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Thread: COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus pandemic

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    https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-ne...nline-n1249378

    Vaccination proponents and misinformation researchers had been waiting for years for Facebook to take action against the biggest and most influential anti-vaccination pages.

    So it was with some trepidation that they welcomed the news that the social network last week had banned some of the most popular and prolific anti-vaccination accounts — pages that had also pushed Covid-19 vaccination misinformation to millions of people.

    Their impact, however, lives on. While researchers of extremism and public health advocates see the removal of the largest anti-vaccination accounts as mostly positive, new research shows the bigger threat to public trust in a Covid-19 vaccine comes from smaller, better-connected Facebook groups that gravitated to anti-vaccination messaging in recent months.

    “What we’re seeing play out with Covid is what was already in the system," Neil Johnson, a physicist at George Washington University who studies online extremism, said. "It was primed for that at the end of 2019.”

    With many Covid-19 vaccines in the works, health officials have warned that public adoption will be crucial to ensure that enough of the population is immunized to stop the spread of the virus. Experts say there isn't an exact threshold for the percentage of people that need to get vaccinated to stop the virus' spread, but it is expected to be at least 60 percent of the population.

    But public sentiment about the vaccines is mixed. Only 42 percent of Americans said “yes” to whether they’d get a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available, according to a YouGov poll released in August. A poll from the Pew Research Center published in September found a significant decline from May to September in people who said they would get the vaccine if it were immediately available.


    Inside look at extreme measures to ship and store vaccines safely
    NOV. 30, 202004:29
    Johnson and a team of researchers published a paper in Nature in May that suggested the anti-vaccination movement bore a big responsibility for such hesitancy. It showed that although membership in online anti-vaccination groups was smaller than in pro-vaccination groups, there were more of them, their messages were more diverse, emotive and often persuading, and they were better at spreading those messages outside their groups, meaning they were able to reach more people.

    Research from a forthcoming paper from Johnson and his team, currently in review for publication, shows members of communities previously considered unrelated or “undecided” on vaccines — groups for pet lovers, parent school groups, yoga fans and foodies, for instance — are increasingly connecting with the anti-vaccination movement.

    “It’s like a tumor growth,” Johnson said.

    While the anti-vaccination activists’ favored platform, Facebook, has taken a number of steps recently to limit the reach of anti-vaccine content, the movement has thrived during the pandemic — a success largely due to a pivot toward Covid-19 misinformation and a communication strategy that’s allowed the anti-vaccination message to circumvent platforms’ policy enforcement and reach users outside its network.

    Facebook spokesperson Andrea Vallone said in an emailed statement that the company has worked to connect people with accurate information about vaccines and banned misleading ads.

    "We also continue to remove misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm and direct people to our COVID information Center, which is available in 189 countries," she said.

    A report by the London-based nonprofit organization Center for Countering Digital Hate found that the anti-vaccination movement gained about 8 million followers since 2019. Conspiracy theories about a coming Covid-19 vaccine have flooded social media, particularly on Instagram and Facebook, according to a new report from First Draft, a global nonprofit organization that researches online misinformation.

    Such conspiracy theories (which purported the vaccine to be a clever cover for various forms of population control by a government “deep state,” private philanthropists or even Satan) weren’t limited to anti-vaccine fringe groups, First Draft reported, but were resonating with outside networks. Disparate communities including Libertarian, New Age, QAnon and anti-government groups, as well as more mainstream communities, seem to be uniting around the opposition to a coming Covid-19 vaccine.

    The biggest pages banned by Facebook had already been preparing for a crackdown.

    Facebook removed the page for the online anti-vaccination show The HighWire this month for violating policies on "misinformation that could cause physical harm," the company said. YouTube had removed the show’s channel in July after reports that host Del Bigtree was downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic on his show and suggesting viewers intentionally expose themselves to Covid-19.

    According to a post on the Facebook page for Bigtree’s nonprofit organization, Informed Consent Action Network, The HighWire had published more than 500 videos that attracted more than 30 million views. The page had 360,500 followers when it was deleted.
    A HighWire account remains active on Facebook-owned Instagram, where it has 199,000 followers. Bigtree did not return a request for comment.

    But it wasn’t vaccine misinformation that got social media’s most popular and prolific anti-vaccination activist banned from Facebook this month. In the end, after years of building an audience on Facebook, Larry Cook, a California social media marketer, and his 200,000-member private group, Stop Mandatory Vaccination, were removed for violating the platform’s policies against promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory.

    Cook, who did not respond to a request for comment, had been warning his fans of a coming ban and promoting his accounts on 11 other alternative platforms for months.

    Cook’s and Bigtree’s pages and groups had continued to grow on Facebook despite a move in March 2019 to diminish the reach of anti-vaccine content during a measles outbreak and subsequent measures during the pandemic to downrank health misinformation in reaction to the World Health Organization’s warnings against “conspiracy theorists that push misinformation and undermine the outbreak response.”

    Researchers have observed that livestreaming features provided a way for anti-vaccine activists to continue to reach their audience. Covid-19 in particular also led to significant followings for prominent anti-vaccine figures, said Renee DiResta, who studies disinformation as the research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory.

    “The anti-vaccine movement recognized that [Covid-19] was an opportunity to create content, so when people were searching for it, they would find anti-vaccine content,” she said. “They saw this as an opportunity not only to erode confidence in the Covid vaccine, but also to make people hesitant about routine childhood immunizations, as well.”

    But efforts to move beyond Facebook have had limited success.

    Their audience “may not know where to go and how to navigate to those platforms,” said Kolina Koltai, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, who studies the anti-vaccine movement.

    Despite the promotion, only a handful of users have followed Cook and Bigtree to those new platforms.

    “Too many people are deeply invested into Facebook, which has the distinct advantage because that is the platform people are on, it is easy to navigate, and it is how users stay connected to friends and families," Koltai said.

    And users need not switch platforms to maintain the link to the greater anti-vaccination movement. An unknowable number of private groups remain, spaces that have been hubs for misinformation regarding Covid-19 and vaccines. These include the 224,000-member Vaccination Re-education Discussion Forum, a private anti-vaccination group exclusively focused on Covid-19 vaccines.

    Download the NBC News app for full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

    “It's like an insurgency,” Johnson said. “And the hard thing about battling an insurgency is we never quite knew where they were. There was almost like an invisible network behind them. Often, the groups that were most prominent, the ones coming to your attention because they were the biggest, didn't necessarily mean that they were the important ones in the network."

    His new research shows the anti-vaccination movement has effectively used the pandemic to reach more than 100 million susceptible Facebook users, and seems to be winning the battle for hearts and minds.

    As such, banning accounts with large followings is unlikely to have much real impact on the larger anti-vaccination movement.

    "The anti-vaccination network is all about passing on narratives, passing on stories, supporting each other, just like an insurgency," Johnson said. "And just like an insurgency, it is embedded with the mainstream civilian population as it were. And that is their strength.”

