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24 minutes ago, Powerball said:

U.S. State Department says it will boost ‘Do Not Travel’ advisories to 80% of the world

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/20/us-plans-to-boost-do-not-travel-advisories-to-80percent-of-the-world.html

I’m beginning to think those of us that enjoy international travel won’t be able to do it for at least another few years.

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25 minutes ago, TimB84 said:

I’m beginning to think those of us that enjoy international travel won’t be able to do it for at least another few years.

While the rise in US cases might have slowed for now, many countries are experiencing a renewed surge in the virus (including other newly discovered variants) that has the WHO concerned about a global surge in cases and deaths

This is the best move by the U.S. government to minimize the risk that whatever variants are causing headaches in these other countries make it into US borders.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/20/europe/who-global-covid-cases-rise-intl/index.html

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28 minutes ago, TimB84 said:

I’m beginning to think those of us that enjoy international travel won’t be able to do it for at least another few years.

As someone who travels international 2-3 times a year this hurts, but I have enough places to go to in the USA for the next 1-2 years. Doing a west coast road trip through the 6 national parks in Utah and Arizona next month and doing Alaska in August. 

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37 minutes ago, Powerball said:

While the rise in US cases might have slowed for now, many countries are experiencing a renewed surge in the virus (including other newly discovered variants) that has the WHO concerned about a global surge in cases and deaths

This is the best move by the U.S. government to minimize the risk that whatever variants are causing headaches in these other countries make it into US borders.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/20/europe/who-global-covid-cases-rise-intl/index.html

The problem I have with that is the fact that I’m vaccinated and won’t be bringing these variants back with me.

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34 minutes ago, BuffaloWeather said:

As someone who travels international 2-3 times a year this hurts, but I have enough places to go to in the USA for the next 1-2 years. Doing a west coast road trip through the 6 national parks in Utah and Arizona next month and doing Alaska in August. 

Lived in AZ for a few years so been there, done that on the AZ/UT national parks. Without question, it’s worth the trip. 

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4 minutes ago, TimB84 said:

The problem I have with that is the fact that I’m vaccinated and won’t be bringing these variants back with me.

You're assuming that:

1. The vaccines fully protects against all variants

2. You still can't catch the virus (even with less severe symptoms) and spread it.

The scientific community has made it clear that #2 is still possible (especially since not everyone has been vaccinated) and #1 is still unknown.

Like I said earlier, we'll just have to pack our patience for a return to "normal." It's not going to happen overnight. 

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1 minute ago, Powerball said:

You're assuming that:

1. The vaccine fully protects against all variants

2. You still can't catch the virus (even with less severe symptoms) and spread it.

The scientific community has made it clear that #2 is still possible (especially since not everyone has been vaccinated) and #1 is still unknown.

Like I said earlier, we'll just have to pack our patience for a return to normal. It's not going to happen overnight. 

I’m not asking for overnight. I’m talking about, say, summer of 2022. I thought that was a sure bet, but now I’m not so sure.

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2 minutes ago, Powerball said:

Summer 2022 is definitely possible, IMO. 

Possible. I’d say it’s 50/50, whereas a few weeks ago I would have put it at 90/10. And if there are any more setbacks, even that is in serious jeopardy.

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11 minutes ago, TimB84 said:

Possible. I’d say it’s 50/50, whereas a few weeks ago I would have put it at 90/10. And if there are any more setbacks, even that is in serious jeopardy.

The reason I'm bullish on Summer 2022 is because by the end of this year, everyone (of all ages) who wants the vaccine would have gotten it and with the weather change, DJF will be the the critical test to see if we experience another surge like we did this past winter. 

But even then, there may still be some form of travel restrictions to/from a small handful of countries where the health care infrastructure and vaccine distribution remains poor. 

EDIT: Also, any lawsuits related to COVID spread in shared public spaces will hopefully have been litigated by then, establishing a precedent that businesses can confidently adapt to accordingly. 

