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BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19

Nigel Parsons 08 Jan 22 - 03:42 PM
Jon Freeman 08 Jan 22 - 03:16 PM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 22 - 02:56 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Jan 22 - 11:46 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 22 - 11:42 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 22 - 11:41 AM
Donuel 08 Jan 22 - 11:25 AM
gillymor 08 Jan 22 - 11:23 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 22 - 11:11 AM
Steve Shaw 08 Jan 22 - 10:45 AM
Mrrzy 08 Jan 22 - 10:06 AM
Allan Conn 08 Jan 22 - 04:00 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 08:33 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 06:10 PM
Bonzo3legs 07 Jan 22 - 03:39 PM
Donuel 07 Jan 22 - 02:21 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 01:12 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 12:57 PM
Donuel 07 Jan 22 - 12:53 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Jan 22 - 12:08 PM
Senoufou 07 Jan 22 - 12:06 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 11:49 AM
Nigel Parsons 07 Jan 22 - 11:28 AM
Mrrzy 07 Jan 22 - 11:16 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 09:50 AM
Nigel Parsons 07 Jan 22 - 09:32 AM
Backwoodsman 07 Jan 22 - 07:19 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 07:15 AM
Backwoodsman 07 Jan 22 - 05:45 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Jan 22 - 05:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 22 - 11:03 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 22 - 05:42 PM
Bonzo3legs 06 Jan 22 - 05:37 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 22 - 04:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 22 - 04:20 PM
Donuel 06 Jan 22 - 04:19 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 22 - 03:49 PM
Rain Dog 06 Jan 22 - 02:07 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 22 - 01:54 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 22 - 01:52 PM
Rain Dog 06 Jan 22 - 01:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 22 - 01:08 PM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 22 - 12:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Jan 22 - 11:44 AM
Allan Conn 06 Jan 22 - 11:07 AM
Allan Conn 06 Jan 22 - 10:43 AM
Jon Freeman 06 Jan 22 - 09:53 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 22 - 09:44 AM
Backwoodsman 06 Jan 22 - 07:57 AM
Steve Shaw 06 Jan 22 - 07:31 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 03:42 PM

Yes, I've just tried and got the same response:
"Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for rapid lateral flow tests right now"
The system doesn't allow you to set an order for when they become available. Clearly a "Fail"


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 03:16 PM

Anyone here can order the test kits online from the government department responsible.

I've tried several times over the past couple of weeks without success.

Sometimes, like today, right at the start, I get: "Sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for rapid lateral flow tests right now". Other times I have got as far as entering my address before getting told there are no kits available for delivery (in my area?).

I've only got further than that once. That time the system claimed to have sent me a validation email but I didn't receive one. I tried the last step even using different email addresses to try to get an email but nothing came to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 02:56 PM

"It makes sense to have more than just a few tests available"

Absolutely. Responsible people testing themselves, and behaving appropriately according to the results, is at least half the battle in defeating this thing. If you haven't got the test kits, you could be blissfully unaware that you're out and about spreading the virus. Mrs Steve and I use two tests each per week, as per government advice, and extra whenever we visit anyone (not just the elderly). I'm beginning to hope that anyone visiting us would do likewise, though we're not going to insist just yet. Of course, Christmas time is a bit of an anomaly visits-wise, but that will be our regime from now on. Most of the boxes I've got were garnered well before Christmas and we hadn't picked up any more for weeks until Mrs Steve picked up another couple of boxes yesterday. The ready availability of tests here adds to the ethos of responsibility and carefulness.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:46 AM

Back to the subject at hand - in the US we are waiting for the day that some federal agency is supposed to make free home rapid tests available upon request. It's supposed to happen in early 2022. Not a peep so far, however.

It makes sense to have more than just a few tests available, Case in point: an elderly friend who got lucky and didn't catch COVID from the daughter she was staying with last month (who tested positive during the visit) is coming back for more. She texted this morning that the much-awaited great grandson has arrived and she will be in town for two weeks, with a different daughter. The grandson and g-daughter-in-law who had the baby are Trump supporters who haven't been vaccinated. If my friend wants to visit with me, and if she wants to visit with that family with the newborn, she should have a bag full of rapid tests to deploy each day to be sure she hasn't caught and/or isn't spreading COVID. That's 14 tests right there.

