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Cause for cautious optimism?


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17 minutes ago, almostretired said:

I believe in wearing a mask but having a single person dictate what we must or must not do, is a step in a direction that we would not even consider.

Do you obey speed limits?  Wear a seat belt?  Not yell fire in a theater?  Why, they are also dictated.  Life is full of rules for the common good. 

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7 hours ago, TRIPACIAN said:

I agree they should be worn where appropriate but if they are not worn correctly they don’t really protect you or others.  I am sure tat they are better than nothing but let’s not kid ourselves that they are the answer to this pandemic.  

It is true that a mask is essentially useless if worn improperly, and that far too many people do not wear them properly.  Or they wear single layer gaiters that have been shown to be ineffective.  Or masks with valves that do nothing to protect others from the wearer's exhaled droplets.  And there is no reason that a mask is ineffective just because it it homemade.  A properly made mask with 3 layers that fits correctly will protect others far better than an N95 mask with valves.  Or worse yet, a KN95 (Chinese) mask with valves.  Many of the KN95s have been shown to be only about half as effective as the N95s.

 

None of that changes the near certainty that if everyone did wear appropriate masks properly it would provide a major decrease in the rate of transmission from one person to another.  The problem is with people's behavior, NOT with the masks!

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2 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

This is purely and simply rationalization.  Rationalization to deflect from the fact that there's only one root motive to not wear a mask in public: you simply don't want to.  But that's such an utterly selfish act that it must be papered over with "masks don't work," "people don't wear them properly" (which implies they do work), etc.

 

But it the end it's really just "I DON'T WANNA." 

 

But wait....In your desire to cast me as an evil, selfish boogieman, you left out another possible root motive.  That I hate humanity and want everyone to get fatally sick and die.  And that by not wearing a mask, I'm taking my one small step towards that goal.

 

Or was that a step too far for you to take?  Which just goes to demonstrate that any assumption about "only one root motive" is just that....a major, unsubstantiated assumption driven by personal opinion.

 

You have no idea of my personal root motives about anything.  And I would appreciate if you refrain from making such assumptions in the future.

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18 hours ago, TRIPACIAN said:

Does anyone really believe that the masks that most people are wearing really work.  Many, maybe most,  are poorly made, improperly worn and if you watch closely you will see people touching their masks and moving them around with their hands.

 

I have observed masks taken off and placed on dining tables and chairs.  People will take them off to talk!   On a recent visit to a doctor he wore his mask below his nostrils and jokingly said he had trouble breathing with the mask.  Any medically trained person will cringe when observing the lack of proper sterile protocol!  
 

I agree they should be worn where appropriate but if they are not worn correctly they don’t really protect you or others.  I am sure tat they are better than nothing but let’s not kid ourselves that they are the answer to this pandemic.  

Well yes if you say most I say "most" do work as the majority of the people I see are wearing the ones recommended by the scientists.  They are the surgical ones.  They work.  The cloth ones are OK but the scientists I follow recommend the surgical ones over these.  I also wear the K95 protective mask.

 

I agree.  You have to wear it above your nostrils and when I am in a grocery store and seeing someone wear it improperly I stay as far away as I can.

 

I don't keep my mouth closed.  From time to time I have seen a few people (a few employees and customers) at our local grocery store not wearing their mask. Sometimes they are outside vendors.  From a distance I ask them to please wear their mask.  What is upsetting to me is if you have COVID-19 and even for a few minutes are not wearing your mask I think of the droplets in the air and how your mask does not protect you 100% from this.  I believe in speaking up because of the risk these people cause.  

 

The mask is our medicine. With the right mask and one worn properly, with social distancing and with the frequent washing and of ones hands this is indeed our medicine and provides us with a good deal of protection.  Now studies show six feet is the minimum but more is better so I highly recommend social distancing greater than six feet.

 

The problem IMHO is when people don't wear masks inside and when outside when they can't social distance.  I think the problem is at restaurants and bars where people don't wear masks and I think we are kidding ourselves if we think you will be fine.  I follow the scientists who say don't eat inside and don't fly on planes if you don't have to.  I know some of my friends are taking road trips but not for me.  The only way I might do this is if I wanted to rent an RV and cook all our meals.  However, I have no desire to do this.  And when people are having get togethers with family and/or friends inside I think that is a terrible mistake unless these are people who live with you under one roof.