  3. #1003
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://fox40.com/news/local-news/sa...-for-covid-19/

    Sacramento Sheriffs Scott Jones has a COVID-19 test.

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones has tested positive for COVID-19, the sheriff’s office said Wednesday.

    According to the sheriff’s office, Jones developed symptoms last week “after a workplace exposure to an employee that later tested positive.”

    On Friday, Jones started experiencing a fever, congestion, light-headedness and a headache, according to the sheriff’s office.

    Jones’ symptoms were said to be mild, and had mostly gone away by Wednesday, officials said.

    The sheriff and his immediate family are quarantining as his family members await test results.
    https://fox40.com/news/local-news/sa...at-home-order/

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said he won’t be enforcing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s curfew and stay-at-home order.

    Jones told FOX40 Tuesday that he’s been blessed with not having to hand out one citation to county residents, who he said have followed health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    He said the county’s previous successes with past health guidelines are part of the reason why he won’t be enforcing the latest round of state restrictions.

    “I have a tremendous amount of faith in folks to make those assessments relative to COVID,” Jones explained.

    With Sacramento County returning to the most restrictive purple tier, Jones said residents have learned enough in the past year to know the safety rules.

    The sheriff said that he’s worn masks and kept a proper distance from others when he’s had to go to the store and he’s only visited with his parents twice in 2020.

    “Based on the inherent risk and the folks I know are vulnerable, I make these decisions every day. Everybody’s making those decisions,” Jones said.

    Jones said to have arbitrary restrictions placed on millions of people, assuming they’re somehow more at-risk during curfew hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., isn’t realistic.

    “I have strong constitutional convictions. I’m a lawyer, so I understand about constitutional law,” Jones said. “But my points are really much more practical in wanting to be more engaged with the community in a positive way. And not having to put the men and women of the sheriff’s office in the position of having to enforce these not criminal laws, but some weird sort of health ordinances.”

    With Newsom under fire earlier in November for allegedly not following his own safety restrictions while attending a dinner in Napa, Jones said that Newsom was “appropriately apologetic.”

    “But the reality of it is if the more forceful you are going to be and the more judgmental you are going to be with others, then the more you should be diligent in your own personal practices as well,” Jones said.

  4. #1004
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.kron4.com/news/48-player...sumes-testing/

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Nearly 50 players have tested positive for coronavirus since testing resumed last week, according to a statement released Wednesday by the league and the National Players Association.

    546 players were tested for the virus between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30. Of the tests, 48 came back positive.

    Players who tested positive are self-isolating until they are cleared to end isolation.

    The NBA and NBPA are working closely with the the CDC.

  5. #1005
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/...health-orders/

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – COVID numbers are increasing and restrictions are tightening but local leaders and lawmakers have not practiced what they preach.

    A classic case of “do as I say, not as I do.”

    Amid a global pandemic and another spike in COVID cases, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Governor Gavin Newsom, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging residents to follow state and local rules, wear masks and socially distance, all while failing to do so themselves.

    It all started in August when Speaker Pelosi was caught on camera getting her hair done indoors at a San Francisco salon, while improperly wearing a mask under her chin.

    The kicker — The video was taken the day before San Francisco was set to open indoor business operations meaning she clearly violated local rules.

    Despite that, here’s what she had to say:

    “I take responsibility for trusting the word of a neighborhood salon that I’ve been to over the years many times. As it turns out, it was a setup. I take responsibility for falling for a setup.”

    “You’re not invincible from COVID-19, quite the contrary. This is a disease that easily spreads, very easily spreads. Please, just be thoughtful, and in so doing, you’ll set an example,” Governor Gavin Newsom said.

    Newsom, asking Californians to follow health guidelines – guidelines he chose to violate on November 6th when he and his wife attended a birthday dinner at the swanky and pricey Yountville restaurant – The French Laundry.

    Photos of the dinner surfaced a week later, leading him to apologize for making a bad mistake saying that he needs to preach and practice, not just preach.

    “Please, for all of us. Make smart decisions. Avoid crowds. Don’t gather with people outside your households. Keep your distance from one another. Wear a mask.”

    Oddly enough, Mayor London Breed was seen with seven other people at The French Laundry the next night attending a birthday celebration there as well.

    Mayor Breed has yet to address the issue.

    Finally, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, the latest Bay Area lawmaker to violate public health orders.

    The day after he tweeted about COVID cases spiking, Mayor Liccardo and his wife got together at his parent’s home with people from five different households to have Thanksgiving dinner.

    Despite saying that everyone wore their masks when not eating, Mayor Liccardo did apologize for violating state rules.
    Interesting that my Birthplace are being called out for being hypocrites when it comes to COVID-19. First of all we were the ones that voted for you because we feared that Donald Trump was trying to pull a Jonestown with COVID-19.

  6. #1006

  7. #1007
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/rna...lter-your-dna/

    This week, I wanted to cover something important that we haven’t covered before here at SBM. So I asked myself: What topic related to COVID-19 have we at SBM not covered yet that we really should have covered by now? Given that Steve has already covered the first two COVID-19 vaccines going to the FDA for approval and possible emergency use authorization (EUA), the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it didn’t make sense for me to discuss COVID-19 vaccines again. Then it occurred to me. These two new vaccines that will likely soon be available, at least to “essential personnel” such as medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients anyway, share one thing in common. They are RNA vaccines. What also occurred to me is that there has been a persistent myth about RNA vaccines being promoted by the antivaccine movement. Perhaps you’ve seen it? Yes? No?

    Perhaps you’ve seen memes like this:

    False mRNA COVID vaccine meme

    Or this one:
    False COVID mRNA vaccine meme

    Or this one:
    False Bill Gates antivaccine meme

    Or this one:
    False COVID-19 mRNA vaccine meme

    You get the idea. One major theme of antivaccine disinformation related to potential RNA vaccines against COVID-19 is that the RNA used in the vaccine will somehow permanently “reprogram” your DNA in nefarious ways. It’s a claim that goes back at least to May, if not sooner, and arose as soon as antivaxxers became aware that one of the leading candidate vaccines against COVID-19 was Moderna’s RNA vaccine. After that, it soon became a standard talking point in the antivaccine movement’s pre-emptive disinformation war against COVID-19 vaccines. Why would anyone want to do this? Conspiracy theorists always have…reasons…of course. Some say that it’s to mark people. Some people say it’s to develop a technology that allows you to inject DNA directly into cells and reprogram them (Would that this were true! Such technologies would make gene therapy so much less difficult!) Often, antivaxxers conflate RNA with DNA and vice-versa, not realizing that, although both molecules contain genetic information needed for a cell to make protein, they are nonetheless very different in characteristics and behavior.