I haven't decided yet if we'll have a visit other than an out-of-doors conversation someplace. It is winter in Texas meaning there might be a few warmer days during her stay, so we could eat a meal out-of-doors. But in my house? I'm not inclined to set up that visit.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:42 AM

Not you, gilly!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:41 AM

Just bloody move on, the pair of you, and quit the obsessive stalking. You're boring.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:25 AM

To have a different point of view than yours is not an attack.
But then again you are perfectly free to have your own point of view.

Everyone can Debate
its all give and take
Shared ideas can be fun
So don't argue with a gun


ar·gue
/'ärgyo?o/

verb
1.
give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one's view.
"“It stands to reason,” she argued"
What are your reasons?
"Let me site EVIDENCE..."


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: gillymor
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:23 AM

I don't see how NoJoke plays in the tournament even if his exemption is accepted. He got shot down at customs due to public outrage and I don't think those folks would allow him on a Melbourne court after all they've been through. He's just reaping what he's sown.

Some good points about Rocket Rod and it's also worth mentioning that he still holds the record for singles titles and is the only player, male or female, who won all four grand slam events in a calendar year. In fact, he did it twice, both as an amateur and a pro.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 11:11 AM

I was misled by something I read in a newspaper into thinking that Djokovic had had coronavirus "months ago." It wasn't - it was in mid-December. Dunno whether that makes a difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 10:45 AM

That's your problem. My actions were completely honest and my conscience is completely clear and, just for your benefit, I've explained myself as straightforwardly as possible. So do yourself a favour and find someone else to attack for absolutely no good reason whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 10:06 AM

I see that you have what you think are good reasons to be stashing, rather than hoarding, tests, Steve Shaw, but my opinion remains as stated.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Allan Conn
Date: 08 Jan 22 - 04:00 AM

I think we have seen three of the all time greatest male tennis players all playing at the same time in Federer, Nadal and Djokovic - which was a bit of a bummer for Andy Murray I suppose. Doesn't mean Djokovic should be given any special treatment by the Aussies though and if he has not the correct certification then he should be out - and I see they are now also looking at other players too. Re Rod Laver yes I think he'd be up comparable with those three. Some folks would only count majors won and he is way below them all on that but he lost about 5 years of playing in Grand Slam tournaments in what would have been his peak years because of being banned because of his professional status. That is a possible 20 Grand Slams where he was not allowed to add to his eventual tally of 11 wins.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 08:33 PM

It's a bit long-winded, but it echoes what I've been saying about testing. From the Guardian:

The rise of lateral flow tests: are these ‘heroes’ of the pandemic here to stay?

I hope they are!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 06:10 PM

Now, now, Bonzo, do apprise yourself of the art of euphemism. What you really meant was "moistening their gussets." Do get it right! Anyway, I won't deny that he's a good player of the game, though I must confess that the only tennis match I watched end-to-end in years was the US Open final between Emma Raducanu and Leyla Fernandez. That was great stuff. I think the men's game has been ruined by the ultra-powerful high-tech modern rackets leading to a predominantly base-line game. When I was a mere stripling and tennis was free to air, Rod Laver was my hero. Those were the days!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 03:39 PM

"He's been mentioned briefly. "No-vacc" Djokovic doesn't believe in vaccination and has tried to use the fact that he had the virus months ago to get an exemption. He also believes that you can purify dirty water via spiritual means. Maybe they should make him drink the water from the toilet in his hotel room. Oh, how the mighty has fallen!"

The man who likes to play bat and ball for lots of money is an arrogant git, and I shall laugh if he is deported back to Serbia!!! It will certainly save a lot of Australian women wetting their knickers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 02:21 PM

Our Supream Court heard arguments today regarding Biden's emergency vaccine mandate. Since FDR this nation is one of regulations via federal agencies. If the Conservative Court pulls back from Federal agency regulations and throws it back to the States, chaos among all regulations could arise. Mandate deniers know not of what they propose.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 01:12 PM

"... has anyone mentioned Novak Djokovic the Serbian tennis player?"

