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COVID-19 roundup

Wednesday, Oct 6, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I forgot to post this yesterday

Gov. J.B. Pritzker was asked Monday if he’ll follow California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lead in mandating the vaccine for school children in Illinois.

“That’s not something that we’re looking at doing,” Pritzker said.

* Daily Herald editorial

According to a Centers for Disease Control report made public on Monday, while 86.8% of nursing home residents in Illinois have been vaccinated, only 65.7% of the people who care for them have received shots.

And that’s just the average. According to our Marni Pyke’s reporting, just 257 of the state’s 705 nursing homes, less than a third of the total, boast employee vaccination rates of 75% or higher. But fully 163 locations have dismal staff inoculation rates of 50% or lower. […]

When New York mandated that health care workers be vaccinated or be fired, people got vaccinated. When the mandate went into effect on Sept. 27, 92% of New York’s more than 650,000 hospital and nursing home workers had already gotten at least one dose. Forcing the issue works.

The Pritzker administration should push the Illinois mandate one step further and require nursing home workers to get vaccinated. Yes, people will quit, and that’s a concern in an industry where staff shortages are chronic. But when our elderly can no longer live at home and need the round-the-clock care that nursing homes are expert at, they and their loved ones should be assured that COVID, at least, will not be an issue.

Not to mention that very old and infirm vaccinated people are susceptible to quite harmful breakthrough cases. And not that many people will actually quit.

* Way too much weight is given to the opinions of literal dead-enders

Dozens of Belvidere residents and parents crowded the parking lot outside the Belvidere School District Administration Building to protest Governor JB Pritzker’s vaccine mandate for school workers and the school district abiding by the mandate

Protest organizer Jim McIlroy believe the state is forcing people into an unfair situation by trading the vaccine for their job.

“The biggest bribe and blackmail right now is somebody’s job if you don’t get the shot,” McIlroy said. “I want to stand for people to be able to have that freedom of choice, and that’s what we’re all standing for.”

However, the school district says less than five people are not in compliance with the governor’s order.

Five. People.

* The unvaxed who constantly whine that vaccinated folks need not fear them are particularly loathsome for ignoring the fact that some people can be harmed by breakthrough cases and many others cannot be vaxed

No one else in the family was sick. Adrian James just had a bit of a cough. She gave him cough syrup and put a humidifier in his room.

But by Friday he was sweaty and his breathing was labored. Jackson took him to an emergency room in her small town of Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Doctors and nurses there did a chest X-ray and swabbed him for COVID - and then airlifted the child to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, about 80 miles away.

Jackson followed in a car, her grandmother at the wheel. They made the usually 90 minute-drive in about an hour.

“I didn’t know if he was going to make it or not,” Jackson said. “I was very emotional and just very upset.”

Her boy is one of nearly 840,000 children under the age of four to contract COVID-19 in the United States, according to statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccinations against COVID-19 have not been approved for young children, and the United States is being ravaged by a surge of cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, which Adrian has.

Go read the rest. With luck, Adrian will be 3 next month.

* Hopefully, we won’t see a repeat of last fall and experience an even worse wave when the unvaxed move back inside

The COVID-19 Delta variant “wildfire” is still burning in southern Illinois, but it’s finally simmering down, hospital officials said Tuesday.

After a month that saw intensive care units stretched to the limit across the 20 counties that span the southern tip of the state, public health officials reported 17 ICU beds were available as of Monday night.

Critical care units across the region’s 22 hospitals are still operating at 79% capacity, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health — but that’s a great deal better than the past few weeks, when only one or two beds were available on most given nights for southern Illinois’ 400,000-plus residents.

* Another possible surge next month is just one of the problems with figuring out what to do with the mask mandate

The governor still has not given an exact benchmark for when he’ll lift the statewide mask mandate.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker had an indoor mask mandate in place for more than a year until he let the order expire in May. He then re-instituted a mask mandate in July for all indoor gatherings. On Monday, he couldn’t say what the benchmark would be to lift the mandate. […]

The only thing Pritzker can point to for when he’ll lift that mandate is whatever comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control And Prevention.

When asked about mask mandates, Pritzker Monday said for schools he’s following recommendations from the CDC.

“And that’s one of the reasons that we have kids who are masked,” Pritzker said. “It’s important to make sure to keep them safe, it’s what scientists here in the United States are recommending and so we’re following it.”

* People really need to pull their heads out of the sand so we can all move on to some semblance of normalcy

The ferocity of the delta variant surge has delivered a serious financial blow to hospital systems in parts of the country with low vaccination rates that are struggling to care for coronavirus patients, even as they combat plummeting income, reduced bailout funds and higher labor costs.

Many hospitals in Southern states and rural areas of the country — even in states with otherwise high vaccination rates — have been forced once again to temporarily curtail elective procedures such as hip replacements that bring in the most money.