    Of course, to experts the claim that RNA vaccines will somehow “reprogram” your DNA claims are utterly risible in the ignorance of basic biology and biochemistry necessary to make such unscientific claims. But to nonexperts, most of whom probably long ago forgot their basic biology (if they ever learned it at all), the concept of a vaccine that turns your own cells into little factories making part of a key protein from COVID-19 that provokes a protective immune response (more on the specifics later) can seem quite plausible—and scary. Of course, fear is exactly the intended purpose of the antivaccine disinformation claiming that RNA vaccines will somehow “reprogram” your DNA and permanently alter you genetically. (We do hope for one “permanent” alteration in our biology as a result of a COVID-19, though, namely immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Unfortunately, it’s not yet clear how long such immunity will last.) So let’s examine the claims being made and why you don’t have to fear RNA vaccines for COVID-19.

    Before we do that, let’s look at what mRNA vaccines are, how they work, and what their advantages and disadvantages are compared to traditional vaccines.

    mRNA vaccines
    mRNA vaccines rely on something I’ve discussed before, namely the “central dogma” of molecular biology. I must admit, I’ve always hated the use of the word “dogma” associated with science, but no less a luminary than Francis Crick first stated it in 1958, and it has been restated over the years in various ways. Perhaps my favorite version of the central dogma was succinctly stated by Marshall Nirenberg in 1958 and has since been commonly paraphrased to say, “DNA makes RNA makes protein”, which about summed up all of molecular biology in five words. (Why I used the past tense in a moment.) In any event, for purposes of understanding RNA viruses, this is the main sequence that you need to understand:
    Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

    Basically, DNA replicates from a DNA template and results in a double-stranded molecule that is very stable, as it has complementary sequences that tightly bind to each other in a sequence-specific fashion. This DNA template is unwound by enzymes that use the template to make RNA strands, which are single-stranded, which is then used by a ribosome to make protein out of amino acids. Again, to put it simply, each nucleotide equals one letter of the code; each three-nucleotide sequence (codon) equals one “word” that translates to an amino acid. Given that there are four nucleotides, there are 64 possible codons. Since there are only 20 amino acids, that means that most amino acids are encoded by more than one combination of nucleotides or more than one codon; i.e., the genetic code is redundant. Of course, it’s more complicated than that, as this diagram shows:

    Central Dogma Molecular Biology

    Here’s a little video that’s useful too:



    For instance, messenger RNA (mRNA) doesn’t always start out fully formed. Often it’s made as a longer precursor molecule that is spliced to the final mRNA sequence before being transported out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm to be used to make protein.

    In fact, it’s even more complicated than that. Remember how I used the past tense when I said that the central dogma summed up all of molecular biology? It did, but then we started finding exceptions to the central dogma, such as retroviruses and microRNAs that can regulate gene expression, for instance. You don’t really need to know the gory details of many of these, although I will mention a couple of relevant ones and refer you to a post that does go into the gory details, for anyone who’s really interested.

    Exceptions aside, RNA vaccines consist mainly of, well, RNA. One problem with RNA vaccines is that RNA is an inherently unstable molecule. It is, after all, a messenger. It doesn’t need to persist any longer than the message needs to be made. In aqueous solution, RNA molecules rapidly degrade. Indeed, the instability of RNA is why public health experts have been concerned about distributing RNA vaccines. Both companies adopted a similar strategy in designing their mRNA to encode the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with stabilizing mutations added to lock this surface protein into a form easily recognizable to the immune system and therefore make it a better antigen. Pfizer and Moderna also used modified nucleosides (the RNA equivalent to DNA nucleotides) that are more stable to make their RNAs, and placed their RNA within a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery system in which LNPs fuse with the cell membrane to deliver the RNA to the cytoplasm. Nonetheless, there are huge differences in the temperatures at which these vaccines need to be stored to remain stable and active.

    Here’s what I mean. The Pfizer vaccine (developed in partnership with a company called BioNTech) reportedly needs to be stored at -80?C. While I have a -80?C freezer in my laboratory (to store RNA samples, among other things), most physicians’ offices and clinics do not, because such freezers are large and very expensive compared to the more common refrigerators (which generally maintain a temperature of around 4?C) and standard freezers (which maintain a temperature of around -20?C). Even many hospitals do not have enough -80?C freezers to store large quantities of vaccine. Similarly, because of the temperature necessary to keep the vaccine stable and active, transporting the Pfizer vaccine presents logistical challenges, because the vaccine must be kept at -80?C or colder during the entire chain of transport. It can be done, using dry ice, of course, but it’s difficult, and one could easily imagine an impending dry ice shortage once such vaccines roll out. To this end, both companies have apparently used modified nucleotides to try to make their mRNA molecules more stable The Moderna vaccine, in contrast, can reportedly be stored at -20?C for up to six months, which is much more doable, as most standard freezers can reach this temperature. Even better, the Moderna vaccine will remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2? to 8?C (36? to 46?F) for up to 30 days and remains stable at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Why the difference? It’s hard to know for sure, as both companies are tight-lipped about the exact differences in their vaccines. A Moderna spokesperson explained to NPR:

  8. #1008
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/rna...lter-your-dna/

    This week, I wanted to cover something important that we haven?t covered before here at SBM. So I asked myself: What topic related to COVID-19 have we at SBM not covered yet that we really should have covered by now? Given that Steve has already covered the first two COVID-19 vaccines going to the FDA for approval and possible emergency use authorization (EUA), the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it didn?t make sense for me to discuss COVID-19 vaccines again. Then it occurred to me. These two new vaccines that will likely soon be available, at least to ?essential personnel? such as medical personnel treating COVID-19 patients anyway, share one thing in common. They are RNA vaccines. What also occurred to me is that there has been a persistent myth about RNA vaccines being promoted by the antivaccine movement. Perhaps you?ve seen it? Yes? No?

    Perhaps you?ve seen memes like this:

    False mRNA COVID vaccine meme

    Or this one:
    False COVID mRNA vaccine meme

    Or this one:
    False Bill Gates antivaccine meme

    Or this one:
    False COVID-19 mRNA vaccine meme

    You get the idea. One major theme of antivaccine disinformation related to potential RNA vaccines against COVID-19 is that the RNA used in the vaccine will somehow permanently ?reprogram? your DNA in nefarious ways. It?s a claim that goes back at least to May, if not sooner, and arose as soon as antivaxxers became aware that one of the leading candidate vaccines against COVID-19 was Moderna?s RNA vaccine. After that, it soon became a standard talking point in the antivaccine movement?s pre-emptive disinformation war against COVID-19 vaccines. Why would anyone want to do this? Conspiracy theorists always have?reasons?of course. Some say that it?s to mark people. Some people say it?s to develop a technology that allows you to inject DNA directly into cells and reprogram them (Would that this were true! Such technologies would make gene therapy so much less difficult!) Often, antivaxxers conflate RNA with DNA and vice-versa, not realizing that, although both molecules contain genetic information needed for a cell to make protein, they are nonetheless very different in characteristics and behavior.

