News

Health officers encourage masking indoors regardless of vaccination, stop short of new mandate

Araceli Fitz folds clothes at El Camino Laundromat in Mountain View on April 21, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

A coalition of Bay Area health officials urged residents across the region Friday to resume wearing a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status following an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley issued the advisory "out of an abundance of caution" but have yet to issue a new masking mandate for shared indoor spaces like grocery and retail stores.

The health officials also stressed that fully vaccinated residents remain well-protected both from contracting the virus, including the currently observed variants, and from becoming seriously ill or dying.

Employees are encouraged to continue following the masking guidelines set by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and their employers. They are also encouraged to wear a mask indoors when their employers has not verified the vaccination status of their co-workers.

The recommendation comes on the heels of Los Angeles County issuing a new mask mandate for indoor spaces this week amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, almost exclusively among the unvaccinated, and the proliferation of the more-transmissible delta variant.

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"The delta variant is spreading quickly, and everyone should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus," Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said in a statement.

While the Bay Area is one of the most vaccinated regions in the state and country, local health officials had recognized the potential for renewed mask requirements in recent weeks as the delta variant became more of a threat, particularly for unvaccinated people.

"The Bay Area is very, very diverse and there's hot spots, within the Bay Area, of unvaccinated populations," Marin County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora said earlier this month. "So we would expect to see, especially in more rural areas (and) consistent with other rural areas across the nation, that you'll see increased rates of cases."

The indoor masking recommendation, the county health officials said in a joint statement, is intended to help protect unvaccinated residents, who are orders of magnitude more likely right now to contract the virus and be hospitalized with serious illness.

On Friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky went as far as to say the virus "is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

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In Contra Costa County, the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents was 1.7 for fully vaccinated residents as of July 8 and 16.1 per 100,000 for unvaccinated residents.

"The highly infectious delta variant is now the predominant strain in Contra Costa County," Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said. "While vaccines remain our best tool against COVID-19, masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection."

The coalition of health officers is expected to revisit the recommendation in the coming weeks after monitoring local case and hospitalization data.

State officials have also been hesitant, for now, to reissue mask and social distancing requirements statewide, instead deferring to local health agencies to do what they feel suits their constituents.

As of Friday, California's rate of new cases per 100,000 residents sits at 5.4.

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Health officers encourage masking indoors regardless of vaccination, stop short of new mandate

by /

Uploaded: Fri, Jul 16, 2021, 12:26 pm

A coalition of Bay Area health officials urged residents across the region Friday to resume wearing a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status following an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley issued the advisory "out of an abundance of caution" but have yet to issue a new masking mandate for shared indoor spaces like grocery and retail stores.

The health officials also stressed that fully vaccinated residents remain well-protected both from contracting the virus, including the currently observed variants, and from becoming seriously ill or dying.

Employees are encouraged to continue following the masking guidelines set by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and their employers. They are also encouraged to wear a mask indoors when their employers has not verified the vaccination status of their co-workers.

The recommendation comes on the heels of Los Angeles County issuing a new mask mandate for indoor spaces this week amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, almost exclusively among the unvaccinated, and the proliferation of the more-transmissible delta variant.

"The delta variant is spreading quickly, and everyone should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus," Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said in a statement.

While the Bay Area is one of the most vaccinated regions in the state and country, local health officials had recognized the potential for renewed mask requirements in recent weeks as the delta variant became more of a threat, particularly for unvaccinated people.

"The Bay Area is very, very diverse and there's hot spots, within the Bay Area, of unvaccinated populations," Marin County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora said earlier this month. "So we would expect to see, especially in more rural areas (and) consistent with other rural areas across the nation, that you'll see increased rates of cases."

The indoor masking recommendation, the county health officials said in a joint statement, is intended to help protect unvaccinated residents, who are orders of magnitude more likely right now to contract the virus and be hospitalized with serious illness.

On Friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky went as far as to say the virus "is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

In Contra Costa County, the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents was 1.7 for fully vaccinated residents as of July 8 and 16.1 per 100,000 for unvaccinated residents.

"The highly infectious delta variant is now the predominant strain in Contra Costa County," Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said. "While vaccines remain our best tool against COVID-19, masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection."

The coalition of health officers is expected to revisit the recommendation in the coming weeks after monitoring local case and hospitalization data.

State officials have also been hesitant, for now, to reissue mask and social distancing requirements statewide, instead deferring to local health agencies to do what they feel suits their constituents.

As of Friday, California's rate of new cases per 100,000 residents sits at 5.4.

