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About knehrke

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    New York Hunter

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  1. You may be right in terms of # increasing in the upcoming weeks, but my experience and current hospitalizations suggest that the increase will not be what we saw in April. As for the virus mutating, that's a fact. Whether the mutated spike protein variant is more or less virulent is an open question, but it does appear to increase viral respiratory load, so it may be more infectious. I'm generally on board with you, but "datas is datas" as my postdoc says.
  2. The only metric that really concerns me is whether the ICUs are getting overwhelmed, leading to our losing folks who should have never been lost. It seems like the current surge is less virulent than what we experienced in the early days - did we get better at managing the disease, did we lose our most vulnerable early (or are they all just in hiding), or has the virus mutated? Maybe all three. Regardless, it is important to maintain open eyes and a measured response to worsening conditions, if they should occur. Anyone who stands their ground in the face of our evolving understanding has an agenda, IMHO. This goes for those on both sides of the fence. Just, please wear a mask when you're close to other folks. It's heartbreaking to see friends who won't come out of their houses because of the cowboy mentality. Right or wrong, they are scared. And I'd rather be compassionate in error than righteously indignant.
  3. That was great, but I'm fairly certain it would have been easier, if way less cool, to simply puff on a stogie before speaking or coughing.
  4. Close is when they show up in the middle of the night to demand your passports and send you to a detention center for disagreeing with them, which is exactly what happened the night my wife's family fled to Belgium from a mineral excavation site in Algeria where her father was the head Romanian geologist. But I get you. I happen to think that government frequently oversteps its bounds. In the case of masking, though, I could care less what the government says. It's respect, common sense, and risk-reward. The cost of masking is small. If it doesn't help, then we're not out much. But the cost of not masking could be somebody's life. Tony Fauci is a doctor first, and plays politics by necessity. Believe me, he has nothing to gain here by asking folks to mask. I know lots of people at NIH including my mentor Larry Tabak, currently Deputy Director (and former UR professor for many years). He and most down there work around politics to get the job done. They are a dedicated group of scientists and doctors who, right or wrong, are working for what they feel is the common good. But don't get me started on the shutdown. Lots of decisions were made that were supposedly based on science, but as a scientist they seemed arbitrary to me. Our undergraduate campus still requires faculty to get dean's approval and check in with security to access their office. They are anticipating a 10% drop in tuition revenues, but if cases shoot up on campus, that number is going to be much higher, and the institution will be in dire financial straights. More so, anyway. These decisions appear to be driven by $$, to nobody's surprise.
  5. If you think that being required to wear a mask when distancing isn't possible is totalitarian rule, you obviously have never lived in a communist society. My wife is originally from Romania, and her parents lived most of their lives there. This isn't even close. But I get that you refuse to give an inch, no matter how unreasonable your stance. However, I can only respect your view when your actions don't threaten my loved ones.
  6. When you decide to participate in society, there's an entry fee. You're a paying customer, too. If you don't like the fee, then go live on a desert island where your failure to exhibit simple respect for others will be better tolerated.
  7. Let me know when you and your dragon are done burning down the country,
  8. Let's put this in perspective. There's been lots of talk about how only old folks are succumbing to this disease. Well, that's true of lots of diseases, including age-onset neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's - which is widely considered to be a major health issue, of course. Unless you are getting younger (like me) or don't worry about the burden that caring for the elderly places on individuals and on society, then I'd say we still have cause for concern. I wouldn't order confetti for the victory parade quite yet.
  9. Of course, I'm sure that you are aware that percentages are meaningless without historical trends to compare them. My take on your post is that these numbers are practically zero. BUT - 1% of 50,000 is 500. Per day. And that is only the number from the 50,000 that were tested. Extrapolate that to the population of NYC. In other words, getting better, but far, far from being gone. But we can dream.
  10. It would be great to see the rates stay low - it means that the majority of folks got the message and are trying to do the smart things like wash their hands frequently and what-not. An ounce of prevention goes a long way. The message here at my University is that we're planning to open early and recess by Thanksgiving, with finals administered remotely. ASL, though? I guess you can Zoom one-on-one, or use really good pictures. What's been really tough is dealing with labs, where practical experience rules. And then there's the fraction of students who can't get back to school because of travel restrictions or visa issues. It's going to be an evolving situation, for sure, if evolving means nobody knows for sure what's likely to happen.
  11. Beautiful! It is a shame that senior year was truncated for these kids. I'm glad to see her making the most of it. Having just graduated a daughter last year, I know the bittersweet feeling. But don't worry - she will be treating home like a hotel for a long time yet lol...
  12. I read this thread with great interest. There are lots of conflicting viewpoints, and it's easy to see why we are such a divided country. IMHO, demonizing the other side does nothing toward resolving our differences - if you need to use over-the-top analogies and flaming rhetoric to win a point, then perhaps your underlying argument lacks legs - no matter which side of the aisle you waltz down. I see weaponized outrage from both sides. In reality though, I think that it is a matter of priorities. When you see something that strikes a nerve, where do your priorities lie? How do you weigh basic freedoms? And how much does your individual freedom weigh again societal goals? Different folks think differently. It seems like if we were to try to understand how a rational, intelligent person from the other side could form their opinions, then maybe this country would be a better place. But when have we ever in the history of mankind done that? Tactic #1 - make the other side look bad. Yeah, I get it. If you're in it to win, then that's the playbook. Doesn't mean I have to like it though.
  13. My Dad grew up in Chicago and had some ingrained prejudices from his upbringing. He always used to tell me, "I'm not a racist, I'm a bigot. I know there's not any underlying differences, but I can't help how I feel."
  14. I will preface this by stating emphatically that I am not in favor of rioting, and I think that what's happening is a tragedy that pulls attention from real problems and hinders real solutions. But I was fishing during the riots in Buzzard's Bay south of Boston this past weekend when a friend of mine mentioned that Boston had seen it's share of looting and vandalism. A group of rebels that called themselves "The Sons of Liberty" dumped a bunch of tea owned by the British East India Company into the harbor - in 1773. Interestingly, there were similar conversations in the press then as are occurring in this forum now. It kind of makes you wonder...not necessarily about what's happening now so much IMHO as about what transpired then, and how history is written by the winners. Just something to chew on. Now I'm going to make sure that my crowd dispersal PPE is ready to go.
  15. So, the shutdown sucked, no doubt, but if there was an agenda beyond trying to prevent a disaster it was worldwide, since everybody else around the globe did essentially the same thing. Outliers such as Sweden asked its citizens nicely and they complied, while in Brazil the government wants them to mingle, but they're choosing to stay home. Same result - social distancing - whether government mandated or not. At least we're not China, where they enforced stay at home orders with guards and guns. 20/20 hindsight is perfect, and in retrospect we could have managed a better response by weighing population density into our equations. But we're not out of the woods yet. I suspect that history's perspective on this has yet to be determined. It seems clear however that your personal opinion depends strongly on your experience. I would like to hear how our brethren in NYC feel.