Continuing to mask

Carla Bradley, who is fully vaccinated, still wears a mask when she’s in public and at work.

University of Texas Medical Branch students, employees and patients, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks in clinical areas because of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, officials said. The announcement comes as COVID case numbers have been on the rise because of the more contagious delta variant.

The Question of the Week is: Should masking, social distancing and other pandemic precautions be reinstated with the rise in delta variant cases?

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(23) comments

Bailey Jones

The vaccines have proven to be extremely effective so almost everyone getting sick and dying these days is getting sick and dying by their own choice. The exception is kids that can't get vaccinated yet. So, I support the return of the protocols to protect those kids until vaccines are available to them. With half of the nation refusing the vaccine, mandating the protocols again is the only responsible choice to protect those who can't yet be vaccinated.

New cases are spiking upward in the US again - mostly from the delta variant. Deaths are no longer decreasing and can be expected to start rising in the next week or two. As new variants rip through the unvaccinated population maybe more of the "hesitant" will come around. If not they'll just have to get their immunity the hard way. It's only common sense and decency to protect our vulnerable populations in the meantime.

Carlos Ponce

Bailey even got his dog vaccinated!

Jim Forsythe

Canine coronavirus vaccines are available

Dan Freeman

Two week average: New deaths 268 +44% deaths trajectory last two weeks

Carlos Ponce

Too bad we don't know where the new "migrants" are going. Would be nice to see through contact tracing if they're spreading it.

Wayne D Holt

The vaccines are killing thousands of people of all ages, both hastening the death of elderly and those with commodities as well as young people with no health issues dying within 72 hours of the shot. The OFFICIAL VAERS data as well as the equivalent European data all say the same thing: there has developed a pattern of blood clots, neurological disorders and an entire constellation of other serious maladies that occur within days, hours and sometimes minutes of receiving the coup de grace...sorry, the shot.

Bailey, you have maintained that just because the agency that is most responsible for pushing the killer vaccines says there's nothing to it, it must just all be a coincidence. Of course, it's gotten so bad that even the profoundly broken ethical mavens at the CDC had to publish there are serious complications that they had not admitted before. This is known as a limited hang-out: admit to roughing up the old man and hope the family you executed will remain undiscovered a while longer under the floorboards.

If this had been a Republican-led campaign and we had seen numbers like this, it would be in a 24/7 news cycle. Chuck Schumer would have been on a morphine drip from distress; Nancy Pelosi would have lost her insatiable ice cream appetite.

The narrative is falling apart as new immunizations have ground to a halt; the adverse reaction reports are piling up in drifts now; the asinine claims made in headlines that are completely at odds with the test protocols themselves are so patently false that even Democrats are beginning to wonder what in the heck is going on.

I believe I hear the distant sound of fife playing, "The World Turned Upside Down."

Ted Gillis

I agree with Bailey. Us vaccinated folks can go on about our business as usual. The others who choose to remain unvaccinated, need to distance themselves from us.

Bill Broussard

In Texas, COVID hospitalizations and ICU beds have doubled since the beginning of the month and are now back at levels not seen since early May. As you can see, the rate at which they are climbing is quite alarming.

(Click on image for link to CDC's interactive chart.)

Hospitalizations are also up nationally but not by nearly as much. At the end of June, US hospitalizations were running around 12,000 per day but are now over 18,000.

Nationally, COVID-related fatalities have also increased, roughly in proportion to the increase in hospitalizations. In early July the CDC’s seven-day moving average got down to 160, it is now running about 230. So far, in Texas there have been no increase in fatalities. The State’s actual date of death analysis continues to show a slow gradual decline.

Vaccinations have dwindled to a trickle. The percentage of the US population that has been fully vaccinated has only inched up from 47.1% to 48.6% during July. The over-65 percentage went from 78.0% to 79.5%. Texas is running about 5% behind the national average with only about 43% of its population fully vaccinated. Texas has done a little better with the over-65 population at 75%. Still, that leaves about 900,000 Texans who are over 65 and unvaccinated.

I spend quite a bit of time talking to outright anti-vaxxers and those that just have reservations about this particular vaccine. I appreciate that there is some risk to any kind of medical intervention, and there have clearly been some rare adverse reactions to these vaccines.

