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Arf! Arf!
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Discussion Starter #121
I talked to DD1 this morning. It has been a week since we talked. She is the one who works for the university. Her university was supposed to receive 2000 doses of Moderna last week from the State of California and start vaccinating last Tuesday. It didn't happen, the State is buried under mounds of paperwork to process all the millions of requests for vaccine in California. The good news is that the State has authorized 1000 doses of Pfizer vaccine which will be delivered this next Monday morning. They are only vaccinating university employees (not students yet) and already had 13,000 requests from employees. Here are some of the issues that had to be resolved last week by the Covid task force she is on.
- they had to find and purchase a special very low temperature freezer adequate to store the Pfizier vaccine.
- the State offered to bring in medical staff from the National Guard to help vaccinate BUT for only one week. The task force declined the offer because there would be no help available to them in 21 days when the second dose had to be administered.
- the task force decided to administer the vaccine by in-auto drive through situation in order to minimize person-to-person contact with potential Covid infection. BUT it is supposed to rain next week in their location so the whole procedure has to be moved indoors to a covered parking structure.
- the Mayor, who is a graduate of the university and the university president will be vaccinated on Tuesday, the first day. Local news media with live TV have to be accommodated.
- DD's staff have to be called in Monday morning after almost a year. DD is responsible for training them in coordinating the procedure, supervision, traffic control, and answering basic questions.
- DD and her staff will be vaccinated on Monday afternoon because they will be coming in contact with unvaccinated people who might already be infectious.

She said morale within her staff is sky high. Everyone is thrilled about getting vaccinated, some of them 20 year olds. They are very happy to be back at work on the job site. They get to dress up for work again. They get to see all their work mates face to face again. They will begin to offer limited services in office maybe starting March 1 wearing masks and socially distancing. The staff is enthusiastic about doing this because they don't want anymore work from home. They feel honored about being the "tip of the spear" (at least on campus) to addressing the pandemic. They feel like campus superstars. She laughed when she said she hasn't told them yet that they will be required to wear double masks starting on Monday, but she didn't think that was going to be a problem.

DD considered holding off getting her vaccine to make way for others, but then she came to her senses and realized that she needed to stay healthy to make this work for others. She said that she hopes that the State will continue to distribute a steady supply of vaccine on a weekly basis but that is unknown at this time. It is unknown what maker vaccines they will be receiving in the future - the County Health Dept. and the State Health Dept don't have further information at this time. California population is equal to the 22 smallest States. I am willing to cut California some slack because of the enormity of the challenge. I believe they will get things organized now that they are getting better support from the federal government. All Californians just need to be patient and persistent.

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Arf! Arf!
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Discussion Starter #122
I just received this email from my health care provider. It gives some insight to the problems with Covid vaccination in California. Using the numbers they provide below, it will take 45 more weeks to vaccinate their California members IF they can get enough vaccine and vaccinate to their current maximum capacity! This could take a while to meet demand.

Ricky's Popi

Our next challenge is vaccine supply

The recent Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization of 2 vaccines, and the anticipated authorization of several more vaccines in the coming weeks, are important steps toward the end of the pandemic. The unfortunate reality is that the number of vaccine doses being produced and distributed is currently not enough to meet the need - and it will be several months before vaccine supply in the U.S. approaches what is required.

At Kaiser Permanente, we care for more than 9.3 million Californians - and we've received only a fraction of the vaccine needed to vaccinate our health care workers and our members. At the time of this writing, we've received approximately 300,000 doses across the state and we're acting quickly to vaccinate those who are eligible as soon as we receive the vaccine.

The shortage of vaccine doses and the uncertainty about the timing of vaccine availability worries everyone. The state of California must allocate the limited COVID-19 vaccine supply it receives from the federal government to 58 California counties and 9 multi-county entities, including Kaiser Permanente. We're currently receiving a total of approximately 40,000 vaccine doses per week in California. We, like the state, are not permitted to purchase more vaccines directly from the manufacturer.

We look forward to the day when there is enough vaccine for all our members and communities.

We've received inquiries about our preparation and have heard your concerns about the limited number of available vaccine appointments. Please know that Kaiser Permanente has the capacity and is prepared to administer more than 200,000 vaccines per week in California - our only limitation is the availability of and access to the vaccine. We understand the frustration and inconvenience this has caused for you and we'll continue to do all we can to increase the supply of vaccines, working in partnership with state and federal governments.

