to CDC numbers). Thus, the benefit of mask-wearing by the fully vaccinated is very close to zero, as is the risk to these people of being in the company of unvaccinated people. Even so, I certainly wouldnít ostracize anyone who acts out of an abundance of caution or even fear by choosing not to socialize with unmasked or unvaccinated people. To each his own.

I think the article I copied probably expresses where many people are at on this issue:
"Itís true that experts believe vaccinated people should still sometimes wear a mask, partly because itís a modest inconvenience that further reduces a tiny risk ó and mostly because it contributes to a culture of mask wearing. It is the decent thing to do when most people still arenít vaccinated. If youíre vaccinated, a mask is more of a symbol of solidarity than anything else."

I also noted in a previous post the same statistics, but again, as the article I copied also notes, its going to be a matter of adjusting to risk.  Right now media continues to hype the risk as if we were in the major surge back in the fall and winter, yet the same media tells us that as much as 50% of the American population has received to date at least one shot.  We will never make it to 100% protection.  It will always be with us in some form.  But can we live with that risk the same way we live with the risk of driving?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3571 on: April 19, 2021, 12:46:51 PM »
The infection breakthrough rate among the fully vaccinated is .0008% (according to CDC numbers). Thus, the benefit of mask-wearing by the fully vaccinated is very close to zero, as is the risk to these people of being in the company of unvaccinated people. Even so, I certainly wouldnít ostracize anyone who acts out of an abundance of caution or even fear by choosing not to socialize with unmasked or unvaccinated people. To each his own.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why public health officials cannot clearly and simply articulate that mask wearing is the best public policy until sufficient numbers are vaccinated to achieve general herd immunity.  It shows an end to the emergency measures, while providing an incentive for people to get vaccinated to reach this target.

There's a good argument to be made that people recently vaccinated should continue mask wearing:  both because it takes time for them to achieve maximum immunity, and it doesn't sow general confusion not knowing whether unmasked people are indeed vaccinated.  Therefore continuing the mask mandate makes sense.  This is the approach my congregation is taking.  We are sensitive to the risk that others among us are willing to accept, so we continue to assume the least common denominator of no one is vaccinated/immune (yet).  Our attendance last Sunday, at our first indoor service since November, was markedly different, significantly larger than late last year and skewing older (because that age group has been vaccinated for the longest).  I already see a shift in behavior.  Everyone was still masked, there was no congregational singing (only a professional quartet with specialized masks) and no communion (yet).  These are things we are a grappling with as we return to normal incrementally and trying to gauge comfort versus anxiety.

I'm left to conclude, reluctantly, that pro-mask/vaccine people who won't articulate this bright line are in one way or another trolling those they view as the enemy or problematic among us.  (Thinking of Dr. Fauci's recent interaction with Senator Paul.)  I realize the dopamine jolt from this is irresistible, but still, if you're going to presume you are the grown-ups in the room, over and against the scientific illiterate, maybe act like a grown-up.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 01:51:48 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3572 on: April 19, 2021, 01:28:26 PM »
I think the article I copied probably expresses where many people are at on this issue:
"Itís true that experts believe vaccinated people should still sometimes wear a mask, partly because itís a modest inconvenience that further reduces a tiny risk ó and mostly because it contributes to a culture of mask wearing. It is the decent thing to do when most people still arenít vaccinated. If youíre vaccinated, a mask is more of a symbol of solidarity than anything else."

I also noted in a previous post the same statistics, but again, as the article I copied also notes, its going to be a matter of adjusting to risk.  Right now media continues to hype the risk as if we were in the major surge back in the fall and winter, yet the same media tells us that as much as 50% of the American population has received to date at least one shot.  We will never make it to 100% protection.  It will always be with us in some form.  But can we live with that risk the same way we live with the risk of driving?


To the boldfaced: I wonder about how well tuned-in Americans are to symbolic items and gestures. One of my pet peeves us the use of pre-filled individual glasses and wafers. That completely loses the symbols of one loaf and one cup from the biblical witness. Less peeving is the use of separate tables for receiving the sacrament (rather than some continuous method) with a blessing to dismiss each table rather than blessing the whole congregation at the end.


While these symbols and acts of corporate unity don't really add to the benefits Christ gives us in the sacrament, they are symbolic (and biblical) of the unity with each other and Christ that our participation in the sacrament proclaims.