He's been mentioned briefly. "No-vacc" Djokovic doesn't believe in vaccination and has tried to use the fact that he had the virus months ago to get an exemption. He also believes that you can purify dirty water via spiritual means. Maybe they should make him drink the water from the toilet in his hotel room. Oh, how the mighty has fallen!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 12:57 PM

Anyone here can order the test kits online from the government department responsible. They come in boxes of seven tests, they mail you two boxes at a time and they are free. You can also pick them up without fuss from most pharmacies (if they have them), also free and in boxes of seven. I've picked up several boxes from a pop-up testing tent too. There's been little or no rationing that I'm aware of. There has been a rush on them, starting just before Christmas when the omicron surge was underway (in which, as I've explained, I didn't have to participate), resulting in temporary supply issues. As I'm not up for hoarding, I don't know what the present situation is. I live in a remote rural area with few pharmacies per town/village, so we do need to ensure we don't run out. This pandemic will be defeated by infected people staying home, which means unfettered access to the lateral flow test kits, and by getting everyone vaccinated. Everything else is marginal, relative to those two things.

If you feel slightly under the weather but don't have test kits, you'll go out and about just as you would with a cold, and you'll infect people. If you have test kits, you'll use them (which is why you got them in the first place), and a positive result will persuade you to stay home for the requisite number of days. Nothing's perfect, of course. That's the way forward. And getting jabbed. If that's the way we all work, we'll have a good summer this year and, with a bit of luck, a more normal winter next back end. No shit, Sherlock.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 12:53 PM

Double masking minimizes my glasses fogging up but remebering to put soap on my glasses works best.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 12:08 PM

At any given time a snapshot will show imbalances. This is one of those times. (I have lots of masks here - because I haven't distributed them for a while - I made these three-layer flannel-based cloth masks last year.) I gave my box of two rapid tests to my ex who has had allergies and sinus stuffiness that he refuses to treat with one-a-day medications ("I don't like long-lasting pills.") So I told him that he needs to be able to test himself if he isn't going to treat the allergies and clear up those symptoms. I had another box on order but it's taking Amazon weeks to deliver it. It's looking like another 10 days before the first of two boxes I ordered arrives.

I see my masks pop up all over town, I've given away hundreds of them. (I've mailed quite a few to Mudcatters also!) They are two layers of a tight-weave cotton over a third flannel center (determined to be one of the best filter fabrics for these masks). They are fitted and have ties that can go around the ears or around the back of the head (my preference, much more comfortable) and a lower loop that goes around the neck (no dropping these). I've told friends and family with these that they might want to double mask for a while, wearing a surgical mask under the cloth.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Senoufou
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 12:06 PM

Luckily, husband's LFT tests are provided by the school where he works as a cleaner, as are the masks, visors and rubber gloves etc.
I haven't been reading all the posts on here, but has anyone mentioned Novak Djokovic the Serbian tennis player? He's still in quarantine in Australia, apparently he hasn't been vaccinated and stated 'medical exemption' for which he has no evidence.
I think he will be deported from Australia, and miss the opportunity to play in the Open matches.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 11:49 AM

Yes, Nigel, that's a good argument too. In the long run, though, persuading people that vaccination is a good thing and that the Facebook idiots are just that, idiots, seems like a more harmonious way forward, in the first instance at least. And I do think that all hospital and care workers should be vaccinated.

As for you, Mrrzy, I didn't say how many tests I have. In fact, it's enough to test both of us about twenty more times. The nature of our circumstances, which I won't regale you with, dictates that we need to test ourselves a lot because of frequent visits, some as volunteers, to elderly and vulnerable people. We obtained the tests well before there was any suspicion of an impending shortage, so there was no deliberate hoarding going on. I'd like to suggest that you keep your criticisms to yourself until you're apprised of the full circumstances. You could have asked, and I would have told you. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 11:28 AM

I'm not suggesting 'enforced vaccination' for anyone. But there are certain jobs for which it should, quite reasonably, be a requirement.