This is just my gut feeling though. 

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20 minutes ago, Powerball said:

The reason I'm bullish on Summer 2022 is because by the end of this year, everyone (of all ages) who wants the vaccine would have gotten it and with the weather change, DJF will be the the critical test to see if we experience another surge like we did this past winter.  

But even then, there still may be some form of travel restrictions to/from a handful of countries where the health care infrastructure and vaccine distribution remains poor. 

I hope you’re right. Fortunately, I don’t plan on traveling to Burkina Faso or something, so I could live with those types of restrictions. But I’m afraid if we experience a surge that’s even 10% of what happened this past winter, which is possible given all the people who are digging in their heels and refusing to get the vaccine, governments will still be skittish about removing the restrictions on travel. (At the same time, does a US “do not travel” advisory actually bar us from traveling to those countries, or is it just an advisory and the determination is made by the other country whether or not to allow US tourists?)

Bottom line: I feel like the anti-vax conspiracy theorists have all the power in determining whether or not we will be able to go to other countries anytime soon. And most of them don’t care, because a fair number of them have never left their state or even county, let alone the US.

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With all of the talk of herd immunity, I don't think we'll ever get there, based on local vaccination numbers. Although I live in a rural county, I believe we are a microcosm of vast rural areas of the US as a whole. As of yesterday, 31% of our population age 18+ have been fully vaccinated. Our local shot clinic operated by the County health department can vaccinate ~400 individuals a day. This is in addition to three other pharmacies providing vaccinations. The good news is that 79% of those 65 and older have been vaccinated.

However, starting this week, the reservation numbers have dropped dramatically, to the point of shutting down the clinic this Thursday due to lack of reservations (not completely, just for that day.) At this rate, I'm estimating that only a little over 50% of the 18+ age group will be vaccinated by July 1st.  Without some emphasis being placed on reducing vaccine hesitancy, this may become the Vietnam of pandemic battles.

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8 minutes ago, IWXwx said:

With all of the talk of herd immunity, I don't think we'll ever get there, based on local vaccination numbers. Although I live in a rural county, I believe we are a microcosm of vast rural areas of the US as a whole. As of yesterday, 31% of our population age 18+ have been fully vaccinated. Our local shot clinic operated by the County health department can vaccinate ~400 individuals a day. This is in addition to three other pharmacies providing vaccinations. The good news is that 79% of those 65 and older have been vaccinated.

However, starting this week, the reservation numbers have dropped dramatically, to the point of shutting down the clinic this Thursday due to lack of reservations (not completely, just for that day.) At this rate, I'm estimating that only a little over 50% of the 18+ age group will be vaccinated by July 1st.  Without some emphasis being placed on reducing vaccine hesitancy, this may become the Vietnam of pandemic battles.

You can get herd immunity through infection as well, like we have throughout history with almost every other pandemic. 

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9 minutes ago, BuffaloWeather said:

You can get herd immunity through infection as well, like we have throughout history with almost every other pandemic. 

Yes, but it certainly would be less deadly if a higher percentage of people just get the vaccine. I do understand and agree with what you are saying though.

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Just now, IWXwx said:

Yes, but it certainly would be less deadly if a higher percentage of people just gets the vaccine. I do understand and agree with what you are saying though.

I don't agree with it either but its their personal choice. Those vaccinated cannot get severely sick, and those that refuse the vaccine have made their choice and accept the risks.  I think you're right and we hit 60-65% vaccinations countrywide. I think that will be enough though along with prior infections for herd immunity. 

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On the topic of herd immunity... I agree with what is said in this story.  Just try to get as many people vaccinated as possible and stop focusing as much on a catchy term that in some ways is a moving target.  Theoretically, a place could get to herd immunity and then pop back out as seasons change or if other variants come out that cut into the efficacy of vaccines, etc.  