 

Honestly, the interim solutions are so simple and while they don't guarantee you 100% they are pretty darn good and if people would just follow them we would be in a far greater place.  Somehow some countries made this work without medicine and vaccines but we didn't.  They also did other things which we didn't do.  This included contact tracing, and more frequent testing and made it easier to test and they enforced things like quarantines rather than how we did it with an honor system.  

 

Anyway, wear a mask, wear the right one, wear it correctly, social distance and more distance is better, wash hands often and thoroughly, avoid indoor restaurants, avoid planes, avoid large crowds, and don't plan on having holiday celebrations with people who do not live with you. If we do this we will do so much better but unfortunately we are now starting from a terrible situation because some have chosen to ignore all of this.

 

It's not rocket science.  

 

Keith

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3 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

don't plan on having holiday celebrations with people who do not live with you.

I am planning on a holiday celebration with people who do not live with me, in fact more relatives than most years.  It will be on Zoom if we can figure out an appropriate time frame for people living in 3 different time zones.  It's not hard to even find some small silver linings in the need to be careful.

 

Roy

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18 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

I am planning on a holiday celebration with people who do not live with me, in fact more relatives than most years.  It will be on Zoom if we can figure out an appropriate time frame for people living in 3 different time zones.  It's not hard to even find some small silver linings in the need to be careful.

 

Roy

Terrific Roy!!!

 

We plan to do this as well with both of our families.

 

We do a weekly Zoom with people we used I would spin (indoor cycling) with.  A fun way to stay in virtual contact with everyone.

 

You are right It is a silver lining and Zoom itself is an example of an enterprise whichhas boomed due to COVID-19.  I guess the same could be said of the makers of face masks. 

 

Keith

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15 hours ago, KirkNC said:

Do you obey speed limits?  Wear a seat belt?  Not yell fire in a theater?  Why, they are also dictated.  Life is full of rules for the common good. 

You miss the point Kirk.  We live in a nation that was established to prevent a single person from making rules.  The Constitution limits powers and does not authorize the President to unilaterally decide what is in the national interests.  Speed limits vary by states and seat belt requirements are in state not federal laws.  Yelling fire in a crowded theater is an example where "freedom of speech" was defined by the courts not dictated.  Do I wear a mask?  Absolutely.  Do I socially distance?  Absolutely.  Am I a responsible citizen who can make decisions on my health without having one person declare what I must do?  Absolutely.  

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9 minutes ago, almostretired said:

You miss the point Kirk.  We live in a nation that was established to prevent a single person from making rules.  The Constitution limits powers and does not authorize the President to unilaterally decide what is in the national interests.  Speed limits vary by states and seat belt requirements are in state not federal laws.  Yelling fire in a crowded theater is an example where "freedom of speech" was defined by the courts not dictated.  Do I wear a mask?  Absolutely.  Do I socially distance?  Absolutely.  Am I a responsible citizen who can make decisions on my health without having one person declare what I must do?  Absolutely.  

Glad to hear you are responsible.  if you want to believe a single person is making the rules, thats your right.  I don't believe that.  Scientists make recommendations, they use multiple opinions to arrive at those recommendations.  They are not edicts from on high by one person.

 

One person actually can make rules, the President can issue Executive Orders that become law or rules.  Presidents from both parties have done this.

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Presumption is that Masks are effective or at least somewhat effective or if worn properly are effective.

 

These are inferences derived from inferential reasoning not by facts.  No study conducted prior to this pandemic or subsequently has shown that wearing a mask is effective.  

Fact; The virus is three times smaller than the filtration system of the N95 mask and vastly smaller than the filtration system provided by the standard cloth mask.

Scientists are speculating on exactly how the virus is transmitted but have been unable to come to a firm conclusion.  First it was believed to be on contact with surfaces and so our rush to buy clorox wipes.  And even though scientists now consider this form of transmission  to be an extremely remote possibility, there is still a belief by many in the public that wiping down everything will stop the spread.  

The arguments for masks is the theory that the virus is spread by its choosing a carrier that is larger than the filtration system of the mask.  Like spit.  But the evidence to support this theory is not better than the theory that the virus operates independent of the carrier, it is just inference. 