However, over 99% of COVID related fatalities and hospitalizations are occurring in people who have not been vaccinated. The math of the relative risk of getting a serious case of COVID compared to a complication of taking the vaccine is not even close. And the difference in the relevant risk is is more compelling for those over 65.

Bailey Jones

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T.W. Day

If you had told me Bozo the Clown says infection rates are climbing I would believe the statistics you listed. But since the numbers come from the CDC and possibly WHO I can't believe anything they say. They have lost all credibility.

Wayne D Holt

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AJ LeBlanc

As the virus circulates among the unvaccinated population the posibility to generate additional vartiants still lurks - potentially adding yet increased risk to everyone. From the very beginning the protocols have been just as much (or more) about protecting others as protecting oneself.

Bailey Jones

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Ted Gillis

AJ, the anti maskers and the anti vaccinated never cared about others, and still don’t.

We are on our own.

Wayne D Holt

Preach it, Brother Ted...even though you're talking out of your Size 2 hat.

If you're on your own it's because you don't have the interest, or the will, or the capacity to think for yourself. You take the word of the CDC, an agency riddled with conflict of interest, hyper politicization, hidden agendas and an unblemished track record of U-turns on some of the most fundamental pronouncements they've made on this topic, in addition to Herr Fauci lying to Congress about gain of function funding he pushed. Apparently THE SCIENCE changes faster than you change out your themed do-rag collection, Ted.

You and Booster Bailey ignore research done at the most prestigious universities in the world. You ignore the words of the guy who invented the testing process that has been perverted to fluff up the numbers of "cases" bigly. You turn a blind eye to people who have worked within the very Big Pharma industries in top research positions and tell us the narrative on Covid is fabricated. You're not on your own, Ted...you're being led by the nose every step of the way.

"Us vaccinated folks can go on about our business as usual. The others who choose to remain unvaccinated, need to distance themselves from us." Why, Ted? It almost sounds like you don't truly believe you're protected by your Magic Potion.

You need more? Here ya go...

In Laura Elder's July 19 editorial, we have this gem from an expert: “That’s because every time the virus jumps to a new person, its chance of mutation increases,” Best said. “If the virus keeps running into vaccinated people, it hits a wall and can’t keep spreading." That from Dr. Leyla Best of UnityPoint Health, a network of hospitals, clinics and home care services in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, in an article on variants.

There are a couple of problems with this analysis: 1) those who are vaccinated can also host mutated virus strains. There is nothing in the shot that prevents mutations; 2) running into a vaccinated person doesn't mean it hits a wall. It means it does what viruses do and attempts to defeat the mechanism that we've deployed. Viruses don't "hit walls" and stop, they attempt to go around them; 3) the mRNA shots attempt to juice antibodies through spike protein introduction before the body encounters the virus in the wild. That is a one-dimensional approach that probably INCREASES, not decreases the number of mutations that survive because you are not using the full panoply of defenses the human body has developed over 100,000 years. The shots don't provide any SuperHero shield, they only stimulate one part of the body's defense. You are being told to believe one level of defense is much better than three or four levels.

Ted, you may be hosting a mutation already. Please don't stand too close to me. Thank God I'm still healthy...and unvaccinated.

Ted Gillis

Well, have it your way then Wayne, but just understand that God had nothing to do with it.

I’ll stay away from you, if you promise to stay away from me!

Carlos Ponce

Famous saying: If God has nothing to do with it, the Devil is in the details.

Ted Gillis

Where did you read that Carlos, Facebook?

Carlos Ponce

I rarely read facebook, so no. I do not recall exactly where I heard or read it but it was about the time Judge Samuel Kent expelled Jesus Christ from Santa Fe schools.

Ted Gillis

Well now that’s a bit if an exaggeration, as I remember that period in time as when a handful of school board member’s hard headedness turned Santa Fe into media freak show. But hey, each of us has a way of remembering certain things.

Carlos Ponce

They were not "hard headed". Remember, those who elected them were the same ones who elected Ted Gillis to City Council.

And... remember what eventually happened to Judge Samuel Kent. On May 11, 2009, Judge Kent was sentenced to 33 months in prison for lying to investigators about sexually abusing two female employees. So he resigned.

Ted Gillis

Yeah, well one of them stated that “god put on the school board”. I on the other hand was elected.

Carlos Ponce

By two votes.

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