9-Feb-2022 (Wed) Wherein nobody's boosted, and nobody believes that Long COVID exists

You may have seen today's announcement from San Francisco's Maskless Mayor Breed (D-Coronavirus) that SF will be dropping all pretense of requiring masks, against the guidance of both the WHO and the CDC.

I truly cannot comprehend peoples' aversion to wearing masks. It's an itty bitty piece of fabric. How is this even a big deal? These people react to being told "you have to wear a mask some times" as if they're being told they can never eat chocolate again.

My new favorite Twitter account:

Neoliberal John Snow: The father of epidemiology, but neoliberal. Addressing preventable disease through deregulation and individualism.

Cholera cases are declining in our community. Now's the time for everyone to resume drinking fecal contaminated water from the Broad Street pump! #FecalUrgencyOfNormal

According to our front door staff, we have been turning a lot of people away for not being boosted, so that's going great. Even though CA lowered the definition of "mega event" to 500 capacity, it seems that the other large local venues have all decided that they'd rather just cap their attendance at 500 than obey the "mega event" rules. Every venue in town that is not named "DNA Lounge" has decided that requiring boosters is a step too far, and they'd rather allow the infectiously under-vaccinated inside.

It is also driving me bonkers that so many people -- even friends -- have developed this attitude of "I'm tired of the pandemic, everyone's going to catch it anyway, so YOLO", and say things like "if you're boosted you're bulletproof".

I'm tired of it too. But you are not bulletproof.

Nobody seems to be taking the prospect of Long COVID seriously, or even considering that it is a thing that exists. To some degree it is hard to blame them, because the press on it is almost nonexistent.

All of the Long COVID articles open with a heart-wrenching profile of some mom who can't get out of bed because of 24/7 debilitating migraines, or some former triathelete who can no longer walk up stairs, but these are anecdotes, not numbers. Many of the articles say that somewhere between 10% and 30% of people who have even asymptomatic cases of COVID will have some Long COVID symptoms. But how severe and what are the odds of those severe outcomes? That's what nobody seems to be able to tell us.

For some people, the symptoms go away in a few months, but for some (how many??) they don't go away at all. Or COVID results in degenerative neurological conditions. There's some evidence that COVID can cause multiple sclerosis (!!) by re-activating and supercharging other viruses that you likely (90%) already have in your system.

COVID is more like polio than it is like the flu: a virus with a long-term impact.

What causes Long COVID?

Long Covid is a condition that arises after acute infection and often includes shortness of breath, fatigue, and "brain fog" but can also involve a wide range of debilitating problems in the heart, brain, lungs, gut, and other organs. According to the WHO's working definition, long Covid usually occurs three months after symptomatic Covid-19 begins and lasts for at least two months. Sometimes, the symptoms just never go away after the initial infection. Occasionally, they appear months after recovery or after an asymptomatic case. This means that if you've recovered from Covid-19, you're not necessarily in the clear.

Short-term and Long-term Rates of Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

More than half of COVID-19 survivors experienced PASC 6 months after recovery. The most common PASC involved functional mobility impairments, pulmonary abnormalities, and mental health disorders. These long-term PASC effects occur on a scale that could overwhelm existing health care capacity.

pookleblinky:

We don't remember polio nowadays, only longpolio.

In 29.5%, it presents as diarrhea, GI distress. Only 0.5% of cases present with neurological symptoms. For the vast vast majority of people who got a disease which left hundreds of thousands disabled for the rest of their lives, polio was a few days of having the shits. If that.

There is absolutely no way the US would recognize polio as a problem nowadays, or do anything at all useful to try to stop it.

The First Epistemological Problem of Long Covid:

The question that everyone wants an answer to, "What are the chances that if I get COVID-19 I will also get Long Covid?" isn't one that has an answer. We are not going to get any sort of useful statistics about the prevalence rates of Long Covid, not for a long, long time, and maybe not ever. Because two years into this thing, we still don't have a working definition of Long Covid.

