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Omicron: The New Variant

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06 December 2021, 11:26 PM
rontuner
Omicron: The New Variant
quote:
Originally posted by wtg:
ron...which of these have you been using?

https://primodentalproducts.com/collections/masks


Our "go-to" through most of the pandemic has been the Halyard fluidshield fog-free, but we've also liked the BeeSure Vibe with the little nose flap that folds up. (pink one in the link, but it also comes in blue)

Models will come and go from the website when they are in and out of stock.


For singing and outdoor cold-weather comfort, I've gone with this different design - It has an easy flow rate and adjustable earloops. I added a heavier adhesive nose "wire" to reduce fogging the glasses. The design keeps the mask away from lips and nose a bit better than the surgical mask design.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/pr..._title?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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07 December 2021, 09:08 AM
wtg
Thanks, ron! I ordered an assortment of the Recommended by Ron masks to try out. Big Grin

That BeeSure model is a design that I think might work well for mr wtg and me.


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



07 December 2021, 09:22 AM
ShiroKuro
quote:
My understanding leads me to believe that N95s are really only for situations where you are knowingly going to be interacting with a Covid positive person


Ron, I've been wearing the KN95s to teach. One of my classes has 50 students, the other two are smaller.

There's no way I'd want to be in my classes with only a surgical mask, or a cloth mask. My 50-student class was basically rolling quarantines all semester -- the uni requires students get tested once a week, whenever someone tests positive, they have to quarantine and the teacher gets a notice about it.

Besides safety, the KN95s are structured so they don't stick to your nose or mouth while talking. This makes a huge difference for teaching!

I have been using an anti-fog wipe for my glasses, but the times when I forget, I notice they tend not to fog up, so that tells me the masks and nose wire are pretty well-fitted.

I will also add that the masks I bought are not NIOSH or FDA/CDC certified. But when I got them, I cut one up and confirmed that it does indeed have five layers. And the fit is very good.

So that's what I've been using all semester.


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07 December 2021, 09:23 AM
ShiroKuro
P.S. these are the masks I wear:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod..._title?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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10 December 2021, 06:18 PM
wtg
quote:
The first handful of omicron cases in the United States have been mostly mild, with most patients reporting symptoms such as cough or a runny nose, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....

The agency's five-page report looked at 43 people in the U.S. with a confirmed case of the new strain, one of whom was hospitalized. More than half of the people were young, between the ages of 18 and 39.

More than three-quarters were fully vaccinated, including a third who had also received a booster shot. Six cases had a previously documented Covid infection. A third of the people had recently traveled internationally, according to the CDC study.

The most commonly reported symptoms were cough, fatigue and congestion or runny nose. One vaccinated patient was hospitalized for two days and no deaths were reported, the report found.

The findings are in line with early reports from South Africa, where some doctors said the new strain appeared to cause milder symptoms in patients.

There are some caveats to the report, however. The CDC pointed out that it can take several days or weeks before severe symptoms appear in some individuals, and symptoms would be expected to be milder in vaccinated people and in those with a previous coronavirus infection.


https://www.nbcnews.com/health...mostly-mild-rcna8352

From the actual report:

quote:
Case investigations have identified exposures associated with international and domestic travel, large public events, and household transmission.


https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7050e1.htm

edit: Great summary of where things stand with respect to Omicron:

https://www.sltrib.com/news/20...arsen-heres-what-we/


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



14 December 2021, 06:46 PM
wtg
quote:
Here’s a summary of the studies released to date, and what they have found:


https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/1...riant-heres-why.html

edit: And....

https://www.syracuse.com/coron...micron-analysis.html


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



14 December 2021, 07:48 PM
pianojuggler
The summary of what I'm hearing:

- More transmissible

- Less fatal

- Get an mRNA booster (everything I've heard has been about Pfizer booster; no word on effectiveness of Moderna booster)


Is that what others are making of it?


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14 December 2021, 07:53 PM
Piano*Dad
quote:
The first handful of omicron cases in the United States have been mostly mild, with most patients reporting symptoms such as cough or a runny nose, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....

The agency's five-page report looked at 43 people in the U.S. with a confirmed case of the new strain, one of whom was hospitalized. More than half of the people were young, between the ages of 18 and 39.

More than three-quarters were fully vaccinated, including a third who had also received a booster shot. Six cases had a previously documented Covid infection. A third of the people had recently traveled internationally, according to the CDC study.

The most commonly reported symptoms were cough, fatigue and congestion or runny nose. One vaccinated patient was hospitalized for two days and no deaths were reported, the report found.


Yeah, well, I came down with a sore throat on Saturday evening. By Sunday I was feeling congestion and the occasional urge to cough. Those aren't the usual Covid symptoms (fever, body aches, fatigue, low Oxygen). Nonetheless, I'm supposed to be leaving town on the 23rd, so out of an abundance of caution we used up one of our quick home Covid tests. Came back very negative!

So, I've got my first ... cold of the Covid era!
14 December 2021, 08:14 PM
CHAS
Glad it came back negative.
Read of one death in the UK>


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""The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits" -Albert Einstein

14 December 2021, 09:13 PM
wtg
So we tried out a bunch of masks, and there were two clear winners. Especially if you wear glasses.