    Of course, to experts the claim that RNA vaccines will somehow ?reprogram? your DNA claims are utterly risible in the ignorance of basic biology and biochemistry necessary to make such unscientific claims. But to nonexperts, most of whom probably long ago forgot their basic biology (if they ever learned it at all), the concept of a vaccine that turns your own cells into little factories making part of a key protein from COVID-19 that provokes a protective immune response (more on the specifics later) can seem quite plausible?and scary. Of course, fear is exactly the intended purpose of the antivaccine disinformation claiming that RNA vaccines will somehow ?reprogram? your DNA and permanently alter you genetically. (We do hope for one ?permanent? alteration in our biology as a result of a COVID-19, though, namely immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Unfortunately, it?s not yet clear how long such immunity will last.) So let?s examine the claims being made and why you don?t have to fear RNA vaccines for COVID-19.

    Before we do that, let?s look at what mRNA vaccines are, how they work, and what their advantages and disadvantages are compared to traditional vaccines.

    mRNA vaccines
    mRNA vaccines rely on something I?ve discussed before, namely the ?central dogma? of molecular biology. I must admit, I?ve always hated the use of the word ?dogma? associated with science, but no less a luminary than Francis Crick first stated it in 1958, and it has been restated over the years in various ways. Perhaps my favorite version of the central dogma was succinctly stated by Marshall Nirenberg in 1958 and has since been commonly paraphrased to say, ?DNA makes RNA makes protein?, which about summed up all of molecular biology in five words. (Why I used the past tense in a moment.) In any event, for purposes of understanding RNA viruses, this is the main sequence that you need to understand:
    Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

    Basically, DNA replicates from a DNA template and results in a double-stranded molecule that is very stable, as it has complementary sequences that tightly bind to each other in a sequence-specific fashion. This DNA template is unwound by enzymes that use the template to make RNA strands, which are single-stranded, which is then used by a ribosome to make protein out of amino acids. Again, to put it simply, each nucleotide equals one letter of the code; each three-nucleotide sequence (codon) equals one ?word? that translates to an amino acid. Given that there are four nucleotides, there are 64 possible codons. Since there are only 20 amino acids, that means that most amino acids are encoded by more than one combination of nucleotides or more than one codon; i.e., the genetic code is redundant. Of course, it?s more complicated than that, as this diagram shows:

    Central Dogma Molecular Biology

    Here?s a little video that?s useful too:



    For instance, messenger RNA (mRNA) doesn?t always start out fully formed. Often it?s made as a longer precursor molecule that is spliced to the final mRNA sequence before being transported out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm to be used to make protein.

    In fact, it?s even more complicated than that. Remember how I used the past tense when I said that the central dogma summed up all of molecular biology? It did, but then we started finding exceptions to the central dogma, such as retroviruses and microRNAs that can regulate gene expression, for instance. You don?t really need to know the gory details of many of these, although I will mention a couple of relevant ones and refer you to a post that does go into the gory details, for anyone who?s really interested.

    Exceptions aside, RNA vaccines consist mainly of, well, RNA. One problem with RNA vaccines is that RNA is an inherently unstable molecule. It is, after all, a messenger. It doesn?t need to persist any longer than the message needs to be made. In aqueous solution, RNA molecules rapidly degrade. Indeed, the instability of RNA is why public health experts have been concerned about distributing RNA vaccines. Both companies adopted a similar strategy in designing their mRNA to encode the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with stabilizing mutations added to lock this surface protein into a form easily recognizable to the immune system and therefore make it a better antigen. Pfizer and Moderna also used modified nucleosides (the RNA equivalent to DNA nucleotides) that are more stable to make their RNAs, and placed their RNA within a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery system in which LNPs fuse with the cell membrane to deliver the RNA to the cytoplasm. Nonetheless, there are huge differences in the temperatures at which these vaccines need to be stored to remain stable and active.

    Here?s what I mean. The Pfizer vaccine (developed in partnership with a company called BioNTech) reportedly needs to be stored at -80?C. While I have a -80?C freezer in my laboratory (to store RNA samples, among other things), most physicians? offices and clinics do not, because such freezers are large and very expensive compared to the more common refrigerators (which generally maintain a temperature of around 4?C) and standard freezers (which maintain a temperature of around -20?C). Even many hospitals do not have enough -80?C freezers to store large quantities of vaccine. Similarly, because of the temperature necessary to keep the vaccine stable and active, transporting the Pfizer vaccine presents logistical challenges, because the vaccine must be kept at -80?C or colder during the entire chain of transport. It can be done, using dry ice, of course, but it?s difficult, and one could easily imagine an impending dry ice shortage once such vaccines roll out. To this end, both companies have apparently used modified nucleotides to try to make their mRNA molecules more stable The Moderna vaccine, in contrast, can reportedly be stored at -20?C for up to six months, which is much more doable, as most standard freezers can reach this temperature. Even better, the Moderna vaccine will remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2? to 8?C (36? to 46?F) for up to 30 days and remains stable at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Why the difference? It?s hard to know for sure, as both companies are tight-lipped about the exact differences in their vaccines. A Moderna spokesperson explained to NPR:

  9. #1009
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    So everyone I know who has had it said they cant smell or taste anything. Is that true in all cases?

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  10. #1010
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    So everyone I know who has had it said they cant smell or taste anything. Is that true in all cases?
    My 67 year old friend that got it said that's how he knew. He came down to breakfast and realized he couldn't smell or taste. He had a mild cough, but no other symptoms.

    Not everyone that has it loses their sense of smell/taste, but if you lose your sense of smell/taste I think it's a pretty good indicator that you have it.

  11. #1011
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    https://www.argusleader.com/story/ne...us/6063815002/
    70 of the more than 1000 who've died in South Dakota.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  12. #1012
    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    https://fox5sandiego.com/news/trendi...ovid-19-twice/

    CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A 102-year-old New York woman who was born during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic has now survived COVID-19 twice.

    Angelina Friedman, who lives in a nursing home in Mohegan Lake, New York recently survived her second bout with the disease, according to the North Westchester Restorative Therapy & Nursing Center.

    Friedman was first diagnosed with COVID-19 in March. In October, shortly before her 102nd birthday, she was diagnosed with the virus again. She recovered in mid-November.

    “She’s an amazingly resilient, strong woman,” Joanne Merola, Freidman’s daughter described her mother in a Facebook comment.

    During the 1918 flu pandemic, Friedman was born on a passenger ship taking immigrants from Italy to New York City. Her mother died giving birth on the ship.
    https://fox40.com/news/local-news/17...e-to-covid-19/

    MANTECA, Calif. (KTXL) — A total of 17 Manteca city employees are under quarantine after their exposure to COVID-19.

    The city of Manteca council chambers had been converted to its Emergency Operations Center in March, with most City Hall employees continuing to work remotely during the pandemic.

    “City Hall, for the most part, is a ghost town right now. A lot of people have gone home, not open to the public right now,” David Marques, the city’s emergency operations operator, told FOX40.

