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We both tested negative before coming back from Paris but both developed minor cold symptoms after getting back.  We have company coming to visit so we re-tested for peace of mind and so we could tell them to abort if we were positive

Both negative again - apparently just a cold or reaction to the change in climate and travelling.  Haven't had a cold in 2 years so its sort of weird.

Based on the symptoms and that I was better in 2 days  and was never really sick - I was confident it was just travel effects or a cold but am relieved.

@jcocktosten posted:

We both tested negative before coming back from Paris but both developed minor cold symptoms after getting back.  We have company coming to visit so we re-tested for peace of mind and so we could tell them to abort if we were positive

Both negative again - apparently just a cold or reaction to the change in climate and travelling.  Haven't had a cold in 2 years so its sort of weird.

Based on the symptoms and that I was better in 2 days  and was never really sick - I was confident it was just travel effects or a cold but am relieved.

Happy to hear you two are not infected!

@The Old Man posted:

"A Texas man, whose death was the first confirmed Omicron-related in the US, was unvaccinated and had previously been infected with the coronavirus, according to a press release from Harris County Public Health."

Oh well.

Two takeaways here for me:

-immunity gained from infection is no guarantee of safety

-Omicron can kill you too

Which of course, most of us here and a majority of everyone else already know, while those who get their health advice from Fox News and Youtube and some random guy they know will just carry on until it happens to them.

@bman posted:

Two takeaways here for me:

-immunity gained from infection is no guarantee of safety

-Omicron can kill you too

Which of course, most of us here and a majority of everyone else already know, while those who get their health advice from Fox News and Youtube and some random guy they know will just carry on until it happens to them.

I believe 80+% of us will get omicron COVID before it's over.  Too transmissible, and especially if symptoms remain "mild", and our behaviors are unchanged. The four keys will be:

1- Too many will stay unvaccinated or undervaccinated. Will any natural immunity from the illness ever be sufficient, eg long lasting or strong enough to prevent sustained periods of reinfections?

2- Variants are exhibiting more successful mutations. Will a new variant emerge [perhaps mix omecron's infectivity and delta's virulence] to keep COVID a terrible endemic infection?

3- Vaccine and antibody injections are playing catch up to variants as long as there are infections.  Can a more generic coronaviral vaccine be devised to be proactive or are we in an influenza best fit guess mode forever?

4- The toll on health care systems and workers is massive;  emotional  stress; and availability, such as the ability to treat and monitor acute in patient including ICU  problems and outpatient chronic diseases like cancer. Can we prevent collapse of our health systems and damage to our economy under the weight of what's becoming a novel chronic active human disease?

@drtannin 2 posted:

I believe 80+% of us will get omicron COVID before it's over.  Too transmissible, and especially if symptoms remain "mild", and our behaviors are unchanged. The four keys will be:

1- Too many will stay unvaccinated or undervaccinated. Will any natural immunity from the illness ever be sufficient, eg long lasting or strong enough to prevent sustained periods of reinfections?

2- Variants are exhibiting more successful mutations. Will a new variant emerge [perhaps mix omecron's infectivity and delta's virulence] to keep COVID a terrible endemic infection?

3- Vaccine and antibody injections are playing catch up to variants as long as there are infections.  Can a more generic coronaviral vaccine be devised to be proactive or are we in an influenza best fit guess mode forever?

4- The toll on health care systems and workers is massive;  emotional  stress; and availability, such as the ability to treat and monitor acute in patient including ICU  problems and outpatient chronic diseases like cancer. Can we prevent collapse of our health systems and damage to our economy under the weight of what's becoming a novel chronic active human disease?

Longer term, do you think countries with 90%+ fully vaccinated and boostered populations (i.e. Canada and much of Europe) will reach a sufficient level of herd immunity and so can return to some semblance of normal?  Or will less vaccinated countries (I.e. the US) screw it up for us all?

I think there may be a chance that if this virus mutation is less deadly, and hospitalizations don't start going off, we might be seeing the beginning of the diminishment of this disease. I would say this is the case if it goes down to flu like levels (50,000 dead a year with most having co-morbidities), by the end of next year.

Maybe. Meanwhile tens of thousands die needlessly.

It's remarkable that the new life expectancy tables will show a decrease in the US of life expectancy by 2 years.  With all the effort to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease, cancers, and other ailments, the fact that we are losing ground to this virus and its mutations is testament to the strength and power of Covid.

Of course, from March 2020 to the beginning of 2021, there was no vaccine. Thus, all the people who died in that time frame were not vaccinated.  Since the early part of 2021, nearly all the people who have died have been unvaccinated.