I somehow doubt that it would result in the sacking of thousands of doctors and nurses. If the government made it mandatory for those professions it would probably persuade many to take the step which, ideally, they should have already taken to protect themselves and their patients.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 11:16 AM

Stashing tests is immoral in a pandemic imho. Sorry, but there it is. I wouldn't brag, or call it wise. I call that selfish. My opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 09:50 AM

Sound arguments, Nigel, but suppose we sacked thousands of doctors and nurses for being unjabbed. I think the damage done in that way by exacerbating the staffing crisis would outdo any damage caused by their staying at work. Sometimes it's a toss-up between morals (if you think that enforced vaccination is moral - not for me, thanks) and pragmatism. I always come back to the argument for persuasion, made as high-pressure as you like. And let's not forget that frequent testing of unvaccinated staff is far more possible these days. I still think that unvaccinated people are wrong-headed, but, looking at it long-term, talking them round is the proper solution.

I don't like masks but I'm fully jabbed up and I have a big stash of test kits (wise virgins accumulated supplies well before the panicky pre-Christmas rush). I'm testing twice a week and doing additional tests when I visit anyone's house. Were I to test positive I'd look up the isolation advice and follow it, and tell anyone who I might have infected. As for telling the authorities, they can go to hell.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 09:32 AM

But Steve: Having strict border controls apropos of vaccination isn't the same as mandates inside countries. It's more like a pub saying that you can't come in 'ere, mate, unless you're jabbed... Send him home!

If the pub can refuse service to the unjabbed, why not hospitals? (and No, I'm not advocating turning away the unjabbed)
If the pub can refuse the unjabbed, can they justify using unjabbed staff? Again, if not, why not the same for hospitals?

Nurses and doctors can have much closer contact with their 'customers' than bar staff do. I would support the idea that being vaccinated be made a prerequisite for working as a health provider.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 07:19 AM

Aaaaahh, No-vacc Djockstrap! Can’t stand the arrogant twat.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 07:15 AM

Just as pro-vaccine and anti-mandate are entirely separate issues, independent of each other, so are anti-vaccine and anti-mask (as you put it). It's not fair to conflate the two (I'm not saying that's what you intended). If you're anti-vaccine you're probably not jabbed and, as such, represent a big danger to society and to yourself. I'm "anti-mask" only in the sense that I think masks do more harm than good, but I'm not anti-mask in the sense that I wish to be militant about it, making people near me in shops, etc., feel vulnerable or unsafe, and I've always said that it's good luck to you if you want to shove a mask on. If you saw me out and about you would never suspect that I'm "anti-mask." I admire your strong-mindedness, but not everyone is like you, and it's clear that millions of people have been adversely influenced by dangerous nonsense peddled on social media, just as they were by things written on the side of a bus. I'm very pleased to see confounded idiots/believers in magic such as Novak getting it in the neck. Having strict border controls apropos of vaccination isn't the same as mandates inside countries. It's more like a pub saying that you can't come in 'ere, mate, unless you're jabbed... Send him home!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 05:45 AM

Most of the stuff I see on my Newsfeed on FB is very strongly pro-vaccination and pro-mask. I very seldom see any anti-vax/mask material, apart from the occasional anti-vax/mask comment by a nutter trying to stir the shit up on pro-vax/mask thread, and I just laugh at those and scroll on by.

I honestly don’t believe my opinion has ever been changed by anything I’ve read on FB any more than it’s been changed by anything I’ve read on forums like this one, no matter how forcefully others try to preach to me. I have 75 years-worth of life-experience behind me and, over those years, I’ve learned to recognise bullshit and bullshitters when I encounter them.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 22 - 05:28 AM

This is a difficult area. At her death she was unvaccinated. That was on top of her anti-mandate stance. If I died tomorrow I'd be known as someone who was ardently pro-vaccination and fully-jabbed and ardently opposed to vaccine mandates. To me, these are entirely separate issues.