A few weeks ago a good friend said to me, "Eight week ago I caught COVID, boosted, and I still feel like shit" -- and then in the next sentence said, "So are you coming to my birthday party?"

If I believed that the worst thing that might happen to me, being boosted, was a few weeks of having to deal with the worst cold I'd had in my life, I'd have gone to my friend's party. But when I'm reading about possibly-double-digit percentage odds that I could end up with a condition that leads to having to drag an oxygen tank behind me for the rest of my life, or losing the use of my legs, I think I'll be staying home for a while longer.

In the US alone, we're having one 9/11 worth of deaths per day, and will be hitting one million deaths in just a few weeks. The first Omicron surge isn't even over yet and Omicron BA.2 is coming up fast and is 1.5 times more infectious and more able to re-infect.

But Maskless Mayor Breed says "YOLO" so here we are I guess.

49 Responses:

  1. kest says:

    Funny you should mention never eating chocolate again, since one of the possible symptoms of long Covid is having common foods like chocolate taste like garbage to you forever.

  2. Jon says:

    Omicron is a bitch.

    Went to a small neighborhood birthday "party" two weeks ago. 3 out of 6 adults left infected + 2 out of 3 kids. Adults were all boosted, everyone was tested negative, additionally. One adult had a mild course, one is still in bed, barely able to breath.

  3. Miss Kitty says:

    I appreciate what you've said here. I feel similarly. A lot of the people in my life have gone back to behaving like they did before the pandemic, seeming to think the pandemic is over. Then I have several friends suffering with Long Covid...I see how miserable and sick they are, and I wouldn't want to risk that. I wouldn't want anyone I love to go through that. Those people who choose to believe the pandemic is over, or that they won't get that sick if they DO catch Covid have a sense of immortality that I just don't have. I appreciate the precautions DNA has taken to help support the health and wellbeing of its employees and patrons alike.

  4. Swede Bjorn says:

    Hehe, it's almost like the politicians and media thinks the whole thing is made up. Lucky it ain't so, because we got our huggy bear WHO!

    • sleepdedication says:

      i so sorely wish they were better at messaging, but they're certainly preferable to the local alternative...

  5. wolv says:

    seems like everyone i come in contact with is no longer taking this shit seriously, if they ever did, and meanwhile i'm watching a significant fraction of my friends elsewhere mourn a good friend of theirs, who was fully vaccinated and is now dead

  6. sipior says:

    Please forgive me, I don't intend any disrespect. But if you really mean what you say, that despite being fully vaccinated, you fear long-term consequences from a possible COVID infection, why the hell is the DNA Lounge still open? You mention the CDC, which flat out said a few weeks back that "itty bitty piece of fabric" masks weren't terribly effective against the omicron variant, one imagines even less so when they are constantly removed and then replaced (as you presumably wish to keep selling beer to your patrons). Whilst any protection is better than none, it seems unlikely they will keep you from getting infected after an hour or two in close proximity with a contagious person.
    You make it sound as though you wouldn't want to step inside your own business, despite a vaccine booster. Why then would we?

      • sipior says:

        That's lazy, tonyc. Sure, I get it, it's hard to use your own words to communicate; much easier to copy a cartoon that you saw somewhere once and that you (mistakenly) believe is vaguely appropriate. Still, you might surprise yourself if you try. I believe in you.

    • CSL3 says:

      Because the Lounge is still subject to a horrible system of capitalism, requiring regular income to stay alive. In a system that actually cared abput its populace, local and federal gov't would provide continuous 💰 to citizens and small biz as they all stayed home.

      The Lounge is still open because it has the most thorough COVID checks anywhere: requiring boosters; not accepting photos🤳🏽 of vax cards; requiring masks at all times; etc.

      Hell, the Lounge constantly turns away paying customers at the door when they don't produce the above, putting public safety over profit. Just the other day, a band from this past Sunday ranted online about their friends being turned away at the door because they "didn't know boosters were required" (despite this very blog showing the Lounge has been saying it for months now).