The vaccines are really good at preventing death.  That is crystal clear.

@The Old Man posted:

I think there may be a chance that if this virus mutation is less deadly, and hospitalizations don't start going off, we might be seeing the beginning of the diminishment of this disease. I would say this is the case if it goes down to flu like levels (50,000 dead a year with most having co-morbidities), by the end of next year.

Maybe. Meanwhile tens of thousands die needlessly.

or it could be one mutation away from something far more deadly.

I really hope eventually it will get better and kinda normal. I don't want to see a thread called "Coronavirus 2029" but so far it doesn't look very promising. I convinced few of my friends to get the vaccinations and don't see what else can me and other people do to make it better. I have a huge stock of mask and sanitizers from online pharmacy and i never go outside without those in my backpack.

Last edited by evatra

Just got back from Europe.  They certainly seem to handle this better over there.  Everyone required to wear KN95 masks; no one complains.  You just do it.  Everyone's got the vaccine info on their App; they looked at our American paper vaccine cards and didn't have a clue what they meant.  I eventually got all my vaccine and testing information on a Covid App that is required in Switzerland to go into any buildings - I can use it anywhere in western Europe apparently.  You need to be vaccinated to go into any restaurant, shop, etc.

Getting tested over there was a breeze.  Even returning home, where you needed a Covid test within 24 hours of the flight to the US was easy - just got a rapid test at the airport and got the results while I was in the line to check my bags.

I was bummed that I had to wear a mask on the plane for 10 hours, knowing that everyone on the plane had tested negative for Covid within the last 24 hours, and was vaccinated.  But rules are rules.

@Rothko posted:

Just got back from Europe.  They certainly seem to handle this better over there.  Everyone required to wear KN95 masks; no one complains.  You just do it.  Everyone's got the vaccine info on their App; they looked at our American paper vaccine cards and didn't have a clue what they meant.  I eventually got all my vaccine and testing information on a Covid App that is required in Switzerland to go into any buildings - I can use it anywhere in western Europe apparently.  You need to be vaccinated to go into any restaurant, shop, etc.

Getting tested over there was a breeze.  Even returning home, where you needed a Covid test within 24 hours of the flight to the US was easy - just got a rapid test at the airport and got the results while I was in the line to check my bags.

I was bummed that I had to wear a mask on the plane for 10 hours, knowing that everyone on the plane had tested negative for Covid within the last 24 hours, and was vaccinated.  But rules are rules.

The far right politicization of everything, even basic public health, is going to continue to make life increasingly difficult for Americans while life elsewhere just gets on with the business of dealing with the virus and other challenges.

And just wait until the election nonsense really heats up.....

And after that, if the far right (or less worrisome, the far left) candidates win.

We were supposed to go to an 80th birthday party for a good friend up at our Western Maryland condo.  We were up there.  Everyone coming was vaxxed and boosted. But, my wife said, "We're not going. I don't want to be in the same room with 15 people."

The party was Monday night.  We didn't go. Yesterday 5 of the attendees tested positive.  We came back to Baltimore yesterday and got carryout Chinese for dinner.

It's amazing how frequently my wife is right about stuff.

We had to go to a cocktail party last night at a friend's house (she had set the date specifically to yesterday to accommodate our return from Europe - there was no way not to go).  It was an outdoor event, on the patio outside the house.  In past years there'd be 100 people attending; this year maybe 30 people were there.  The party staff all dropped out the day before the party so there was no wait staff, bartenders, etc.  I did have some concern about attending, but I am hoping that basically being outdoors helps to mitigate the risk.  That being said, someone at the party remarked that Omicron was probably in attendance as well, and I suspect that she was correct.

But, at what point do we just decide that being vaccinated and boosted is enough, and go on living (or a small chance of dying)?  I get Irwin's point about not attending, but at what point do we just accept the risks and start living our lives again?  Do you not attend any parties anymore because there will always be a risk that someone will be carrying a variant?  Do we wait until the Omicron variant numbers start to go down again in a month or two, and just hope there isn't another variant on the horizon in Africa, or Asia, or South America, or even here?

Everything closing in here.  Fav restaurant which is outdoors staff now back full masks and gloves.  Some of our vendors, have instituted masks for next 45 days.  Our Club used be, if vaccinated, no masks, now masks required anytime EXCEPT when seated and eating, only four folks allowed in exercise center.

