Colleges in the 2021-2022 Academic Year & Coronavirus (Part 2)

Yeah covid is definitely not going anywhere but the variants are very concerning both in Indiana and UK. PM Johnson expressed concern this week about the Variant found in India and now in UK and not enough people vaccinated in UK and in India they have vaccine shortages and have stopped vaccinating certain age groups.

With good protocols in place and proper hygiene cases can be kept low and hopefully not as serious but eventually certain coverages are not going to be free any longer if a huge percentage of the population still refuses to get vaccinated. It’s one thing if someone medically cannot but for any other reason there’s no excuse not to get vaccinated. No religion outright forbids it. It’s a choice. If someone chooses to not get vaccinated and gets sick, everyone else’s insurance rates shouldn’t rise because of it. I wonder how many people caught covid and subsequently died as a result of some anti masker or ant vaxxer that they caught it from who later showed up to be treated in their hospital. Anyway, I’m glad I am not in the insurance industry.

Just hope we are now on the road to a full recovery and no fall/winter surge.

Absolutely. MN is not like some parts of CA which have seen a surprising outbreak of some childhood diseases due to a large-enough number of those who decline vaccination. This state has a high enthusiasm rate for vaccinations in general so most choose that route. That allows some who have conscience or other objections (medical would be included of course) to go without. It would be different if, say, 50% of all school children weren’t getting the chickenpox vaccine. That, of course, would put even the vaccinated at risk. However, in the case of Covid our governor has been clear: if you are vaccinated, you are protected (even though 50% of the state is not fully vaccinated yet). Is that entirely correct? Not sure, but at least the vaccine is enough of a layer of protection that many experts seem to believe can lead to the removal of other layers. That’s “good enough” for most people. Remember, we are responding to Covid differently than we have as a country to most other widespread illnesses.

My own take (FWIW): worry about your families and yourselves. Be happy there is a vaccine and get vaccinated if that’s what you need to return to normal.

Do we of those who were mask-wearing and social distancing or vaccinated but still died from Covid? From what I’ve heard, those measures decrease your risk extensively! Of course those in the health care industry were getting infected in the early stages of the pandemic due to shortages of proper PPE and so forth; however, the university epidemiologist at UChicago assured us that the measures put in place on campus for 2020/21 were based on what was in place at the university’s own hospital because those measures resulted in NO ONE getting Covid from an infected patient. And this was well before the vaccine of course!

We pay higher auto rates for our kids - very good and careful drivers all - simply due to their age. My health plan has built into the rates the bad choices of many. Insurance availability will impact behavior because the bad decisions are spread over many and not absorbed by the guilty few. Edit to add: I’d still rather have insurance than not.

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This is a link to a news report about a UNMC study of asymptomatic testing in schools in Omaha.

They found that the real case numbers where significanty higher than the official reported numbers because so many of the cases where asymptomatic and people didn’t even think to get tested.

How did they know about the asymptomatic cases if the kids weren’t tested?

That’s In comparison to the official figures.

I gathered from the report that UNMC was conducting their own testing independently

There is more details in this press release on their website.

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In a further sign of the inequities resulting from this year, I happened to be reading this year’s college report from my kids’ old prep school. It was in full in person session all year. It had an unprecedented number of athletic recruits, and unusually strong Ivy acceptances. The counselor attributed the results, in part, due to the lack of strong competition from the many kids not in person schools/sports.

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Interesting! Our public high school was mostly remote this year and in the yearly senior class of about 800, about 15 to 20 get in to the Ivies (and those are mostly sports kids). This year, there were no ivy or top 15 college admits at all, although the caliber of students in the top 1% was as impressive as ever.

We have to remember the impact of test optional as well, which might have shifted the playing field a bit. It’s a real bummer for kids to work so hard doing what they were supposed to be doing in order to be considered for their set of choices, only to be burned by a freakish set of circumstances (not a slam on TO or remote - definitely a slam on Covid and the pandemic. . . )

This weekend I was watching the lacrosse tournament on TV, and it was amazing how many grad students there were playing as transfer students, many from the Ivies (the Ivies didn’t have a season this year) Most had figured out a way to graduate from the Ivy and then transfer to another top schools (Duke, Syracuse, Maryland) to play either one year or two. There were also comments about which schools the seniors would transfer to for their extra year of eligibility. A guy who transferred from Princeton to Duke had the best of both worlds, graduating from Princeton and now getting to play in the NCAA tournament on the #1 ranked team.

All these extra students have to have an affect on the current freshmen and high school seniors. DU was carrying a team of 65 players! There are players who will NEVER see the field with that many players. As far as I know, the schools still have the same number of scholarships so instead of spreading them among ~40 players, now 65 are sharing them (or 45 are going without any scholarships at all). That’s also 65 in a locker room designed for 45, coach’s attention shared among 65, field space, etc.