To ensure the vaccines we do receive are distributed appropriately, we're following the direction of California health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state recently announced expanded vaccine prioritization guidelines to include everyone age 65 and older - increasing eligibility by nearly 6 million people in California. However, due to the limited vaccine supply, we're still in the process of vaccinating front-line health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, and those over the age of 75. Within the age band, our priority has been to vaccinate those at highest risk of exposure or complications due to COVID-19.

We're committed to vaccinating those over the age of 65 as soon as needed supply becomes available. And as supply increases, we'll continue to expand priority groups to include additional age bands, risk factors, and occupations as directed by the state.

In the meantime, we'll continue providing vaccines we receive at each of our medical office buildings. We believe there will be an increase in supply in the coming weeks, and in anticipation of more vaccine, we're prepared to open additional locations and use mobile clinics. We're also working in partnership with state and local government agencies and other health care providers and businesses to open high-volume COVID-19 vaccination hubs across the state.

Staying connected as vaccine supply increases

The road to the COVID-19 vaccine has been long and challenging, and we'll continue to do whatever it takes to keep our members and communities safe and healthy.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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I'm not trusting any information on the news about vaccines at this time. I feel it's going to take at least a year to know if any of the vaccines are effective especially with the mutations now. This week we are once again moved into the purple tier. Seems the cases have only increased here. Last night was very cold, but there were lot's of outdoor diners. It will be interesting to see if the cases of COVID increase again in the next few weeks. I'm grateful we will be able to get the vaccine next month, but will be still wearing a mask.
We have switched to wearing KN95s for regular use, no more cloth masks. And I have some N95's on order that we will save for times when we HAVE to be in more crowded spaces, like the grocery store. With these more transmissible forms of Covid around, and now that it is so much easier to get GOOD masks, even if they are less comfortable, it seems to be sensible. We aren't out and about that much of the time so it makes sense to be well-protected when we are.

The N95's I ordered are US made, and have a silicone seal all around the edge, made for laypeople like us, who don't necessarily know how to properly fit them. The silicone edge automatically makes a tight seal to your face. The added advantage is that they are supposed to ALSO not fog your glasses because they don't leak air out the top. I will appreciate that when I'm training. I've been half-blind when working with the dogs because I can't see at all with my glasses on, and not much with them off! LOL! Oh, and the cost ended up being less than $5 per mask. More than the KN95's, but for the light duty we put them through, and proper storage in between, I believe we can safely use them a number of times before tossing them.
 

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We have switched to wearing KN95s for regular use, no more cloth masks. And I have some N95's on order that we will save for times when we HAVE to be in more crowded spaces like the grocery store. With these more transmissible forms around, and now that it is so much easier to get GOOD masks, even if they are less comfortable, it seems to be sensible.

The N95's I ordered are US made, and have a silicone seal all around the edge, made for lay people like us, who dob't necessarily know how to properly fit them. The silicone edge automatically makes a tight seal to your face. The added advantage is that they are supposed to ALSO not fog your glasses because they don't leak air out the top. I will appreciate that when I'm training. I've been half blind when working with the dogs because I can't see at all with my glasses on, an not much with them off! LOL! Oh, and the cost ended up being less than $5 per mask. More than the KN95's, but for the light duty we put them through, and proper storage in between, I believe we can safely use them a number of times before tossing them.
This weekend I have been turning extra pleated masks into fitted ones. I had set aside pleated masks, even tighter fitting ones, back in May or June as I found better contoured masks with filter pockets. They have nose wire and more fabric so they are a good size to covert to a second mask! I'm just adding darts so they fit at the chin and ears but have pleated fabric to fit over the contoured mask. DD will also be able to change hers twice a day, which she prefers to avoid acne from the mask. I'd rather DS not change his during the day because he is more awkward about handling it when he takes it off. I think it will help DS that the elastics won't have to be adjusted anymore, they will just be the right size for him. He wears a mask properly but struggles with adjusting them.

I do sew, but for some reason I just didn't feel like sewing masks at the beginning of covid. Now I'm on a mask sewing kick!

