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JFC: So about that Thanksgiving surge ...

Covid-19 sampling from MWRA sewage shows mind-numbing surge

The different colors represent the MWRA's two main greater-Boston sewer systems.

The MWRA's Covid-19 testing at Deer Island is a predictor: It detects viral samples excreted by Boston-area toilet users (i.e., all of us), including by people who don't yet realize they're infected. The chart updated yesterday shows we'll soon be way, way, way past the numbers seen in the spring. The vaccines can't get here soon enough, but in the meantime, could more than the relatively modest rollbacks announced by the governor today be coming?

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Comments

The north is um, winning?

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Will rise again...

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So people with covid poop a lot.

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Yet another call for the apocalypse.

Lets take a quick quiz..Were there more hospitalizations in 2017-18 flu or more this year?

Anyone?
If you said 2017-18 you are right!
According to the CDC, From 6 months from Oct-April we saw a terrible flu season with an estimated 60-80k deaths and 700,000-800,000 hospitalizations.

So far according to the Covid Tracking project over the last 8 months we have 590k hospitalizations from covid.
*interesting to note that the flu also killed and hospitalized significantly more children than covid.

Question 2)

How many states are at 100% hospital capacity?(which is where hospitals actually try to be to be profitable)
Anyone?

Answer: 1 - New Mexico.

For the record, federal law states hospitals need to be able to flex to 125% capacity and many in more populated areas go to 200%, but obviously they don't want to staff these if necessary.

Look, its easy to see that this thing is real and its bad, but people need to get a grip. This comment section's complete disregard for science and basic data is borderline negligent. Get off of your Twitter and Facebook garbage and read the data.
Many of the public health officials are unfortunately reading the same nonsense.

I

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How many states are at 100% hospital capacity?
Answer: 1 - New Mexico.

I don't know where you get your information, but this doctor is not agreeing with you.

Gilman told the Washington Post he arrived at the hospital the evening of 22 November for another intense 12-hour emergency room shift, only to find out it had run out of intensive care unit beds.

“Just got to work and was notified there are no more ICU beds in the state of Arizona,” he said in a tweet that has since been shared almost 30,000 times.

At the time, Arizona’s department of health services reported that 90% of the state’s ICU beds were full. Gilman told the Post he had tweeted out of “moral obligation” to the public, saying the hospital was so full that night that he had to treat Covid-19 patients in the waiting room.

He was fired for that tweet, and he's not the only doctor to be told not to talk about bed shortages.

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I have read this about fifteen times, and it cracks me up every single time. Thank you for saying what needed to be said.

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Massachusetts Q3 monthly case totals

  • Jul: 8,730 cases
  • Aug: 10,921 cases
  • Sep: 11,630 casss
  • This brings the Q3 case total to 31,821.

    The case total for the first 7 days of December is 33,373.

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    Stockpile masks, toilet paper and chicken soup.

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    So Charlie is now limiting indoor dining to 90 minutes. WTF Charlie. Is this a cruel joke? How is that going to stop the spread?

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    "You really shouldn't be spending a lot of time indoors with people you don't live with."

    That's a direct quote from Saint Charlie.

    You'd think that would lead to him saying "so we've made the hard choice to close all indoor dining until these numbers can come down, hopefully thanks to vaccines from our friends and neighbors at Pfizer and Moderna. We've pledged $1 billion from our rainy day fund to help restaurants and restaurant workers because, folks, it's raining. If your family is doing well, I'd encourage you to call into your favorite restaurants for take out, and tip well, so we can make it through winter. And next spring we can hopefully go back to restaurants, both indoors and out."

    I don't need some fucking story about how his friend/Gloucester Fisherman used personal responsibility is going to stop the spread of covid.

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    Could this not be a good sign that as it's "allowed" to be far more prevalent (aka to run its viral course), it is actually more of a Hong Kong Flu than a Spanish Flu in terms of morbidity as a % of population?

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    Even though we are seeing far fewer deaths here in MA than in the spring, you need to add "so far," because death rates are rising. And so are hospitalization rates - you may have noticed how yesterday the governor announced hospitals are curtailing most elective inpatient procedures starting Friday.

    And we're still doing better than other states where hospitals are just full up.

    And that's before we get to the issue of long haulers and repeat infections.

    This isn't the flu and lots more people will die or suffer possibly permanent damage.