Fact: The CDC survey of covid 19 positive in July indicated that 70% Claim to be wearing a mask properly at all times and another 15% were wearing a mask most of the time.  Of course the respondents could be liars.

Fact:  Europe is undergoing a substantial increase in Covid 19 cases.  The increase is seen in European countries where mask wearing encouraged and even mandated.  It is also increasing in Sweden where mask wearing is discouraged but at a smaller pace in Sweden that in many of the countries that push the wearing of Masks.

 

Inferential reasoning is sometimes prone to error.  In 1400 the general belief was the world was flat.  Its obvious. If it was round we would fall off.  In 1500 the general belief was the world was round.  The facts did not change but we realized that inferential reasoning could be wrong.

 

You may BELIEVE that masks are effective.  You may have FAITH that the mask is the answer to stopping the spread of the Virus  You may find comfort in reliance on the Scientists you choose to follow.  For all I know you may be right and you may find redemption in following the Scientists of your choosing.  But as of now you are following the theory not the facts. 

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Actually individual actions have been mandated by Governor's and in some cases Governor's have given this decision making to Mayors.  

 

There are things which can be done at the Federal level and other things at the State Level.

 

Some countries got this right because they made the decisions at the national level and never let politics get in the way.

 

They did a real lockdown.  They did a real quarantine.  They did contact tracing.  They did testing.

 

The results speak for themselves.

 

These countries got the number so low that they have had few cases and one country did have a big increase in one state so they made lots of right decisions to get it back down.

 

We missed the "boat".

 

Keith

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26 minutes ago, Wonderingabout said:

 

Fact:  Europe is undergoing a substantial increase in Covid 19 cases.  The increase is seen in European countries where mask wearing encouraged and even mandated.  It is also increasing in Sweden where mask wearing is discouraged ...

 

Fact: in Europe COVID is increasing not because of the inefficiency of masks but because they are a whole bunch of people who with similar arguments than yours, do not wear masks and become super spreaders because they are always in big events or with many people. 
 

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As the OP for this thread, I have naturally followed it's evolution with interest. However, having regard to the thread's title, I do feel that yesterday's Pfizer announcement really could be a gamechanger. 

Over the course of the pandemic, it has been so clear that a number of the scientific boffins have not been slow to enjoy expressing their views, frequently contradicting each other. Of course, each has strongly asserted that theirs is the correct standpoint and their fellow alumni have simply got it wrong. Moreover, in the UK, projections made have so often been found to be, frankly, woefully inaccurate and often just scaremongering.

We have therefore focused on where opinions do not differ, eg the importance of face coverings, social distancing, washing hands and ventilation in indoor settings. As for the contradictory other opinions, these have been treated cautiously.

In the UK, our Prime Minister, accompanied by our Deputy Chief Medical Officer, broadcast live yesterday evening on the BBC. What was clear is that, provided, the safety data, peer review(s) and regulatory approval process goes well, this vaccine will start to roll out here before Xmas, subject to manufacturing capacity. 90% protection (VERY high for a vaccine) would be conveyed 14 days after the second dose, which is administered 21 days after the first. Further, the results announced for this particular vaccine give great cause for optimism for the vast majority of the various other vaccines approaching the end of their final phase trials. In the UK we have a total of some 300 million pre-orders, enough to vaccinate 150 million people !

If this is not a cause for cautious optimism, what is ?

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Just listened to Dr. Fauci.  Three key points.

 

1.  They are finding the biggest spreader of COVID-19 are those small family gatherings where people are inside and are not wearing masks.  Why?  Because you might have people who have the virus and have no symptoms and they get others sick.  People are complacent because they say to myself I know these people so they can't have the virus.

 

2.  Most recent studies show that masks help both ways.  Originally the thought was the benefit is if you are sick and wear a mask you are protecting other people and if we all do this we help each others.  The recent studies show that if someone is sick and not wearing a mask but you have one on you will get a decent benefit.  

He did stress is if we all wear the masks, all social distance, and all wash hands often and thoroughly we would all be in a much better place.

 

3.  Help is on the way.  In the USA we should know in just a few weeks if the Pfizer Vaccine is ready for prime time and if the FDA is ready to sign off.  If it receives approaval vaccination would begin in December for priority people such as medical personnel.

