The exodus of young nurses

Moderna says trial results suggest redesigned vaccines can better protect against variants.

”… findings show it can design a vaccine that offers better, longer-lasting protection than its initial product…But the company said it was also testing another version of the vaccine that it expected would do even better, with results expected in late May or early June….Moderna said its research showed the promise of a so-called bivalent vaccine, even against other variants besides the two versions of the virus specifically targeted. In this case, researchers combined the existing vaccine with one designed to attack the Beta variant, which was first detected in late 2020. They found the combination provided a stronger defense not only against those forms of the virus, but also against the Delta and Omicron variants, the company said...Volunteers who got a booster shot of the reconfigured vaccine produced more than two times the level of antibodies against the Omicron variant compared with those who got a booster dose of the existing Moderna vaccine. The added protection persisted for six months against the Omicron variant but fell against Delta to essentially the same level as that elicited by the existing vaccine, the study showed.

Unvaccinated children hospitalized at twice the rate during Omicron surge -U.S. study



How to weigh your risks as mask mandates lift

”…Does wearing a mask provide adequate protection even if people around you aren’t masked?…

Yes, provided you’re wearing a high-quality mask such as an N95 or KN95, said Dr. Robert M. Wachter, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Individuals have the tools to protect themselves quite well,

Wachter said that he doesn’t have any concerns about removing the mandate, but that he wishes the decision had been made by public health officials and medical experts. When a judge with little public health knowledge makes such a call, it sets “a dangerous precedent” that could limit the government’s ability to respond to future surges or pandemics, Wachter said….

…The experts interviewed were unanimous in urging people to continue wearing masks on public transit, for their own protection as well as that of others…..Which are safer — buses, trains, subways, or planes?  

The difference, experts agreed, is not so much in the mode of transportation but the circumstances: whether the vehicle is well-ventilated, how crowded it is, how long the trip is, and what the transmission rates are in the community. A bus with windows open is safer than one with windows closed…“Probably the most important factor is, ‘What are the chances the person sitting within a few feet of me has COVID?’ ”…For children ages 2 to 5, who are heading on an important trip, he’d take them if they could be trusted to stay masked. But if the trip can be postponed, it would make sense to wait until a vaccine is approved for that age group. For younger toddlers and babies, Wachter would cancel the trip — not because the child might get sick and die, which is highly unlikely, but because growing evidence suggests long-term harm from COVID exposure, including heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes….

What will it take to get to the point that normal routines feel safe?“There’s no reason I can think of that things will be much safer a year or two from now,”…

That will happen, Wachter said, when people simply get tired and stop talking about it. “I can’t see what would happen that would make the risk materially lower than it is now,” he said. “Maybe a better vaccine comes out, but how many people are going to take it? Maybe the [next] variant gets milder, but it’s just as likely it gets nastier.”


“People who live long, who will drink from the cup of life to the very bottom…

Must expect to meet with some of the usual dregs…”

                                                                             Benjamin Franklin, housebound, age 84

 “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.” – Mae West

 “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde

 “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)



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