    Marques, who is a battalion chief in the city’s fire department, said seven City Hall employees and four firefighters tested positive for COVID-19, along with one new case reported Thursday — bringing the total to five fire personnel.

    “We’re doing the best that we can. We’ve been working hard to make sure all of our firefighters take every precaution possible,” Marques told FOX40.

    An additional five fire department employees are also under quarantine for coming into contact with an infected person.

    But staffing levels remain the same, and city services should remain the same.

    “Which still allows us to still effectively serve the community without staffing being affected in any way,” Marquez said. “City Hall, a lot of the people that are out have the ability to work from home.”

    One of those infected is city councilman Gary Singh, who posted on his Facebook page that he is also fighting the flu.

    Marques said with that one new case of COVID-19, he is now conducting contact tracing, which may mean even more personnel under quarantine.

    He added that they are taking every precaution possible and if the situation warrants, they will brown out fire stations to decontaminate.

    https://www.kron4.com/news/californi...vid-this-week/

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Another member of Governor Gavin Newsom’s staff has tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

    A spokesperson says the unidentified staffer has been working remotely for several weeks and has not been around the governor or his family.


    Newsom staff member tests positive for COVID-19
    On Wednesday, another unidentified staffer was announced to have tested positive, making this the second case this week.

    No other details have been released at this time.

  13. #1013
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    https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus...-rules-1552381

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a "Regional Stay-At-Home Order" on Thursday, which requires residents to stay at home for at least three weeks in regions where the order is in place. All non-essential travel is banned, while bars, wineries, hair salons, barbershops and in-person dining services at restaurants will be closed under the order.

    Newsom tweeted Thursday: "Our ICUs are climbing quickly toward their capacity. Our death rate is rising. To slow the surge of #COVID19 and save lives, CA is introducing a Regional Stay-At-Home Order."

    The new order will be triggered when the ICU capacity drops below 15 percent in any given region among the five being tracked by state health officials.


    "No regions currently meet this threshold but some are projected to within the next week," the governor's office confirmed in a statement Thursday.

    If a region falls below the 15 percent ICU threshold, it will have 24 hours to implement the regional stay-at-home order, which goes into effect from 12:59 p.m. local time on December 5.
    https://abc7news.com/health/5-bay-ar...unday/8501796/

    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Five Bay Area counties have decided not to wait for the state's planned regional stay-at-home order and are implementing the new restrictions ahead of schedule.

    Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and the City of Berkeley (which has its own public health department) announced the new measures in a joint press conference Friday afternoon.

    Here's what will change when the order goes into effect:
    Restaurants will close to both indoor and outdoor dining. They can only do takeout or delivery.

    Bars and wineries have to close (indoor and outdoor)

    Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and other personal care services have to close

    All retail stores can stay open, but must drop capacity to 20%

    Private gatherings of any size will be prohibited


    RELATED: Here's what will close under a stay-at-home order in the Bay Area

    Schools that have already received a waiver to reopen can stay open. All "critical infrastructure" can remain open, as well.

    The start date varies slightly based on county. Contra Costa, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties say their orders will take effect Sunday at 10 p.m. In Alameda County, the stay-at-home order starts Monday, Dec. 7 at 12:01 a.m. Marin County is last to join on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at noon.

    In all cases, the stay-at-home order will last through Jan. 4.

    The health officers said that if they were to wait for the state's order, which is triggered when a region has only 15% ICU capacity remaining, it would be too late.

    "The dark COVID winter that we feared would come has arrived in the Bay Area," said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County health officer. "I and other county health officers in the Bay Area don't think we can wait for the state's new restrictions to go into effect later this month. We must act swiftly to save as many lives as we can. This is an emergency."

    BAY AREA ICU CAPACITY: How close we are to the 15% threshold and California's new stay-at-home order

    As we enter the peak holiday season, the health leaders are asking everyone to stay home and avoid absolutely all social gatherings.

    "You should not meet in person with anyone you do not live with. Even in a small group, and even outdoors with precautions," said Berkeley's Dr. Lisa Fernandez. "If you have a social bubble, it is now popped."

    The number of remaining ICU beds is most concerning in Santa Clara County, where it has just dropped to 14%, said health officer Dr. Sara Cody.

    The "Bay Area" region as it's defined by the state includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties, according to the state.

    The six other counties not participating in Friday's press conference won't be compelled to enact more restrictions until the entire region has ICU capacity under 15%. However, each county is always allowed to implement stricter regulations than the state, just not looser restrictions.

    As things stand, the Bay Area is projected to reach that 15% threshold by mid-December. When that happens the entire region will have to close more businesses and enter a stay-at-home order similar to the one we had in March.

  14. #1014
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    https://www.kcra.com/article/heres-a...id-19/34875735

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. —
    Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a new stay-at-home order that's triggered when the intensive care unit capacity in a region drops below 15%.

    Unlike previous restrictions in California, the new stay-at-home order focuses on five different regions: Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.


    Advertisement
    The California Department of Public Health is reviewing ICU capacity and says it will provide daily news releases so people can track where their region stands.

    ICU capacity in each region can also be found on the state's COVID-19 website on the stay-at-home order page.

    Remaining ICU capacity in the five regions (last updated Dec. 3, 2020)

    Northern California 18.6%
    Bay Area 25.3%
    Greater Sacramento 22.2%
    San Joaquin Valley 19.7%
    Southern California 20.6%
    Once in effect, the stay-at-home order will stay in place for at least three weeks. After that period, the order will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%, according to the state health department.

    A region will have 48 hours to implement the stay-at-home order once it's triggered.

  15. #1015
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    https://www.abc10.com/article/news/h...0-41343484cfe4

    STOCKTON, Calif. — For 9-year old D'Artagnan Vargas of Rio Linda, distance learning has been anything but easy.

    "He was throwing up so much. He wasn't even able to concentrate on his classes," D'Artagnan’s mother Deanna Vargas said.

    With another 9-year old son and 7-year old daughter, Deanna has her hands full. D'Artagnan is also a special-needs student and, at one point, felt like giving up.

    "He does battle depression with his anxiety. And, for several weeks we fought every day with him telling me that he just wanted to kill himself," Deanna said.

    UC Davis child psychologist Tara Niendam said parents and guardians need to pay attention to the signs.

    "Avoidance, sadness, or the other thing we've really seen is kids making very negative self-statements. ‘I can't do this.’ ‘I'm not good enough.’ ‘I don't understand,’" Niendam said.

    If there are weapons or items at home that children could use to harm themselves, experts say they should be securely stored.

    "We encourage them to store [guns] through some sort of locking device, whether that's a safe, a storage box, a locker," Bill Romanelli with www.projectchildsafe.org said.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 2017 study found that more than 1,300 kids under the age of 17 die from gunshot wounds. So, what can you do to know what's happening in the mind of your child?

    "Five minutes, one-on-one each day, where they can talk and just listen," Niendam recommends.

    Deanna said D'Artagnan is doing much better now. She realized he missed being with his friends at school. So, she came up with an alternative.