 

Time will tell but the bottom line is everyone in the world doing their part to wear masks, social distance and wash hands we will be in a much better place and if this will be enhanced if the Pfizer Vaccine gets approval, is made in sufficient quantities and people get vaccinated.

 

Keith

 

 

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3 hours ago, kool kruiser said:

As the OP for this thread, I have naturally followed it's evolution with interest. However, having regard to the thread's title, I do feel that yesterday's Pfizer announcement really could be a gamechanger. 

Over the course of the pandemic, it has been so clear that a number of the scientific boffins have not been slow to enjoy expressing their views, frequently contradicting each other. Of course, each has strongly asserted that theirs is the correct standpoint and their fellow alumni have simply got it wrong. Moreover, in the UK, projections made have so often been found to be, frankly, woefully inaccurate and often just scaremongering.

We have therefore focused on where opinions do not differ, eg the importance of face coverings, social distancing, washing hands and ventilation in indoor settings. As for the contradictory other opinions, these have been treated cautiously.

In the UK, our Prime Minister, accompanied by our Deputy Chief Medical Officer, broadcast live yesterday evening on the BBC. What was clear is that, provided, the safety data, peer review(s) and regulatory approval process goes well, this vaccine will start to roll out here before Xmas, subject to manufacturing capacity. 90% protection (VERY high for a vaccine) would be conveyed 14 days after the second dose, which is administered 21 days after the first. Further, the results announced for this particular vaccine give great cause for optimism for the vast majority of the various other vaccines approaching the end of their final phase trials. In the UK we have a total of some 300 million pre-orders, enough to vaccinate 150 million people !

If this is not a cause for cautious optimism, what is ?

Well said, Colin!

 

I logged in earlier today and checked this thread expecting significant debate around the extraordinary news of the Pfizer vaccine. No mention at all.

I have come back several hours later and, at last, one comment!

 

Surely this is at least the beginning of what we have been waiting for?

 

On the down side it seems to me that we might find a restart is further postponed. After all, why would you not want to wait 'a bit' longer for a vaccine now that we seem to be so much closer to one?

 

Interesting to see the (UK) priority order for those to receive the vaccine. Elderly cruisers are not first in the queue (sorry, line..) but neither are we at the back of the queue. Yay! I have renewed confidence that we will be cruising 'safely' second half of 2021 - that's my prediction.

 

Adrian

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7 hours ago, Wonderingabout said:

Fact: The CDC survey of covid 19 positive in July indicated that 70% Claim to be wearing a mask properly at all times and another 15% were wearing a mask most of the time.  Of course the respondents could be liars.

I don't think this study addressed the issue of being around others who were not wearing masks, or not properly.  It seems almost impossible to avoid this if you are out in public, no matter how conscientious you are about wearing your own mask.  This only emphasizes the importance of EVERYONE wearing masks properly.  I do think your own mask provides you some protection, but not nearly as much as you would be protected if everyone else wore them also.  The people who do not wear masks, or not properly, are the reason that masks don't work.

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7 hours ago, Keith1010 said:

Some countries got this right because they made the decisions at the national level and never let politics get in the way.

 

They did a real lockdown.  They did a real quarantine.  They did contact tracing.  They did testing.

 

The results speak for themselves.

The results that when they ease up on the lockdowns, the virus comes back with another spike?  Hopefully the upcoming vaccine(s) will break the cycle, since permanent lockdown cannot be the answer.

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Regarding the vaccine, every expert who has been commenting on the vaccine has emphasized how difficult it will be to distribute.  Many obstacles are in our path since it is the first RNA-based vaccine ever.  It requires 2 doses (which require double the number of doses to be produced compared to a regular flu vaccine).  It must be refrigerated below a certain temperature and most clinics will need additional equipment to be able to do so.  Most commentators said the earliest we can expect the vaccine to be widely available is late summer.

 

I hope that projected timeline is wrong.

 

My travel agent is participating in the Moderna vaccine trials and he believes Moderna's vaccine will also be effective and available along with the Pfizer vaccine.  Perhaps that will help speed things along.

 

We can only hope.

