By Bob Tannenhauser
Wear a mask or not? Get a second booster or not? In-person services or not? Consider COVID over or not?
More and more, answers to questions like these are being left to our own judgment — hopefully, grounded in experience, observation, and data. Here are the latest numbers for the Upper West Side.
Covid positivity rates continue to rise. The positivity rates for the UWS zip codes for the seven days ending April 9th were 6.73% for 10025; 7.59% for 10024; 8.12% for 10023; and 10.69% for 10069. The rate for Morningside Heights, zip code 10027, where Columbia and Barnard are located, is 6.7%. Both institutions have started requiring masks in some indoor settings, according to the NY Post .
“There is no question, Covid19 prevalence is rising in New York City, as it is across the U.S.,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, founding director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia. “This is mostly because the latest Omicron variant, BA.2, is incredibly infectious. The good news is, so far, we are not seeing a rise in hospitalizations or fatalities. Could things get worse? Yes. In fact, we may be seeing an entirely new Covid surge in coming weeks. And I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of bringing back mandatory masks or vaccinations.”
If you’re thinking, “Oh, I’ll just get it and get better,” talk to someone who has experienced “long COVID.” Even mild cases of the disease can lead to lingering problems that can last for months, according to a team of experts at John Hopkins Medicine.
So, what do we do for the holidays? Dr. Redlener offered some simple suggestions:
“People with any upper respiratory symptoms or fever should stay away from gatherings outside immediate family that you normally live with — and get tested. Even if the result is negative, symptomatic people should stay away from others. Conversely, “high risk,” i.e. older people or those with compromised immune systems, should try not to be with symptomatic and unvaccinated people, or wear medical-grade masks. Young children with symptoms should be considered COVID positive and tested. They can definitely be carriers, as can those under five, who are not vaccine eligible.”
Enjoy the holidays! Be safe, be smart.
Drawing by Notas de prensa via Wikimedia Commons.
There is no confusion. Wear a mask and get vaccinated and boosted.
And get myocarditis or another negative reaction (including death), no thanks.
You’re at higher risk for myocarditis if you actually get sick from COVID.
>>According to the CDC, there’s a very minor risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart) in adolescents and young adults after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.<<
If you're a young adult, the risk from mRNA vaccines are pretty low compared to the other normal male teenage behaviors.
The problem with vaccine hesitant people are the beliefs that they are somehow special. You are unique, just like everyone else.
… and you can still get COVID and still transmit COVID while VACCINATED and BOOSTED. So if you can still get a virus while “vaccinated”, is it still a vaccine?
No it isn’t.
The truth always comes out in the end.
Are you unfamiliar with the flu vaccine?
It is indeed! Next question?
Educate yourself. Vaccines have varying degrees of effectiveness. Always have. You might start here.
Then read this:
And did you know that you can find out the effectiveness of every vaccine ever created? scientists study this and post the results of their studies opin journals that are accessible now to everyone online.
If you followmy suggestions, you’ll see that vaccines that don’t protect 100% doesn’t disqualify them from being called a “vaccine.”
You might also Google the definition of the word vaccine.
Hey look, if you want to risk getting covid and end up in the ICU, the exact scenario that vax drastically reduces, be my guest. Know that you’d be occupying beds that are needed by others.
OTHT, I would’ve thought that bad takes like this wouldn’t have passed the comments screening?
If you’re implying that the vaccine does no good, that is dangerous nonsense. If you had the vaccine you are less likely to have a serious case of the virus, which means you are less likely to be hospitalized or to die – by a factor of at least 10, IIRC.
Where have you been for the last year and a half?
Here’s the news that you missed:
Vaccines drastically reduce the chances of dying if you still catch it. That’s a vaccine, my friend.
The last 3 people who I know who died from Covid were fully vaccinated and had the booster. Everyone needs to were a mask until this thing is over!
Yes. Masks help.
It won’t be over for years or possibly never – JUST LIKE THE FLU. there is no way on earth you can avoid getting this. We will all need to get vaccinated and move on with our lives. End of story.
Vaccine definition is ” a substance used to stimulate production of antibodies and provide IMMUNITY”. That’s a vaccine, my friend. So, I haven’t missed anything.
The definition of a vaccine is a substance that triggers your immune system to recognize a specific invader when it is present. It is up to your body to fight the disease. Many factors determine how well you can fight, including age, other conditions, and the integrity of your immune system. Another reason to get vaccinated is because it shortens the course of illness, which means you are contagious for a shorter period of time and will infect fewer people. This is important since the new variants are even more contagious than the ones that came before them.
Honestly, are you arguing about the dictionary definition of “vaccine?” Idiotic. Asinine. JPS.
You missed the part that “immunity” does not necessarily equal to “impenetrable shield against infection”. Biological systems are inherently “leaky” such that it is never a black&white picture. Further, immunity wanes over time, which is not unique to COVID or its vaccines and has been known for other vaccines for a while now. So spare us the “definition” that you copied and pasted and try to go beyond googling for the most superficial answer.
Immunity to the original strain of the virus. We’re now on a different strain. That’s why! Doesn’t mean they’re not effective at preventing serious outcomes, which is hugely beneficial still – so that’s what we’re solving for with yesterday’s vaccines on today’s variant.
We were told it would provide immunity against COVID. That is clearly not true. BUT if you are vaccinated, the severity of COVID drops
Thank you so much for A definition of “vaccine,” and trying to pigeonhole the debate into the compartment of your choice.
You are, of course, free to disregard rational thought and proceed accordingly.
Best of luck.
So, go ahead, do nothing and move on. Why even bother asking?
