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Howard Breidenbach recuperates at his home in Myrtle Creek in November.

Howard Breidenbach thought it was all a big conspiracy.

The government using a so-called “coronavirus” to control the people. Feeding drama. Making up numbers.

“It was all a lie,” he thought.

Until he forgot his own name.

The 47-year-old independent trucker from Myrtle Creek thumbed his nose at COVID-19. On July 14, something was wrong.

“We thought for sure it was pneumonia,” Breidenbach’s wife of 29 years, Tonja, said Monday. “I didn’t feel very good either. When he got sick, I started feeling sick, too.”

Howard’s condition took a drastic turn. After spending a few days at CHI Mercy Medical Center, he was transferred to the intensive care unit, but there was only so much hospital staff could do for him. He needed specialized help, and he needed it fast.

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Donna Morrell visits with her son-in-law Howard Breidenbach at the University of Washington Medical Center-Montlake in Seattle, Washington, this summer.

One doctor called every hospital in the Pacific Northwest trying to find an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine — better known as ECMO — to help serve as an artificial lung for the 47-year-old, whose condition was continuing to deteriorate.

“That was very traumatic, very upsetting,” Tonja said of the phone call she received in late July. “He might actually die.”

No such machines were available in Oregon, but the doctor at Mercy was able to locate one in Seattle at the University of Washington Medical Center’s Montlake facility. Howard, in a medically induced coma, was transported to Roseburg Regional Airport and flown to Seattle.

“I had no idea,” Howard said of the transfer. “I went to sleep in Roseburg and woke up in Seattle.”

For nearly 100 days, Howard was receiving a medical treatment that temporarily draws blood from the body, provides artificial oxygenation of the blood and returns it to the cardiovascular system.

On average, the survival rate of patients on such a treatment is estimated at 30%.

Quite simply, it was Howard’s last chance.

Meanwhile, his wife was in quarantine in Myrtle Creek until Aug. 16, at which time she could travel to Seattle to try and see her husband.

“It was horrible to see him like that,” Tonja said. “His chest wasn’t moving, he had a tube down his throat. They said it was very important to talk to him and he was trying to communicate back, but it was awful.

“They could wake him up, but it was more of a surface awakening to make sure he still had brain activity,” she said.

“In a coma, you can hear voices but you can’t make out voices,” Howard said. “All I could hear was babbling. I honestly couldn’t remember my name. I knew who I was, but I couldn’t remember my name.”

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Howard Breidenbach recuperates in a hospital room at the University of Washington Medical Center-Montlake in Seattle earlier this summer.

Howard and Tonja Breidenbach had big plans. They were in the process of launching their own trucking company with the goal of retiring within the next five to seven years. They had already bought the truck to get their dream off the ground and were eyeing more equipment. Now, the couple who had met in Heppner in 1990 was praying for the simple gift of another day together.

“I spent a lot of time on my knees praying,” Tonja said. “You sure find out what’s important.”

Hooty B LLC, the Breidenbach’s trucking company, is on permanent hold. The truck has been sold, as well as the couple’s home, a sale which was finalized by a “thumbs-up” from Howard via video call.

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Howard Breidenbach is now recuperating at his Myrtle Creek home with help from his wife Tonja Breidenbach.

During his 102 days in the hospital, Howard missed his 29th wedding anniversary. He was discharged from the hospital on Oct. 27 and had his 48th birthday on Nov. 11.

He credits pulmonary specialist Dr. Luana Petre Nedita for helping save his life.

“I owe her everything, and I want her to know it,” Howard said.

Following Howard’s ordeal, he and Tonja both agreed to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“My idea was that we all get the shot and all die of cancer 10 years later,” Howard said. “I was wrong, and now I’ve got myself to blame and am reaping my rewards.

“I’m 48 years old and have to have somebody take care of me. Every mental image you hold of yourself is lost.

“I kept having this dream we were at the coast, and it was so real. The picture we took, it wasn’t there. I just kept waking up in the same nightmare,” he said.

Today, both Howard and Tonja are encouraging those who are on the fence to vaccinate or not vaccinate to get the shot.

“I thought it was a scam until I got (COVID-19),” Howard said. “It’s serious, and it’s real.