      I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Lounge is the ONLY place where I've felt 💯% safe during the entire pandemic.

    • jwz says:

      Because if we aren't open, I can't pay my staff, and they can't pay their rent or eat.

      Last year, when all indoor events and dining were prohibited (based on case numbers that were far lower than they are today) there was some Federal and State grant money to help us continue to pay our staff, our rent, our license fees, our insurance...

      Those grants no longer exist. Because we're back to "normal" now.

      I believe that all restaurants and clubs should be required to be closed right now, and should be being paid for it like last time. But since that money is no longer available, I don't have many options here.

      Biden and Breed are of one mind on this: "What, you want another government handout so you can stay closed? Fuck you, get back to work. It's just a cold."

      • sipior says:

        Thanks for responding; I know you're busy. I phrased my comment rather inartfully, as I think I was trying to make the opposite point (that maybe we don't need to be continuously scaring ourselves after these two long years), but I won't waste your time trying to clarify. Best wishes to you and your staff in this rough patch.

    • Nameless says:

      I would much rather have one nightclub that is serious about covid safety than zero.

  7. Flotsam says:

    The Canadian Olympic hockey team is playing in masks. How can going to a shop or club in a mask be such a hardship?

  8. The arguments I hear against wearing a mask/face covering are either "I'm not infected so I shouldn't need to", or some libertarian rant about taking back control. These libertarians wear clothes to shops even when it is hot and sunny - surely if they wanted total control over their bodies and to avoid any control they should go without clothes! In fact, being libertarians, they should grow their own food and not use shops that sell food grown with Government subsidy (nor should they drive to the shops on roads paid for by local councils).

    I think there are problems with parents of school children over here in the UK. Most of the anti-vaxx/anti-mask/anti-pandemic posters and stickers near me appear near schools (or even on the entrance gates), and most of the people who didn't wear a mask in shops when it was mandated were parents with children.

  9. Carlos says:

    Post-acute viral syndromes are all of: far more common than common knowledge suggests; poorly understood; and difficult to get study funding for.

    Long COVID is frightening, even with the limited study that's been done. I read the abstract of a study showing post-acute COVID patients had an order of magnitude greater chance of dying of a cardiac issue within a year of COVID "recovery" than people who hadn't had COVID.

    Take care out there, folks.

    C.

    • Corey says:

      Yep. Before covid hit, the CDC estimated that 2.5 million in the USA have ME/CFS (mostly undiagnosed). ME/CFS is a post-viral condition that many experts think explains the non physical damage parts of Long Covid. It put me from gymnast/circus performer/martial artist/dancer to wheelchair in days. It has been ignored, underfunded and dismissed. Now with the funding and attention of Long Covid it is getting a little more recognition. It has a bigger life impact and numbers impact than AIDS does now, or MS, but it gets less funding by an order of magnitude. No marches for us.

  10. Corey says:

    With you 100%. As a former athlete, circus artist, martial artist and dancer who got ME/CFS almost 5 years ago after a virus (it can happen after any virus) and is now in a wheelchair and can't even sit upright for long, Long Covid is not something you want.

    It is widely thought to be at least related to ME/CFS if not the same thing plus extra symptoms in cases of physical damage from clotting (see articles here: https://cfs-me-navigator.com/covid-and-cfs%2Fme). Trust me, you can go from being a badass to bed bound in days, and you don't want it.

    I just got booster #2 as an immune compromised person. I have been careful as hell through this because getting covid could make me a whole category worse (which for me means a feeding tube and stuck in bed unable to move).

    • Keith says:

      Sorry that happened to you. I'm also a martial artist and it's crazy to me that there are people rolling around on the mats dripping sweat into each others' eyes right now. They also think I'm the crazy one for taking an (extended) break from training.

  11. grendelkhan says:

    I realize that uncertainty is high here, but it's possible, even likely, that vaccinated people don't get long COVID. (Well, no more than people who never had COVID in the first place.)