    "We have three good families that we trust and we know are being safe. And, so we allow him to go to those three families and hang out and play. And, that seriously has been the biggest game-changer," Deanna said.

    Continue the conversation with Kurt on Facebook.

  16. #1016
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    https://abc7.com/health/socal-icu-ca...rder-/8513611/

    LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A new state stay-at-home order will go into effect in Southern California after the region's hospital ICU capacity dropped below 15%.

    The California Department of Public Health reported on Friday night that Southern California's ICU capacity dropped to 13.1%, triggering the stay-at-home order.

    The order does not take effect until Saturday at 12:59 p.m., and local officials will have 24 hours to carry out the restrictions.

    The new order again closes a wide range of businesses and activities and urges people to stay at home whenever possible and always wear masks when outside the home.

    RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces new, regional stay-at-home order in California

    Newsom announced a regional stay-at-home order as an "emergency brake" to curb the rampant spread of COVID-19 in California.



    When the stay-at-home order is triggered, bars, wineries, nail salons, hair salons and barbershops, and other personal care services will need to close. Private gatherings of any size will be prohibited. Restaurants can stay open for takeout and delivery, but they have to shut down both indoor and outdoor dining.

    Schools that were given a waiver to reopen will be allowed to stay open. Retail stores will be allowed to stay open at 20% capacity.

    Additionally, all non-essential travel is "temporarily restricted statewide," regardless of what zone you live in. Hotels and motels are now restricted to only guests traveling for an "essential" reason.

    Once a region drops to the 15% threshold and the order is triggered, that area must stay under the lockdown for at least three weeks. After that, state health officials will evaluate ICU capacity and transmission rates to project at least four weeks into the future to determine if the stay-at-home order can be lifted.

    The Southern California region consists of 11 counties, including L.A., Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and San Diego.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday a new, regional stay-at-home order as an "emergency brake" to curb the rampant spread of COVID-19 in California.

    According to Newsom's office, if a region hits the 15% or lower threshold for ICU capacity, the following activities and sectors must close:

    - Indoor and outdoor playgrounds
    - Indoor recreational facilities
    - Hair salons and barbershops
    - Personal care services

    - Museums, zoos, and aquariums
    - Movie theaters
    - Wineries
    - Bars, breweries and distilleries
    - Family entertainment centers
    - Cardrooms and satellite wagering
    - Limited services
    - Live audience sports
    - Amusement parks

    Other sectors that will be allowed to stay open when operating remotely is not possible include:

    - Critical Infrastructure
    - Schools that are already open for in-person learning
    - Non-urgent medical and dental care
    - Child care and pre-K

  17. #1017

  18. #1018
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    https://fox40.com/news/local-news/sl...atients-again/

    NATOMAS, Calif. (KTXL) — Back in April, FOX40 cameras were inside Sleep Train Arena as it was transformed into a field hospital.

    In the months to follow, the site only saw a low number of patients while costing millions to modify.

    Now, with California hospitals nearing capacity for COVID-19 patients, the former home of the Sacramento Kings will open its doors again.

    “That will be opening on Dec. 9th,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “In just a number of days, the Arco Sleep Train Arena can take in over 224 patients.”

    Those are the beds that could be ready by Wednesday. Another 20 beds are already in position to see patients.

    Sleep Train is one of more than 10 such makeshift hospitals, totaling nearly 1,900 beds across the state.

    With just days until its reopening as a hospital, FOX40 asked California’s Office of Emergency Services for details.

    “The patients will be low acuity and may come from non-healthcare facilities (assisted living centers, skilled nursing homes, etc) after a team of Physicians and nurses assess their condition and determine the best care,” wrote Cal OES spokesperson Bryan May.

    May told FOX40 that medical staff will come from Cal OES itself, the state’s Health Corps, the Emergency Medical Services Authority and California Medical Assistance Teams.

    Patients who will be seen at the arena will be admitted and transported from outside health care facilities, according to May.

    FOX40 also reached out to a spokesperson with the Sacramento County Department of Health Services, since the arena is located in Natomas. They sent the following statement.

    Sacramento County has not been asked by the State to assist with the opening of Sleep Train as a State-run alternate field hospital. However, Sacramento County stands ready to respond if asked.
    https://www.kfyrtv.com/2020/12/03/no...te-per-capita/

    BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota continues to lead the country in COVID-19 testing capacity per capita.

    Since the pandemic began, the state has done more than 1.1 million tests on more than 350,000 people.

    Rhode Island, Alaska and Massachusetts follow closely behind.

    North Dakota COVID-19 Testing


    Nicole Brunelle with the State Department of Health says she expects high testing numbers to continue.

    “I think there is a little bit of testing fatigue out there but I think with the holidays season ramping up a lot of people are going to want to come out and test a little bit more.” Nicole Brunelle, Chief Nursing Officer said.

    All the testing has brought about the highest positivity rate per capita with more than 10 percent of the state’s population contracting the virus.

    South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin have the next three highest rates.



    South Dakota however has tested less than 38 percent of its population.

  19. #1019
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    https://www.kxnet.com/news/local-new...wide-are-5021/

    The North Dakota Department of Health Friday morning confirmed 558 new cases of COVID-19 in the state during testing December 4, bringing the total positives since testing began to 82,504.

    The number of currently active COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 5,021 as of December 4. That’s down 286 cases from December 3.

    Of the new positives:

    113 were in Cass County
    74 were in Burleigh County
    34 were in Ward County
    36 were in Stark County
    53 were in Grand Forks County
    12 were in Morton County
    51 were in Williams County
    Deaths

    18 new deaths were reported, including 3 in Ward County:

    Man in his 40s from Benson County.
    Woman in her 90s from Cass County.
    Man in his 50s from Cass County.
    Man in his 70s from Eddy County.
    Woman in her 70s from Kidder County.
    Woman in her 80s from LaMoure County.
    Woman in her 60s from McLean County.
    Man in his 90s from Mercer County.
    Man in his 90s from Morton County.
    Man in his 80s from Pembina County.
    Man in his 80s from Ramsey County.
    Woman in her 70s from Sioux County.
    Man in his 50s from Sioux County.
    Woman in her 90s from Stutsman County.
    Man in his 90s from Traill County.
    Woman in her 90s from Ward County.
    Woman in her 80s from Ward County.
    Woman in her 90s from Ward County.
    A total of 1,007 people have died so far in North Dakota as a result of COVID-19.

    Of those, 843 are directly attributable to COVID-19 according to official death records. Another 146 deaths are where COVID-19 is not the primary cause of death. A total of 18 death records are pending.

    Recoveries and Active Cases

    The health department reports 76,476people are considered recovered from the 82,504 positive cases, an increase of 823 people from December 3.

    The number of people reported recovered from COVID-19 on December 4 (823) is higher than the number of new COVID-19 cases reported that day (558).