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D says there is a lacrosse player at Amherst College who took a “gap year” but is playing for Notre Dame during the gap year. He still has to spend four years at Amherst to graduate, and is not receiving any credit towards the Amherst College degree for courses taken at Notre Dame.

measles is MORE contagious by far than COVID, actually, and more deadly in children, but I agree with your points in general.

I would defer to those like yourself with more expertise. For my part, knowing what I do about both diseases, if I was given only one chance to vaccinate my kid with the choice of MMR vs. Covid, I’d choose MMR. Same with the Polio vaccine. Probably the same with Chickenpox, since we’ve known kids back in my day who died from the illness. Many of the arguments for vaccinating our young people against Covid have more to do specifically with protecting US than our kids. Covid has a steep death curve with age so that’s understandable, but also comparable to using children as a human shield. JMO.

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Widespread vaccination will reduce the likelihood of new variants developing.

Yes, kids have a low risk of a bad outcome at the moment. But every new person infected is a new opportunity for the virus to evolve, evolve possibly to be at greater risk to the young. And statistically it’s young adults who have the highest rates. It’s a good thing for kids to get vaccinated before reaching that age range. Like how we gave the cervical cancer jab to 13 year olds.

We might possibly have to have a yearly covid shot, like the flu shot to keep up with the variants. I think that the world benefits if we are proactive in stamping out the virus before that becomes nessary.

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My College kid feels the same way. he is not Anti-Vax in anyway, but feels like he is being forced to vaccinate on a vaccine that for his age group is not as critical as for others. When I explain its to protect others, he says something about personal responsibility. he just wanted to give it 6 or so more months of being out there to see if anything came out about the vaccines and any long term affects before taking it. Now he is being forced to, or he will not be allowed to return to college.

This is not quite accurate because even if the US reaches a majority vaccinated, new variants will come in from outside the US (as they have been doing). What vaccination does is protect those who are vaccinated from adverse outcomes from those new variants (assuming they are responsive to the vaccine and its boosters).

We usually don’t go around pushing vaccines on the young because of speculative fears of something that hasn’t yet materialized. So far the VOC’s identified aren’t really all that distinct from one another, except maybe to pose a greater risk of spread and possibly worse symptoms for those at higher risk.

For young adults - certainly, if they are concerned about lingering symptomatic Covid. Not all families have given the “cervical cancer” jab to their 13 year olds LOL. That’s really more of a lifestyle choice.

As a country that sees a lot of visitors from abroad for all sorts of reasons, the US can do little to stamp out variants short of completely shutting the border for a l.o.n.g time. The variants are not originating here. If Covid persists and as children age, they may wish to be vaccinated. Things are changing in real time; for instance, evidence is emerging from the UK that waiting longer than 3 weeks for the Pfizer gives one even more immunity. Why the rush for a low risk group, unless it’s because WE older ones are afraid (even those of us who may have been vaccinated).

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I understand how you could see it this way. It’s a reasonable point of view if you believe that getting the vaccine has a high potential to harm children. However, as of May 13, 2,340,538 children under 18 have received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and there is no evidence of any harm.

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We should be ultimately aiming for worldwide universal vaccination but in the meantime why not aim for universal coverage in our own country, it’s a valid first step.

Children have died of covid, not in as great a number as the elderly but it’s not accurate to say that vaccinating the young is purely a human sheid for the old, the young get protected too. And the risk/benefit balance of the vaccine as opposed to risk of catching covid falls in favour of getting vaccined

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IMO, your son’s feelings are legit. Our bodies are not the property of others. As governors have relaxed mask mandates, the message is pretty clear: vaccines work, and each is responsible for his/her own health. Ergo, if you want to be protected against Covid, get vaccinated. That doesn’t mean you have the right to force others to get vaccinated as well. Our government leaders tend to make pretty prudent decisions about infectious disease and public health. Unfortunately many universities - and many parents! - believe they know better.

My son’s school has not mandated the vaccine at this point. They have exempted those who are fully vaccinated from further mandatory testing and it’s possible that they may implement the vaccine in the future. Like your son, they prefer to wait, although it might be for different reasons (they are considering public health as much as encouraging personal responsibility). Because they haven’t rushed to impose a vaccine “or else” we are far more confident that any decision they do make will be based not only on mountains of evidence but on consideration for what works best for that community and that locale. It won’t be based on fear, monetary concerns or what is appearing on the part of other universities to be disdain for the students (particularly undergrads).

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B.1.429 and B.1.427 were first seen in the Los Angeles area.

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