There were complaints about President Biden wearing a mask when he was in the cemetery alone. The critics are probably right that it wasn't necessary. There weren't people around (except for Secret Service and the photographer). He's been vaccinated. I suspect that he continues to wear it, even when not necessary, as a symbolic gesture of the importance for all people to keep wearing them until the virus is under control.
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

James_Gale

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3573 on: April 19, 2021, 01:29:00 PM »
The infection breakthrough rate among the fully vaccinated is .0008% (according to CDC numbers). Thus, the benefit of mask-wearing by the fully vaccinated is very close to zero, as is the risk to these people of being in the company of unvaccinated people. Even so, I certainly wouldnít ostracize anyone who acts out of an abundance of caution or even fear by choosing not to socialize with unmasked or unvaccinated people. To each his own.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why public health officials cannot clearly and simply articulate that mask wearing is the best public policy until sufficient numbers are vaccinated to achieve general herd immunity.  It shows an end to the emergency measures, while providing an incentive for people to get vaccinated to reach this target.

There's a good argument to be made that people recently vaccinated should continue mask wearing:  both because it takes time for them to achieve maximum immunity, and it doesn't sow general confusion not knowing whether unmasked people are indeed vaccinated.  Therefore continuing the mask mandate makes sense.  This is the approach my congregation is taking.  We are sensitive to the risk that others among us are willing to accept, so we continue to assume the least common denominator of no one is vaccinated/immune (yet).  Our attendance last Sunday, at our first indoor service since November, was markedly different, significantly larger than late last year and skewing older (because that age group has been vaccinated for the longest).  I already see a shift in behavior.  Everyone was still masked, there was no congregational singing (only a professional quartet with specialized masks) and no communion (yet).  These are things are a grappling with as we return to normal incrementally and trying to gauge comfort versus anxiety.

I'm left to conclude, reluctantly, that pro-mask/vaccine people who won't articulate this bright line are in one way or another trolling those they view as the enemy or problematic among us.  (Thinking of Dr. Fauci's recent interaction with Senator Paul.)  I realize the dopamine jolt from this is irresistible, but still, if you're going to presume you are the grown-ups in the room, over and against the scientific illiterate, maybe act like a grown-up.


I agree completely. This NY Times column on irrational fear might be of interest to some here. Link

JEdwards

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3574 on: April 19, 2021, 02:58:23 PM »
The infection breakthrough rate among the fully vaccinated is .0008% (according to CDC numbers). Thus, the benefit of mask-wearing by the fully vaccinated is very close to zero, as is the risk to these people of being in the company of unvaccinated people. Even so, I certainly wouldnít ostracize anyone who acts out of an abundance of caution or even fear by choosing not to socialize with unmasked or unvaccinated people. To each his own.
While I agree with your general point, there is a technical difference between the breakthrough infection rate and the risk of transmitting disease.  Our bodies make several classes of antibodies.  The vaccine studies have provided a lot of information about levels of IgG-type antibodies.  These are the antibodies circulating at high levels in the blood to protect against spread of disease throughout the body.  The cells lining the respiratory tract produce IgA-type antibodies to try to prevent an infectious agent from getting a foothold.  It is theoretically possible that vaccines do not produce an IgA-type response sufficient to prevent the establishment of a foothold in the nose or mouth, while producing an IgG-type response sufficient to protect against severe disease. 

Having said that, the evidence gathered so far suggests that the vaccines do cut down on transmission to a comparable degree, but if the pandemic has taught me anything, it is the need for humility in the face of so many unknowns.

Peace,
Jon

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3575 on: April 19, 2021, 03:23:46 PM »
  We will never make it to 100% protection.  It will always be with us in some form.  But can we live with that risk the same way we live with the risk of driving?

Or as the Israelis have learned to live with a certain level of terrorism, suicide bombing, and Hezbollah-launched RPGs?

They have learned that life is not risk-free.

Why can't we?
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James S. Rustad

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3576 on: April 19, 2021, 05:15:01 PM »
Unfortunately, there is little evidence that mask wearing is effective in limiting the spread. If you graph any statistic (say hospitalizations) for states that have similar weather, the rise and fall of the statistic is virtually identical no matter what the mask requirement is from state to state.