Daily data can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page#daily, citywide or by borough. Might be more useful because it is current.
why don’t you list where you can get the vaccines? I have seen no coverage of this.
Easy to get. Walk into the drugstores. Start at CVS at 110th and Broadway and keep walking downtown. Or just call around. Or go online to NYC.gov or any hospital website. Or ask your neighbors, your pharmacy, your doctors, etc etc. As of last week there were no shortages of the kind which we had previously experienced. Good luck.
Ivan’s pharmacy on Columbus between 94th and 93rd. Nice people. Call for appt.
I have Long Haul Covid and sad to say I lost 85% of my hair in a few weeks. Just broke off!!!! and I got well back in January!….I also have a thyroid problem and covid made it much worse (all side effects after getting well from covid) My Endocronoligist doubled up on my meds, gum and teeth problems too ( too!
IF YOU WANT ALL THIS THEN GO NEAR PEOPLE WEARING NO MASKS!!
I AM A HERMIT AND LIVE AND WORK AT HOME AND HOSPITOL TOLD ME I PROBABLY GOT IT FROM SOMEONE PASSING ME BY IN BUILDING LOBBY WHEN THEY WERE NOT WEARING A MASK!!grrrrrrrrrr
…..you have no idea how angry I am at people who go maskless(they can still spread covid even if they are vaccinated)
I almost lost my life twice because of selfish stupid people who complain about wearing a life saving mask, whiLe we are all still in the middle of a disasterous EPIDEMIC.
The problem with all the statistics these days is that they are omitting those who test at home. Home tests aren’t reported anywhere so the real numbers are much higher and completely unknown.
Covid is still here in large numbers. Vaccinated people do get and give the virus but mostly do not end up hospitalized. So getting vaxed and wearing an N95/KN95 mask indoors seems like the best protection.
You can get Vaccine and Boosters at the New Amsterdam Pharmacy, Amsterdam Ave, between 93rd & 94th, just walk in, no appointment necessary.
We just walked right in and 15 minutes later, and that includes the 10 minutes they ask you to sit and wait afterwards, walked out.
From my doctor: The main source of evidence on the public health impact of a fourth dose of mRNA vaccines as a second booster in immunocompetent individuals comes from data from Israel in a study that was just published last week. We have reviewed that study.
The results presented in this study indicate that as compared with three vaccine doses, a fourth dose given at least four months later provides added short-term protection against confirmed infections and severe illness caused by the omicron variant. However, by the eighth week, that increased protection against confirmed infection had significantly decreased. In contrast, the greater protection against severe illness in patients over the age of 70 was still present by the sixth week after receipt of the fourth dose. However, the duration of the benefits is not yet known and the evidence is still limited.
We have also reviewed the recommendations by The European Center for Disease Prevention (ECDC). Our Center for Disease Control (CDC) has not yet come out with a definitive statement about the 2nd Covid booster shot. The ECDC states that there is currently no clear evidence in the European Union that vaccine protection against severe disease is waning substantially in adults aged 60 to 70 years with normal immune systems and thus no clear evidence to support the immediate use of a fourth dose in this patient population. For adults below 60 years of age with normal immune systems, the Center said “there is currently no conclusive evidence that vaccine protection against severe disease is waning or that there is an added value of a fourth dose.”
Given the current state of our knowledge, we are making the following recommendations for a second Covid booster shot* which should be given at least four months after the last shot:
All patients who are immunocompromised or are on a medication that impairs the immune system.
All patients who have chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, or diabetes.
All patients with a normal immune system who are over the age of 70.
*If you have recently had Covid, please wait 3 months after your infection for the 2nd booster shot.
To get the vaccine, please contact your local pharmacy or go to vaccinefinder.nyc.gov (or call 877-829-4692) to find the nearest vaccine site to you.
The situation with Covid infection and vaccination is constantly evolving. As such, we will continue to review available evidence on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and update our recommendations accordingly.
Wear a mask indoors public.. There is no reason we EVER GOT RID OF THAT.. There is plenty of International traffic— and both vaccinated & unvaccinated can spread Covid! Not sure why we dropped masks indoors public..
I’m pretty sure you can still double mask inside if you belong to a vulnerable population.
Safety first. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. People die in traffic everyday.
“Get a second booster or not?” This is a question which is impossible to answer.But I’m amazed how many people are jumping to getting a second booster shot when some scientists from the FDA are saying that there’s not enough data yet torecommend a second booster (as written in the Washington Post and New England Journal of Medicine- research!!!) and there’s also a list of nine pages pf possible. vaccine side effects which the FDA has publisheds. I was trying to copy and paste some of it here but my comment didn’t get published. You can do your own research and you will find it. It truly is confusing, when even the scientists don’t agree with each other. But it’s spring, more sunshine, vitamin C, vitamin D3 plus K, enough sleep, a balanced mind, as little stress as possible is the best booster for the immune system.
Wow, 9 pages is a long list. It’s very likely more than a hundred words.
A few things are left out of your list of immune boosting lifestyles. Social engagement in-person and/or virtual, regular movement (exercise), and eating a healthy balanced diet. In 2020, the year without any vaccines, heart disease killed more Americans and COVID-19 came in third.
I tried posting the simple data above to one of the WSR fried chicken celebrations and it was not allowed to crash the party.
Your comments were helpful to me, Nani. NY Presbyterian says 4th shot is available but only quotes CDC recommendations and advises each patient to speak to his/her own doctor. Still confused about this. Good ideas about boosting immune system: vitamin d3, sunshine, lower stress. Thank you.