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2021 at 1:04 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 1:04 pm

We have been told that the numbers of Santa Clara residents over the age of 12 who are fully vaccinated is over 80%. The article states that the numbers are rising in unvaccinated people. We are told that the vaccines work against the Delta variant.

The article says it is "urging" residents to wear masks again to help unvaccinated people! This is not to help vaccinated people. It is not to protect the health service. It is to protect those who chose not to vaccinate.

We are now in a situation where the vast majority have done all we can to protect ourselves, namely live under lockdown for 16 months, to social distance, to wear masks and to get vaccines, so that we can return to normal lives. Now that life is returning to something that looks more normal, we are "urged" to return to wearing masks. Will we soon be told to return to lockdown just to prevent those who have chosen to remain unvaccinated for whatever reason to be safe?

I know there are some who not vaccinated for medical reasons, but the vast majority of unvaccinated do not fall into that category. These unvaccinated are the ones who are getting sick, but the rest of us are being urged to protect them by putting our masks back on so that they don't get sick.

Is there something wrong here, or is it just me? I wear a seatbelt when in a car even though I have never been involved in a serious accident and the reason is to protect myself. Is this like telling me to wear a seatbelt so that a drunk driver who is speeding is protected? No. I wear a seatbelt to protect myself in the very low probability of a serious accident each time I go out. I will continue to wear a seatbelt to protect myself. But I can't see any reason why my wearing a seatbelt is going to protect a drunk, speeding driver even if we do get involved in the same accident.

I do not think it is just me! I think there is something very wrong here.


CalAveLocal
Registered user
Evergreen Park
on Jul 16, 2021 at 2:41 pm
CalAveLocal, Evergreen Park
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 2:41 pm

@Bystander, on one hand I fully agree with you that there is something really wrong with being asked to protect the (at best) confused and (at worst) selfish people who choose not to vaccinate. This makes me very angry, because they are the reason we are going a step or two back AGAIN. But there are people who can't vaccinate for medical reason; as well as all children under the age of 12. And children do appear to be more at risk for delta variant. While I am going to continue to be very angry at selfish brats who are ruining return to normality for the rest of us, I am also going to put on my mask to protect people who need protection, including all of the kids. And yeah, if it wasn't for the SBs, we would not need to do it. I am against public shaming in most cases, but this is one of these exceptions that proves the rule. Shame on all the SBs!


Raul Montez
Registered user
another community
on Jul 16, 2021 at 3:15 pm
Raul Montez, another community
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 3:15 pm

Wearing a face mask is like wearing a condom...you should do it to protect both yourself and others even if you are STD free.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2021 at 3:34 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 3:34 pm

SCC has reached herd immunity, so this is as good as it gets. If you like your mask, you can keep your mask. But there's nothing more to look forward to in terms of better numbers. So either plan to wear one for the rest of your life, or follow the science. And don't try to tell others what to do.


PA Community Advocate
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2021 at 4:27 pm
PA Community Advocate, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 4:27 pm
John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 16, 2021 at 4:30 pm
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 4:30 pm
Jimmy
Registered user
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 16, 2021 at 4:50 pm
Jimmy, Palo Alto Hills
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 4:50 pm

@Tim R. Best comment i have read in years.! Thank you sir.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2021 at 5:36 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 5:36 pm

Tim R is right

Even Biden said today that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

The masks - recommended or mandated - in SCC are not going to make a difference to LA county! The mask recommendation is only going to make the unvaccinated say I see no reason to get a vaccine since I will still have to wear a mask. The unvaccinated who refuse for reasons other than health to get the vaccine will now be proved right. This is sending the wrong message.

So the question has to be if we are being recommended to wear a mask then for how long? Will it be 3 weeks? Will it be 3 months? Will it be indefinitely? Because if we don't have a clue as to why we are going backwards instead of forwards in this crazy pandemic then we are not making any sense. Even the CDC has said that vaccinated people don't need masks. Or was that yesterday?

Remember. This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Biden.


Scotty
Registered user
Green Acres
on Jul 16, 2021 at 6:37 pm
Scotty, Green Acres
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 6:37 pm

Live your best life!!


Leland J.
Registered user
Professorville
on Jul 16, 2021 at 6:59 pm
Leland J. , Professorville
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 6:59 pm

Agree with Tim, Bystander and others on this. The fulcrum has shifted... if you haven't gotten a vaccine at this point, then the burden and hardship should fall on you to isolate yourself, not the vast majority of us who did all the right things for months on end.

And if you don't believe that mask mandates are indeed a burden -- then check out polls on how they further undermine confidence in the larger medical system.