“COVID is no joke.”

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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(48) comments

Mike

Nowhere in today’s press release by our County Commissioners do they encourage residents to get vaccinated. Quite the opposite. Rather than encourage Douglas County residents to get vaccinated, our County Commissioners continue to publish MISINFORMATION discouraging vaccination. In today’s press release (below link), our County Commissioners make the following claim about Douglas County’s Covid immunity:

“70 to 76% of our population is now immune, either by vaccination, natural infection or both.”

Making reckless statements such as this first ASSUMES 14,787 Douglas County residents were infected by Covid but never tested positive. There is no proof that number is correct.

Second, this reckless statement discourages unvaccinated residents from getting vaccinated because they are falsely led to believe Douglas County has already reached the magical “herd immunity,” hence there is no need to get vaccinated after all. Furthermore, misleading Douglas County residents into believing Douglas County has reached “herd immunity” will cause more residents to be infected because they no longer feel the need to heed masking and social distancing mandates.

Third, despite what our Commissioners say, there is no such thing as 100% immunity to Covid. Vaccination provides approximately 80% immunity from the Alpha variant and less immunity to Delta, and probably even less to Omicron. And that immunity wears off approximately 5% per month, which is why booster shots are recommended 6 months later to get back to the 80% immunity threshold. Saying 70 to 76% of Douglas County’s residents are immune is reckless and will lead to additional loss of life.

https://files.constantcontact.com/16459d00701/d69bd12b-3b7c-48e6-ad6b-f3d0ebe89086.pdf

Mike

And another death, Douglas County's 292nd was reported today. Per the press release:

Our two hundred and ninety-second COVID-19 related death was a 93-year-old man who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 and passed away on Thursday, November 25, 2021. He was not vaccinated.

Mike

Just add it to the list of needless, avoidable, unvaccinated Covid deaths in Douglas County.

Mike

The omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. The CDC issued a statement that the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health confirmed the case in a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22.

"The individual, who was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive," the statement read.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/omicron-variant-found-in-california/ar-AARlYoK?li=BBnbcA1

Mike

The question that is not answered by the CDC is "how long was this person circulating in the general population before he/she began Quarantining?"

Since it takes time to get a test result back and even longer to do the gene sequencing necessary to determine the variant type, it is fair to say this Omicron infected person was circulating in the general population for days which is why the CDC has chose NOT to answer that question.

mworden

The question is answered. He arrived November 22 and was diagnosed and quarantined on Monday. He is vaccinated, but without a booster. His close contacts have been tested and so far are negative.

It takes about 15 minutes to get results from the quick Binax test. The US has the capacity to gene sequence in a single day. It doesn't usually happen that way, but the US has the capacity to do it in urgent situations.

The new variant has spread throughout Europe and is in Canada. It doesn't take a Ph.D. in epidemiology to know that it's here or heading here. So far, symptoms are reported to be mild but it will take weeks to know for sure how big an impact it will have.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/01/omicron-variant-california-cdc-coronavirus-covid

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/29/omicron-covid-variant-symptoms-heres-what-we-know-so-far.html

Mike

I've read similar comments that symptoms are mild, yet have also read hospitalizations have skyrocketed in parts of Africa that are now predominantly Omicron infected. Which is correct?

Mike

Covid-19 hospitalizations rising in South Africa’s omicron hot spot

Admissions have increased nearly fourfold since the beginning of November.

When a person is hospitalized, is that considered "mild?"

https://www.nbcnews.com/data-graphics/covid-19-hospitalizations-rising-south-africas-omicron-hot-spot-rcna6922

mworden

WHO says it will take weeks to know for sure how big the impact of Omicron will be. I don't have an answer. I'm not willing to guess.

If you have access to data pointing one way or the other, I hope you will share it.

mworden

Oh, wait, Mike. I have more to say. I was trying to be concise because I don't have an answer to your question, but we all know I'm long-winded.

I've been talking about this exact question with my friend Sanjay, who is an M.D. in an ancient city on the Ganges River in India. It's the kind of city where people lay down and die in the gutters and on the river banks, and yet he works in a fully modern westernized hospital. It's a study in paradox.

Delta variant was discovered in India in December 2020. His crowded city suffered. It quickly swept around the world, making it to North America by January.

