14 votes

What’s the coronavirus like where you are?

What are things like in your corner of the world?

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19 comments

  1. Autoxidation
    Link
    I'm in Knoxville, TN. Typically, this area is well behind the curve of the larger cities, but we're in some of our lowest reported cases ever. It's pretty much done here. Most of the area is...

    I'm in Knoxville, TN. Typically, this area is well behind the curve of the larger cities, but we're in some of our lowest reported cases ever. It's pretty much done here. Most of the area is conservative and 40-50% of the population refused to wear masks ever beyond the initial few months of the pandemic. The calm is nice, but it feels similar to the summer of 2021, when people were getting vaccinated, cases were way, way down, and everything seemed hopeful. Then delta hit.

    8 votes
  2. [3]
    grahamiam
    (edited )
    Link
    Covid seems to have completely arrived in Taiwan. We've only had 27,400 cases total; 4,600 have been in the last 14 days. It's ~possible~ this spike could be contained. They're still doing contact...

    Covid seems to have completely arrived in Taiwan. We've only had 27,400 cases total; 4,600 have been in the last 14 days. It's ~possible~ this spike could be contained. They're still doing contact tracing and enforced isolation for people, and the spike from May 2021 was a similar size and was contained, but that one wasn't the new variants. The great news is that Taiwan held out long enough for a seemingly milder variant and very high vaccination rates (except they haven't approved under 12 vaccines and the 75+ demographic is lower rate compared to rest of population), which means it's likely even if this spike becomes widespread there'll be very few deaths from it. Last I saw, for 2022 cases, only 0.25% had moderate or worse symptoms, and only two people had died with connections to Covid.

    So, anyways, proud of my adopted home and very angry at the huge number of foreigners here who continuously call for the country to end all restrictions.

    In terms of daily life, people still scan QR codes for most indoor locations they enter, though I'd say everyone has gotten pretty lax on this for any place that isn't enforcing it or places where they're just popping in an out of. People wear masks a little less outdoors, but indoors when not eating/drinking people still keep them on basically 100% of the time. In some coffee shops you'll see people slipping them down to drink then lifting them back up, but most take them off completely now. There's still a silly amount of unnecessary disinfecting, but fortunately they haven't been closing places like playgrounds this spike. There'll probably be a big political fight soon over the handling of it overall, but that was going to happen regardless of the outcome. Shanghai and Hong Kong's lockdown are all over the news, and I think that'll probably help the current majority party (DPP), since the current opposition party has much closer ties to China (KMT). However, the next big election here isn't until 2024, and the current very popular president can't run for reelection, so it's anyone's guess what happens between now and then.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      Is there concern about insufficient vaccinations for 75+, given what happened in Hong Kong?

      Is there concern about insufficient vaccinations for 75+, given what happened in Hong Kong?

      1 vote
      1. grahamiam
        Link Parent
        Definitely concern! The federal government is giving a $500NTD voucher (~$17USD) to anyone that age who gets vaccinated now, and local municipalities are adding on top of that. I think a lot of...

        Definitely concern! The federal government is giving a $500NTD voucher (~$17USD) to anyone that age who gets vaccinated now, and local municipalities are adding on top of that. I think a lot of people at first were scared of the vaccines and then grew complacent because there were no cases, but apparently there's been a surge of new vaccines in the past couple of days.

        4 votes
  3. [8]
    lou
    Link
    I was about to ask: did the pandemic end? I saw some people using the past tense to refer to it. I'm still using a mask when I leave the house, and I believe there are talks of a fourth shot at...

    I was about to ask: did the pandemic end? I saw some people using the past tense to refer to it. I'm still using a mask when I leave the house, and I believe there are talks of a fourth shot at some point. Or did the Ukraine invasion just took its place in the news?

    Further question... In the years to come, we're all simply vaccinating for new strands once a year or something?

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      kwyjibo
      Link Parent
      The news cycle has definitely moved on as most countries relaxed their restrictions and frankly, people became bored of COVID related news, but as someone who's immunocompromised, I have not let...

      The news cycle has definitely moved on as most countries relaxed their restrictions and frankly, people became bored of COVID related news, but as someone who's immunocompromised, I have not let my guard down at all -- in fact, quite the opposite.

      I used to not have any qualms about going out as long as I was masked because everyone else was masked too and there's little chance of catching COVID when you're outside anyway, but now that mask mandates have been lifted where I am, I am trying to avoid going out as much as I can and when I do, I am wearing only N95 masks. Needless to say, I got my BioNTech booster four months ago and waiting to get my second booster soon.

      Further question... In the years to come, we're all simply vaccinating for new strands once a year or something?

      I hope this will be the case, similar to flu shots. Some companies were working on a pill and even a spray versions of the vaccine but I don't know where we are with that.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I see. Well, I see no reason to stop wearing a mask now. It's a minor discomfort that is justifiable even with greatly reduced exposition. People in my city remain using masks even outside of...