"Trust the science"... unless it conflicts with my own personal narrative.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2021 at 7:54 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 7:54 pm

1. “In CCC 7 day average of new cases per 100,000 residents was 1.7 for fully vaccinated residents as of July 8 and 16.1 per 100,000 for unvaccinated residents.”
Whenever I see data like this it’s just staggering. Why in the world would you not get vaccinated unless you had a medical reason not to? It doesn’t make any sense.

2. The unvaccinated are prolonging the pandemic and making it harder for everyone to get back further to pre-pandemic normal. They are also putting everyone at risk for potential breakthrough cases and new potentially vaccine resistant variants. Those who are smartly vaccinated are now living in the “new normal.”

3. With children under 12 not eligible for vaccination I disagree with the assertion that we have reached herd immunity or that this will be as good as it gets. It will get better in time with a combination of further vaccinations and further infections.

4. Projections from the IHME forecast 50,000 more Americans will die from COVID-19 by Nov. 1 and daily infections will rise to about 255,000 across the country. We are likely in for one final wave of infections.

5. To the question of should vaccinated people mask or not? Look at the data from talking point 1. 1.7 people out of 100,000 are still being infected in Contra Costa County. That’s very low risk but it’s not Zero Risk either. Anecdotally, Delta may be causing more breakthrough cases.

6. For someone calling themselves “The PA Community Advocate” and then posting nonsense about unvaccinated children not masking is actually the opposite of being a community advocate. You can post links about CO2 or that masks don’t work, but that is the only line of defense unvaccinated children have at this point besides potential herd immunity. Cut it out. Delta may also be infecting kids more harshly. This is not Tucker or Laura.

7. These same health officers just got together and swore school will be safe in the fall. How can it be if cases are rising again? It can’t.


PA Community Advocate
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2021 at 8:18 pm
PA Community Advocate, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 8:18 pm

Voice of Non-Reason- The data clearly shows that kids have always been at minimal risk to Covid-19. It is far more risky for children to ride in a car or swim in a pool. This is published data. Don’t make this a political issue because it isn’t.

Zero Covid is unattainable. Unvaccinated obese and elderly will pass sadly. With vaccines widely available in the United States at this point it it a matter of their choice. Life cannot stop, especially as lock downs and masks have not proven at scale to work in the United States.

[Portion removed.]


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2021 at 8:54 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 8:54 pm

1. “Life cannot stop, especially as lock downs and masks have not proven at scale to work in the United States”

This is false information. Masks do work.

Web Link />
I think I will trust these Harvard guys over a simpleton. Finally, it’s masking in combination with distancing.

Lockdowns also worked. Economic pressures caused the reopenings.

Web Link />
2. Let’s go with your life cannot stop and the <.001%.
50,000,000 children nationally are going back to school in about a month or two. I don’t have the data as to how many of those children are vaccinated, and also let’s assume the Delta variant isn’t more harshly infecting children as anecdotally there have now been reports about this like yesterday in Mississippi . Let’s just go with raw numbers of 50,000,000 X .001.
That’s 50,000 hospitalized or worse deceased children. But you know life can’t stop and all, and you are a community advocate and I’m “non-reason.”

Parents please keep the mask on your kids for the time being.

"Trust the science"... unless it conflicts with my own personal narrative”

This again. Sigh. Take the mask off if you want. I am going to trust these epidemiologists instead.

Web Link />
The political will isn’t there to do it but it’s very likely with the delta variant circulating masks should be mandated for all again.


PA Community Advocate
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 16, 2021 at 9:23 pm
PA Community Advocate, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 9:23 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 16, 2021 at 10:52 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 10:52 pm
chris
Registered user
University South
on Jul 17, 2021 at 1:45 am
chris, University South
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 1:45 am

How do the people complaining about wearing a mask expect to convince the unvaccinated to get vaccinated unless they are required to wear a mask. The unvaccinated will not wear a mask unless everybody is forced to. It is on the unvaccinated to take action to free everybody from wearing masks. Sometimes, the blunt approach is required to convince the dense.


John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 17, 2021 at 2:33 am
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 2:33 am

Chris: your argument appears to support masking, not vaxxing. Going back to masking, even for the fully vaxxed so well-protected from the variants, is a fall-back position, already waiving a white flag to the suddenly powerful anti-vaxxers calling the shots. What might help better? The anti-vaxxers seeing loved ones get it.

I like the references above to our scientific community. UC/and Stanford and the lawyer school in Santa Clara, all demand full vaxxes for admission. The less prestigious ones, not.