Meanwhile, back here in rural Oregon we continued to do well with only a moderate number of cases and deaths until July 2021. That's when Kate Brown lifted all state covid restrictions. Right here in Douglas County, covid cases and deaths surged in mid-July. For a while we were among the 50 worst counties in the country for new cases and deaths. We were worse than some entire countries around the world. People said to heck with masks and restrictions and the cases surged. People died.

The commissioners and the sheriff did grandstanding announcements that they wouldn't enforce any covid restrictions. Cases surged more. We had the distinction of going from one of the best counties in the country to one of the worst.

From December until mid-July the Delta variant did not spread here in Douglas County even though it was spreading wildly in other parts of the country and world. The spread depended entirely on what people were willing to do. Not just individuals, but corporations. Before Kate Brown lifted her statewide restrictions, stores like Costco and Safeway had mandates from their headquarters that ordered store managers to comply with mandates. After the restrictions were lifted, I've seen barefaced people walking right by the "masks required" signs and the store personnel look the other way. People partied. They went back to normal. Too many didn't get vaccinated. That's why cases surged.

That's why we can't tell what Omicron will do. We don't know yet how much people will and won't comply. We don't know how many people will get vaccinated. We don't know if a newly formulated vaccine will be necessary.

We can crunch the data all we want and read dozens of news stories and science articles, but that still won't give us the answer.

The answer lies within the people. Didn't the Supreme Court rule that corporations are people? Don't we have entire news networks and a political party doing everything they can to convince individuals that there's no greater threat to their liberty than a face mask?

If people (and corporations and politicians) act like horses a*ses then Omicron is likely to be bad. We'll have to wait and see. My friend Sanjay says that in India most people do not comply. It's too hard for them because of the stratified nature of their society, poverty, lack of education and more than a billion people.

I tell him that here it's all politics. He finds America hard to understand at times. I do, too.

Mike

The Delta variant was first detected in India in October 2020. You are wrong. Delta variant was NOT spreading through the U.S. beginning in December. It was May 20, 2021 when the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center announced it had identified the first 2 cases of Delta in the U.S. using PCR testing. It took 7 months for the Delta variant to spread to the U.S. Omicron did the same thing in less than 3 weeks.

7 cases of delta variant were reported by the Oregon Health Authority for the first time on July 9, 2021 in Region 3 which consists of Coos, Curry, Lane and Douglas Counties. On that day, 45% of all Douglas County residents were vaccinated according to the CDC. The CDC announced Delta was the predominant strain in the U.S. on August 6, 2021, three months after it was first detected in the U.S.

Governor Brown lifted all Covid restrictions on July 30, 2021 and turned over all Covid control to each County's Commissioners as they demanded. But that’s not why cases surged. Cases surged because County Commissioners didn’t do the jobs they loudly proclaimed they could do better than the Governor. Instead, Douglas County Commissioners did nothing to lessen the deaths and likely increased deaths by discouraging vaccinations.

Douglas County's Covid death toll was 84 on July 9 when the Delta variant was discovered here. Douglas County had only 5 Covid deaths in the entire month of July. That changed in August and September which saw 48 and 81 Douglas County Covid deaths respectively. Douglas County saw nearly as many Covid deaths in September alone as it experienced the previous 17 months combined.

208 people have died from Covid in the 4 months since delta was first detected in Douglas County on July 9. Despite the high death toll, only 0.5% of Douglas County residents have been fully vaccinated since July 9. Like I said, it took 7 months for the Delta variant to spread to the U.S. Omicron did the same thing in less than 3 weeks. I don't have to wait to see what happens when Omicron hits Douglas County. I know the only way the majority of residents will change their anti-vax stance is if many, many more people die.

Mike

The following are descriptions of the 7 most recent Covid deaths reported in Douglas County by the Oregon Health Authority (below link). NONE of this information was published by our County Commissioners OR the News-Review.

Douglas County’s 285th COVID-19 related death is an 89-year-old woman who tested positive Aug. 19 and died Sept. 21 at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.

Douglas County’s 286th COVID-19 related death is an 86-year-old woman who tested positive Sept. 26 and died Nov. 6 at her residence.