    Researchers in Israel report that people who have had both SARS-CoV-2 infection and doses of Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine were much less likely to report any of a range of common long-COVID symptoms than were people who were unvaccinated when infected. In fact, vaccinated people were no more likely to report symptoms than people who’d never caught SARS-CoV-2. The study has not yet been peer reviewed.

    • Corey says:

      The fact is we don't _know_ much about it yet. One study doesn't amount to much unless it is gigantic, like the new Epstein Barr causing MS study that just came out. You want to risk living like me, mostly in bed for the rest of your life on one study?

    • Corey says:

      Also the "no more likely to report" thing becomes less relevant when you realize that ME/CFS is a legit post-viral illness that happens after ANY viral infection and has the exact same symptoms as "long covid" (likely because its the same thing). This means that there can be people still getting long covid after vaccination in equal amounts to people getting ME/CFS from other viruses. It's not zero. Knowing what I know now I worry about all viruses frankly. My 5 years of hell came after a norovirus.

    • sleepdedication says:

      anecdotal evidence already demonstrates that's not true, but jwz is right that it'll probably be years before we get any kind of data on that. but obviously it's well established that vaccines are the best protection we've got.

    • Elusis says:

      You're gonna want excerpt #4 up there, friend.

  12. Gianteye says:

    Also worth noting that the effectiveness of the current vaccines fall over time. The study linked below, which tracked PCR-positive covid cases to capture asymptomatic infections, found protection dropped off about 3% every 25 days.

    Effect of Delta variant on viral burden and vaccine effectiveness against new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the UK

    I'm not an epidemiologist, but it seems like their data shows an initial 86% protection from the Pfizer vaccine 14 days after the second dose (Table 2, Ct<30). Your chances of getting a Ct<30 covid case relative to unvaccinated people went from ~10% two weeks after the second dose to ~20% (Figure S3, first chart) 75 days later. If I'm right here that would mean someone who got vaccinated in the US right when the first Phizer dose went out (Dec 14, 2020) would have peak immunity five weeks after that, and would have around 50% protection relative to an unvaccinated person today.

    This isn't an argument against vaccination. They're obviously very effective. My point here is there's no way to rely on vaccines alone to control the pandemic. There's no way (especially given the impacts of administrative failure, business lobbying, and vaccine hesitancy) to get a meaningful proportion of Americans boosted every six months or so until the pandemic ends.

    The advice coming from the people who were supposed to be managing the pandemic is now entirely about personal responsibility. Everyone can't afford to just walk off the job if their boss tells them they can't wear a mask at work because it scares the customers. Individual altruism can't make sure schools are properly ventilated, especially when school administrations are spending their relief money on new stadiums and security cameras. There are millions of people in jail and they can't just choose to get vaccinated, socially distance, or wear a mask. Their health is dependent on the systems around them. The vaccine took a massive coordinated effort to produce, test, and distribute. Why would it be the only public health measure that requires this kind of management to work?

    If we leave all the non pharmaceutical interventions to personal choice it guarantees they'll be followed intermittently, idiosyncratically, and ineffectively. America isn't the only country on earth and you don't have to go far to find nations with far fewer resources performing far better than us when it comes to the health of their population. Why take a chance on personal virtue when we know systematic management of public health works?

  13. I am cautiously optimisitic about Long Covid for the fully vaccinated:
    Israel Study:

    Conclusions Vaccination with at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine was associated with a substantial decrease in reporting the most common post-acute COVID-19 symptoms, bringing it back to baseline. Our results suggest that, in addition to reducing the risk of acute illness, COVID-19 vaccination may have a protective effect against long COVID.

    UK Study:

    Receiving two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine before infection was associated with a 41% decrease in the odds of reporting long COVID symptoms, relative to being unvaccinated when infected, in adults aged 18 to 69 years

    • gianteye says:

      Optimistic in what way? In the US there have been 77,179,255 covid cases according to the CDC. The UK study you linked says that 9.5% of double vaxxed study participants reported having long covid. If that's a representative study that would mean the impossibly sunny floor for the number of long covid cases in the US is 7.3 million.