Concerning the debate above, the community advocate is much more persuasive, by calling out the zero risk metric and mentioning the danger of obesity. Personally, I find it very embarrassing when someone in a supposed debate calls someone else names like 'simpleton', calls himself 'intellectually superior', and demands the right to tell others what to do. What kind of intellectual superiority is this? (my posts have been censored for much less).

Finally, so tired of the sneer at dreaded 'economics' being a poor motivation for ending the lockdown, as if everyone has a job they can perform at home in their PJ's, for years and years. Economics should be an important issue to consider.


PA Community Advocate
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2021 at 7:12 am
PA Community Advocate, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 7:12 am

John B - great points. I fear that part of the issue was using the word “economics” though.

Obviously Health > Economics, but it was actually about survival for so many. If your business isn’t open or you can can’t go to work for more than a quarter of the year, it is simply hard to survive, especially when getting government support is frowned upon so severely. “Economics” just diminished the plight of so many during the pandemic.

It’s easy for so many white collar people to overlook suffering that these poor souls unnecessarily went through the past 18 months because of arbitrary and unproven policies to protect the obese, elderly, and now adults who refuse the vaccine by choice.


Biff Connors
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2021 at 8:20 am
Biff Connors, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 8:20 am

Many of the 'reluctant to get vaccinated' types (excluding the hardcore anti-vaxers & right-wing lunatics) will continue to resist getting vaccinated until FDA approval is granted for the specific vaccines currently being promoted and administered to the public.

And their apprehension is understandable given that all of the other major protective vaccines carry FDA approval for safety and effectiveness.

Efficacy and effectiveness are two different things.

Efficacy is based on control group trial results while effectiveness is based on an established and proven fact (aka results) over an extended period of time.

Many of the folks getting vaccinated are counting on efficacy and only time will tell if the vaccines are actually effective.

The covid vaccines are too new (less than one year old) to either prove or establish any long term 'effectiveness' as compared to polio, smallpox, and diphtheria vaccines.

Call them 'a wing and a prayer'.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jul 17, 2021 at 9:24 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 9:24 am

With the exception of the anti-vaxxers that refuse any type of vaccine, the people who aren't getting vaccinated don't care. They don't fear Covid, and even if they do get it, they assume they'll be fine. I don't think it has anything to do with FDA approval. If you don't get it, there's room for improvement. if you don't care, you don't care. And nothing will sway you.


Michael Kastner
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 17, 2021 at 9:47 am
Michael Kastner, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 9:47 am

"I don't think it has anything to do with FDA approval."

It does and it doesn't. For some (i.e. Orthodox Jews and Christian Scientists) getting vaccinated goes against their respective religious faiths.

Traditional religious customs and a belief in the power of prayer fuels this perspective.

On the other hand, if there really was a God there wouldn't be any global pandemics, earthly tragedies, or ongoing examples of man's inhumanity towards man.

So much for 'on Earth as it is in Heaven'.

Free will on the part of humankind is omnipotent and has its drawbacks.

The coronavirus was created by mankind and now we will have to live with its consequences.

Thus the choice whether to get innoculated or not remains a personal choice and decision.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jul 17, 2021 at 10:03 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 10:03 am

It is a personal choice and decision. Not getting vaccinated for religious reasons puts you into the anti-vaxxers category, for religious purposes. My point is people are putting too much thought into "why" people aren't vaccinated, saying if only this or maybe that. My opinion is they don't want the vaccine, or they would get it. And they would've gotten it by now. Period.


Michael Kastner
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 17, 2021 at 10:21 am
Michael Kastner, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 10:21 am

- My point is people are putting too much thought into "why" people aren't vaccinated, saying if only this or maybe that.

This is a possible segment topic for Doctor Phil who always seems to have an answer for everything.

The ghost writers for Dear Abby and Ann Landers could also get involved by encouraging vaccinations.

The ignorant often turn to these types of individuals for advisements and all three have become quite wealthy by doling out their infinite wisdom.

The ignorant also rely on astrology and religious dogma for decision-making advice.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 17, 2021 at 10:59 am
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 10:59 am

1. “Going back to masking, even for the fully vaxxed so well-protected from the variants, is a fall-back position, already waiving a white flag to the suddenly powerful anti-vaxxers calling the shots.”
It’s not all about the anti-vaxxers as you consistently post. Children under 12 currently have no access to the vaccine. This “mask recommendation” by health officials would be a mandate but there isn’t the political will left right now from either Newsom or the health officers many of whom have been threatened by the crazies. Mask up. Stop debating the efficacy of the vaccine and how you don’t need to mask anymore. Do it for the children. I would think everyone cares about the precious children.