 

 

Is herd immunity to COVID-19 possible? Experts increasingly say no.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/04/19/herd-immunity-us-likely-impossible-but-vaccines-can-control-covid/7139419002/

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% received at least one dose by age

Age Apr-19 Apr-18 Apr-12 Daily Δ Weekly Δ
75+ 79.6% 79.5% 78.0% 0.10 pp 1.6 pp
65-74 81.2% 81.0% 78.9% 0.15 pp 2.3 pp
50-64 57.4% 57.0% 52.6% 0.40 pp 4.9 pp
40-49 44.6% 44.1% 39.4% 0.50 pp 5.2 pp
30-39 38.2% 37.7% 33.3% 0.48 pp 4.9 pp
18-29 28.6% 28.2% 23.8% 0.48 pp 4.9 pp
0-17 1.81% 1.71% 1.16% 0.09 pp 0.65 pp
16-17 15.9% 15.1% 10.2% 0.82 pp 5.7 pp
16+ 50.0% 49.6% 45.7% 0.40 pp 4.4 pp
All 40.3% 40.0% 36.8% 0.32 pp 3.5 pp

% fully vaccinated by age

Age Apr-19 Apr-18 Apr-12 Daily Δ Weekly Δ
75+ 65.7% 65.4% 62.7% 0.20 pp 2.9 pp
65-74 65.0% 64.7% 60.5% 0.33 pp 4.5 pp
50-64 35.0% 34.3% 28.1% 0.65 pp 6.9 pp
40-49 25.3% 24.9% 20.8% 0.46 pp 4.5 pp
30-39 21.1% 20.7% 17.5% 0.38 pp 3.6 pp
18-29 13.9% 13.6% 11.2% 0.28 pp 2.7 pp
0-17 0.35% 0.33% 0.22% 0.02 pp 0.14 pp
16-17 3.1% 2.9% 1.89% 0.19 pp 1.2 pp
16+ 32.3% 31.9% 28.0% 0.41 pp 4.3 pp
All 26.0% 25.7% 22.5% 0.33 pp 3.5 pp
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2 minutes ago, TimB84 said:

Texas. Well look at that, the defiance of the people of Texas managed to produce a covid variant that hopefully isn’t resistant to the vaccine.

I remember when this pandemic first started and all the doctors/scientists were saying that Covid-19 does not mutate rapidly like the flu virus does. They were quite wrong about that one. Seems there is a different mutation every day. 

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The thing I'm curious about is how the pace of covid mutations compares to other coronaviruses that were already out there.  Is it on the quicker side or does it just seem that way because of all the attention that covid is getting?

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This data scientist projected the vaccination rates and infection rates back in December with adjustments made up until early March. What's impressive to me is that he correctly projected when cases would start to plateau and slowly increase through the last 6 weeks and appears to correctly have predicted the peak in cases to within a week. Let's hope he's accurate with how fast and how far cases drop over the next two months. 

https://covid19-projections.com/path-to-herd-immunity/

He is also the only site that I've seen where the vaccination rates were projected out in time.  He predicted ahead of time that new vaccinations would rise and peak about 1 week ago and then fall sharply over the next month and remain at a relatively low level until the fall when presumably younger people will be approved to get vaccinated. He made this apparently accurate projection without any knowledge of the J&J clotting issue.

This is a long way of saying that though vaccine rates are likely to drop over the next few weeks, try not to get discouraged,  we probably have enough people vaccinated to get cases through the summer to an extremely low level,  even "well below 10,000" :rolleyes:.

If things go as expected and no crazy escape variant emerges then the next stress test will be in the fall.

I'm curious once we get cases really low if we'll be able to utilize rapid testing and tracing more effectively to try and contain localized outbreaks. It seems like NZ and Australia have shown that this is possible but only when the virus isn't widespread. 

 

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The virus can only mutate so much. All of these variants are targeting the same 3-4 portions of the spike protein. The virus changing so much that suddenly it can reinfect a significant part of the population again in a short time frame is just not going to happen.

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