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    So you are on record saying this is anything close to the Spanish Flu in terms of both hospitalizations and mortality as a PERCENT OF POPULATION.

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    Each "flu" mentioned is historical by name. You are ignoring this, and focusing on the word "flu," and otherwise acting like the question is an attack, rather than addressing how this "not-a-flu" COVID compares to other "pandemics" in the historical context.

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    Why do you put "flu" and "not-a-flu" in quotation marks? It ISN'T a flu. Where are you going with this?

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    When it is either completely disinginuous or so entirely ignorant as to be nonsensical.

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    "This isn't the flu" works both ways. The flu kills a lot of children. Personally, I'd much rather die of COVID at an average age 82, than die of plague, ebola, or Spanish flu as a kid or middle-aged adult. Sure, I'd like to live forever, but I don't think that gives me the right to tell everyone younger than me to lock themselves up and not enjoy life.

    The only thing I'm outraged about is how our bureaucracy has blocked access to vaccines for so long to people who want them. If you're living in a nursing home north of the Mason Dixie line, it probably made more sense for you to take an experimental COVID vaccine in the spring than risk catching the disease in the winter. Unfortunately, healthcare in the USA suffers from tremendous gatekeeping under the pretense of 'safety', so people did not have the freedom to make that decision for themselves.

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    Uh huh...because you'd know how safe it was if you just sorta looked at the vial, right?

    The fact that you said people should be able to decide for themselves whether to take any random treatment that a company says it does what they want is exactly why you're too dumb to make that decision for yourself.

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    Why do you hate freedom?

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    Maybe you should go live on a rock in the ocean somewhere all by yourself.

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    Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

    https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/letters/2020/05/15/letter-with-freedom-co...

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    Personally, I'd much rather die of COVID at an average age 82, than die of plague, ebola, or Spanish flu as a kid or middle-aged adult.

    This is what's called a false choice. I'm sorry your view is so limited.

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    So very little knowledge.

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    Here is a paper on the use of sewage testing (OK, granted, not peer reviewed).

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    Adam, you have a misplaced quotation mark at the end of the URL in that hyperlink that breaks the link.

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    Fixed

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    The bill for my services will be in the mail.

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    It's like putting a small band-aid on a deep gash that needs a dozen stitches. Please bring back this spring's governor!

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    I was just thinking that in a week or so we may be rolling back even more.

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    Until people voluntary stop doing things like meeting with friends and family in private homes the spread will continue unabated.

    If they close indoor dining they should close liquor stores and take-out too. Maybe that would stop people from gathering.

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    I was referring to rolling back prices at WalMart..

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    .

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    Do a lot of people congregate in liquor stores?

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    .

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    It isn't any different than other businesses - you wait in line to get in once the capacity limit is reached.

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    According to a recent Supreme Court ruling, it seems hanging out in the liquor store is the equivalent of spending a couple of hours at church.

    Who knew?

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    It doesn't work. Pandemics require action at higher levels of organization than individual shaming. We need to restrict the known situations that play an outsized role in the spreat of the virus - and indoor dining is a known to be an outsized vector. Take out is not.

    The virus doesn't care about your perceived moral purity campaign or about hygeine theater. It just finds habitat and reproduces wherever it finds that habitat.

    (edited for typos)

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    Most of the transmissions are being traced to private gatherings. So you need people to stop meeting with their friends and family and to stop traveling.

    Go ahead and close indoor dining - it won't hurt the cause but it won't help dramatically either. You need to convince people to wear masks at work and not meet with their friends and family at home.

    If you haven't noticed, talking down to people isn't an effective way to get them to do what you want.

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    I would love to read an analysis of where transmissions are happening. Where did you hear this?

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    but it seems that Americans in particular perceive any expert advice as condescension. so what exactly is supposed to happen?

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    Citations?

    As for "talking down"? I tend to think of it as TOTALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY FUCKING SICK AND TIRED OF STUPIDITY REPEATED AS FACT BY PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT!

    Repeating "give me convenience or give me death!" is not a valid public health strategy. Listening to professionals in the most relevant field is.

    In the meantime read this free access scientific article about reality.

