1. How is the Coronavirus situation where you live? What's closed down? Have you gone out much? Are you (Oh, what's the trendy term now " Self-distancing "?) staying inside as a precaution or actually infected or is anyone else you know? I hope, if so, you're well. Let's...well, exchange comments.
  2.   I am now in Portland, Oregon. The Govenor, and then, locally, Portland declared a state of emergency. I saw the comment made that Oregon was the furthest behind on dealing with CV of the 3 West Coast states.
  3.   I went out yesterday ( Sun.), I am ill and had sleep to make up to-day (Mon.) and ended up not going out - I may go out across the street to a all-nite grocery tonite-early Tues. I have not heard of a regular medical appointment Tues. being cancelled.

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A few weeks ago, I underwent a routine medical procedure which took 37 minutes. During it, the techician and I struck up a conversation. She asked me if I personally knew anyone who had died of COVID. I said that by this time, practically everyone must have. She said, "This is going to sound horrible, but..." Uh, oh. What's she going to say? That could be followed up by almost anything. "...I don't think the right people are dying from it." Now, 97% of the cases are in unvaccinated people, a figure I've heard reported consistently, from a variety of sources, for a week now.

Tracy and I ran some errands yesterday; she wore a mask and I didn't. Where we went, far fewer than 50% of the people were wearing masks. the science says we'll be safe, and the odds are in our favor. Still, if the recommendation changes (as it looks as if it's going to), I will, reluctantly, go back to wearing a mask. What would it be like today if everyone had worn masks a year ago? What would it be like today if every eligible person got a vaccine? The message seems to be slowly seeping in to the anti-vaxxer crowd, but look what it took! 

It’s not fun to wear a mask, but after relaxing a bit I’ve gone back to it. The Delta variant is easier to catch. Those of us who are vaccinated can still catch it (95% effective isn’t 100%) and may or may not be able to infect others. The good news is that the current vaccines still are preventing serious illness or death.

I have a friend who has three different auto-immune diseases, so has to take medication to suppress her immune system. It is said that people with suppressed immune systems have much lower protection from the vaccines than the average person. A booster shot seems to bring their COVID-immunity up to that of the average person, so they will most likely be the first to get boosters.

I have another friend who isn’t an anti-vaxxer but her immune system is so robust that without shots she never catches colds or flu, so she thinks she doesn’t need the COVID vaccine. I created this meme with her in mind. I sent it to her and posted it on Facebook.

Today a doctor explained on TV that the Delta variant is more infectious because it evolved its spikes to more easily attached to tissues in nostrils. So IMO, don't wait to be told to mask up, vaccinated or not.

The CDC tightened its guidance today so that even vaccinated people should wear masks indoors again.

Thanks A LOT anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers! 

And we have audio of Trump acknowledging in Spring 2020 that it's airborne.

I visited my dentist today, and went there on my preferred mode of transportation, the subway, as his office is less than two blocks from a downtown stop. The last two times I went, we were deep into COVID, so the subway was mostly shut down, and even when it wasn't was not regarded as safe to ride on. So those two times I drove, which struck me as weird.

Not that I don't drive to downtown, but I'd never needed to to see my dentist (or, for that matter, my doctor). Having to drive meant I couldn't sit back and read, which I prefer to do on the train. (That's why I don't like commuting; being able to sit back and read and not have to deal with -- or even see -- all the other cars on the road is, to my mind, a HUGE benefit of mass transit.)

Worse, driving downtown to see the dentist means paying through the nose for parking (another reason I don't like commuting). And since my friendly neighborhood comics shop is two blocks away from a subway stop, I prefer not to drive there; parking in that neighborhood is a HUGE hassle.

At the dentist proper, things have changed for COVID. They take a temperature check and require you to fill out a form declaring you don't have any symptoms, and everyone is wearing masks. But today, the hygienist also gave me safety glasses to wear. And they're removed all the magazines from the waiting room. But, at least, the hall closet wasn't full of white lab coats, and there was a note that the surcharge for cleaning for COVID has dropped from $18 per visit to $8.

And, nicest of all, I got my bag of freebies -- a travel-size tube of toothpaste, a travel-size spool of dental floss, and a new toothbrush (with the dentist's name and address printed on it, inside the package). I usually get one every time I go there but one time I went and they didn't have any; the salesman who brings the supplied hadn't been by in months because, y'know. COVID. 

I went to the grocery store this morning, wore my mask. Although it was early, there were a fair number of people there. No one other than myself, not employees, not customers, was. 

We visited a new/old neighbor yesterday* who told us his mother is in nursing care, but every time a COVID case pops up, the place forbids visitors for two weeks out of safety.

* They used to live across the street, moved to Tennessee for a few years and then Florida for a few more years, and moved back last year. In an insane stroke of luck, they were looking to move back to the area but needed to wait until their lease expired in June ... and got to talking to their old pastor who wanted to move to be closer to his kids, also in June ... so they bought his house without it ever being listed on the market!

My place of work had yet ANOTHER positive test, so we all had to go get tested again. I celebrated my 4th month of full vaccination by having yet another q-tip shoved up my nose.

I masked while grocery shopping last week, too. All the Publix employees were masked, but only about a quarter of the customers. Last night I skipped the inaugural session of a weekly jazz jam session, which I definitely would have attended before the latest surge. They got lots of players and a substantial audience, so good for them.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I went to the grocery store this morning, wore my mask. Although it was early, there were a fair number of people there. No one other than myself, not employees, not customers, was. 

My nose is a little runnier than usual. When I mentioned it to Tracy, she said hers was, too, as well as the noses of two of her friends. Apparently, months of masking and staying indoors have lessened our natural resistance to daily irritants. That's okay; a slightly runny nose is preferable to, y'know, death.

I've been taking sinus pills for years now, but I think I mentioned being concerned recently about worrying symptoms, including a slight fever. It turned out to be either a cold or a 24-hour flu. The masking and social distancing have had the side benefit of fewer cold and flu cases. 

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