We should be campaigning in a concerted way to persuade everyone to take the vaccine. There are very few people who have a good excuse to avoid vaccination. The campaign needs to be two-pronged, first, to undo the serious damage done to public health by Facebook and others, second, to emphasise that getting vaccinated is the biggest contribution you can currently make to the health and safety of everyone (as well as yourself). To hell with the "free speech" of anti-vaxxers. They seriously need to be silenced. The massive achievement of the vaccines can't be gainsaid. And they are safer than going out into the street and crossing the road, drinking a glass of wine, smoking dope or eating burgers.

But forcing people to have the jabs under pain of losing your job is, to me, the wrong way to get people onside. Take them aside, advise them, counsel them, make things inconvenient for them in the workplace if that means making other people safer. I don't think it's the role of states to make rules about mandating vaccines. If I ran a football stadium I wouldn't let you in if you were Novak Djokovic. It's my stadium (or pub, or shop, or festival) and I get to decide who comes in and who doesn't. When it comes to workplaces, every sinew must be strained to persuade. But throwing people of the scrapheap just makes everything worse. It's the ethos, stupid...


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 11:03 PM

Here is another COVID death that was totally avoidable.
A deputy district attorney from California who regularly spoke out against vaccine mandates has died of complications from Covid-19.

Kelly Ernby, 46, a prosecutor from Orange county, southern California, who recently ran for the state assembly, died after contracting the virus, her family and friends have said.

According to Ernby’s husband, Axel Mattias Ernby, Kelly Ernby was unvaccinated at the time of her death.

“She was NOT vaccinated. That’s the problem,” Axel Ernby said on social media posts.

A month before her death, Kelly Ernby spoke out against vaccine mandates at a rally outside Irvine city hall. The protest was organized by chapters of Turning Point USA, a conservative youth organization, representing members at California State University, Fullerton and University of California Irvine.

“There’s nothing that matters more than our freedoms right now,” Ernby said, according to the Daily Titan, a student newspaper.

The political opposition is taking itself out of play, one case of COVID at a time.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 05:42 PM

Dammit, man, you stay in Croydon, I'll stay in Bude... :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 05:37 PM

"We need to be talking about the arseholes (such as Djokovic) who refuse to get vaccinated."

Crikey I'm agreeing with you again!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 04:59 PM

No-one is ignoring masking, Donuel. Apart from myself, I know four or five people who are opposed to masks. To a man and woman, we all wear masks where required. Doggerel is bad poetry. I don't know whether you knew that. There is only one perpetrator of doggerel on these threads...


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 04:20 PM

Neither of them cited an article, they both referred to one. I don't have enough information to reproduce that citation, but the remarks suggesting a set of facts had been "debunked" makes it clear there was an original article and discussion of it.

The District of Columbia and New York City are hit hard by the COVID Omicron variant, but in both places, ICU and ventilator use are down.

From the Wall Street Journal

At Northwell Health, New York state’s largest hospital network, about 10% of recent Covid-19 patients are ending up in the ICU compared with 25%-35% in previous surges, said Mangala Narasimhan, director of critical-care services.

Fully vaccinated patients are staying for an average of four days, Dr. Narasimhan said, compared with almost two weeks for unvaccinated patients. Patients are generally younger, and a greater share is white than during other surges, she said. Officials in the U.K. and South Africa have also reported lower rates of serious illness from Omicron than previous strains of the virus.

But the third big pandemic wave to hit New York is taxing healthcare providers, Dr. Narasimhan and other providers said. She said some colleagues quit in exhaustion. She ended up working over a planned vacation.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 04:19 PM

Each varient is a game changer so dogma and doggerel have a very short lifespan these days, and so will some people who ignore masking.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 03:49 PM

"...but 70% said it made them feel safer."

Well let's hang into that one for a sec. Now why would we think that 70% of young people thought that? Was it by any chance because they saw all the grown-ups doing it, who told them it would make them safer, who appealed to authority?