      At least two percent of the entire US population. That number only goes up as you factor in how many people were unvaccinated when they caught covid.

      • There are far fewer breakthrough infections that cause Long Covid.

        For the worried well, who are currently boosted and not already suffering from Long Covid from before you got boosted, the long-term prognosis is: you will be fine.

        Low Long Covid rates in breakthrough infections combined with community spread trending to be very low in heavily vaccinated areas, it looks like if you are going to not get Long Covid in the foreseeable future.

        • jwz says:

          I hope you are right, but there is almost no data to support your claim.

          Telling people "you will be fine" is ABSOLUTELY irresponsible. You don't know that.

          • sleepdedication says:

            seriously! i don't know where these people get off.

          • That's an entirely fair characterization, as I was being irresponsibly glib. The limited data of those two studies seeming to presently indicate that most people who are fully boosted and have not already gotten this disease will likely not get Long Covid in the future. Even that still has a lot of caveats.

            If the waning effectiveness of boosters after 4 months coincides with an additional surge, then there is an increased risk of breakthrough infections. Even while vaccines reduce the risk of Long Covid, a large number of breakthrough infection, would increase the risk of Long Covid in those.

            Given that globally, only a very small percentage of people are protected against omicron, it's fairly likely there will continue to be new variants. Whether the current vaccines protect against Long Covid for those new variants is entirely unknowable.

            I'm still wearing an N95 mask even outside, and I never meant to encourage people to engage in risky behaviors as if it was consequence free.

            I just meant to suggest it's not hopeless. Sorry for being irresponsible.

  14. Justin says:

    We are at a point now, where masking needs to become A-political. Mid-Term Elections are coming up and politicians will need every vote they can get. I doubt anyone wants to hang their hat now on masking when the numbers don't support it.

    I'm hoping that it becomes A-Political, and more of a social more or local sort of policy. In Japan people mask for all sorts of reasons because they have lived through a number of pandemics, and so it becomes a part of their culture to mask under certain terms.

    I'd love to go to DNA Lounge again, and requiring people without government requirement that people Mask is a sales pitch for me. I do understand why masking and drinking or eating seems difficult for people. For bars and restaurants it probably means reduced sales per person.

    We need to tolerate that as this pandemic shifts there might be times to enjoy fewer restriction, and times we need to ramp up more restrictions. Demasking now might help people recharge for the time that we "REALY DO NEED THEM TO MASK." There is only so much we can expect from people, it's better not to burn them out.

    • CSL3 says:

      Anti-masking grew out of a COVID-denying POTUS telling his constituents to inject bleach - it's always political. More importantly, it's the scientifically-proven right way to keep yourself and others safe.

      I'd love to go to DNA Lounge again, and requiring people without government requirement that people Mask is a sales pitch for me.

      No, it's proven medical science that you're refusing to follow.

      Demasking now might help people recharge for the time that we "REALY DO NEED THEM TO MASK."

      You must have been off planet Earth the past 2 1/2 years, 'cause those of us here know what happened each and every time masking regulations were relaxed: a new goddamn surge popped up. Then, the surge died, regulations relaxed again, and another goddamn variant and surge popped up.

      Y'know what they call doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result? Here's a hint, it's not "apolitical".

      • Justin says:

        @CSL3, with this quote I more meant.

        I'd love to go to DNA Lounge again, and requiring people to Mask regardless of government requirements is a sales pitch to me.

        I agree, Masking can help, and if you wear a medical grade KN94 or better mask you can protect yourself and other's against Omicron. I however also know that politicians are on a razor thin margin this time around, and we are through the thick of Omicron, and I'd rather not have politicians in place next time around that are Anti-Mask. COVID, and people involved in "the big lie" are the worst, and I'm willing to take a few hits here and there to make sure those people are NEVER ELECTED.

        If places like DNA Lounge want to privately require masks, that is the sales pitch for me.

        Requiring Politicians that saved our lives to die on this hill now, when there are people that have an economic reason to end masking, is.... maybe not the thing that best serves us all in mid or late 2022 or beyond.

