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Coronavirus beginning to rage in Boston again; in several neighborhoods, one out of every ten people now testing positive

The latest Covid-19 numbers for Boston neighborhoods are out and they're not good.

Citywide, the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 increased from 6% to 7.8% for the week ending Oct. 24, according to the Boston Public Health Commission.

Every neighborhood saw increases, but some more dramatically than others. Two weeks ago, only Roxbury had a positivity rate above 10%. Now, it's joined by Dorchester, East Boston, Hyde Park, Mattapan and Roslindale. 02122 and 02124 in Dorchester have the highest positivity rates in the city, at 11.9%.

Even West Roxbury has seen an increase, although to just 3.5%, up from 2.6%.

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Do we know what (in MA at least) is causing the rising numbers? Is it schools reopening, colleges back in session, colder weather causing people to come inside and have gatherings, or what?

(I am genuinely curious and am not asking this to start a discussion about how COVID isn't really so bad or that this is a hoax. I believe the science that is coming out and I'm worried).

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I think a lot of people are having mask/distancing fatigue and getting careless.

One thing I think might be helpful (saw this discussed elsewhere) is having the public figures urging more compliance with safety measures admit that they can be unpleasant but are necessary. Things like not saying that no one should mind mask wearing but instead "I know it's not fun, but it's necessary. While I'm glad to get home and take my mask off, I always wear it in public and at work to protect others as well as myself." Makes the messages more credible.

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Yes, quarantine fatigue is a real danger. Good point, thank you!

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as people discover that masks help keep you warm.

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I have not yet found a solution to my mask causing my glasses fogging up when weather conditions are chilly and I am breathing hard from exercise. This is not a new problem, I happens every winter. But cold weather to me means less desire to wear a mask.

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Cat Crap (not actual cat shit) for ski goggles or anti-fog spray for hockey visors. Both are inexpensive.

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Rub bar soap on your glasses, then polish it clear. It works.

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.. when no one is near me. Then I put it over my nose and mouth when someone is coming. Also a nice way to remind them to put theirs on their nose and mouth if they also have theirs under their chin.

Recently I've started keeping my glasses on top my head or in my coat pocket, too. I see far better than I thought I did without them. So I can walk easily without wearing them, and going in and out of buildings, cars, buses is much easier without my glasses on. Don't get that super fog. After a moment or two, or even longer, I can put my glasses on if I need to and barely have fogging.

However, I do keep them on when I bike in order to see any up coming crack, crevice, or lip well-ahead of me arriving at it.

Give it a try.

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I wish I could just not wear my glasses like that.

I do have contact lenses. I'm wearing them more often as of late.

Any good "non fog" windshield product will also work to keep the fogging down. It also helps to slip a bit of tissue paper under the nose piece - doesn't make it harder to breathe, but it does keep the vapor from getting out and under your glasses.

I frequently bike with masks in the winter due to cold-induced asthma, so I've adapted some over time. I have a real beast of a mask for true bitter cold that has a spongy thing that soaks up the water vapor. That's too crazy to wear unless it is below 20F, though.

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can do wonders to prevent or at least reduce fogging. Not all masks have that little metal strip built in, so I highly recommend including that in your criteria when making or buying one.

You also need to use it properly. Smooth the clip down repeatedly over your nose until it conforms to the contours of your nose and cheek properly. Don't just bend it in half -- that can create a gap at the bridge. You also might need to take the mask off, bend the clip, and then put it back on to get a tight seal.

If all that doesn't work, adding a strip of fabric along the underside of the top edge can help.

Finally, keeping the top edge of the mask pushed up can help reduce fogging, as can breathing out through your mouth instead of your nose. I'm not sure why.

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I wear my mask when outside but half the time I cannot see because they fog my glasses and nothing has helped. It is annoying and just bothers me.

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As a glasses-wearing frequent walker, I've tried every suggestion. Most of them worked poorly or not at all. I finally found one that worked for me about a month ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Rpna0mNXHE

The surgical tape method isn't perfect, but it cuts down fogging for me by a factor of about fifty. Instead of having to wipe my glasses every minute, it's more like once or twice in a two-mile walk.

Hope it works for you as well as it worked for me!

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A little nerdy, but I use a strip of surgical tape (available at CVS) over my nose to keep the mask down and that has really helped keep the fogging down.

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I see many, many, sometimes up to 30 plus kids playing basketball in the park and none of them are wearing masks. Also, young children in the playground area no masks on and the adults with them have no masks or are social distancing.

Additionally, adults walking around or even shopping do not social distance. In the supermarket the shoppers apparently can't understand the direction to go in even though there are arrows on the aisles. Masks are not always covering their nose. I don't think people understand wear a mask over your mouth and nose and social distance; It is not one or the other!

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I've had to stop going to a variety of take out restaurants because the folks working there can't be bothered to cover their noses. I want to help these places stay open, but sorry bro, that's a no from me.

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We know some, but contact tracing is failing because in only 50% of cases are they able to trace the source of infection. That is not a random 50%, meaning the data we do have is likely skewed by more easily identifiable sources (a group of people who hung out indoors and got it). With so much missing information, we still arent able to determine where infections are coming from.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/10/25/metro/source-infections-unknown-h...