Douglas County’s 287th COVID-19 related death is an 83-year-old woman who tested positive Nov. 2 and died Nov. 20 at David Grant Medical Center in Fairfield, Calif.

Douglas County’s 288th COVID-19 related death is a 41-year-old man who first became symptomatic Nov. 22 and died Nov. 25 at Mercy Medical Center.

Douglas County’s 289th COVID-19 related death is an 89-year-old woman who tested positive Nov. 15 and died Nov. 29 at her residence.

Douglas County’s 290th COVID-19 related death is a 46-year-old man who tested positive Nov. 15 and died Nov. 27 at his residence.

Douglas County’s 291st COVID-19 related death is a 69-year-old man who tested positive Nov. 14 and died Nov. 26 at Mercy Medical Center.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/ORDHS/bulletins/2fea145

mworden

Starting this week the county is releasing only one full update per week, on Wednesdays. On weekdays they are publishing a case update chart.

36 people hospitalized. Three more deaths. 56 new cases.

Today's chart:

https://douglascounty-oregon.us/DocumentCenter/View/20441/11-30-21-Douglas-County-COVID-19-Case-Chart

The place to look for the weekday charts:

https://douglascounty-oregon.us/708/COVID-19

Mike

When the Delta variant was classified as a variant of concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization, our Douglas County Commissioners responded by reducing their daily press release updates from 5 per week to 3 per week even though Douglas County reported 83 Covid deaths in September. That's equivalent to over 8 Umpqua Community College shooting.

Now that Omicron has been classified a VOC by the World Health Organization, our County Commissioners have responded again by reducing press release updates from 3 per week to one per week even though there have been 36 Covid deaths over the past 30 days.

Notably, Dr. Dannenhoffer did not have his regular weekly DPHN radio broadcast yesterday to give the latest Covid update. Nor did Dr. Dannenhoffer have his weekly Facebook update last week.

The News-Review did not report ANY of the 7 Covid deaths reported over the last week.

It appears to me the County Commissioners have determined the best way to solve an epidemic is to quit talking about it. Never mind those pesky deaths that keep piling up and a new VOC on the way.

mworden

November 29, Covid Conversations with Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer DPHN. Discussing omicron variant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNlA-bwLEsE

Mike

Didn't find it posted on DPHN's (below link) website with all the previous videos.

https://douglaspublichealthnetwork.org/covid-19/

Mike

Douglas County's positive test rate of 10.5% is the 5th highest in Oregon according to the OHA (below link). Douglas County tested 1,580 people last week, which is half the number tested the previous week and is also the lowest number tested in Douglas County since early July.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/covid19/Documents/DataReports/Weekly-County-Metrics.pdf

Mike

It has been OVER a week since the News-Review reported 284 Covid deaths in Douglas County last Tuesday. SINCE that time there have been 7 more Covid deaths in Douglas county that went unreported by the News-Review. The number now stands at 291 deaths with 36 hospitalized.

Meanwhile, a squirrel eating dirt encrusted acorns made page 2 of today’s News-Review.

Mike

Douglas County reported more Covid deaths today than any other Oregon County according to the Oregon Health Authority (below link). I expect our County Commissioners will soon be issuing a press release announcing Douglas County is again #1.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/covid19/Documents/DataReports/Oregon-COVID-19-Update-11-30-2021-FINAL.pdf

melrosereader

Interesting-yesterday I intended to buy more face masks. I went to Freddies, Walmart, and Albertsons. Not a face mask in sight so I asked. Freddies said they were out of them. Albertsons no longer carries them. Walmart was completely out of them. Finally got some at Home Depot.

Observation: Most customers at Freddies, Albertsons and Walmart wore face masks. At Home Depot the employees wore masks but almost none of the customers.

Also, there is an interesting story in today's New York Times about the proliferation of fake N95 masks being sold at online retailers, especially Amazon.

So here we are. A new variant of the virus; face masks hard to find in local stores, serious resistance to wearing face masks in our county, and online sale sale of fake N95 masks going crazy.

Groundhog Day...again.

mworden

Today's covid case report from the county.

On Friday there were 28 covid patients hospitalized. Today, Monday, there are 34 patients hospitalized. 30 of the 34 are not vaccinated.