This KF94, manufactured in South Korea, is in the same general category as N95s and KN95s. The ear loops are adjustable and let you pull it snugly against your face. As ron said, it has a lot of space in the front so you can talk and breathe more comfortably. I ordered the extra large and the large sizes, and found the large to be a good choice for me. Mr wtg could wear either one, though he thought the large was a better fit. For a woman with a smaller face, the medium might be the way to go.

Comes in black and also white. Don't forget to use the 7% off coupon. The link for the size large black mask:

https://www.amazon.com/BOTN-Pr...n%2Caps%2C275&sr=8-8

The real winner is the BeeSure. Has a wire on both the top and bottom edges, plus the nose flap. No gaps on the sides. I gave one to my hairdresser this morning to try and she was over the top about it. She had been having trouble with her glasses fogging with the masks she had been using and with this one, no problema.

Comes in pink and also blue.

https://primodentalproducts.co...level-3-4-ply-50-box

Many thanks to rontuner for posting his finds!


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



14 December 2021, 09:51 PM
wtg
quote:
Originally posted by Piano*Dad:
quote:
The first handful of omicron cases in the United States have been mostly mild, with most patients reporting symptoms such as cough or a runny nose, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....

The agency's five-page report looked at 43 people in the U.S. with a confirmed case of the new strain, one of whom was hospitalized. More than half of the people were young, between the ages of 18 and 39.

More than three-quarters were fully vaccinated, including a third who had also received a booster shot. Six cases had a previously documented Covid infection. A third of the people had recently traveled internationally, according to the CDC study.

The most commonly reported symptoms were cough, fatigue and congestion or runny nose. One vaccinated patient was hospitalized for two days and no deaths were reported, the report found.


Yeah, well, I came down with a sore throat on Saturday evening. By Sunday I was feeling congestion and the occasional urge to cough. Those aren't the usual Covid symptoms (fever, body aches, fatigue, low Oxygen). Nonetheless, I'm supposed to be leaving town on the 23rd, so out of an abundance of caution we used up one of our quick home Covid tests. Came back very negative!

So, I've got my first ... cold of the Covid era!


Are you going to retest? I thought false negatives for home tests, esp if done early, were pretty common


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



14 December 2021, 10:17 PM
Piano*Dad
With the test I used, it correctly identifies at least 84% of the true positives, and if you're truly negative, it'll nail that one around 99% of the time. If I'm really positive (and my test was a false negative) I'm not likely have much of a viral load. Sometimes a cold is just a cold! Now, if I start to faint going up the stairs ...
17 December 2021, 08:55 AM
wtg
quote:
South Africa delivered some positive news on the omicron coronavirus variant on Friday, reporting a much lower rate of hospital admissions and signs that the wave of infections may be peaking.

Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 cases were admitted to hospital in the second week of infections in the fourth wave, compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a press conference.

Health officials presented evidence that the strain may be milder, and that infections may already be peaking in the country’s most populous province, Gauteng....

Scientists have cautioned that other nations may have a different experience to South Africa as the country’s population is young compared with developed nations. Between 70% and 80% of citizens may also have had a prior Covid-19 infection, according to antibody surveys, meaning they could have some level of protection.

Currently there are about 7,600 people with Covid-19 in South African hospitals, about 40% of the peak in the second and third waves. Excess deaths, a measure of the number of deaths against a historical average, are just below 2,000 a week, an eighth of their previous peak.

“We are really seeing very small increases in the number of deaths,” said Michelle Groome, head of health surveillance for the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news...cron-wave-much-lower


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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home. - Australian Aboriginal proverb

Bazootiehead-in-training



17 December 2021, 09:19 AM
rontuner
Another couple of tips for glasses wearers - especially for masking for hours at a time:

A strip of Nexcare foam tape (maybe 1 cm or less wide) taped across the inside of the mask at the nosepiece makes a better seal across the top of my nose.

After being disappointed by trying one fog-free spray coating, a choir member shared "Fog free+" that she got from Walmart. I found it on Amazon. It works much better if used daily.


--------------------------------
Visit me on the Web!
www.ronkoval.com

17 December 2021, 01:04 PM
AdagioM
quote:
Originally posted by wtg:
So we tried out a bunch of masks, and there were two clear winners. Especially if you wear glasses.

This KF94, manufactured in South Korea, is in the same general category as N95s and KN95s. The ear loops are adjustable and let you pull it snugly against your face. As ron said, it has a lot of space in the front so you can talk and breathe more comfortably. I ordered the extra large and the large sizes, and found the large to be a good choice for me. Mr wtg could wear either one, though he thought the large was a better fit. For a woman with a smaller face, the medium might be the way to go.

Comes in black and also white. Don't forget to use the 7% off coupon. The link for the size large black mask:

https://www.amazon.com/BOTN-Pr...n%2Caps%2C275&sr=8-8

The real winner is the BeeSure. Has a wire on both the top and bottom edges, plus the nose flap. No gaps on the sides. I gave one to my hairdresser this morning to try and she was over the top about it. She had been having trouble with her glasses fogging with the masks she had been using and with this one, no problema.

Comes in pink and also blue.

https://primodentalproducts.co...level-3-4-ply-50-box

Many thanks to rontuner for posting his finds!


We like the KF94 masks, too. Ours are branded Bluna Face Fit. The nose strip is nice and wide. My glasses don’t fog. And they have an upper and lower extension, so your nose and chin are well covered. (It was a challenge to get MIL to remember to extend those; memory is slipping.)


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