2. “Finally, so tired of the sneer at dreaded 'economics' being a poor motivation for ending the lockdown”
A sick and diseased society can not function therefore the economy would not function either. The original lockdowns should have been more strict and longer. If you are referring to the current reopening, the increase in cases and disease transmission fall onto those who are unvaccinated. They are prolonging a return to normal for everyone else that has followed the rules. The fact that we only have a 48% vaccinated country when we have a vaccine available for everyone is a disgrace. There will need to be FDA approval and vaccines should be made mandatory for all except those with a medical exception. Fortunately, here in the SCC we have had high vaccine uptake. We are now mostly into the “localized outbreaks” portion of the pandemic unless a new variant comes along that makes current vaccines ineffective.

[Portion removed.]


Philomena De La Cruz
Registered user
another community
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:11 pm
Philomena De La Cruz, another community
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:11 pm

To establish further confidence in the Covid-19 vaccines, an FDA approval would go a long ways towards promoting their overall safety and efficiency.

The FDA is not going to stick its neck out and rightfully so.

An unfounded belief in efficacy is merely grasping at straws combined with wishful thinking.

And now Pfizer is promoting a booster shot to combat the Delta variant?

At $2.6B to create (and sans any FDA support) this is just another Big Pharma money-grubbing tactic.

There's big money to be made by preying on fear and mindless sheep either get slaughtered or sheered.


Leland J.
Registered user
Professorville
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm
Leland J. , Professorville
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Like I said: if you haven't gotten vaccinated by now, for whatever reason, then the burden should be on you to isolate, take precautions -- or bear the full consequences of your (foolish) choice.

Why punish the rest of us who did the right thing?


Philomena De La Cruz
Registered user
another community
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:23 pm
Philomena De La Cruz, another community
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:23 pm

@ Leland J.

Concurring and in full agreement.

On a personal note, we are semi-reclusive and have been leading a SIP lifestyle by personal choice for decades.

Only the ones who fully interact with the public or wish to attend large events need to get vaccinated.

With the Delta variant now making its rounds, all travel into the United States should be curtailed as we do not need foreign travelers, immigrants, and unnecessary visitors further endangering the health of Americans who wish to exercise their freedom now that they have been fully vaccinated.

@Tim R.

We reside in La Honda...not Silicon Valley proper...no need or desire to interact with the masses.


TimR
Registered user
Downtown North
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:24 pm
TimR, Downtown North
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Philomena De La Cruz, if you don't trust science and technology, why do live in Silicon Valley--a place that lives and breathes those things? I can understand people living in more "backward" places not understanding science, and therefore not able to understand or trust mRNA vaccines. But not someone living in the global heart of it all. Makes no sense.


Philomena De La Cruz
Registered user
another community
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:37 pm
Philomena De La Cruz, another community
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:37 pm

° I can understand people living in more "backward" places not understanding science, and therefore not able to understand or trust mRNA vaccines.

Diseases proliferate from environments where sanitation and comprehensive public health measures are not practiced.

The coronavirus and its variants are no exception whether the pandemic emanated from an experimental laboratory or a food stand.

Only by keeping our country closed off to travelers and immigrants from suspect countries can we even begin to stop the spread of countless 'novel' diseases regardless of vaccination efforts.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:59 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 12:59 pm

“There's big money to be made by preying on fear and mindless sheep either get slaughtered or sheered“
This is that silly mindset promoted by certain news outlets that those who wish to remain unvaccinated are somehow “the superior thinkers” who can “think for themselves” and everyone else is just a supposed “sheep” for taking the vaccine and that this all just “fear mongering.” (Even more comically those people who are promoting this nonsense likely took the vaccine themselves) These people think they somehow stand out or are special because they “see through Big Pharma and the government.” This is all right up until they end up getting sick or hospitalized or even dying. Then they see the “error in their ways” and tell the doctors and nurses (that they are putting a strain on) things such as “I wish I had taken the vaccine” or “I thought Covid was a hoax.” Taking a potentially life saving vaccine is actually, you know, a good idea. Duh.

Web Link />
Pfizer has said all along that they will be working on Booster shots, variant specific shots, and shots for children under 12. This information just confuses the simpletons in our populace who then jump to conclusions such as “the vaccines don’t work” or say things like “why should I even get my first shot when now I need 3 shots?” This is an ongoing world health crisis that needs to be handled. Thankfully we have a vaccine. [Portion removed.]


Rufus Taylor
Registered user
Woodside
on Jul 17, 2021 at 1:21 pm
Rufus Taylor, Woodside
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 1:21 pm

[Portion removed.]

