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COVID-19 roundup

Monday, Aug 2, 2021

* The nation’s trajectory in one image

* AP

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The state of California. New York City. Hospitals and nursing homes. Colleges and universities. Employers are putting COVID-19 vaccine mandates into place and it’s getting attention. […]

Federal legal guidance out this week suggests the law is on the side of employers. Vaccination can be considered a “condition of employment,” akin to a job qualification.

That said, employment lawyers believe many businesses will want to meet hesitant workers half-way.

* Mandates move numbers much more than incentives…


* I expect business leaders are heading that direction. Another shutdown would be devastating. Here’s Mark Cuban

“Sick employees not only put their peers at risk, they miss work days. Which impacts productivity, which impacts profitability, which impacts the number of people who have jobs at the organization.

“Sick people also impact health-care and insurance costs, which are already incredibly expensive.

“Public health organizations can work together to quantify the impact of non-vaccinated employees, contractors and even vendors on an employer and their employees. That could lead more employers to require vaccinations to keep jobs. To not offer insurance or increase deductibles for the un-vaxxed or on the other side, offer raises or better perks to employees who have been vaxxed.

“At the companies I operate, I am requiring vaccination as a term of employment. I don’t want one employee putting the health of another at risk simply by doing their job.”

I don’t think you can legally withhold insurance from people if you offer it to others.

* Illinois

New cases of COVID-19 came to 5,608 over the weekend with 11 more people dying from the respiratory disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported Monday.

From Friday through Sunday, 79,040 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 27,396. […]

The state’s positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 4.3% based on a seven-day average, reflecting a continued rise.

* More Illinois

Masks now will be required in all state facilities, regardless of a person’s COVID-19 vaccination status.

The decision was announced Thursday and aligns with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC this week issued guidance that masks should be worn by anyone in an area where there is a substantial or high risk of transmission of the coronavirus and its variants.

The state will continue to evaluate the need for additional mitigations and Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he will not hesitate to put them in place as needed to protect the health of residents.

“Vaccines work — but we cannot promise those protections for every single future variant if we allow this virus to spread and mutate unchecked in our communities,” Pritzker said. “With all the misinformation out there, I encourage all eligible Illinoisans who haven’t been vaccinated yet to talk to their doctors to alleviate any of their fears. Vaccines are how we put this pandemic behind us for once and for all, but I will continue to evaluate the need for further additional mitigations.”

* Also

Masks will be required at driver’s license facilities in Illinois starting Monday, Secretary of State Jesse White announced Wednesday

* Onward

Hours after Lollapalooza got underway Thursday, Cook County was added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of areas experiencing “substantial” COVID-19 transmission.

Citing that development, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker later Thursday announced a new mask requirement for everyone in state-run facilities, including those who are vaccinated, starting immediately.

Cook now joins DuPage, McHenry and Will counties in the Chicago area, and 80 others statewide, in meeting the threshold where masks are recommended for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

* Chicago

Everyone in Chicago, regardless of their vaccination status should wear a mask indoors, Chicago health officials recommended Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added Chicago to its list of areas experiencing “substantial” transmission of the coronavirus.

However, the recommendation announced by Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady stops short of reimposing the city’s mask mandate even as confirmed cases of COVID-19 are surging across the country because of the delta variant, and new data suggests the virus can now be spread by fully vaccinated people.

“This isn’t forever, but it is necessary to help decrease the risk for all Chicagoans right now,” Arwady said in a statement.

* Also

While a mask recommendation for public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status only recently returned for the city of Chicago, mask mandates for public transit under federal guidelines have never gone away.

* Other stuff…

* The Anti-vaccine Con Job Is Becoming Untenable - Why targets of deliberate deception often hesitate to admit they’ve been deceived: The seminal text in the field—Erving Goffman’s 1952 essay “On Cooling the Mark Out”—observes that all targets of con artists eventually come to understand that they have been defrauded, yet they almost never complain or report the crime to authorities. Why? Because, Goffman argues, admitting that one has been conned is so deeply shameful that marks experience it as a kind of social death.

* With new vaccine and mask requirements, businesses scramble to respond to delta variant and shifting health guidance

* Chicago clinics serving low-income patients mandate COVID-19 vaccines for employees, following lead of big hospitals

* The NFL has incentivized getting the COVID vaccine — so why is a vocal minority still so hesitant?

* DuPage and McHenry counties now under indoor-masking-for-all guidance as COVID-19 spread deemed ‘substantial’ by CDC

* Who is Joseph Mercola? 5 things about the doctor called a COVID-19 misinformation ‘superspreader’ — from Chicago roots to bizarre battles with government regulators

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments
  1. - The Dude - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:17 pm:

    This isn’t the world you grew up in but it’s the world you’re making me live in. What’s next vaccine passports? Restrictions on public roadways as you are not fully vaccinated? All in the name of the greater good.