Baker/the state has to be better about being consistent. How can it be totally safe for groups of up to 10 to dine indoors (not to mention the lack of safety for the waiters), but not gather at their friends homes? His idea that if there is money to be made then the risk is somehow lower than when people are merely socializing elsewhere is wrong and confusing. As he has loosened restrictions people have felt less need to be vigilant, he cant have it both ways. Months of loosening safety protocols that have made people complacent needs to be pared back to show people they need to be careful.

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How can it be totally safe for groups of up to 10 to dine indoors (not to mention the lack of safety for the waiters), but not gather at their friends homes?

The role of policy makers is not to determine whether or not a given activity is "safe"; their role is to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Their idea of "benefits" (which might include, say, restaurant industry profitability) may very well be different from yours or mine.

His idea that if there is money to be made then the risk is somehow lower than when people are merely socializing elsewhere is wrong and confusing.

It's not that the risk is lower; it's that the benefit (as he measures it) is greater.

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Increasing ridership on the T would be my guess. I see a lot more people on the T than I did a month ago.

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What's the group being test here? People who think they have COVID, a random sample of people, or something in between?

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it's the percentage of positive results among the all the residents being tested on a given day, for whatever reason: symptoms, exposure, school, work, travel, boredom, anxiety. The state is urging everyone to get tested now, whether or not we have symptoms or exposure, and they say it's because rates are so high that many of us may be positive without knowing it. But if lots of healthy people are tested, it will also bring the numbers down. We'd look like we were doing much better as a state. But clearly we are not doing well. I can't help wondering if that's another reason why the state wants everyone who isn't living in total isolation to go stand in line for a test, even if we have no compelling reason to have a test.

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Imagine if everyone could take a COVID test in their house each morning when they go in to brush their teeth. We'd suddenly know just about everyone who had it and be able to get them isolated and treated. We're not quite there yet, but the idea of having people who are potentially regularly at risk (grocery checkers, waiters, healthcare workers) get a test a few times a week is finally an option and one that we should move towards.

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Travel is one. Three of my tests were travel-related, the fourth was so I could visit a relative in a hospital, the fifth as a courtesy to my dentist. None of these were related to any symptoms.

Some people are getting routine tests as a condition of employment.

Having cold symptoms is another - many workers can't go back to work without a negative test, ditto for in person school or daycare. My son called off his shift and had to test before returning when he had classic cold symptoms. A friend's daughter picked up a cold at preschool and everyone in the household had to get tested.

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Do you mind if I ask how risky you thought going to the dentist was?

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They are also really aggressively testing the college students.

I have been tested once for travel and the kids have been tested 3 times once for travel twice for having a cold. Some Schools are okay with them recovering from symptoms but others want the negative test certificate.

Also, being honest, everyone minor cold should get tested because its worth knowing. That being said I ahve only been tested in Maine where they don't jab all the way up the nose.

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The headline reads like 10% of the population of certain neighborhoods is testing positive for COVID, when I believe that you mean to say the testing positivity rate is approaching 10% in certain communities. Those are two massively different things.

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Obviously you have taken the test to be positive. And ten percent of certain population is testing positive. Remember we are expanding the people taking tests. It is misleading to think that non tested people are dramatically less infected.

We should all take tests, symptoms or no. If every citizen took a test once per month even, that would be a lot of data. We need to start catching the non symptomatic people. Do those antibody tests.

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Less people are getting tested in Boston (Adam reported it elsewhere, as did the Globe today.) If less people without symptoms are being tested, the higher the positive rates of the tests would be. That magic number of positive tests (used to be under 5%, so of course it is now under 2%) shows that we are testing enough.

That said, it does annoy me that the City doesn’t provide rate of new infection info by neighborhood. The state will provide those numbers for small towns like Achushet (interesting fact, Acushnet doesn’t have a high school, so the town pays other towns to teach their high schoolers) but I can’t find out the infection rate for Roslindale, which has a larger population. That is the metric that shows spread.

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The high number neighborhoods are where the essential (a/k/a expendable, underpaid, uninsured, no sick time) workers live.

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Hate to say it, but people -- even people who loathe him -- saw Twitler's rapid recovery and incorrectly concluded it's no big deal. People who have lost friends and loved ones know better, but unless people with higher profiles than Herman Cain start dying, more and more people are going to take their chances, putting everyone at risk.

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I don't think it's so much that high profile people haven't died (I cite my Fountains of Wayne friend as evidence) but that it was back in the spring (April 1st in his case.) People, including me, were a lot more freaked out in March and April than they are today.

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And we're probably justified feeling somewhat less freaked out, now that the professionals know more about the disease and treatments are more effective. I mean, if the president and Christie can recover with their comorbidities, it would seem that COVID is a lot more survivable than in the early days. But does everyone have access to the effective treatments? What is the hospitalization rate, and are hospitals in danger of being overwhelmed again? Are PPE and medications in sufficient supply? Are treatments fully covered regardless of insurance coverage? How likely are long-term debilitating effects after recovery? I think these are questions people need to ask even though we might not like the answers. The experts I trust are still very freaked out about what's coming our way, and I fear we may just be in deep denial or delusion, whistling past the graveyard.

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