It is beginning to seem (to me anyway) that all the waffle we've heard and been told about masks for almost two years is just that - waffle. I've yet to see a single piece of evidence for mask-wearing that can't be demolished by resort to real science. I saw a big hairy bloke in Morrisons this afternoon who was unmasked. There was also a healthy-looking young woman, unmasked, to whom social distancing was clearly an alien concept. And do you know summat? I didn't give a damn!

We shouldn't need to talk about masks. We need to be talking about the arseholes (such as Djokovic) who refuse to get vaccinated. You'd think, wouldn't you, that internet mask-squabblers (who still wear their masks, by the way) were the big problem. Well they're not. It's the anti-vaxxers and the refusers. Most of whom got their motivations from Facebook. Hands up all you Facebookers...


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 02:07 PM

From the BBC


Covid: Evidence on face masks in schools 'inconclusive'


The government admits the evidence for using masks in schools to reduce spread of Covid is "not conclusive".

The uncertainty is acknowledged in a review used by ministers in England to make their decision to introduce face coverings in classrooms.

The government's own study in the autumn did not provide proof of a statistically significant impact.

The evidence review says other studies have provided mixed results, but taken together suggest they may help.

And the move was backed by the UK Health Security Agency.

The review has only just been published following the announcement on Monday about the return of face coverings in classrooms.

It includes the results of a study in 123 schools in England which used masks and compared that to others that did not during the Delta wave of Covid. The UK is currently experiencing the spread of an even more infectious variant - Omicron - but there is not enough data yet on this one and masks.

Schools where face coverings were used in October 2021 saw a reduction two to three weeks later in Covid absences from 5.3% to 3% - a drop of 2.3 percentage points.

In schools which did not use face coverings absences fell from 5.3% to 3.6% - a fall of 1.7 percentage points.

It said this was not statistically significant and the greater reduction in schools where masks were worn could be down to chance.

The review also acknowledges the use of face coverings could harm learning.

But a full analysis of the costs versus benefits of the policy has not been done.

This is despite 94% of school leaders and teachers saying it made communication between teachers and pupils more difficult.

Some 80% of pupils also said it made communication harder, but 70% said it made them feel safer.

The review said a "balanced judgement" had been made.

Ministers have maintained face coverings have a material impact, but will not be used for a "day longer than necessary".

Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser at UKHSA, said: "We support the Department for Education's decision to reintroduce the use of face masks in secondary schools temporarily whilst Covid rates remain high."

The Department for Education said the move was aimed at "reducing transmission and disruption to learning".


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 01:54 PM

We cross-posted there, Rain Dog. Your post was very helpful - cheers.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 01:52 PM

I've wasted laboriously through all the remarks and I can't find one in which irreligious cites any article.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 01:52 PM

Thanks to Steve for confirming which Guardian article he was referring to. Thanks also to Jon for providing a link.

Stilly River Sage, I think you might be mistaken about the comments. Irreligious did not appear to quote a study.

'Unbanned' quoted a report of a study which said mask wearing was an effective means of preventing spread of the virus.

'Comments2go' said that study had been "widely debunked, and completely mis-interpreted."

Study doesn’t show masks cause 53% drop in Covid risk

Apologies in advance if I have read that incorrectly.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 01:08 PM

Keep reading the remarks.

Fort Worth schools are back in session with students on campus, but as of yesterday, 50 teachers were out on quarantine because they tested positive for COVID. (From WFAA, but they don't have durable links so the story might not appear for long.)
As of Tuesday, 50 of the district’s 5,000 teachers were quarantined due to COVID, according to Fort Worth ISD Assistant Superintendent Michael Steinert.

Since Monday, the district has had 300 COVID reports amongst all staff members. The 300 COVID reports include close-contact reports and COVID positive cases. Not all of those staff members are quarantined, Steinert said.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
COVID is starting to spike among Fort Worth police and firefighters, but the city says it is meeting staffing minimums through overtime and schedule adjustments.

The Police Department said 56 of its roughly 1,600 employees tested positive for COVID last week, a 75% increase from the previous six weeks, but still down from the 104 cases at the end of 2020.