        I see. Well, I see no reason to stop wearing a mask now. It's a minor discomfort that is justifiable even with greatly reduced exposition. People in my city remain using masks even outside of enclosed spaces, and I'm following suit.

        I can't say I look forward to the increase in socialization, these two years were kind of a blessing for the socially inept. Things are so much simpler and less stressful for me right now, and wearing a mask reduces the exposure of my lacking and grossly misunderstood facial expressions.

        But that's another issue entirely. Looking forward to the annual shots. And since we'll be taking shots anyway, I imagine some governments will use the opportunity to increase our protections in general. Having that kind of structure will probably bode well for our survival as a species, regardless of covid strands.

        2 votes
        1. kwyjibo
          Link Parent
          Yeah, there's simply no downside to wearing masks regardless of what type you're using so why not use them. People in my town haven't stopped wearing masks all together either but because the...

          Yeah, there's simply no downside to wearing masks regardless of what type you're using so why not use them. People in my town haven't stopped wearing masks all together either but because the mandates are gone, the number of maskless people have increased which means extra risk. That's why I switched from wearing regular masks to N95 masks, since regular masks don't really protect you as well from incoming particles and droplets.

          I can't say I look forward to the increase in socialization, these two years were kind of a blessing for the socially inept. Things are so much simpler and less stressful for me right now, and wearing a mask reduces the exposure of my lacking and grossly misunderstood facial expressions.

          Heh, this is exactly how I feel. I'm lucky enough to be working remotely so I can still limit my socialization if I want to, but it was certainly less awkward to do so when everyone was in self-isolation.

          All that being said, I do miss going outside without wearing masks, not worrying about the person I'll be speaking to might be the end of me. I hope the annual shots, when and if they do arrive, will bring that life back to us.

          2 votes
    2. [3]
      vektor
      Link Parent
      I think with different vaccine technologies coming online you might(!) see a stronger effect and broader immunity, hence less needs for updates. Covid mutates relatively slowly, all things...

      Further question... In the years to come, we're all simply vaccinating for new strands once a year or something?

      I think with different vaccine technologies coming online you might(!) see a stronger effect and broader immunity, hence less needs for updates. Covid mutates relatively slowly, all things considered, and there's vaccine tech like LAIV that will give, as far as I know, a stronger immunity that could(!) protect better against variants. (Source: vague recollections of listening to hours and hours of Prof. Drosten's podcast.)

      As for whether the pandemic did end: You could argue that the disease is endemic in certain parts of the world. Picking US, UK and Germany as examples, all have had 25-30% of their population in confirmed case numbers. Add in a fudge factor of your choosing for undetected transmissions, account for the vaccine's effect, and this is pretty close to the long-term, endemic state. Thus, not actually a pandemic or epidemic anymore.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        "Covid mutates relatively slowly" doesn't sound right, although I suppose it depends what you compare it to? From: https://twitter.com/trvrb/status/1511871593940545536

        "Covid mutates relatively slowly" doesn't sound right, although I suppose it depends what you compare it to?

        From: https://twitter.com/trvrb/status/1511871593940545536

        My main point was really how fast evolution has been proceeding. We see that SARS-CoV-2 variants have (1) displaced existing genetic diversity and (2) accumulated amino acid changes in the relevant domain much faster than seen in the fastest seasonal flu subtype H3N2.

        3 votes
        1. vektor
          Link Parent
          I was operating under a few assumptions that change from a pandemic to an endemic situation: Covid has that proofreading mechanism going on. Initially it was expected that evolution would thus be...

          I was operating under a few assumptions that change from a pandemic to an endemic situation:

          • Covid has that proofreading mechanism going on. Initially it was expected that evolution would thus be slow.

          • Covid was initially not adapted to humans. Evolution will, modeled very simply, follow an exponential convergence towards some optimum. We thus expect a initial, fast burst of evolution.

          • Covid had huge infection numbers. Huge numbers lead to more mutations being generated. The viable ones will be selected and become new variants. Fewer infections, fewer variants.

          All of which to say that I would expect, from possibly outdated/conjectured info, that in an endemic situation, the virus will mutate more slowly than we have seen, possibly slower than the flu. The burst of mutation we have seen in the pandemic was to do with it being a pandemic.

          That said, I might be wrong. And my initial phrasing above was definitely misleading. Apologies. Maybe I will have to adjust my beliefs too. Maybe someone has pulled those confounders apart.

          2 votes
    3. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      I am comfortable saying we're post-pandemic, and not because cities are going mask-off. It's here forever, not some new super bug that threatens global society anymore. We still need to ride this...

      I am comfortable saying we're post-pandemic, and not because cities are going mask-off. It's here forever, not some new super bug that threatens global society anymore. We still need to ride this dangerous wave until it settles however. I frankly thing we should be globally masking longer still because if it's good enough to bring numbers down, it's even better to minimize them as low as possible, because of our most vulnerable people.

      As far as annual shots, the estimation seems to be an annual shot like flu, but we don't know on what timescale this will happen. COVID has sort of been following a similar trend, but I think the tipping point will be when it stops hospitalizing unvaccinated people with non-immune comorbitities to the degree it seems to be. I believe I've seen suggestions that some companies are considering flu and coronavirus as a single shot.