    Of the 5,021 active cases in North Dakota as of December 4:

    Cass County: 1,071
    Burleigh County: 716
    Ward County: 451
    Grand Forks County: 429
    Morton County: 222
    Stark County: 190
    Williams County: 181
    Hospitalizations

    298 people are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of December 4, down 26 from December 3. A total of 2,868 hospitalizations have been reported since data tracking began.

    Total Positives To Date

    Cass County: 17,612
    Burleigh County: 12,445
    Grand Forks County: 8,368
    Ward County: 7,877
    Morton County: 4,194
    Stark County: 3,748
    Williams County: 3,169
    Mountrail County: 1,088
    Other county numbers are available here.

    Other Data

    A total of 356,518 unique individual tests have been conducted to date.

    Since tracking began, COVID-19 cases have been reported at one time or another in all 53 of North Dakota’s counties.

    Those in the 20 to 29 year age range have the most positive cases among those tested to date.

    According to the data, 46 percent of all North Dakotans have been tested for COVID-19.

    The health department is releasing test results daily around 11:00 a.m. The results cover all testing performed the previous day.

    You can read more on the daily statistics as well as other COVID-19 information and resources at the North Dakota Department of Health website here.

  20. #1020
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    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55174210

    It's not hard to see how the misadventures of Hungarian politician Jozsef Szajer made headlines across the continent this week.

    There are of course the public health implications of a public figure attending a gathering of 25 guests at a party that was a clear breach of Belgium's strict lockdown rules.

    There is the hypocrisy issue: how could a man who drafted the Hungarian constitutional prohibition on gay marriage find himself in a room full of naked men at an event described in Flemish newspaper headlines as a "seksfeest" (sex party)?

    And undeniably there is the Benny Hill element to the arrest of a senior member of the European Parliament as he attempted to flee the scene by climbing down a drainpipe and running away.

    Mr Szajer, a founder member of the authoritarian, ultra-conservative Fidesz movement, said his "mis-step" was purely personal and it shouldn't be seen as a reflection on his homeland or political community.

    There was little chance of anyone heeding that.

    Gay rights in Hungary
    Fidesz is a party that troubles Hungary's more liberal European partners with its history of seeking to silence critical voices in the media, extend its control over the judiciary and limit gay rights in the field of marriage and adoption.

    Mr Szajer himself drafted the Hungarian constitution which defines marriage as a heterosexual act.

    He resigned as an MEP before the details of the case leaked out but once they were in the public domain it was easy to see why he'd immediately known that his political career was over.

    A view of the "Monroe Bar", where a conservative Hungarian MEP and close ally of Prime Minister was caught by Belgian police fleeing a lockdown-busting party on November 27, 2020. -
    IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
    image captionThe Hungarian MEP was caught clambering down a drainpipe from this bar in Brussels
    How, after all, to reconcile the unsympathetic Fidesz stance on gay rights with the host's description of his soir?es as reported in Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws?

    "We talk a little, we drink a little, like in a caf?," said David Manzheley, "The only difference is that in the meantime we also have sex with each other. I don't see what's wrong with that."

    Icy dismissal
    The response from Fidesz leader Viktor Orban to the reports from Belgium was swift and chilly.

    Hungary MEP quits after allegedly fleeing gay orgy
    Hungary proposes same-sex adoption ban
    Orban: The man who thinks Europe has been invaded
    Mr Szajer's actions, said the Hungarian prime minister, "had no place in the values of our political family". While his party colleague's contribution to the development of Fidesz wouldn't be forgotten, his actions were "unacceptable and indefensible", Mr Orban added.

    Viktor Orban and Mr Szajer are party allies who go back many years
    IMAGE COPYRIGHTEUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
    image captionViktor Orban (L) and Mr Szajer are party allies who go back many years
    Mr Orban is a smart and effective leader who cut his teeth as an opposition activist calling for free elections and an end to the Soviet occupation of his country.

    But that icy dismissal of Mr Szajer has an echo about it of how politically troublesome or embarrassing figures in the Soviet era could suddenly become "non-persons". And indeed that may now be Mr Szajer's fate.

    Gulf in values
    The case illustrates a cultural gulf that persists between Eastern and Western Europe on issues like gay rights.

    Polish President Andrzej Duda won this summer's election in part by arguing that what he called LGBT ideology was more dangerous than communism - quite a claim in a country occupied by the Soviet Union at terrible cost for more than 40 years.

    Inside Poland’s 'LGBT-free zones'
    Diplomats urge respect for LGBT rights in Poland
    The host of the party that led to Mr Szajer's downfall neatly illustrated the gulf in values when he complained about the way in which the Belgian police had conducted the arrest operation.

    "The police were saying 'ID card, right now!' But we were not even wearing underpants. How were we supposed to show our identity card?"

    It's hard to imagine Viktor Orban or Andrzej Duda having much time for that line of criticism of the police but David Manzheley wasn't facing any criticism for his sexuality or that of his guests - just for breaching public health guidelines.

    That media treatment of the affair in Western Europe reflects a revolution in attitudes towards issues like gay rights which began in the 1960s in some countries but which has gathered extraordinary momentum in recent years, even in once socially conservative countries like Ireland.

    So while it was hard to find any censorious note in Western European coverage of the affair as it related to the private lives of the party guests, even Mr Manzheley's protestation that he had nurses at the party to provide rapid tests for Covid-19 didn't spare him from criticism for breaching public health guidelines.

    That's one issue perhaps on which no-one is feeling tolerant at the moment.

  21. #1021
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    https://fox40.com/news/local-news/yo...on-businesses/

    DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) ? New COVID-19 restrictions began in Yolo County Sunday.

    Yolo County grocery stores like the Davis Food Co-op were told to reduce the number of customers inside at a time.

    ?We?re at capacity for our customer count,? Davis Food Co-op operations manager Laura Sanchez told FOX40. ?It is definitely difficult.?

    Grocers were previously allowed to operate at 50% capacity, but they now have to serve at just 20% due to the county?s amended public health order.

    Sanchez said the co-op is trying to expand curbside pick-up and have support staff work from home.

    ?We have learned to be flexible and implement what is asked of us to make sure we get through this at some point and hopefully go back to some kind of normal,? Sanchez explained

    Under the rules, all stores must reduce capacity to 20% and restaurants are also impacted.

    While the order still allows for outdoor dining, only members of the same household can be eating at each table.

    Tom Jobst with Froggy?s Bar and Grill said he?s trying to follow the rules but doesn?t know how to determine whether people live together.

    ?College kids that come in are probably all roommates. They probably all live together. I don?t know how to enforce it,? Jobst explained.

    Yolo County spokesperson Jenny Tan told FOX40 that much of the enforcement will come down to the honor system.

    ?I don?t think it?s going to go so far as checking addresses,? Tan said. ?Like ?let me see your driver?s license to check to make sure you?re living together.? It?s just putting more information out there.?

    Tan said she?s hoping education will be enough, reminding her community that the latest restrictions are in place to keep people safe and avoid hospitals being overrun.