    Sheeple…. Sheeple everywhere


  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===Restrictions on public roadways as you are not fully vaccinated?===

    Another drama-addicted victim heard from.

    You’re being brainwashed by charlatans.


  3. - Skeptic - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:28 pm:

    “I don’t think you can legally withhold insurance from people if you offer it to others.” That’s an interesting question. You can’t refuse to insure someone because of a pre-existing condition, but you can certainly refuse to insure a house built in a flood plain.


  4. - Amalia - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:30 pm:

    Hey, The Dude, are you vaccinated for polio? Yes, that too was for the greater good. Get vaccinated.


  5. - OldSmoky2 - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:40 pm:

    I’d like to see more employers require their employees to get vaccinated. And what’s up with nursing homes especially? More than 40 percent of nursing home workers in both Illinois and the U.S. are still unvaccinated. That’s unbelievable. The industry should require it.


  6. - natty lite - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    Let’s hope that vaccine passports are next. Unvaccinated people are behaving antisocially and should be treated accordingly. Unvaccinated people should also be ineligible for government benefits and programs (tax deductions, Medicare/Medicaid, welfare, etc.). That will help move things along.


  7. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:46 pm:

    How can vaccine confidence among Black and Brown Americans be increased…despite knowledge of historical medical abuse and neglect directed at them?

    The chickens come Home to roost…inevitably.


  8. - Jibba - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:53 pm:

    ===This isn’t the world you grew up in===

    Oh, the days when you could drop a racial or homophobic slur without any shame, amirite?

    The world we’re leaving to our kids has big problems….warming rapidly, fresh water diminishing, resources dwindling, society dividing, and violence increasing. And you could knock out one problem with just a little shot. Talk about the least you could do.


  9. - SWIL_Voter - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    I ghost wrote for Dr Mercola for a couple months. Actually, it was ghost writing for a ghost writer. My wife’s cousin was one of his ghost writers and she’d kick us down a handful of articles a week for his blog. Goofy stuff like “10 super foods you didn’t know were healthy” and “alternative cleaning supplies for the earth conscience mom.” Required no training, no qualifications, and I was not good at the job because I couldn’t turn the articles around quick enough because I was actually trying to have half a clue what I was talking about. Wife and I each made $35-$50 per article, was a great side hustle for a couple months


  10. - ArchPundit - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 1:57 pm:

    =======This isn’t the world you grew up in==

    You mean one in which basic vaccines were required to attend school including MMR, Polio, Tetanus and Meningitis for college.

    Yeah, I miss that world.


  11. - Manchester - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:03 pm:

    I have little sympathy for the anti-vax crowd. If they get Covid and die, that’s on them. However, I object strenuously to their ability to infect those of us who have been responsible, wore masks and got vaccinated. I’m all for vaccine mandates. It’s time for sticks not carrots.


  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===their ability to infect those of us who have been responsible===

    You’ll most likely be fine, but I worry about unvaxed kids (this new variant is being caught by a lot of them), people who can’t medically take a vax and allowing the virus to mutate further as it circulates. Also, because of these “marks,” we’re gonna need to take booster shots. I don’t mind, but the falloff will be big and then here we go again.


  13. - very old soil - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    https://theweek.com/coronavirus/1003273/18-percent-of-americans-say-they-would-quit-their-job-over-vaccine-mask


  14. - Cubs in '16 - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===the falloff will be big and then here we go again===

    Bingo. I’m afraid this will be a never ending cycle. It’s tough to see any light at the end of this tunnel.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:15 pm:

    === What’s next===

    Being brainwashed into victimhood so you’re angry all the time?

    ===I worry about unvaxed kids (this new variant is being caught by a lot of them), people who can’t medically take a vax and allowing the virus to mutate further as it circulates.===

    This is the ball game. Those unvaxxed by ignorant choice, and those unable to be vaccinated by age makes for fertile ground for mutations, and further, leaves ways for others to accidentally infect others even if seemingly doing all that is considered safe.

    ===This isn’t the world you grew up in but it’s the world you’re making me live in.===

    If you’re not vaccinated, you… are the problem.

    A sheeple for grifters and phonies who need division to parasite off ignorance.

    Your anger and want of a past that never existed might hurt a niece or nephew, immune compromised family… for ‘Merica.


  16. - Jocko - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:15 pm:

    ==This isn’t the world you grew up in==

    Thanks to science, you live 17 years longer, have virtually unlimited access to knowledge and entertainment, and can contact someone around the world in moments. All in exchange for a shot and, if necessary, a couple Advil.


  17. - Skeptic - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:16 pm:

    “You mean one in which basic vaccines were required” or maybe he/she is older and is pining for the days when there were no anti-biotics.