One additional person has died, bringing the death toll to 288.

https://douglascounty-oregon.us/DocumentCenter/View/20439/11-29-21-Douglas-County-COVID-19-Weekly-Case-Chart

Mike

The 34 Douglas County residents currently hospitalized are the highest number of hospitalizations so far in November.

2.2% of Douglas County Covid cases result in death. That is the third highest of all counties in Oregon. Only Harney County (2.7% with 32 deaths) and Josephine County (2.4% with 240 deaths) have a higher percentage of their cases die than Douglas County.

Douglas County had 76 new Covid cases over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Statistically, that mean 2 of those 76 new Thanksgiving cases will die. Not so happy holidays for some.

CitizenJoe

mworden: Thanks. I did not get the usual email today. I wonder what's changed.

We are going to have to adjust our definition of "fully vaccinated"--and this should not be a shock to anyone; being "fully vaccinated" at time A, does not mean continuing as "fully vaccinated" for all time for our usual vaccinations, and our our original definition was likely too modest from the start. For the mRNA vaccines, that 3rd dose boosts neutralizing antibodies another 30-40 fold. I mean that's a booster in the same league as the bottom-end of a Falcon-Heavy!

mworden

I've had my third dose and if there's a recommendation for a 4th dose in six months or so, I'll gladly take it. In the beginning I hoped that covid would burn out and be gone within a year. Didn't happen.

Now I'm expecting it to become endemic, like the annual flu. I get a flu shot every year. I'll be glad to get an annual covid shot if it's medically recommended.

We'll have to keep adjusting our definitions. The flu takes off in the winter and wanes in the summer. So far, covid has been active in all seasons. I'll be glad to get boosters several times a year if the science says that's the best way to maintain immunity.

The human mind tends to crave certainty. That's normal and natural. But we haven't had that with covid. We learn more as we go along and keep changing the definitions, the rules and the goal posts. People hate that. They really do. Uncertainty can breed distressing emotions like anger, despair, anxiety, even disgust and paranoia. That may be one of the reasons divisiveness has grown.

So far, I have a certainty that covid uncertainty will continue. To me, the healthiest option seems to be a willingness to learn as we go along and to accept changing definitions as advancements in our knowledge.

And if there's a 4th booster? I'll say, "Yes," with certainty.

Mike

Omicron is a reminder that no one is safe until everyone is safe. Enough vaccines have been manufactured to vaccinate the entire United States against Covid. Yet, too few people have chosen to get the vaccine which not only increases the likelihood of another even more deadly vaccine-resistant variant strain developing, but enormously increases the chance of vaccinated people having and dying from break-through cases caught from those people not vaccinated.

Mike

New cases of Omicron were confirmed Saturday in the UK, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy, with Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong also reporting that the variant has been found in travelers.

In the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, said he would not be surprised if the omicron variant was already in the United States, too.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59445124

CitizenJoe

In re: vaccine mandates:

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2021/11/24/vaccines-work-pentagon-says-as-surge-in-troop-covid-deaths-comes-to-a-halt/

mworden

Dear Douglas County Commissioners Tim, Chris and Tom,

There's a new dangerous covid variant around the corner. Now is the time to care more about peoples' lives than their political fixations. Right or wrong politically, we do know that mask-wearing, social distancing and vaccination work medically to reduce infection and contagion.

Tim, I'm talking directly to you. I know you've worked hard to make DPHN an effective public healthy agency. Chris and Tom, I know you agreed to pass on funds and increase the public health budget.

Tim, when you showed up at the school board meeting with Dallas you undermined your own hard work. I know you guys don't want to set up more temporary morgues. You don't want the hospital overwhelmed again or FEMA and the National Guard coming here to take over jobs best done locally. They did a great job but it would be so much better if we didn't need their emergency help.

Please think about it and talk about it. How are you going to effectively encourage your supporters to vaccinate, wear masks and socially distance?

Please stop thinking politically about covid. Politics don't rationally apply to contagion. Viruses don't care about politics. They are ceaseless opportunists. Covid is not political unless you make it political.

I know, I know, politics are in your blood and your bones. But it can't possibly be in your hearts, too. Put lives first. We don't want more Douglas County residents to go through what Howard and Tonja experienced.