    Case-patients were more likely to have reported dining at a restaurant (any area designated by the restaurant, including indoor, patio, and outdoor seating) in the 2 weeks preceding illness onset than were control-participants (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.5-3.8). Restricting the analysis to participants without known close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19, case-patients were more likely to report dining at a restaurant (aOR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.9-4.3) or going to a bar/coffee shop (aOR = 3.9, 95% CI = 1.5-10.1) than were control-participants.

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    If this is thanksgiving.. Christmas and New Years will be astronomical.

    But I have a question about how accurate this is.

    It can take a while for my poop to get from my toilet to Deer Island. OK I am in Chelsea so its not that far, but someone in Stoughton or Wilmington.. that's several miles it has to travel. It has to take a few days for it to travel to Deer Island. Unless there's some poop pumps helping it move faster to deer island.

    I just assumed that unlike pressurized water, the return flow was... constipated.

    My point is how do we know some poo wasn't from 2 weeks ago and it just took that long to get tested.

    Its been pretty accurate so far but I just wonder how the delay works.

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    We could ask them? I'm slightly curious too.

    I've never directly worked with anyone at the MWRA (I don't think), but I know people who have done small scientific projects with the folks at Deer Island over the years and reported back that 1. They really like getting visitors there (probably not right now) and 2. They like talking about their work! They really do have some of the most important jobs and rarely are a passing thought to most.

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    Deer Island is actually pretty nice to walk around in good weather, although on occasion you do get some rotten egg smell from the treatment plant. There are awesome views of the harbor/airport/downtown. You can get there on the T once that's safe again, too.

    The walk is interesting even when the weather isn't great; there's a ginormous seawall on the ocean side and the waves hitting that seawall are equally ginormous.

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    except for the section where you are walking in between chain link fences (presumably security theater??).

    Also, that seawall section was a bit scary for me... felt high up!

    nice views of boston, too

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    Minimum flow rate for sewers is 2-3 feet per second, and maximum 10-12 fps (see here and here). 6 fps ≈ 4 mph. So covering the 30 miles would take ~8 hours, or between 4 and 16.

    Which is just what the MWRA says here. Sewage from Ashland, the furthest-out MWRA sewer community, takes ~13 hours to reach Deer Island.

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    I tried digging through the MWRA site to find it myself but missed that document. The site, while having an archaic design, is full of information about the system.

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    Charlie should do an episode of Undercover Boss and do that job for a week.

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    And all the hand-wringing, chiding, shaming, and fear porn isn't going to change that. It's simple enough for people with work-from-home jobs and a comfortable living situation to advocate for lockdowns, but people whose livelihoods rely on reopening don't have it as easy.

    Humans generally aren't that great at informally assessing risk vs. benefit and after a while all the scary stories and statistics become background noise. Some people just decide to say f it and risk the 0.15% chance of dying if you're under 50.

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    People whose livelihoods depend on reopening are also the ones risking infection and disproportionally affected by the spread of the disease. Society is failing them. They get nothing extra for their life sustaining work, for their life threatening risk. Disease and deprivation, both.

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    Your reopening-dependent people are getting a bad deal, it's true, but to imply that they are the most at-risk and most affected is not accurate. I'd say that health-care workers and caregivers in general are risking infection more, and are more affected by the spread of the virus. They also get nothing extra for their literally and directly life-sustaining work.

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    If the Senate would pass stimulus and relief funding, people might not be watching their businesses close and be worried about their livelihood.

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    It’s very easy to advocate for lock downs when you have a steady salary .

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    I've heard this rumor that the government has access to money.

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    I totally agree, but I think we need to approach this as "We need to severely restrict how much people interact for a period of time. How can we accomplish that?"

    Unfortunately, most of the conversation has been people who want to lock down minimally acknowledging the downsides and people who don't minimizing (or flat out refusing to admit) the severity of the pandemic.

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    That poop chart is going to skew way off the chart. Just saying..

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    if we keep this up, baker may be forced to take some really serious action, like rolling back indoor dining by an additional 2% capacity and take 3 more minutes off the dining rolling clock. as he literally said earlier today, the 'people you don't expect to' (i.e. his rich white friends) are getting infected now, and that's not going to stand for too much longer.

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    Why are restaurants allowed to do any seated dining (which requires mask removal) when it isn't yet safe to open places like libraries for in-person use?

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    I never saw that abbreviation, but I love it!

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    Rachel Maddow went into detail about this shit on her show last night.

    Worth a watch for the context and expert interpretation of shit testing if nothing else.

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