The Fire Department has been hit harder: 116 of the department’s 927 firefighters are out on COVID-related leave.

This mirrors the trend in Tarrant County and across the United States, which is seeing a post-holiday surge of COVID cases fueled by the omicron variant.

The fire department is cutting two weeks from its recruiting classes to push instructors and trainees into service.

Remember when all of the medical students were being pressed into service before they completed their degrees, or their degrees were rushed in order to make them eligible to work? That is still happening across other professions also.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 12:18 PM

"...up to 6000 deaths per week, eh, SAGE? My arse!"

I thought that was outrageous, but even so I understated it: SAGE predicted up to that many PER DAY!

I think the public should be regaled with facts, and should be told if what they're being told contains estimates, predictions or conjecture. That SAGE statement was mere scaremongering.

"If you read down in those remarks the source "irreligious" was citing another reader pointed out that the article was debunked months earlier."

What article? As far as I can glean, irreligious didn't cite a source as such...


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 11:44 AM

If you read down in those remarks the source "irreligious" was citing another reader pointed out that the article was debunked months earlier.

There was good news today about a new COVID vaccine. Any of you who have watched US coverage of the COVID crisis may have seen Dr. Hotez interviewed many times on the news, in particular to do with COVID infections in children.

A Texas team comes up with a COVID vaccine that could be a global game changer

A vaccine authorized in December for use in India may help solve one of the most vexing problems in global public health: How to supply lower-income countries with a COVID-19 vaccine that is safe, effective and affordable.

The vaccine is called CORBEVAX. It uses old but proven vaccine technology and can be manufactured far more easily than most, if not all, of the COVID-19 vaccines in use today.

"CORBEVAX is a game changer," says Dr. Keith Martin, executive director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in Washington, D.C. "It's going to enable countries around the world, particularly low-income countries, to be able to produce these vaccines and distribute them in a way that's going to affordable, effective and safe."

The story of CORBEVAX begins some two decades ago. Peter Hotez and Maria Elena Bottazzi were medical researchers at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where they worked on vaccines and treatments for what are called neglected tropical diseases, such as schistosomiasis and hookworm.

When a strain of coronavirus known as SARS broke out in 2003, they decided to tackle that disease. After moving to Houston to affiliate with Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development, they created a vaccine candidate using protein subunit technology. This involves using proteins from a virus or bacterium that can induce an immune response but not cause disease.

"It's the same technology as the hepatitis B vaccine that's been around for decades," Hotez says.

Their SARS vaccine candidate looked promising, but then the SARS outbreak petered out. No evidence of disease, no need for a vaccine.

When a new strain of coronavirus triggered the COVID-19 pandemic, Hotez and Bottazzi figured they could dust off their old technology and modify it for use against COVID-19. After all, the virus causing COVID-19 and the virus causing SARS are quite similar.

Hotez says they tried to interest government officials in the vaccine, but they weren't impressed.

"People were so fixated on innovation that nobody thought, 'Hey, maybe we could use a low-cost, durable, easy-breezy vaccine that can vaccinate the whole world,' " Hotez says.

"We really honestly couldn't get any traction in the U.S., but our mission is always to enable technologies for low- and middle-income countries production and use," Bottazzi recalls.

So they turned to private philanthropies. A major donor early on was the JPB Foundation in New York.

"The rest were all Texas philanthropies: the Kleberg Foundation, the [John S.] Dunn Foundation, Tito's Vodka," Hotez says. The MD Anderson Foundation also chipped in.

"When people say, 'Why did we move [from Washington, D.C.] to Texas?' Well, we knew that this was a great philanthropic environment. So this is really very much a Texas vaccine," although there were other, smaller donors from all over the country.

Hotez says that unlike the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, and the viral vector vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, protein subunit vaccines like CORBEVAX have a track record. So he and Bottazzi were relatively certain CORBEVAX would be safe and effective.

"And it's cheap, a dollar, dollar fifty a dose," Hotez says. "You're not going to get less expensive than that."

