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COVID-19 roundup

Friday, Dec 10, 2021

* Bloomberg

After months of warnings that vaccinations would ward off a COVID-19 disaster, the U.S. is sailing toward a holiday crisis.

Cases and hospital admissions are rising amid a season of family gatherings. Most victims have shunned inoculations. The situation is especially dire in the chilly Northeastern states, but doctors in many places report a grimly repetitive cycle of admission, intensive care and death. There are shortages of beds and staff to care for the suffering.

“We’re in desperate shape,” said Brian Weis, chief medical officer at Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo, the state’s worst hot spot.

In 12 states and the nation’s capital, the seven-day average of admissions with confirmed Covid-19 has climbed at least 50% from two weeks earlier, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data. The areas with the largest percentage upticks were Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Vermont and Rhode Island. […]

Illinois had 3,178 Covid hospitalizations as of Wednesday, the highest since January, according to the state health department. Six of the state’s 11 regions had 20 or fewer intensive-care beds available.

* NBC 5

All 102 counties in the state of Illinois are currently experiencing “high transmission” levels of COVID-19, while many are also experiencing dramatic growth in other metrics designed to illustrate how rapidly the virus is spreading.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a county to have a “high transmission” rate of COVID if 100 or more residents per 100,000 individuals have contracted the virus in a given week.

Currently, all 102 of Illinois’ counties have hit that threshold, according to the latest data from IDPH and the CDC, and no state is currently lower than 208 cases per 100,000 residents.

Piatt County, located just to the west of Champaign County, is reporting one of the state’s highest totals, with 881.06 cases per 100,000 residents in the last week. That is nearly nine times more than the CDC’s “high transmission” threshold, and the county’s positivity rate is also above 10%, according to IDPH data. […]

Cook County has one of the lowest positivity rates in the state, currently sitting at 4.15% in the last week. The county has reported 14,878 new COVID cases in the last week, averaging 288.88 new cases per 100,000 residents. That mark is nearly three times higher than the “high transmission” threshold from the CDC, but is also one of the lowest rates in the state.

Full county list is here.

* Via the BN-D, our southwestern neighbor has gone plum crazy

Although COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in the St. Louis area and in the metro-east, St. Louis County rescinded its mask mandate on Thursday based on a judge’s ruling.

The Illinois mask mandate remains in effect in the metro-east. Herb Simmons, director of the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency, said he “can’t say for sure” whether St. Louis County’s decision would affect infection rates in the metro-east but he noted “that’s a possibility.” […]

The St. Louis Pandemic Task Force, which has 24 hospitals, including three in the metro-east, said the seven-day average of COVID patients has doubled over the past month. This number stood at 440 on Wednesday and 454 on Thursday.

* WAND TV

Hospitals in central Illinois are filling up as a post-Thanksgiving surge leaves many with severe cases of COVID-19.

In Region 6, which includes Macon and Champaign counties, there are just 20 ICU beds available.

“A lot of patients are dying. We are not in good shape nowadays, it’s really bad,” said Dr. Imtiaz Bangash, who has been working in the COVID-19 unit of St. Mary’s Hospital throughout the pandemic.

He’s treated hundreds of patients over the past 20 months, but some faces he’ll never forget.

“The patient was young, and he died actually, and I took care of that patient for almost 7 to 10 days,” Bangash said as he described a COVID-19 patient that passed away just a few days ago.

In the past two weeks, Bangash said he’s started treating more young COVID-19 patients with more severe symptoms.

* SJ-R

Though [St. John’s registered nurse Ashley Rodrick] said she tried to tell one patient that there was no need to fear COVID-19 vaccines, which has been proven more than 90% effective at preventing severe illness and death, the patient told her, “I don’t want it messing with my DNA.”

Rodrick said she witnessed one COVID-19 patient argue with a doctor over whether St. John’s medical equipment confirming the patient’s reduced blood-oxygen level related to COVID-19 was accurate.

The patient asked the doctor, “How do you know the machine’s not lying?” according to Rodrick.

Some unvaccinated patients have refused antiviral medicines such as remdesivir, which are accepted treatments to help COVID-19 patients recover, she said.

The patients viewed the treatment as a conspiracy by the medical establishment, Rodrick said. “They really want to believe there’s someone to blame,” she said.

* WTTW

Chicago officials are considering requiring those who gather in “high-risk settings” where masks cannot be worn to offer proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative for the virus, Chicago’s top doctor said Thursday.