I have to find more filters, though. They have been out of stock for a long time where I originally bought them and I'm running low. I put them in DS's masks but there have been times I have forgotten on busy mornings. The rest of us haven't been using them all of the time. I'd like to buy enough that I can put them in all of the masks after I wash them, so we'll all have filters, and I don't have to worry about forgetting.
 

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We have switched to wearing KN95s for regular use, no more cloth masks. And I have some N95's on order that we will save for times when we HAVE to be in more crowded spaces, like the grocery store. With these more transmissible forms of Covid around, and now that it is so much easier to get GOOD masks, even if they are less comfortable, it seems to be sensible. We aren't out and about that much of the time so it makes sense to be well-protected when we are.

The N95's I ordered are US made, and have a silicone seal all around the edge, made for laypeople like us, who don't necessarily know how to properly fit them. The silicone edge automatically makes a tight seal to your face. The added advantage is that they are supposed to ALSO not fog your glasses because they don't leak air out the top. I will appreciate that when I'm training. I've been half-blind when working with the dogs because I can't see at all with my glasses on, and not much with them off! LOL! Oh, and the cost ended up being less than $5 per mask. More than the KN95's, but for the light duty we put them through, and proper storage in between, I believe we can safely use them a number of times before tossing them.
I've been using the KN95's also. I do have some N95's that I bought a couple of years ago when we were getting so much smoke from wildfires, but they have the filter on the mask so I don't use them. I haven't been looking for the N95's as I didn't know they were available. I wear a two-layer, well fitting cloth mask over the KN95. Can hardly breath, but who needs to breath!! I'd rather be protected. I did buy some four-layer procedure masks like nurses wear. Just came yesterday so I haven't tried them out yet.
 

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We have switched to wearing KN95s for regular use, no more cloth masks. And I have some N95's on order that we will save for times when we HAVE to be in more crowded spaces like the grocery store. With these more transmissible forms around, and now that it is so much easier to get GOOD masks, even if they are less comfortable, it seems to be sensible.

The N95's I ordered are US made, and have a silicone seal all around the edge, made for lay people like us, who dob't necessarily know how to properly fit them. The silicone edge automatically makes a tight seal to your face. The added advantage is that they are supposed to ALSO not fog your glasses because they don't leak air out the top. I will appreciate that when I'm training. I've been half blind when working with the dogs because I can't see at all with my glasses on, an not much with them off! LOL! Oh, and the cost ended up being less than $5 per mask. More than the KN95's, but for the light duty we put them through, and proper storage in between, I believe we can safely use them a number of times before tossing them.
I have been purchasing N95 masks for DH since the beginning of the pandemic because he has a lung disease which COVID can cause. He cannot contract COVID. He had knee replacement surgery ten days ago and two day later I had to rush him to the ER for breathing problems. He had to be hospitalized for four days. Thankfully he is doing better and out walking the dogs. If the N95 fits correctly your glasses should not fog. I stopped wearing the cloth masks in the beginning and only wear the KN95 masks. The pleated masks are not protective.
I really hope DH wasn't exposed to the virus while in the hospital. Now we just have to wait three more weeks until our vaccine appointment.
 

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I have found n95 folding face masks at grainger.com, which has brick and mortar stores and online for work related construction etc. You have to buy in bulk, no less than forty, but I have distributed a number of my order to family members and neighbors. The folding ones fit well and are easier to get a tight fit compared to molded ones.

They often go out of stock but come back in quickly. Can find them on govt approved lists under various names.

I also now use a 3d kn95 that fits well..my original hand made cloth masks have started to wear out, elastic and nose wires, so have moved to mostly kn95 or n95 in higher risk situations.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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I've been using the KN95's also. I do have some N95's that I bought a couple of years ago when we were getting so much smoke from wildfires, but they have the filter on the mask so I don't use them. I haven't been looking for the N95's as I didn't know they were available. I wear a two-layer, well fitting cloth mask over the KN95. Can hardly breath, but who needs to breath!! I'd rather be protected. I did buy some four-layer procedure masks like nurses wear. Just came yesterday so I haven't tried them out yet.
I've read that you can use the N95's with the valve... just put a surgical (or cloth) mask over it to protect others from exhalation through the valve.
 