Clinical trials showed they were right to be confident CORBEVAX would work. An unpublished study conducted in India involving 3,000 volunteers found the vaccine to be 90% effective in preventing disease cause by the original COVID-19 virus strain and 80% against the delta variant. It's still being tested against omicron.

But CORBEVAX is already entering the real world. Last month, the vaccine received emergency use authorization from regulators in India. An Indian vaccine manufacturer called Biological E Ltd is now making the vaccine. The company says it is producing 100 million doses per month and has already sold 300 million doses to the Indian government.

"The real beauty of the CORBEVAX vaccine that Drs. Hotez and Bottazzi created is that intellectual property of this vaccine will be available to everybody," Keith Martin says. "So you can get manufacturers in Senegal, and South Africa and Latin America to be able to produce this particular vaccine."

By contrast, the makers of Pfizer and Moderna, for example, are not sharing their recipe.

One drawback to the CORBEVAX technology is that it can't be modified as quickly as mRNA vaccines can to adjust to new variants.

That forces public health officials to make difficult choices.

"Something which can be adapted the fastest versus something that can be adapted relatively quickly, but then more importantly can be manufactured at a large global capacity and at a cost of production which is much lower," says Prashant Yadav, senior fellow at at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. The thought is some protection may better than no protection.

Of course, the ideal vaccine would have both qualities, and Peter Hotez is at work trying to develop technologies that can do that.

"There's no issue with pushing innovation," he says. "I think that's one of the really positive features of the U.S. vaccination program for COVID. The problem was it wasn't balanced with a portfolio [f]or oldies but goodies."

Hotez is hoping his oldie but goodie will usher in a brighter future for the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Allan Conn
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 11:07 AM

I'd say in fact that although the advice is for no more than three households mixing at a time - a lot of people in general are deciding themselves to restrict themselves further than that anyway.

We did have an interesting outcome over our wine club Xmas Party though. As I said above it is only advice to stick to three households. The planned party was many more households than three. So advice was not to hold it but it could still go ahead all the same if we chose to. The membership voted - and I know it is not very scientific but we voted not to hold it - but everyone who voted to actually hold it was English born and had moved to Scotland mostly within the last 10 years or so. It was a small sample of course but it got me wondering if they were still in the mindset of following the advice from Westminster rather than Holyrood even though it is a devolved matter!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Allan Conn
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 10:43 AM

Senofou the idea that there is no mixing or socialising allowed in Scotland is not actually true. Socialising is restricted in pubs etc to three households at a table. So yes some restrictions from the normal but no actual ban. Likewise as far as private houses go the 'advice' is to mix no more than three households at once. That is advice only though!!! It is not in law - just advice. So if you want to have more than three households in your home at once you can without any consequences other than maybe your neighbour's disapproval. Most people seem to be sticking to that advice. There is of course a section of the population who hate Sturgeon - but her overall approval rating is very high compared with almost every other politician here bar Anas Sanwar the Scottish Labour leader who is only a little bit behind Sturgeon. The nickname is not "Wee Burney" rather it is "Wee Nippy" and this is used by a secion of the unionist support. Seemingly a derogatory name the male politicians used to call her when she was a young female member who was regarded as a bit too forceful. I supposed young women members needed to be forceful to get on though.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 09:53 AM

Here is a link to the article and this one might take you to the comment after a second or two.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 09:44 AM

The comment I posted came from someone with the moniker "irreligious" and was posted at the end of the article "This is the action Britain must take to limit the damage of Omicron" written by William Hanage.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 07:57 AM

You make a good point, but the people who touch them all the time would still be likely to touch their mouths and noses, cough, and do that filthy thing of sniffing snot back into their throats, hawking, and spitting it out, that so many seem to do nowadays instead of blowing their noses into a tissue and disposing of it properly.

Dirty buggers will be dirty buggers, mask or no mask.


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Subject: RE: BS: New news on the pandemic COVID-19
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 06 Jan 22 - 07:31 AM

You could be wrong about that. Most people's masks are insanitary after just a few minutes, the outside as well as the inside, and most people are touching them all the time. That's an absolutely ace way of spreading various infections.


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