You can do this. Lives first, politics second. The coming months will tell the story.

Thank you for listening.

Mike

Good luck with that one. Our County Commissioners changing their stance to actually care about the lives of their constituents would mean admitting they have been wrong all-along and should have done more to limit the now 287 (added another one today) Covid deaths in Douglas County.

ALL three Douglas County Commissioners have already overwhelmingly demonstrated their politics mean more to them than the fact people are dying daily unnecessarily in the County they oversee from a disease they continually attempt to minimize. There is SO MUCH MORE they could be doing or could have done to reduce our County's Covid deaths. Instead, they continue to poison the well.

mworden

The commissioners had to actually deal with the reality of arranging for temporary morgues. That kind of horror can leave a mark deep within a person. How a person responds to that mark tells a story. The ending is yet to be written.

That's true for all of us.

Mike

Douglas County Commissioners could have done SO MUCH MORE to combat Covid and save lives in our county. They should have and still can:

1. Be role models. They should declare their own vaccination status. If they are not vaccinated or boosted, they should do so publicly.

2. State their priorities in simple to understand language to avoid confusion and mixed messaging. State the #1 priority followed by the #2 priority and so on, rather than stating ten different things to do with zero priorities. For instance, getting vaccinated may be priority #1. Getting booster shots may be priority #2. Wearing masks in an indoor setting may be priority #3. Social distancing may be priority #4 and so on. Adjust priorities as information changes. Not everything you can do to combat Covid has the same effectiveness. Residents appreciate knowing what steps are most important.

3. Mandate all County employees and contractors be vaccinated or get frequent testing on their dime.

4. Require 100% vaccination for all Douglas County new job postings, promotions, RFP’s, and projects awarded by the County.

5. Mandate vaccine passports in all county buildings and among attendance at all county functions.

6. Publicly condemned anti-vax misinformation promoted by Dallas Heard, both Dr. Powells, Citizens against Tyranny and others.

7. Improve communications. Updates on Covid cases, deaths and new information should be issued daily instead of only twice per week. Likewise, encourage the News-Review to headline Covid case and death numbers on page 3 like they had previously done. Scientific understanding evolves daily, creating fertile ground for disinformation. Frequent media briefings are an opportunity for elected officials and public health experts to provide key updates and guidance while combating disinformation.

8. Provide assistance information to families and individuals on a scale similar to what has previously been done for businesses. Businesses are important, but don’t exist without the families and individuals that run them.

9. Seek out and collect stories of residents coming together to overcome the adversity caused by COVID-19. People are capable of amazing things in a time of crisis. Devote a staff person to capturing the detail of these stories, wonderful and sad, and publicize them. Let the public know what impact this epidemic is having on our communities and the wonderful actions that can be taken by others.

10. Consider providing mental health services for increasing threats of COVID-19 variants which may exacerbate an already stressed mental health care availability for a vulnerable population, especially for children whose stability may be torn by their observation of angry adults.

11. Consider the risk/reward for continuing to do nothing. Our Commissioners appear too focused on the immediate desired public outcomes than potential questions down the road from constituents and families who lost loved ones because our Commissioners chose to do nothing with the power granted to them from the Governor. Power they had demanded and received and then did nothing with it.

CitizenJoe

mworden: rAmen!

"Politics don't rationally apply to contagion. Viruses don't care about politics. They are ceaseless opportunists. Covid is not political unless you make it political." Exactly. Kudos to you for sweet *reason*.

I'd add a plea that the Commissioners institute a mandate for vaccination. Yes, I know they've dismissed it out of hand in the past; but the facts have changed, and it's the perfect time to invoke the wisdom of, “When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?”--variously attributed to Keynes, to Samuelson, and (with even less evidence) to Churchill.

mworden

People have the amazing ability to change their minds. I hope our commissioners help their supporters do just that about masks and vaccination and unnecessary close gatherings.

[pirate]

Mike

Correction: The WHO classified Omicron as a variant of concern (VOC) on Friday, giving it a different name from the one many were expecting: Nu.

CitizenJoe

A rose by any other spike...

Mike

It took the World Health Organization (WHO) two months to classify Delta a "variant of concern. It took 72 hours for WHO to classify Omicron a VOC.