Living a private life away from the mainstream population is perhaps considered an unconventional lifestyle to social butterflies and folks who feel the need to incessantly interact with strangers on a superficial level.

We too have choosen not to do so but have been fully vaccinated in the event we find ourselves in an unfortunate scenario surrounded by people we could care less about.

We can watch the news, ballgames, or movies on TV and order our necessary items via Costco and/or Amazon.

That Barbara Streisand song where she sings "people who need people are the luckiest people in the world" is horsefeathers.

A proficient doctor, dentist, auto mechanic + a few friends/relatives, and a spouse/partner that one can actually stomach is all a sane person needs.

An SIP lifestyle serves many purposes, from both a mental & physical health
standpoint.

And we do not welcome guests into our home or interact with strangers from diseased countries.


resident
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 19, 2021 at 12:01 pm
resident, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 12:01 pm

If a person chooses to be unvaccinated, they should be limited with how they mingle the vaccinated population. For example, gyms, movie theaters, and other venues could require that people demonstrate that they were vaccinated.
Furthermore, a decision to refuse to be vaccinated should have financial risk. For example, vaccination documentation could be a requirement for employment. Medical insurance companies (including Medicaid, Medicare) could require people to show that they were vaccinated or have a medical reason for refusing vaccination. If a person refuses to be vaccinated, they may be financially liable for any medical care they seek when they are infected with the Covid virus. Such requirements are not foolproof, but they do send a message that a decision to remain unvaccinated has consequences.





Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Jul 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm

Gyms, movie theaters and other venues could require proof of vaccination, but they don't want to alienate their customers. They're going with the honor system, and rightfully so. Businesses are in business to make money, and being rigid and holding up the line is not good business sense. Word of mouth is the best advertising for any business, and they want their customers to be happy, and tell all their friends and family to come on down. Not complain about "proof of vaccination." I forgot my vaccination card, I took a picture on my phone, my phone is at home or in the car, etc. It would be opening Pandora's Box, and they don't want to go there.

A doctors office, hospital, etc. will require a mask, and that's common sense.


Liam J.
Registered user
another community
on Jul 19, 2021 at 3:35 pm
Liam J., another community
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 3:35 pm

As a Christian Scientist, I firmly believe that the body can heal itself through devout prayer and a firm belief in devine intervention.

As a result and pending FDA approval, we will be refraining from vaccinations and maintaining 2020 SIP protocols.

By ordering through Amazon and Costco + only frequenting essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations we can get by without further precautionary measures other than wearing a face mask when out in public.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2021 at 5:34 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 5:34 pm

The question has to be asked as to when these "recommendations" may be removed? Will it be when 95% are vaccinated in SCC? Will it be when the vaccination rates for the state as a whole reach the same level as SCC? Or will it be at some vague time in the future when the powers that be decide we can stop looking like bank robbers?

I have no problem with wearing a mask if asked, but I would like to have some idea of what the criteria is for removing a recommendation that is so divisive.

Otherwise, this seems like a power grab by authorities for no reason with no end in sight.


Concerned
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2021 at 8:59 pm
Concerned, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 8:59 pm

While almost 80% of people over 12 are fully vaccinated in Santa Clara county, please remember that 100% of children under 12 are not vaccinated. We have not reached herd immunity for this reason, and these children are at risk until they can be vaccinated. I know of a number of cases among under-12s in Palo Alto in just these past couple of weeks. This is not the time to be complacent. At least wait until all children can be vaccinated before relaxing your behavior. While children tend to have mild cases, it can still be pretty nasty for them. So don't assume mask-wearing is to protect anti-vaxxers. It's to protect those who cannot yet get vaccinated. I honestly cannot understand why people are getting so upset about the minor inconvenience of wearing a mask if it means they are protecting the children in their community - the very people who do not have a choice to get vaccinated and are depending on the adults around them to protect them. Vaccines for under-12s are coming soon. Please do your part for the next couple of months until young children are able to be vaccinated.


Leland J.
Registered user
Professorville
on Jul 20, 2021 at 6:48 am
Leland J. , Professorville
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2021 at 6:48 am

@Concerned: "12 year old kids are at risk"... Of what?


Miles Hertzke
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 20, 2021 at 8:14 am
Miles Hertzke, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2021 at 8:14 am

Based on the statistics of those who are already vaccinated, I still wear a face mask (indoors) when interacting or situated in environments where the majority of the population is not vaccinated.