        We have 2 kids, and we can't get them vaccinated yet, and ... the vaccines are not that effective for 2-5 year old's.

        I just think politically we have to be pragmatic and give people a release valve and a bit of hope, before they make a desperate choice.

        Just the other day I was holding DNA Lounges policies up as a shining example to a club promoter in Quebec that is panicking and starting to reshape social media from their 'unmaskers.' I just don't want to give honest people that have stuck with us this long to start moving to 'the big lie' crowd looking for answers and support.

        We need to acknowledge there is a season for all things, and we need to lick our wounds so we can be strong for the next surge.

        If you look at the daily numbers ( not the daily weekly averages being reported on covidactnow ), then you can see the numbers are much lower than they currently appear. I've done some trendline fitting on the numbers released for SF from the NYT, and it looks like we are through the thick of it, and that the current variant of the virus has found most of it's **graph** edges (for now).

        Also with Omicron.B2 if you have Omicron and you are vaccinated you are likely protected.

        I think if masking is going to continue without fatigue, it needs to move from a **law** to a **social mores.**

        Anyways, here's to DNA Lounge being amazing!

        • CSL3 says:

          That is all bullshit and I'll tell you exactly why:

          I agree, Masking can help, and if you wear a medical grade KN94 or better mask you can protect yourself and other's against Omicron. I however also know that politicians are on a razor thin margin this time around, and we are through the thick of Omicron, and I'd rather not have politicians in place next time around that are Anti-Mask.

          That's the same thing anti-vaxxers like Jessica Biel say: "I'm not an anti-vaxxer because I had my own kids vaxxed. I just want others to have 'a choice'." Politicians are always in danger of losing their jobs - that's part of the fucking job and the democratic process that elects and/or removes them. The difference in the US is that we have a duopoly of plain evil Republicans and push-over Democrats.

          No matter what your political leanings, people want leaders who act. Democrats think they'll get re-elected just playing nice to the side that is deliberately sabotaging voting laws. Then they do like you and say shit like: "Bathroom bills are too hot-button an issue; is it really the hill we want to die on?"

          Y'know how COVID makes political issues different? Hill or not, you will literally fucking die.

          If you have kids, don't say that it's ineffective when Pfizer's has been proven effective in kids as young as 6 months and is just waiting for final approval. And if you're in Canada, your truckers are proven bullshit by the fact that Canada's hockey team played with full masks on without inhibiting their performance.

          Masking has been "social more" for 2 1/2 goddamn years now. Those not required to do it didn't, which lead to this shit going on for the aforementioned 2 1/2 goddamn years. You're not being pragmatic, you're letting COVID take over because of right-wing nut jobs. Period.

        • just a frog says:

          We have 2 kids, and we can't get them vaccinated yet, and ... the vaccines are not that effective for 2-5 year old's.

          It would be a good idea for all of the claims you make to be reinforced by any kind of links or data. Show us why you believe that, when it has been allowed on an emergency use basis. Otherwise, you just sound like another anti-vaxxer.

          I just think politically we have to be pragmatic and give people a release valve and a bit of hope, before they make a desperate choice.

          This should not be a political issue at all. This is 100% Global Health. The bit of hope is that people get fully vaxxed, boosted, and take appropriate precautions such as masking as much as possible.

          If you find this offensive, I DO NOT CARE. I am in a hospital/lab/clinics/research areas that deal with this daily. I do not believe you have any idea of what is going on in the clinical world.

          Oh, I forgot. I also fix computers in Autopsy/Morgue. EVERY SINGLE TIME I have been in there since Covid started? Yep, someone with CoVid is being cut up, and the people doing the autopsies are in space suits like from E.T. Prior to all of this, most autopsies were done by the County.

          I think if masking is going to continue without fatigue, it needs to move from a **law** to a **social mores.**

          Maybe if we just wear masks until CoVid turns to Pandemic to Endemic, we can look at moving from "law" to "social mores"? I would love not to wear a mask anymore. I would love to have some friends back who have died from CoVid.