Several members of the Chicago City Council’s Health and Human Relations Committee urged Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, to put those requirements in place quickly as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chicago reached the highest level since January 2021, according to city data.

“We have to do more if we want to get past this economically,” said Ald. Michele Smith (43rd Ward).

Arwady said “preliminary conversations” were taking place with representatives of business groups about requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test for diners or revelers, but no decision had been made.

The rules may be necessary “while we are in a big surge like this,” especially in places where people cannot keep their masks on, Arwady said, telling alderpeople that there was no timeline for a decision to be made.

* Tribune

The Chicago Bulls are down to 11 players as they travel to Florida for Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat after Derrick Jones Jr. on Thursday became the fifth player to enter the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol in the last nine days.

The Bulls have not gone more than two days in nearly two weeks without a player entering the COVID-19 protocol — Coby White (Dec. 1), Javonte Green (Friday), DeMar DeRozan (Sunday), Matt Thomas (Tuesday) and now Jones.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

29 Comments
  1. - Gruntled University Employee - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:20 am:

    == “They really want to believe there’s someone to blame,” ==

    And therein lies the true problem.


  2. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    And yer the 12 Bars of Christmas is a go this weekend in Wrigleyville.


  3. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:25 am:

    “How do you know the machine’s not lying?”

    There it is. When you’ve gone so far down the hole you believe an inanimate object has an agenda.

    This thing is here to stay, in some form or another, and we will enable it.


  4. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:27 am:

    “The patients viewed the treatment as a conspiracy by the medical establishment”

    There’s a straightforward solution to this - stay home, follow the Facebook protocols, and die. Live by your principles. Leave the hospital beds, doctors and nurses available for the majority of America that doesn’t want to participate in the republican party’s death cult.


  5. - illinifan - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:33 am:

    It is beyond comprehension that folks are not trusting the accuracy of the medical equipment and treatments being offered. I wonder why they even went to hospital and wasted everyone’s time if they don’t trust what is going to be done for them. Stay home, take the ivermectin, zinc and vitamin D and pray for the best. Save the beds for people who want the care.


  6. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:42 am:

    Doctors won’t do it, but everyone would benefit if they just started kicking these people out. Go die at home, stop clogging up our hospitals.


  7. - Homebody - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    ==The patients viewed the treatment as a conspiracy by the medical establishment, Rodrick said. “They really want to believe there’s someone to blame,” she said.==

    I’m not a philosopher or psychologist or sociologist, but it seems like this attitude is a big underpinning not just of conservative thinking, but also certain religious points of view (see, for example, prosperity gospel).

    Bad things only happen to bad people. You’re poor because you deserve it. If you got arrested it is because you must have done something wrong. They can’t imagine bad things happening to themselves.

    Taken to the most extreme, you end up with conspiracy theories in which the only ration answer to them is that everyone must be out to get them.

    The idea that a chaotic world exists and sometimes bad things happen simply can’t be fathomed.


  8. - yinn - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    In my zip code, only 53% of residents are vaccinated. Nevertheless, local media uncritically reported and photographed the grand opening of a new bar/restaurant this week that was almost 100% mask-free and included city officials.


  9. - Henry Francis - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    I am surprised a grifter hasn’t opened up a natural immunity wellness center, where people have confidence in the machines (maybe have some Scientology E-Meters). Although I guess the problem with this is insurance won’t cover it.

    I have too many friends that work in healthcare that truly are losing their minds dealing with these idiots every day. This is all so preventable.


  10. - Pundent - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:51 am:

    Just had my annual checkup this morning. Doc told me that he hasn’t had a single person with two shots and a booster become seriously ill from Covid. A few with mild symptoms but that’s it. Listen to your doctor, get your shots.


  11. - Anon221 - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 10:56 am:

    In the DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department area they reported 200 cases total for November 2020. For the past week in their most current report there were 200 cases… for one week. And still folks are ranting and raving about government conspiracies and distrust of the vaccine and using emojis to laugh at the statistics. They simply refuse to acknowledge the dangerousness of this virus and how it can disable and kill. Even when it hits home in their own families. I don’t get it and have given up trying to even discuss it with the deniers. It is going to be a long dark winter.


  12. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:00 am:

    I’m fully vaccinated and have had my booster shot. With the exception of wearing a mask I’m living my life pretty much as I lived it before COVID. Everyone else could too if they would stop being idiots and get the freaking shots.


  13. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    ==our southwestern neighbor has gone plum crazy==

    Missouri’s Attorney General just told local health departments they have no authority to institute or enforce any COVID mitigations. He’s been fighting non-stop against schools requiring mask wearing. Crazy indeed.