We are wearing N95 masks, made in the USA.  KN95 are still not fully medical grade.  My honey is an ex nurse, and I an ex-paramedic, so we may take it too far, but better safe than ill.

Another restaurant, had five big parties cancel since last week, all saying COVID.   They did however pay for the food they ordered, but the staff didn't get the tips expected.

Our club shut down yesterday, indefinitely.  Cancelled NYE celebration, which I am a bit bummed about, as I was planning to attend.  The fitness center is open, but no staff.  Apparently, the word is that 20 staff members all tested positive for Covid when they got tested last week.

The restaurants in Palm Beach are all booked up.  But I suspect there will be some last minute cancellations.

I'm staying home this year, like last year.  Maybe in 2022 there will be a big NYE party!

@Rothko posted:

But, at what point do we just decide that being vaccinated and boosted is enough, and go on living (or a small chance of dying)?  I get Irwin's point about not attending, but at what point do we just accept the risks and start living our lives again?  Do you not attend any parties anymore because there will always be a risk that someone will be carrying a variant?  Do we wait until the Omicron variant numbers start to go down again in a month or two, and just hope there isn't another variant on the horizon in Africa, or Asia, or South America, or even here?

life is certainyl about risk analysis and mitigation.

The important things though about the two is that you need to ensure you're informed enough to be able to make the conscious decision. 

I haven't really been out in Texas and especially not around a certain group of winos here in Texas because you can see them on their FB page talk about nonsensical stuff.  Why risk it?

Now i have had gatherings where all my buddies are vaccinated/boosted and do take the precautions.  We all have a good time with no worries. 

What I miss though, is rolling up to a random bar and just having friendly conversations with random folks.  For me in texas, those days will be over it seems.

We seem to have gone in waves in this covid era.  Periods of relative safety and periods that are not so safe. We've eaten out in restaurants (inside) for a while now, while prior to that we eschewed such activity.  Now, it looks like we'll be back to the carryout mode for a bit... Maybe omicron will dissipate in Jan or Feb.

Hoping to go on a trip in March... Fly to Vegas, then Zion, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Palm Springs..... Perhaps by then we'll be fine.  It's all about balance and moderation.  I can't live my life entirely within the walls of my house, but I can live without going to a huge indoor gathering.  I won't be sitting in a casino for hours, which never appealed to me that much anyway.

I think you are right.  There will probably be times when staying at home is the wiser course of action, and times when it will be deemed acceptable to go out and eat in restaurants, go shopping, etc.

I haven't seen a movie in a theater for over 2 years, and I have no plans to go to one.  I haven't been to a concert, or indoor sporting event, or church, or a casino or a conference, as well.  I'm sure at some point I will start attending these activities again.  Just not for the near future.

What bothers me is that I've been wrong with my internal predictions on when this was going to end.  I figured in June of this year that we were pretty much at the end of this thing, with vaccines becoming easily accessible.  Then Delta hit in the late summer.  Then I figured that with Delta pretty much taking out the non-vaccinated, we'd be at the end of this thing by November/December, and up pops Omicron.

I keep wanting to think we are at the end of the tunnel, and instead I realize it is just a light on the ceiling and there's another mile or so of tunnel to go! 

In the last few days my wife's Uncle tested positive, my general contractor for my kitchen remodel as well, somebody PURPLE works with as well, etc...  This crap is closing in.  Getting a little too close for comfort.

Another person PURPLE works with tested positive and got ill Tuesday night.  Somebody that PURPLE met with in her office that same Tuesday.  We're all just dead men walking at this point.

Wanted to go to Kravis this year.  Letting my tickets go to charity.  Am not about to sit for 2 1/2 hours elbow to elbow with anyone, mask or no mask].  At our club, I cancel dinner every time there are more than 20 folks reserved.

New [regurgitated] rules for golf. Only one person per cart. however if you bring a guest, they must ride with you. Puts onous [spell?]on you to check for VAX.

No plans to be in any crowd for next month or so.

My best friend's wife has been bugging me to go to their place for NYE. She always says, "Oh, it'll just be us", but invariably there are always at least a 1/2 dozen others there that I may, or may not, know. Luckily, I have a built in excuse this year. We've been snowed in since last Sunday, and just got more today. No way I'm taking my Challenger out on the roads.

My daughter called this morning about her friend. Her (the friend's) family is vaxxed and boosted, but all still came down with an Omicron breakthru. They think they got it from their 4 year old daughter, who has been attending pre-school.  Kids under 5 have not yet been approved for vax in WA state. We're waiting for April when my youngest grandson will be eligible.

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