Valerina Petrovsky
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 20, 2021 at 10:06 am
Valerina Petrovsky, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2021 at 10:06 am

Eventual FDA approval, an increase in Delta variant cases, and the upcoming fall/winter season should encourage the 'reluctant to get vaccinated' faction to get vaccinated unless they are anti-vaxer conspiracy theorists, red state Republicans, Orthodox Jews, and/or Christian Scientists.


Bryne Corbin
Registered user
Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 20, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Bryne Corbin, Greendell/Walnut Grove
Registered user
on Jul 20, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Considering that Donald and Melania Trump along with members of his immediate family have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, it is amazing how so many of his ardent followers still refuse to do so.

What makes their minds tick?


William Hitchens
Registered user
Mountain View
on Jul 21, 2021 at 12:14 pm
William Hitchens, Mountain View
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2021 at 12:14 pm

My experience is that you cannot save people who are irrationally stubborn and deliberately ignorant. Mere ignorance is not a crime. Deliberate ignorance is both a moral and an ethical crime if it adversely threatens innocent people around you. Public health is both morally and legally more important than your so-called "right to freedom" on an issue this dangerous and important. That so-called "right" is just another Big Lie.


Jane
Registered user
Ventura
on Jul 21, 2021 at 5:50 pm
Jane, Ventura
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2021 at 5:50 pm

Tim R is right. If you like your mask, by all means continue to wear it. If you are scared of contexts where people are going maskless, then by all means stay away.

Everyone has the means to protect themselves via vaccination or PPE (P100's are great with face shields, by all means feel free to don them while jogging). We need to get back to respecting people's personal assessments of their own risk and personal choice about how to protect themselves.

Condoms are not legally required, by the way. If you and your partner agree on wearing one, by all means feel free to do so.


Eugenio Geragos
Registered user
Stanford
on Jul 21, 2021 at 6:16 pm
Eugenio Geragos, Stanford
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Common sense should dictate this 'when to' or 'when not too' debate over the wearing of face masks in public.

In most parts of CA you are OK.

On the other hand, there are some regions in the U.S. where it wouldn't hurt to wear one.


The Voice of Palo Alto
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jul 21, 2021 at 7:10 pm
The Voice of Palo Alto, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jul 21, 2021 at 7:10 pm

“We need to get back to respecting people's personal assessments of their own risk and personal choice about how to protect themselves.”

The false premise of your post ignores the fact that we are in a pandemic. A pandemic by its very definition is:
The word "pandemic" comes from the Greek "pan-", "all" + "demos," "people or population" = "pandemos" = "all the people." A pandemic affects all (nearly all) of the people.
What does that mean? We are all interconnected humanity right now and your choice of wearing a mask or not is no longer just a “personal choice or expression of your own personal freedom” but is a choice about not only how one goes about protecting themselves, but it is a choice about how one goes about protecting others and also how one protects the community at large. Pandemos-all the people.

As a side note, infections have tripled over the last month and more breakthrough cases are being reported. Mask mandates should be reimposed immediately by the CDC! It seems like an obvious move for the “Center of Disease Control and Prevention.”

Next, comparing the use of a face mask to the use of a condom is a false analogy. Using a condom or not should be discussed between a partner. It’s an intimate decision. It also wouldn’t reach a legal mandate because, you know, people may like to have kids.

Finally, on the flip side, if your premise is that condom usage or lack there of, can also cause the spread of transmissible diseases, it also breaks your argument the other way regarding personal freedom because by not using condoms you can also spread STDs in your community, you know, just like running around without a mask on can spread the Coronavirus to others. That all seems irresponsible.

You can put the parking brake on a car pointing down hill for as long as you want but as soon as you let up it will start rolling downhill again. Similarly, we need to give up this fantasy that the virus can somehow be stopped without masks.

Classic Jane!


Dirk Halstrom
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2021 at 10:20 am
Dirk Halstrom, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 10:20 am

In addition to getting fully vaccinated and wearing face masks as recommended by the CDC...America needs to close its borders and restrict any and all travel into the United States from other countries, most notably the ones with high Delta variant cases.

Containment is the key and we do not need any more mutations or novel viruses entering the country from outside sources.

These diseases (i.e. AIDS, ebola, monkey virus, and the coronavirus) came from elsewhere and if travel into the United States from the countries of origin had been permanently curtailed, countless related illnesses and deaths could have been prevented.

Blame the actual sources, not Trump or Fauci for this public health conundrum.

By severly restricting immigration and travel into the United States from abroad the pandemic numbers here would have been significantly lower.

It is time to blow out the light on the Statue of Liberty.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2021 at 11:22 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 11:22 am

[Portion removed.]