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I've been using the KN95's also. I do have some N95's that I bought a couple of years ago when we were getting so much smoke from wildfires, but they have the filter on the mask so I don't use them. I haven't been looking for the N95's as I didn't know they were available. I wear a two-layer, well fitting cloth mask over the KN95. Can hardly breath, but who needs to breath!! I'd rather be protected. I did buy some four-layer procedure masks like nurses wear. Just came yesterday so I haven't tried them out yet.
I've read that you can use the N95's with the valve... just put a surgical (or cloth) mask over it to protect others from exhalation through the valve.

IWhat I also read in the article in my newspaper is that you need to be careful about buying N95's online that they are not "fake" ones from China that SAY that they are N95s but are not made to the true standard. And also that if they are not properly fitted, even if they are made of the right material, they will work like a KN95, and will only work if you get a good seal around the edges. You want to find ones that are truly made in the US and are approved by NIOSH. When I looked on Amazon, I found that there is tricky wording on many. Things like "Made in USA or elsewhere". Huh? (Kind of like "cotton or nylon" hair ties! LOL!) So I ended up buying directly from one of the companies recommended in the article in the paper. I'll tell you how we like them when they arrive!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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I have found n95 folding face masks at grainger.com, which has brick and mortar stores and online for work related construction etc. You have to buy in bulk, no less than forty, but I have distributed a number of my order to family members and neighbors. The folding ones fit well and are easier to get a tight fit compared to molded ones.

They often go out of stock but come back in quickly. Can find them on govt approved lists under various names.

I also now use a 3d kn95 that fits well..my original hand made cloth masks have started to wear out, elastic and nose wires, so have moved to mostly kn95 or n95 in higher risk situations.
Right after I ordered mine I saw boxes of folding N95's at Home Depot. You had to buy a box of 40, though, for $89.95. I have PLENTY of KN95's at this point, and I think the supply of N95's I just ordered for riskier situations HOPEFULLY will do us until we are vaccinated. ...And I think the production is good enough now that we won't see the shortages we saw last spring. Likewise, I looked into some of the heavy-duty ones where you just keep replacing filters in a big plastic face mask. I bet they are more comfortable for someone who has to wear them all day long, but that's not me. I am just not quite ready to invest $80 in a mask I HOPE I won't be wearing on a daily basis for many years. Not yet anyway...
 

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We've only purchased the 3M N95 masks which seem to be more expensive. The N95 needs to be test fitted to know if it fits correctly. I never used one because I always failed the yearly fit test. DH has been using the one with the valve, but he is always asked to cover it when going to the grocery store, pharmacy etc. On arrival to the ER he was put in a negative pressure room and tested for COVID. Even though he was negative the N95 with the valve was not allowed. He had to wear a surgical mask during his stay which has little protection.
 

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Discussion Starter #132
It was reported on the news this morning that somewhere between 25M and 30M US residents, about 15% of the population, have been inoculated with either Pfizer or Moderna in the last two months. Pfizer and Moderna are similar, both use the same "mRNA" pharmaceutical architecture. It has been determined that these two vaccines have provided 99.6% protection against Covid infection over the last two months in real world trials. That means only 4 recipients out of 1000 have contracted Covid after inoculation. Recipients of the vaccine have NOT been required to get a Covid test prior to receiving the vaccine. So it is unknown how many of those four people had Covid prior to vaccination. Also it is unknown at this time how effective Pfizer and Moderna is against the new mutated strains of Covid.

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Discussion Starter #133
DD1 received her first vaccination of Pfizer Monday afternoon. She said the inoculation was painless and she has no side effects. She has a staff of 14 people and 12 of those were inoculated on Monday. Two employees elected to decline the vaccine. She is happy with that result. The university goal is to get 70% of staff and students vaccinated. Her department achieved 85% and she thinks the two employees will want the vaccine after seeing how liberated their colleagues feel. Some of her staff were complaining about sore arms today but she doesn't feel anything.

They administered 120 vaccinations today, the first day. This is a low number to help iron out any kinks in the system (there was nothing significant). Tomorrow they well be administering 250 doses a day for the rest of the week. So things will be busy tomorrow.

An interesting thing she learned about Pfizer vaccine - It takes quite a while to thaw the vaccine before using at room temperature. It has to be used within a limited number of hours and it cannot be re-frozen! Anything not used in that day has to be thrown out! Therefore careful planning is required to make sure there are enough arms to use the vaccine in any given day. This is the problem with having an appointment and not showing up because of weather, sick children, run out of gas, etc.