    ?This really is about your health, my health, the health of our healthcare providers, our grandparents,? Tan explained.

    The county does have an ordinance in place that allows it to place fines on businesses for not complying with its health order.

    Non-commercial violators can be fined to $500 and commercial violators could be fined up to $10,000.

  22. #1022
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    I volunteer at a sanctuary, and a lot of pets are being relinquished because the owner can't afford to take care of their animals anymore because they lost their job. It's heartbreaking.

    A lot of shelters are shutting down too. Fuck COVID.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  23. #1023
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    I volunteer at a sanctuary, and a lot of pets are being relinquished because the owner can't afford to take care of their animals anymore because they lost their job. It's heartbreaking.

    A lot of shelters are shutting down too. Fuck COVID.
    In the early days of COVID a lot of animals were getting adopted/fostered because people were at home, but yeah, now I see a lot of dogs being surrendered too because owners are sick/died or can't afford to take care of them.

  24. #1024

  25. #1025
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    https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2020/11...ill-de-blasio/

    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Brooklyn synagogue that reportedly hosted a secret wedding with thousands of unmasked guests earlier this month is facing a hefty fine.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg will have to fork over $15,000. He called the event irresponsible and unacceptable, adding it ignored COVID-19 restrictions, including mask wearing and social distancing.

    “We know it was too big. I don’t have an exact figure, but whatever it was, it was too big. There appeared to be a real effort to conceal it, which is absolutely unacceptable,” de Blasio said Monday night on NY-1, adding, “That’s just not acceptable. I mean, we’ve been through so much. And in fact, the Williamsburg community in recent weeks responded very positively, did a lot more testing and was being very responsible. This was amazingly irresponsible, just unacceptable. So there’s going to be consequences right away for the people who let that happen.”

    On Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the wedding “disrespectful of the people of New York.”

    The New York Post reported that guests, mostly unmasked, crammed inside the Yetev Lev for the Nov. 8 wedding of Yoel Teitelbaum, a grandson of Satmar Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, in blatant violation of coronavirus restrictions that ban large indoor gatherings. The synagogue has a capacity of 7,000 people.

    Organizers kept the wedding secret after state officials canceled an earlier Satmar wedding, the Post reported, citing a Yiddish newspaper, Der Blatt.

    “If it turns out that because we stopped that wedding the reaction was, ‘Well we’ll have a secret wedding,’ that would be really shocking and totally deceitful,” Cuomo said. “It’s illegal and the city should do a robust investigation.”

    A man who answered the phone at the Yetev Lev synagogue on Sunday said officials there had no comment.

    Compliance with coronavirus restrictions in some of New York’s Orthodox Jewish communities has been an issue since the pandemic started last spring.

    MORE: Orthodox Jewish Activist Heshy Tischler Arraigned, Vows To ‘Continue Our Fight’ Against COVID-19 Crackdown In Brooklyn

    Protests erupted in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn last month after Cuomo announced a crackdown in several Orthodox neighborhoods as virus cases increased. Many members of Orthodox communities complained that they were being singled out.

    https://slate.com/human-interest/202...rcus-emes.html

    In October, Blima Marcus, a nurse practitioner and ultra-Orthodox resident of Borough Park, Brooklyn, received a call from a close friend. The woman’s teenage son was showing COVID-19 symptoms—a headache, fever, and decreased appetite—after being exposed to a positive case of the virus at a local synagogue where he prayed daily.

    “She wanted to know if she should get him tested,” said Marcus, 35, who works in palliative care at an oncology center but also serves in the unofficial role of medical consultant within her Orthodox Jewish community. The teenager had been continuing his regular activities, including attending synagogue. “I advised her to get her son tested immediately and instruct him to strictly quarantine until he receives the results.” Her friend replied incredulously: “ ‘You try keeping a teenage boy home all day.’ ”

    “I had nothing more to say,” Marcus told me recently while driving home from work on a rainy Friday afternoon. “It was clear to me that she wasn’t prepared to quarantine.” Was she disappointed in her friend of 25 years, I asked? “No,” said Marcus. “Why should I expect more from her than from the rest of the community?”

    The past few months have been tumultuous for the ultra-Orthodox enclaves of New York City, where an uptick in COVID-19 cases led to unwelcome attention from the media, secular New Yorkers, and local officials. Last month, reports of a Nov. 8 wedding in Williamsburg attended by thousands threw the ongoing tensions between insular religious communities and government officials into stark relief. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would slap the Brooklyn synagogue that hosted the event with a $15,000 fine. Nonetheless, authorities failed to stop another similar wedding in the upstate New York Hasidic enclave of Kiryas Joel shortly thereafter; the nuptials proceeded despite a cease-and-desist order.


    The past few months have also been a trying time for Marcus, who is now in the unfortunate position of giving advice that no one wants to hear. She has watched as her neighbors dismiss the virus and publicly defy safety measures intended to contain it. She has fought against the idea that her community has reached “herd immunity,” only to see it gain traction. She lives just blocks away from where Heshy Tischler, a Borough Park resident, ultra-Orthodox radio show host, and COVID-19 denialist, made national headlines in October for rallying his mostly young male followers to burn their masks and rage against de Blasio. Marcus says she felt horror when Tischler targeted Hasidic journalist Jacob Kornbluh for publicly criticizing his community’s unwillingness to follow the same safety precautions she’d been advocating for. She felt even more horror when Tischler’s acolytes physically attacked Kornbluth, pinning him to the ground while chanting “moser”—a derogatory Hebrew term for an informant who betrays his own community.

    “I used to be so passionate about helping the community. I used to have the patience to answer the same question for the 80th time. But the work is thankless.”
    — Blima Marcus
    At the same time, Marcus, who covers her hair with an understated brown wig and, when not in scrubs, covers her elbows, knees, and collarbone, too, understands why New York City’s ultra-Orthodox Jews have felt unjustly singled out for rebuke and have therefore chafed at government regulation. Back in April, after a large funeral for a local rabbi in Brooklyn drew thousands into the streets of Williamsburg, de Blasio visited the scene and called out “the Jewish community.” Months later, the mayor apologized for the statement, but many community members—smarting from a second wave of shutdowns announced in early October that disproportionately affected Orthodox-dense ZIP codes—felt the harm had already been done. Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted that the shutdown measures were not personal, stressing in a press conference that, though the COVID-19 hot spots “overlap with large Orthodox Jewish communities,” shutdown measures apply equally to “every citizen of the state of New York.” But members of the Orthodox community, who were already on edge after a series of violent anti-Semitic incidents in late 2019 (an assault on children in a Williamsburg housing project, a shooter threat at the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters in Crown Heights, a fatal attack at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, and the Dec. 29 stabbings at a Hanukkah celebration in suburban Monsey) left them feeling vulnerable and targeted, thought otherwise. From a certain vantage point, you can see why a community on edge would be wary of outsiders, who hadn’t been able or willing to protect them in the past, now swooping in to tell them how to behave in the face of a different threat.

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