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Tue Aug 31, 2021, 05:14 AM

What are our Goals in Dealing With Covid?

The New York Times has an interesting op ed up today urging us to think about the country's goals in dealing with op-ed. They point out that if the goal is to eliminate Covid then very restrictive policies on human activities are appropriate. They question though (as do I) whether that is a realistic goal and implicitly suggest that a more realistic goal is to learn to live with a condition that is likely going to always be with us. If that's the case then getting things back to normal as much as possible should be the direction for public policy (Well, at least I suggest that).
They deal with the issue of public schools. Is the goal the safety of every child? Then obviously remote schooling is best. Is the goal the best educational and social experience for children despite a disease that likely will always be with us? Then in school teaching is the appropriate policy.
They also touch on the subject of masks in school. The goal seems to be mandatory masks until a vaccine is available for children is available. But they point out that the vaccine rate for 12 - 15 year olds is terrible. Just 30 percent going into the school year.
Anyway the article made me think which I guess is a good thing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/30/opinion/us-covid-policy.html

Paywalled, unfortunately.

PS They never get really explicit in recommending things but I think they are implicitly saying that Covid will be like the flu. There will be good years and bad years. Some people will get annual boosters. Some won't. Some people will end up in the hospital and some will die. What policies are appropriate for managing a recurring condition? At least I think they are saying that.

PPS They made a big point that the UK decided not to impose mask mandates on children. I wonder what thinking went into that decision?

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 08:29 AM

1. Taiwan and New Zealand have succeeded in preventing Covid-19 from infecting their citizens.

They rigorously identify cases, trace and quarantine contacts, and thereby control outbreaks and terminate chains of infection.

They also rigorously quarantine all international arrivals for 14 days to prevent new cases from entering the country.

This is the only public health measure that has been proved to prevent Covid-19.

All other measures, such as restrictions on gatherings, schools and businesses, wearing of masks, social distancing, hand hygiene, vaccination, drugs, hospital and ICU care techniques, etc. are risk reduction measures, but they don't actually prevent some number of people from contracting Covid-19 and either having debilitating illness or dying.

Even if you are carefully socially distancing, mask wearing, and vaccinated (as I am, and which I recommend to everyone) there is still a small risk of contracting a breakthrough Covid-19 infection.

Once you have a case of Covid-19, there are no drugs, methods of treatment, or medical technologies which will always prevent you from becoming disabled or dying.

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 09:29 AM

2. New Zealand hasn't completely succeeded in protecting

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Response to Tomconroy (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 11:07 AM

10. New Zealand's COVID-19 'elimination' strategy appears to be working as cases fall for 3 consecutive

New Zealand reported 49 new daily COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, marking three days of decline.
Experts suggested the decline in cases showed that the country's latest outbreak was being contained.
The country locked down on August 17 after it detected a single COVID-19 case assumed to be Delta.

https://www.businessinsider.com/new-zealand-elimination-strategy-covid-19-delta-variant-low-case-2021-8

It looks like they will succeed in eradicating Covid again after the latest outbreak due to an imported case of Delta from Australia.

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #10)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 12:12 PM

14. Their fix was to put the entire country in lockdown for

Last edited Wed Sep 1, 2021, 10:26 AM - Edit history (1)

Weeks or longer when a single case broke out.
76 new cases on 9/1.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 09:40 AM

3. Be close to how Taiwan has handled it re NPI then vaccinate everyone we can. Death numbers fall

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 10:09 AM

4. No! I'm sorry. Failure is not an option here.

We are the United States of America allied with other great nations on this planet. We need to fucking figure this out.

Do the vaccines need to be tweaked so that there are no breakthrough cases? Do we need cures and treatments? Absolutely.

Iím sorry. Like all things of the past, I refuse to believe that there isnít a better answer than just learning to live like this. We need to stop worrying about greed and start worrying about saving the human race.

I want to feel safe again, and I am not alone.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 10:16 AM

5. That's the goal

but if people refuse to be vaccinated, then it will always be with us. We canít curb our normal activities forever. At some point, concerts and other social activities will resume regardless of whether we tamp down the virus. Some people will wear masks all the time (like I probably will) and others wonít. Itíll become an issue of personal responsibility.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 10:22 AM

6. Then we force them to get vaccinated.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

But before we can force people, the vaccines are going to have to be better. No breakthrough cases, etc. You get vaxxed; you donít get COVID.

Iím double masking and staying home as much as possible. That after being fully vaxxed. But Iím not going to be willing to do that forever. It has truly surprised me that there havenít been further developments in vaccines and treatments for COVID after two years. We have the same three vaccines and really not a lot of advancement in treatment. Some, but not enough.

I realize that time under Trump was lost. We canít get that back unfortunately. But letís put ingenuity to work. I will bet on American brilliance every time.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 10:33 AM

7. The COVID vaccines are actually

more effective than many other vaccines. It may be able to be tweaked to be as effective again as it was before Delta but it wonít get much better than that. I agree that vaccination should be mandatory but, unfortunately, I donít think we have the political will to do it. Iím hoping an effective viral treatment can be invented thatíll cure COVID once you have it. Itíll be difficult though. Viruses are very hard to treat.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #7)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 10:37 AM

8. I understand the science.

I also donít know a single person EVER in my circle of friends, neighbors, family and associates who has been vaccinated against polio and got a breakthrough infection. I know quite a few who have had breakthrough COVID infections.

We need to continue to improve the vaccines. You and I are not in disagreement. I just believe that we need to set our standards higher. Donít settle until we get it done and get it done right!

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 10:41 AM

9. Oh, I wasn't trying to imply

you donít understand. Sorry if it came off that way! Yes, weíre in agreement here.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #9)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 11:47 AM

13. No worries.

Sorry if my response came across badly.

We agree. Peace.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 11:33 AM

11. Why is the flu different than polio or small pox? I don't know anything about science.

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Response to Tomconroy (Reply #11)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 11:46 AM

12. Not everyone gets the flu vaccine.

Less than 50% of Americans get a flu shot each year.

Iím just saying that to force everyone to get the COVID vaccine, the vaccines are going to have to be made as dependable as the polio vaccine. No one that I know of has argued against being vaccinated against polio because if you get vaccinated, you donít get polio.

We need continued work and improvement on the COVID vaccine. Obviously, we are not there yet. But I believe we will be at some point. We have no choice but to continue to innovate.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #12)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 12:20 PM

15. Apparently another part of the problem is that the flu mutates

Constantly, like Covid, so we need a new flu vaccine every year which is often only going to be partially effective.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/flu-shot-fail-why-doesn-t-vaccine-always-work-n21446

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Response to Tomconroy (Reply #15)

Tue Aug 31, 2021, 12:32 PM

16. Yes, apparently.

Thatís why I am looking for a genius to solve the problem.

I refuse to believe there is not an answer to this somewhere out there.

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