  18. - very old soil - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    https://theweek.com/delta-variant/1003283/us-finally-hits-70-percent-vaccination-threshold

    41 percent difference between Democrats and Republicans.. WOW


  19. - Manchester - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:23 pm:

    You’ll most likely be fine, but I worry about unvaxed kids (this new variant is being caught by a lot of them), people who can’t medically take a vax and allowing the virus to mutate further as it circulates. Also, because of these “marks,” we’re gonna need to take booster shots. I don’t mind, but the falloff will be big and then here we go again.

    Rich, I totally agree with you. I share your concern for children and those who can’t be vaccinated or have compromised immunity (my brother falls in this category). This is a terrible situation. I don’t mind taking a booster shot when it becomes necessary and believe I will be fine. In the meantime, as you say “here we go again”.


  20. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    VOS, they can say what they want, but they ain’t quitting their jobs. And if they do, let ‘em see what personal responsibility is really about.


  21. - lake county democrat - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:37 pm:

    1) “Deaths are all that matter” is a right wing talking point. They’re the most important thing, but there are several indications (most recently a Washington University study) that even mild cases of COVID correlate to higher death rates from other diseases. We have only studied COVID for a year and a half - there’s so much we don’t know about it. So even the vaccinated have reason to wear a mask indoors (beyond the decency of protecting the vulnerable).

    2) Some of these anti-vax/mask whiners should be sent in a time-warp to the 1940’s, when citizens were forced to ration food and gasoline, exhorted to buy war bonds, grow victory gardens, etc. And this group howls about wearing a mask.


  22. - Downstate - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:37 pm:

    Employers are fearful of requiring vaccinations due to the ability to fill their current employment needs.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:40 pm:

    === Employers are fearful of requiring vaccinations due to the ability to fill their current employment needs.===

    Or… employees are not willing to work for Covidiots and having unsafe workplaces as employers talk about “Freedom”

    Then there’s customers who refuse to wear masks, are belligerent, harassing workers wearing masks and asking customers to wear masks too.

    But, if your concern is seemingly for business or employers…


  24. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:41 pm:

    It still makes me laugh uncomfortably about the number of fully vaccinated people throwing shade on the vaccine and making people doubt themselves for getting it. Its’ an inhumane grift to the highest order.

    Extended family in St. Louis. Single mom and two kids and two parents in one house - all anti-vaxxers all passing the delta around to each other. I am hopeful they all recover.


  25. - Socially DIstant watcher - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    @Downstate: I know job seekers who will apply for mandatory mask / vax employers but won’t consider putting themselves at risk, even for a job. And plenty of customers, too.


  26. - Pundent - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 3:02 pm:

    =Employers are fearful of requiring vaccinations due to the ability to fill their current employment needs.=

    Maybe. But sick employees are a drag on productivity. Dead employees even more so.


  27. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 3:04 pm:

    I’m thrilled this isn’t the world I grew up in. No one used seat belts, the majority of adults smoked and black people had to be out of my suburban hometown before the sun went down.


  28. - Glenn - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 3:07 pm:

    I got loads of vaccinations when I went into the armed forces to protect my country.

    Today’s self-described patriots can’t even take one vaccination to protect their country.

    Disgusting to see what passes for patriotism these days.


  29. - Glenn - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    Freedom from Covid is not free.

    But the vaccine is.


  30. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    ==I’d like to see more employers require their employees to get vaccinated.==

    And that should include all state offices and all state employees.

    For the record, I have been fully vaccinated for almost 4 months now.


  31. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 3:31 pm:

    Every body is connected to every other body…globally.


  32. - LakeCo - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 4:13 pm:

    =This isn’t the world you grew up in but it’s the world you’re making me live in.=

    And the world YOU’RE making me live in is one where I fear for the health of my unvaccinated young child because a large subset of the population are too selfish/stupid/brainwashed to end the pandemic by wearing masks and getting a vaccine. Your freedom FROM responsibility is eroding my freedom FROM fear of the virus for my family, did you ever think of that?


  33. - Jibba - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 5:49 pm:

    ===fully vaccinated people throwing shade on the vaccine===

    I know you want all this to be over already. So do I. But this is nonsense trying to justify your previously stated opinions.


  34. - Gullablee - Monday, Aug 2, 21 @ 9:34 pm:

    The Germans needed guns to force Jewish folks into gas chambers to die.
    Today Republicans just use insane illogical rhetoric to get their targeted audience to walk face first into a Covid death. Saves on bullets


  35. - Peanut - Tuesday, Aug 3, 21 @ 8:58 am:

    I know this may sound a bit harsh, but maybe for those unvaccinated that do get COVID-19 sick they have to pay their own medical bills without anyone dismissing them.
    The State already started not giving time off if you get it, vaccinated or not. Even if you get it from a coworker when made to come into the office.


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