Part of this is that many people will wear masks whether they are required by the government or not.  I live in Wisconsin in a very red county.  There's not been much change in mask wearing since the governor's emergency order was struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Robert Johnson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3577 on: April 19, 2021, 05:47:49 PM »
You might be interested in this short essay (actually a thread from Twitter) about people who donít really believe that the vaccine is effective but who get and celebrate getting the vaccine. The author makes an interesting and unusual analogy toward the end.

threadreaderapp.com/thread/1383961349248540672.html

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3579 on: April 20, 2021, 10:53:26 PM »
Yes, Peter, sometimes masks and the other precautions are scary for children, even if small children do not have to be masked.
But I remember as a pre-teen being scared by polio, especially as I saw three of my friends gravely ill with it. And I wonder how the children in London in 1940 felt about going to sleep in the underground at night to escape the bombs. Do we frighten children telling them to be wary of strangers? Are the "scared-straight" programs where prisoners tell high schoolers the ugliness of the life they might lead if they break the law scary?
Do we scare children by warning them of steep cliffs and deep water?
On the other hand, did the scary "Reefer Madness" (1936) keep that and subsequent generations away from a certain herbal means of relaxation, stimulation and medication?
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Michael Slusser

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3580 on: April 20, 2021, 11:27:55 PM »
An anti-social distancing, anti-mask person goes too far to demonstrate that he is right:
https://www.startribune.com/bloomington-jefferwson-hockey-coach-michael-ryan-fatally-punched-following-dispute-st-paul-bar/600047865/
Quote
According to the complaint, Whisler punched a hole into cellophane that was put in place over a urinal to encourage social distancing, then took a cellphone video of himself urinating into it. Ryan called Whisler out on it as they were leaving the bar.
     The verbal confrontation was cooling down when the men and their friends got outside, a witness said. Then Whisler pulled Ryan's mask from his face and grabbed his shirt, the complaint said. Witnesses tried to separate the two, and a friend of Whisler's friend seemed to be directing him away when Whisler punched Ryan in the face, the complaint says.
     .  .  .  Ryan was diagnosed with a brain injury at Regions Hospital. On Sunday, life support was removed. Whisler turned himself in to St. Paul police that day. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office said Ryan's cause of death was a traumatic brain injury because of the assault and subsequent fall. It said the manner of death was a homicide.

Peace,
Michael
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 11:30:31 PM by Michael Slusser »
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peter_speckhard

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3581 on: April 20, 2021, 11:54:12 PM »
Yes, Peter, sometimes masks and the other precautions are scary for children, even if small children do not have to be masked.
But I remember as a pre-teen being scared by polio, especially as I saw three of my friends gravely ill with it. And I wonder how the children in London in 1940 felt about going to sleep in the underground at night to escape the bombs. Do we frighten children telling them to be wary of strangers? Are the "scared-straight" programs where prisoners tell high schoolers the ugliness of the life they might lead if they break the law scary?
Do we scare children by warning them of steep cliffs and deep water?
On the other hand, did the scary "Reefer Madness" (1936) keep that and subsequent generations away from a certain herbal means of relaxation, stimulation and medication?
A child not wearing a mask is not the same as a child walking on the edge of a cliff. At all. These laws are more like a demand that everyone wear a life vest whenever they are within ten miles of a body of water. They are a product of panicky fear, not common sense. And the masks demonstrably traumatize children. But you don't care, because Covid in your world is the equivalent of all four horsemen of the apocalypse put together, and nothing, absolutely nothing can be said to go too far in trying to prevent it.

Norman Teigen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3582 on: April 25, 2021, 07:14:06 AM »
Resistance to vaccinations and the wearing of masks might be labeled as  therapeutic nihilism. It'd hard to overcome.
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3583 on: April 25, 2021, 08:40:13 AM »
Resistance to vaccinations and the wearing of masks might be labeled as  therapeutic nihilism. It'd hard to overcome.

I have people in my rural congregation that fall into both camps: those who became vaccinated when it was available and wore masks, and those who were more resistant to that.  I have been respectful of the latter group understanding that there are often legitimate reasons for people to question things, even if it is considered part of the 'establishment,' and maybe because of that.  They appreciate science (some of them even being healthcare workers), but are not always sure of something they see as being produced in a very rapid fashion. As with the J&J vaccine and others they know there can be potential side effects. So they may take a 'wait and see' approach.  The issue of masks, which has been debated here ad nauseum, is also a debatable point, even if some have said that it is not.  These people care.  They care about other people.  They care about the health of their nation.  But they have questions and their questions should be respected.  Even in science and medicine matters are not always black and white.   
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Norman Teigen

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Re: Coronavirus news
« Reply #3584 on: April 25, 2021, 09:40:16 AM »
Well, Pastor E., I am not in a position to advice or even suggest.  I respect your office and your position.  If another member of my church would ask my opinion, I would suggest vaccinations and masking.   From a medical information perspective, it 'pays' or it 'works' to vaccinate and wear a mask.  From a Lutheran-Christian perspective I would advise the reluctant to think of her neighbor, to serve him in love.
Norman Teigen