          I'll take my temporary fatigue over my friend's eternal fatigue.

          We need to acknowledge there is a season for all things, and we need to lick our wounds so we can be strong for the next surge.

          You can't possibly believe this is the best place to throw this comment.

          • Justin says:

            Oh, the internet never fails to disappoint. I guess the **social** part of any social media is dead.

            It's clear that it's more fun to be angry, than empathetic or sympathetic.

            Maybe, enjoy some light ( not so light ) reading from Jason Lanier.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaron_Lanier

            I AM NOT AN ANTIMASKER, or ANTIVAXXER and you two trying to deamonize me as such, is why the internet is turning into a toxic waste bin. For all I know you are both Russian Toll bots, lead by an AI that is designed just to divide people.

            Our frontline workers have been doing an amazing job. I have friends that are in the medical industry, from research, bio-informatics, all the way down to people directly caring for people. COVID is real, and is Brutal.

            However, you don't win a war in a day. Politics is about the worst place to get medical advice, and that is my point. Politicians are not our doctors, nor do they care about our individual health. They care about getting elected, and all I'm saying is that those people are playing a game of political calculus where they think they need the votes. London Breed won with fewer than 50% of the vote, and won because of Ranked Choice, she was the right choice, but I'm sure she is nervous about any election.

            Biden, while better than Trump, barely won, and now we have a bunch of loons that don't even accept math, science, or the rule of law anymore. I'm just saying we need to realize that this isn't about making the perfect COVID strategy anymore, Politicians are going to be spending political capital only where they think they need to.

            Should we wear masks? YES! Does a growing percentage of the population not want to and think it's pointless, also, YES.

            Yelling, belittling and talking over people who are in agreement with you, is a good way to sabotage any future efforts to mask.

            I'm getting so tired of this conversation that I might just never come back. I'm already leaving FB and other social media because it's mostly just toxic and run by angry people.

            I'm pissed at Biden, and most of the medical community because I can't get my 4-3/4 yo the 5 year old dose that works! I'm pissed that they took so many years to do the trials on kids. I'm pissed that the GOV keeps acting like they can half ass it and it will magically go away.

            I want the GOV to change building codes, to require improved ventilation, sterilization with UVC-222nm. To think long term about this pandemic, endemic, and future pandemics / endemics.

            I'm pissed that we haven't refined the vaccination testing process further. We can make mRNA vaccines in months now, but it takes years to test and deploy? That's bullshit. It's bullshit that we have to send our kids to school unvaccinated. I've had to stop work 5-10 times because of COVID scares at school, and we have to be extra cautious because we have a 60+ yo at home. We can't risk his life, we can't have anyone in the house get sick, but with that said I also know I can't expect people who don't have those risk factors to stop everything.

            I have single friends in their 20s and they live alone. Their risk isn't from COVID, it's from depression. I'm living in a full house and I feel alone, I'm an extravert, and being locked in a house all the time with the same people is numbing me big time. I don't like it, I can only imagine what it feels like for other people.

            I'm not saying people should be risky, I'm just saying I'm empathetic enough to know that I can't expect everyone to act like we have been acting.

            If people want to be angry here and unsympathetic then this is the space for me to socialize.

            • CSL3 says:

              If your respectability politics bullshit worked, we wouldn't have spent the four year under the thumb of a spray-tanned fascist who shredded the Constitution without even trying to reach across the aisle.

              And don't say you're "not an anti-masker and -vaxxer" when you're using the exact same phrasing of anti-vaxxer/-maskers like Jessica Biel and RFK Jr. They also fall into the Alex Jones category of "I'm just asking questions".

              Those sorts were asked politely two years ago to mask up. Instead, they started fights in Target. If you don't see the stupidity in trying to bargain with people who, one year ago, tried to violently overthrow the government, they YOU are the one who's wrong.

              And you're not a victim of any bullying, so dry your tears.