Mike

Here comes the “Nu.” Scientists are sounding the alarm over a new 'worst-ever' super-mutant Covid variant that make vaccines at least 40% less effective. Experts explained the B.1.1.529 variant has more than 30 mutations – the most ever recorded in a variant and twice as many as Delta – that suggest it could be more jab-resistant and transmissible than any version before it. The variant - which could be named "Nu" by the World Health Organization in the coming days - has caused an "exponential" rise in infections in South Africa and has already spread to three countries – including Hong Kong and Botswana, where it is believed to have emerged. There is concern this variant may have a greater potential to escape prior immunity than previous variants and appears to be driving a rapid increase in case numbers in South Africa.

Great Britain announced flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will be suspended and all six countries will be added to the red list. Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid said, “The early indication we have of this variant is it may be more transmissible than the Delta variant and the vaccines that we currently have may be less effective against it.” UK Government scientists believe it can infect previously-infected patients with ease, because South Africa has very high levels of natural immunity.

Professor Tulio de Oliveira, a director of Covid surveillance in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, said that the variant had spread rapidly in South Africa. “In less than two weeks it now dominates all infections following a devastating Delta wave in South Africa. We estimate that 90% of cases in Gauteng (at least 1,000 a day) are this variant.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10244247/Scientists-sound-alarm-new-worst-super-mutant-Covid-variant.html

CitizenJoe

Mike: yep. Looks like a bad moon on the rise. It's all over the journal Nature, and The Guardian this morning, and Dow futures are down 832. The good news is that the mRNA platforms are very nimble, and other modes of immunization--sprays and pills to deliver the antigen, instead of a jab--are on the horizon. And therapeutics that include oral medications are very effective when administered early.

Masks and distancing still work.

So do mandates. Charleston, South Carolina, has achieved 99.7% compliance with vaccination; the county as a whole is at 97%. In freakin' South Carolina.

Douglas County Commissioners, take note.

Nu is bad news.

CitizenJoe

Here's the link from Charleston, an editorial regarding the data, and a slant toward local government. Once again: hey, Commish!

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-charleston-area-vaccine-mandates-show-government-works-best-closest-to-home/article_40104534-4bd4-11ec-b7e9-3b60040036ec.html

Momos

He didn't believe others that told the exact same story, and anti-vaxers won't believe him now. It's all part of a conspiracy, still.

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

Isaac Asimov

"

mworden

Howard and Tonja, thank you for sharing your story. It may very well help others. I wish you both a full recovery of your health and your working life.

Your tale is a great Thanksgiving story. I'm glad the N-R published it today.

melrosereader

It may sound cold-heated and perhaps it is. But I would bet that I am not the only person wondering: who gets to pay for his medical bill?

garyd

He could have received the shot in the arm months ago for free.

Mike

You can hear him admit the same thing while telling his story in a radio interview at the below link.

https://kqennewsradio.com/2021/11/17/morning-conversation-11-17-21/

Mike

Has shame finally set in? Has the News-Review finally come to their senses and realized their repeated publishing of misinformation declaring Covid a hoax and vaccines untrustworthy has become Douglas County's version of Fox News and Facebook? Is the News-Review only now realizing their support of misinformation is destroying families, taking mothers and fathers away from their children?

I have my doubts. After finally writing a story such as this encouraging people to become vaccinated, I fully expect the News-Review will soon respond by publishing yet more misinformation from Evergreen doctors and other conspiracy theorists while continuing to cut their Covid coverage and the updating of graphical information on their pages at a time when Douglas County is reeling from its most Covid deaths. While appeasing the misinformation of their biggest advertisers appears to have become more important to the News-Review than their responsibility to the community they serve, maybe this article is finally a first step in the right direction.

CitizenJoe

A smart person learns from his mistakes. A wise person learns from the mistakes of others.

Be wise.

Vaccinize (TM).

dejadoodoo

Unfortunately, there's a big bubble of "stubbornness" that's impervious to most "wise" things. All too often it takes repeated failure/pain to make a dent in many things stubborn.

D Steel

Will his tale encourage others to get vaccinated? Hope so, 48 is too young to die from a preventable disease. Lesson learned, hopefully.

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