  14. - ChicagoVinny - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    == Some unvaccinated patients have refused antiviral medicines such as remdesivir, which are accepted treatments to help COVID-19 patients recover, she said. ==

    That’s a new one for me.


  15. - LakeCo - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:12 am:

    =The patient asked the doctor, “How do you know the machine’s not lying?” according to Rodrick.=

    Um, so why go to a hospital in the first place?


  16. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:18 am:

    ==How do you know the machine’s not lying?==

    These are the same people who deny they have COVID right up to the very end as they are dying.


  17. - Ares - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:23 am:

    “Experience keeps a dear school, yet Fools will learn in no other.” Benjamin Franklin


  18. - Teddy Salad - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:23 am:

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
    ― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man


  19. - walker - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:35 am:

    “They really want to believe there’s someone [else] to blame,”


  20. - Victor - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 11:38 am:

    The hospitalization numbers, including ICU and deaths from Covid-19 have to start differentiating between vaccinated and unvaccinated. That may make the unvaccinated get vaccinated; and lessen the burden on the system; which should be the end goal for any public health official in charge.


  21. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===These are the same people who deny they have COVID right up to the very end as they are dying.===

    Yep, it’s the docs or the guv’mint doing it to them for…profit?

    /s

    Natural selection, like politics and diapers, is a messy business.


  22. - Leslie K - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 12:14 pm:

    I never thought I would yearn for the 1970s when your medical records didn’t even belong to you, but there is something to be said for covidiots not being able to have a say in medical decisions…


  23. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    Placing faith with the majority who supports vaccination, masking and other necessary pandemic restrictions. Surely not going to count on nature’s Darwin victims, who are willingly offering themselves and others up for sacrifice. The virus has been ravaging the unvaccinated and unmitigated.


  24. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    My adult vaccinated son is feeling better today after 22 days of fever, fatigue, and vertigo. He will get a booster in a few weeks and then should be safe for 6 months.
    I see a future where Covid is endemic. The cautious among us get shots every 4-6 months. The others will deal with periodic infections, some severe.


  25. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    ==I see a future where Covid is endemic. The cautious among us get shots every 4-6 months. The others will deal with periodic infections, some severe.==

    I agree. Plus hopefully as early as next fall, that there will be a combo flu and COVID booster shot in one dose. That will help. If that happens I might consider getting a flu shot every 6 months, even if the State insurance only covers the annual dose (I’ll gladly pay for the other dose).


  26. - Wensicia - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    If you’re going to refuse treatment, why are you in the hospital?


  27. - Demoralized - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    ==I might consider getting a flu shot every 6 months==

    What for? It’s only recommended once a year and it’s given during flu season.

    I really do feel for you sometimes. I think you legitimately have PTSD from all of this.


  28. - cermak_rd - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’m not NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham, but if they combine the flu and the covid booster and if immunity from shots wears off in 6 months (I don’t think anyone knows that yet, for sure), then it would not be dumb to get the combo shot twice a year. Especially if market forces makes the combined flu shot more available than the solo Covid shots.

    As for me, I’ve reevaluated my life and accepted a more limited lifestyle for now. I am boosted. I eat in only 1 restaurant 1 a week (it’s a biz that makes a lot more money on catering so is seldom occupied let alone crowded). I do not shop in malls. I grocery shop once a week in a small shop, I wear an N95 mask to do so. I go in the office thrice a week and wear an N95 the entire time, only taking a break at lunch to go to my car and eat. I do go in Walgreens and Binnys and wear a mask for that.

    I am spending a lot of time improving my German and Spanish to the C1 level as well as learning Dutch and Swedish(they have similarities to German). And dabbling with Finnish (it’s non Indo-European so something entirely different). I am planning, and saving $ toward a bunch of trips to Europe when this is all over.


  29. - illinifan - Friday, Dec 10, 21 @ 2:20 pm:

    Non-AFSCME “get a flu shot every 6 months” would make no sense. Flu has a defined season of late winter to first half of the year which is why we get the vaccine in the fall as the flu vaccine is the most effective for only 6 months. By the time that vaccine is waning the flu season is ending. Unfortunately we do not yet have a defined season for COVID due to the variants and it is a new virus. Thus getting vaccinated every 6 months makes scientific sense. Victor the CDC is tracking outcomes by vaccination status and reports the following: The latest data from August 29-September 4 show that less than one vaccinated person per 100,000 had died the previous week compared with more than nine unvaccinated people per 100,000. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status


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