  15. zach says:

    I agree with all of this. Additionally, if I was the reason someone else got long covid or died I'd be contemplating suicide. All because people are "over" dealing with something that doesn't care about the fact they feel "over" it.

  16. I have a four-year-old and a seven-year-old. These two complain if their pasta is not the exact right temperature, or if their pizza is not cut into the right shape, or if their socks aren't pulled on just so, and yet they have zero complaints about wearing masks for six hours a day every weekday.

    Meanwhile, supposedly grown-ass adults lose their shit about having to wear a mask for fifteen minutes while they get their groceries.

    Also, kids who get COVID apparently have increased risk of Type 1 diabetes, which I know my older child is already genetically predisposed to, so all these mask-whiners can burn right in hell.

  17. Nobody seems to be taking the prospect of Long COVID seriously, or even considering that it is a thing that exists. To some degree it is hard to blame them, because the press on it is almost nonexistent.

    My going response (for which I think I have the Behind the Bastards podcast / Robert Evans to thank) to friends who express this position is:

    "You know 'polio', right? Do you know what the symptoms of polio are? You might think that they're crippling nerve damage, but they aren't: only 0.5% (zero point five percent!) of cases exhibited migration from the gut to the central nervous system. The symptoms of polio are usually shitting yourself for a few days, and then it's gone. What we today think of as 'polio', at worst death, at best being laid wheelchair-bound for life, was, at the time, called 'long polio'. So fuck right off with that 'everybody's going to get it' shit."

  18. tfb says:

    You're obviously right about masking and requiring boosters and fuck people for whom wearing a mask in crowded, enclosed spaces is a problem.

    But I think it should be possible to convincingly place some bounds on long COVID. If a million people in the US have died (all numbers rounded) then if the mortality rate is 1% (same) then about 100 million people have been infected, or between 1 person in 3 and 1 in 4. If serious long COVID affects 1 in 10 infections then between 1 in 30 and 1 in 40 people have it, or about 10 million people.

    Something like that ought to be extremely visible and really beyond the ability of a conspiracy by the government (which is quite possible: dunno about the US but the UK is ruled by a fat entitled child who lies so copiously as to have destroyed any faith in anything the government says or does) to hide simply because the numbers are so enormous. So I suspect it's a lot lower than 10%.

    But that doesn't make it OK. I don't want to take even a 1% chance of having my health seriously damaged for the rest of my life. I am old and I knew people who had had polio (my mother in fact trained to deal with acute polio but never had to, because the vaccine arrived) and no thank you.

    And the whole 'you're going to get it anyway' thing is just classic one-bit-brainery. Yes, in fact, you probably are going to get it anyway unless it's eliminated globally (which there's as much chance of happening as dealing with climate change: so basically zero). In fact given that reinfection is clearly a thing you're likely to get it several times. And each time you get it there's some finite chance of it killing you and some greater finite chance of it crapping all over the rest of your life. So you want to make as sure as you possibly can that you put off getting it as long as you can, and get it as few times as you can, so as to reduce the chance of those things happening. How hard can that be to understand?

    • CSL3 says:

      Something like that ought to be extremely visible and really beyond the ability of a conspiracy by the government[..]

      Actual elected officials believe vaccines implant microchips. NOTHING is "beyond conspiracy".

    • jwz says:

      Something like that ought to be extremely visible

      Ok, how about this, then: Insurance company OneAmerica said the death rate is up a stunning 40% from pre-pandemic levels among 18-64 year olds:

      "Just to give you an idea of how bad that is, a three-sigma or a one-in-200-year catastrophe would be 10% increase over pre-pandemic," he said. "So 40% is just unheard of." [...]

      They explained that they're seeing deaths months after workers "recovered" from Covid from infection-related health consequences (heart attacks, vascular problems, etc.). These deaths don't get classified as "from Covid" because they're no longer "positive."

  19. sleepdedicaiton says:

    it's great to read something about long covid that's more than halfway moral or reasonable. much obliged.

  20. Matt says:

    Honestly, just wanted to drop a note of thanks for fighting the good fight.