      1 vote
  4. [2]
    DeFaced
    Link
    Nobody cares in the Midwest. I’m vaccinated, my whole family had covid and no one was hospitalized thankfully. I realize it’s still a thing and will probably always be a thing, but at this point I...

    Nobody cares in the Midwest. I’m vaccinated, my whole family had covid and no one was hospitalized thankfully. I realize it’s still a thing and will probably always be a thing, but at this point I feel like most people are just okay with taking the risks to live like they used too now and don’t really care for the safety of others, and to be completely honest I am at that point myself. It’s died down enough that it’s not a huge issue anymore, I’ve been around countless people less than 6 feet away and haven’t had any problems. If I were going to get a serious case of covid I would’ve had it by now. I do believe that I have some long covid symptoms though being that I have asthma. Every once in a while I’ll just have an asthma attack and need a rescue inhaler when I didn’t before, but that’s not a huge deal.

    5 votes
    1. Hidegger
      Link Parent
      In the midwest as well, Can concur that no one cares or is doing much about it until you get closer to inner cities. In rural areas the majority of people haven't been wearing masks for over a...

      In the midwest as well, Can concur that no one cares or is doing much about it until you get closer to inner cities. In rural areas the majority of people haven't been wearing masks for over a year except a few people you notice going through grocery stores. Live music has required vax cards or negative tests, but since last fall I have noticed less and less masks in the crowds. Last time I heard anyone nearby directly having covid was between November and January, so likely holidays caused some spreading.

      2 votes
  5. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    Done. California's mask mandate is closed, Disneyland doesn't require masks for guests anymore, the only major holdouts are medical facilities, and customer-facing employees. Obviously it's not...

    Done. California's mask mandate is closed, Disneyland doesn't require masks for guests anymore, the only major holdouts are medical facilities, and customer-facing employees.

    Obviously it's not quite over yet, but as ignorant as I am on what's going on the general vibe seems to be that we're out of the woods.

    I still mask anywhere I go, and plan to until employee masks go away everywhere. And if I'm ever on mass transit, because people can be gross.

    4 votes
  6. soks_n_sandals
    Link
    On the uptick here. Things are opening and there's a strong mix of "over covid" and still "covid cautious" now, with the former being new. The are just moved out of "low" transmission rates and...

    On the uptick here. Things are opening and there's a strong mix of "over covid" and still "covid cautious" now, with the former being new. The are just moved out of "low" transmission rates and into "moderate." Which honestly isn't surprising. Thankfully I've dodged an infection thus far. The friends in my bubble were forced to return to the office and get exposure notifications regularly so at this point we're just kind of living our lives and hoping for the best.

    4 votes
  7. Greg
    Link
    The UK basically declared the pandemic over a couple of months back, all restrictions are gone. It's an odd situation to be in - rates are higher than ever, with just under 5m people believed to...

    The UK basically declared the pandemic over a couple of months back, all restrictions are gone. It's an odd situation to be in - rates are higher than ever, with just under 5m people believed to be currently infected and around a third of the population (~22M) having had it at some point, but basically everyone is vaccinated now and there's a definite air of "had to get back to normal at some point".

    Pretty much everyone I know, myself included, has been infected in the last month or two. We're all vaccinated and boosted, and most people have just had a shitty week or two and then bounced back. As it happens I was one of the unluckiest (travelling, so may have picked up a nastier variant) and it looks like I've still got a month or more of reduced capacity ahead of me, but the doctors still don't expect any lasting damage.

    In the here and now, it seems fairly reasonable: the virus is here to stay, we bought time to develop and distribute the vaccines, at some point normality has to resume. But I am speaking from two years of fatigue, and I honestly don't know if that's actually reasonable or just wishful thinking. I don't know how that affects the vulnerable in comparison to other endemic diseases like the flu. I also don't know what the endgame plan is for countries that have taken a more cautious approach throughout, and how that compares.

    We've had one of the more erratic approaches throughout - with an overall pretty blasé attitude from both the government and the people, interspersed with the occasional fairly strict and reasonably well-respected lockdown - and looking at both death rates and economic impact it's pretty clear that the overall handling has been poor. I'll never not be angry at the current government for that. But I also recognise that some route out is needed, and I'd be interested to know how that looks in countries that have handled it better up to now.

    3 votes
  8. autumn
    Link
    Numbers are way down across the board here—feels a lot like last summer, which somebody else in this thread mentioned. I still mask if I see employees masking in a public place. That tends to be...

    Numbers are way down across the board here—feels a lot like last summer, which somebody else in this thread mentioned. I still mask if I see employees masking in a public place. That tends to be non-restaurants places like grocery stores and the like. I figure immunocompromised folks are avoiding restaurants and bars anywho. I’ll be happy to get my second booster whenever that becomes available. I need to start wearing my mask outside when I bike because the pollen is so bad here.

    3 votes