Her university will be receiving 1000 doses a week for the next two weeks and then the County Health Dept. told them to expect 2000+ a week and probably even more later!

She said the university's work from home order is going to lifted for her particular staff and things will be getting back to normal other than a requirement to double mask at work and social distance. She has now gone from two days per week in the office to five days a week. She said she is totally exhausted tonight (she wears a pedometer and walked 20,000 steps at work today) but oh so happy to be getting back to a routine. She said if this exercise continues she might be able to fit in her work attire again! :grin2:

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Yesterday it was reported that CVS Pharmacies in the SF Bay Area will have 81,000 doses of vaccine to administer at various locations. Every dose counts, but there are about 8 million people in the Bay Area. Hopefully more vaccine will be delivered soon.
 

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Yesterday it was reported that CVS Pharmacies in the SF Bay Area will have 81,000 doses of vaccine to administer at various locations. Every dose counts, but there are about 8 million people in the Bay Area. Hopefully more vaccine will be delivered soon.
It does seem like more and more is becoming available, and the nice thing is we are HEARING what's happening, real-time. And new plants for better distribution! What a relief! It will STILL take time. But things are happening.
 

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I was just watching the news and it is possible we will now be wearing two masks due to COVID mutations. When DH went for his post-op visit Monday we required to wear two masks before entering the building. Yesterday two masks were again required at PT. This is going to be a problem for some people.🤔
 

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I was just watching the news and it is possible we will now be wearing two masks due to COVID mutations. When DH went for his post-op visit Monday we required to wear two masks before entering the building. Yesterday two masks were again required at PT. This is going to be a problem for some people.🤔
The Dr's on CNN were saying last night that we should forget about the double masking business, especially where the quality of cloth masks is all over the place. They said the government should be focussing on producing enough N95's and deliver them to every person in the country. They said that if every person in the country wore one religiously around other people for ONE MONTH we would do more to knock out Covid than the vaccine.
 
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The Dr's on CNN were saying last night that we should forget about the double masking business, especially where the quality of cloth masks is all over the place. They said the government should be focussing on producing enough N95's and deliver them to every person in the country. They said that if every person in the country wore one religiously around other people for ONE MONTH we would do more to knock out Covid than the vaccine.
I suspect this is especially true in some workplace environments. I also suspect it's more complicated than just filtering the virus effectively. There's a huge human behavior component. Personally, I think a big part of it is complacency, and I think some complacency would happen with high filtering masks. But maybe we'd get some renewed commitment that would get us to that month marker. I can't speak to other regions, but the majority of the spread in my area is not wearing masks at all in more private settings, and complacency in distancing and other measures over time. Since it's more comfortable to wear medical masks in comparison to a lot of cloth masks, providing them might also improve compliance in wearing them. The other advantage is people might go for it if they allow for more relaxed social distancing, since that's already happening a lot, but I don't think that's the case, is it?

Cloth masks were never intended to prevent the spread of covid independent from other measures of limiting social interactions, social distancing, hand washing, and ventilation. The presence of masks can help guide human behavior, but only as far as we want those reminders. I am happy to wear a medical mask for a period of time if that's what's recommended, but I do wonder what kind of decrease we'd see in transmission if people recommitted to wearing cloth masks and exercising caution for a while longer. Maybe not as much as we'd see with medical masks, but I bet the improvement would be significant.
 

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The CDC is now looking into the effectiveness of double masking. I'm glad our medical care facility is taking that extra step in trying to keep their patients as safe as possible. It's probiblly because COVID mutations are starting to be seen in the Bay Area.
IMG_6429.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #140 (Edited)
I was just watching the news and it is possible we will now be wearing two masks due to COVID mutations. When DH went for his post-op visit Monday we required to wear two masks before entering the building. Yesterday two masks were again required at PT. This is going to be a problem for some people.��
I was required to wear two masks at the Kaiser Hospital on Jan. 11 when I got my first Moderna vaccination. I brought one N95 mask and they gave me a second paper mask to put over the top of it. Momi now wears two masks when she goes grocery shopping once a week (plus nitrile gloves, plus distance, then showers and puts on clean clothing when she gets home before interacting with me. Overkill? probably but why not? This is required by my cardiologist to protect me from Covid when I was discharged from the hospital last Sept.). Who knows if two masks are more effective than one, but it sure doesn't hurt.

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