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1 hour ago, bitob said:

Regarding the vaccine, every expert who has been commenting on the vaccine has emphasized how difficult it will be to distribute.  Many obstacles are in our path since it is the first RNA-based vaccine ever.  It requires 2 doses (which require double the number of doses to be produced compared to a regular flu vaccine).  It must be refrigerated below a certain temperature and most clinics will need additional equipment to be able to do so.  Most commentators said the earliest we can expect the vaccine to be widely available is late summer.

 

I hope that projected timeline is wrong.

 

My travel agent is participating in the Moderna vaccine trials and he believes Moderna's vaccine will also be effective and available along with the Pfizer vaccine.  Perhaps that will help speed things along.

 

We can only hope.

 

According to a report I heard this morning, it must be stored at -75C (-103F) for long term efficacy to be maintained over a six month period. It can be stored in dry ice and maintain its efficacy for about 14 days. Happened to be at my GP's office today and he pointed out a vaccine at -75C cannot be safely administered and must be at a higher temperature. He also said it would not be the first vaccine that required storage at such a low temperature. Still lots of logistical issues to overcome, but temperature is a bit of a "red herring".

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17 hours ago, kool kruiser said:

As the OP for this thread, I have naturally followed it's evolution with interest. However, having regard to the thread's title, I do feel that yesterday's Pfizer announcement really could be a gamechanger. 

Over the course of the pandemic, it has been so clear that a number of the scientific boffins have not been slow to enjoy expressing their views, frequently contradicting each other. Of course, each has strongly asserted that theirs is the correct standpoint and their fellow alumni have simply got it wrong. Moreover, in the UK, projections made have so often been found to be, frankly, woefully inaccurate and often just scaremongering.

We have therefore focused on where opinions do not differ, eg the importance of face coverings, social distancing, washing hands and ventilation in indoor settings. As for the contradictory other opinions, these have been treated cautiously.

In the UK, our Prime Minister, accompanied by our Deputy Chief Medical Officer, broadcast live yesterday evening on the BBC. What was clear is that, provided, the safety data, peer review(s) and regulatory approval process goes well, this vaccine will start to roll out here before Xmas, subject to manufacturing capacity. 90% protection (VERY high for a vaccine) would be conveyed 14 days after the second dose, which is administered 21 days after the first. Further, the results announced for this particular vaccine give great cause for optimism for the vast majority of the various other vaccines approaching the end of their final phase trials. In the UK we have a total of some 300 million pre-orders, enough to vaccinate 150 million people !

If this is not a cause for cautious optimism, what is ?

Great news, but still have lots more to get through (at least in the US). Following Dr. Michael Osterholm and Dr. Fauci keeps focus on scientific evidence and is helpful to get through and to reduce risk, exposure, spread. 

 

This recent podcast (of a weekly series) has Dr. Osterholm expressing realistic but ultimately hopeful expectations: 

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/covid-19/podcasts-webinars/episode-30

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Well, I realize that those in the US have a little distraction going on at the moment but does that, alone, explain the difference in perspectives here?!

 

We are being told a vaccination programme is planned to start in early December. The cold temperature issue is not nearly as significant an issue as being made out ('vaccine is stable for up to 48 hours after defrosting') and a million per week will be vaccinated, starting with those in care homes, then front line staff, then in 5 year age bands. Now, for sure, it will take a while but if it happens like this it will be an extraordinary improvement on the situation. Yes, still lots of question marks but it sounds very hopeful.

 

I predicted yesterday a second half of '21 cruise restart. To demonstrate my confidence (but realism) we have booked an August British Isles cruise on a small ship. 

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I spoke with my physician about the Pfizer Vaccine in September and she noted the requirement.  She said the shelf life will be days not weeks.  Basically, they get it and use it.  Hopefully there will be other vaccines as well.  The challenge is that most if not all will require two dosages and you will need to get the same one twice.

 

For those who remember when the shingles vaccine came out a couple of years ago you needed two.  You had to wait a certain amount of time before you could get the second but you had to get the second within a certain time frame.  Unfortunately, when the shortage came many places didn't reserve dosages for those who got them the first time around and some people couldn't get the second one in time.  Most overcame this with better tracking.

 

For those in the USA if you watched 60 minutes from this past Sunday one of the segments was on the Military's role in dispersing the vaccines.

 

Dr. Fauci has said a lot of work has been done on all of this.  Let's hope it all works.

 

Keith

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