Meanwhile, rates of burnout and nurse attrition have soared at institutions with overburdened ICUs and covid-19 wards, contributing to severe labor shortages that are driving up costs for replacement workers, hospital officials said.

Hospital officials had been hoping a semblance of normalcy would return as vaccines helped beat back the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, with huge swaths of the nation resistant to shots, and delta variant driving a large wave of infection, they got what one administrator called a “triple whammy.” Hiring temporary replacement workers drove extraordinary cost increases. Vital revenue from elective surgeries evaporated. And public taxpayer supports to help providers through the crisis last year are drying up.

* Other stuff…

* This Chicago health official is cautiously optimistic about holiday gatherings this year

* Chicago doctor, others deal with COVID denial: ‘You are welcome to leave, but you will be dead before you get to your car’

* CPS shortens quarantine time as COVID-19 transmission in schools remains low, officials say

* Will you fall into the conspiracy theory rabbit hole? Take our quiz and find out.


  1. - Keyrock - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    Dear Gov. Pritzker,
    We need a vaccine mandate for COVID—just like for other communicable diseases. As soon as it’s approved for 5 year olds and up, it’s time. Don’t wait any longer. We want to get back to (near) normal. Vaccine mandates are the best path.

  2. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    We need a vaccine mandate for COVID—==

    Not just for schoolchildren, but all state employees too. Not just Corrections and other “high contact” agency jobs. Either they get all vaccinated or get fired. And also require them to get the booster shot too regardless of age and health conditions.

  3. - Pundent - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    There are a number of vaccines that kids are required to have before attending school. Why wouldn’t the Covid-19 vaccine be on that list?

  4. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    Are their heads in the sand or up someplace else?

  5. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    I’ve recently experienced a very loud anti vax anti mask person, someone who will not let it go, who talks back at any comment made to the contrary/ positive comments on their own. what I see is that these folks are very loud and they claim that there is a kind of half and half situation, when there is surely not. there are many more people who are getting the vaccine and masking…look at Missouri where they are lining up for vaccines in one affected area. I struggle with whether to fight back, shout down as it is damaging to put out incorrect information without answer. people actually die. it is not a violation of your civil rights to require a vaccine for employment. what about kids who are required to get certain vaccinations to go to school? is it a violation of my right to live if you endanger my health? The correct information must be put out to fight the wrong information but it is very difficult.

  6. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    ==There are a number of vaccines that kids are required to have before attending school. Why wouldn’t the Covid-19 vaccine be on that list? ==

    The anti-vax movement has been growing for decades; they have used this opportunity to take it up to another level. One of the “problems” with vaccination is that it works so well people don’t know what polio, measles, mumps, etc, can do to a person.

    I got my #2 shingles shot the other day and I feel like c**p now, but I know people who have had shingles and feeling a bit ill for a few days is much better than the alternative.

  7. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 1:10 pm:

    Springfield’s District 186 board voted to support covid vaccinations for its students. While it’s largely symbolic, it’s good to know the board believes vaccinations work, despite the cranks speaking otherwise at the meeting.

  8. - Jakita Wagner - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    Vaccine mandates for kids are probably the right thing to do. But so would jacking up the price of health insurance for the unvaccinated. Make it really uncomfortable for anyone to try to remain unvaxxed.

  9. - Chief - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 2:13 pm:

    There are anti vaxxers and anti covid vaxxers, and they are not always the same people. The anti covid vaxxers I know are not against the traditional vaxxes we receive, just the covid one. Traditional anti vaxxers cross all parts of the political spectrum and are basically nuts.

  10. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    =“I want to stand for people to be able to have that freedom of choice, and that’s what we’re all standing for.”=

    Jim Mcilroy is my kind of guy, I have always wanted to go to work in my birthday suit. Nice to know I have some support out there. I also appreciate his pro-choice position. /s

  11. - Grateful Gail - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    Just hoping Gov. Pritzker doesn’t back down on requiring AFSCME workers to get the vaccine at the developmental centers and prisons. Their rights also include responsibilities, and they don’t talk about their responsibilities towards others.

  12. - Perrid - Wednesday, Oct 6, 21 @ 5:31 pm:

    “Jackson followed in a car, her grandmother at the wheel. They made the usually 90 minute-drive in about an hour.”

    This reminds me of my mom, when I had appendicitis in my early 20s. I thought I had a stomach bug, and after the worst night’s sleep of my life -my side was really beginning to hurt- I called my mom to complain more than anything, and she almost screamed at me “WHY AREN’T YOU AT THE HOSPITAL ALREADY?” I was basically listing every possible symptom of appendicitis. which she knew, unlike me.

    She made the hour and a half drive in 50 minutes, before the doctor even called me back in the ER, and I was having surgery like 2 hours later. Speed limits seem to become optional in crisis.

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