We now have athletes flying to Japan and mixing with other athletes from all over the world. Even Jill Biden is flying there! I hope all these athletes will be put into 10 day quarantine on their return, but I can't see it happening and I can't see Jill Biden quarantining either!

We have a southern border with immigrants crossing illegally on a daily basis. [Portion removed.] Are they given Covid tests? Are they being vaccinated? What type of quarantine is going on in these camps. [Portion removed.]

Really, we are not doing a good job of closing the southern border, so closing any other border is pointless.


Marcus Jackson
Registered user
another community
on Jul 22, 2021 at 12:14 pm
Marcus Jackson, another community
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 12:14 pm

The United States cannot afford to take in any more immigrants. We have enough internal issues to address and resolve let alone allowing potentially infected and unvaccinated people to enter.

As Kamala Harris told the Guatamala/Honduras/El Salvador triangle, "do not come here."

And the same applies to unchecked East Asian immigration and Afghanistan military translators fearing retribution from the Taliban.

STAY HOME and deal with whatever problems you have on your own.

It is not America's problem unless we make it so.


Kimberly Thompson
Registered user
Los Altos
on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Kimberly Thompson, Los Altos
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 3:29 pm

The bottom line...until this darn virus is 90% globally irradicated (which may never happen), we as citizens have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect others by getting fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and wearing a face mask (when necessary).

It's not that big a deal. Besides, these precautions might even save your own life.

Are the anti-vaxers/maskers just plain stupid?


chris
Registered user
University South
on Jul 22, 2021 at 9:36 pm
chris, University South
Registered user
on Jul 22, 2021 at 9:36 pm

Kimberly,

There are a significant number of people who will only get vaccinated when they are legally required to.

Americans look silly trying to convince, cajole, mollycoddle, and bribe with gifts and prizes. Let's require vaccinations before we kill a million people.


James Lochner
Registered user
Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2021 at 8:22 am
James Lochner, Barron Park
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2021 at 8:22 am

First it was the Alpha variant...from Wuhan.

Next it was the Delta variant...from India.

And now we have the Lamda variant which originated in Peru.

Alpha Delta Lambda is starting to sound like a college fraternity.

Is Gamma and Epsilon (from some other 3rd world country) the next ones?

When is this all going to end?

Will getting subsequent Covid-19 vaccinations or boosters become an annual event like flu shots?


Mandy Caine
Registered user
another community
on Jul 23, 2021 at 9:26 am
Mandy Caine, another community
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2021 at 9:26 am

"When is this all going to end?"

^ Only with improved sanitation measures and pro-active health precautions on the part of these questionable countries of origin.

An open-air food court next to a viral lab in Wuhan, people throwing dead Delta variant victims into the Ganges River, and whatever is going on in Latin America contribute to the spread of coronavirus mutations.

And let's not even get started on Africa (the home of AIDS & ebola) where its monkeypox has now resurfaced in the United States after a 17 year absence.

It's time to close the borders and all points of entry into the United States.


Marie
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2021 at 10:55 am
Marie, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 23, 2021 at 10:55 am

I don't understand the resistance to wearing a mask by some vaccinated people in public indoor spaces. It just isn't that hard. They don't have to be uncomfortable (remember Halloween). I just got some silk ones that are really comfortable. Masks not only protect against breakthrough infections, they protect against colds, flu and RSV and helps protect children, etc etc. Why get sick if you don't have to? Even if you are asymptomatic, the person you give it to might not be.

Until children under 12 can be vaccinated, of course they should wear masks. I am old enough to remember having measles mumps etc. I never had to be hospitalized or even went to the doctor. But I was miserable. I was grateful that I could spare my children that misery. Why would you want your kids to get sick, just because they are unlikely to get hospitalized?

And I hope the City of Palo Alto mandates vaccinations for their employees, with all the regular exceptions (that have to be documented), the minute the FDA approves Covid vaccines totally, not just as an emergency use. It should be soon...


John B. Sails
Registered user
Midtown
on Jul 25, 2021 at 2:39 pm
John B. Sails, Midtown
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2021 at 2:39 pm

Yea, they 'stopped short of new mandate.' I am glad some of you are not King or Queen. Wonder how many other rights people are just willing to 'give up' if they are repeatedly told what to do more and more often and with more and more exaggerations and contradictions increasingly ignored?


Della Contreras
Registered user
another community
on Jul 25, 2021 at 5:03 pm
Della Contreras, another community
Registered user
on Jul 25, 2021 at 5:03 pm

1 face mask + 1 shot of Moderna + devout prayer and a strong belief in God = our only vaccinations against Covid-19.


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