Vaccine reluctance & General COVID Discussion

Sure flu is unpleasant but the question is if we alter our lives to avoid it. Almost no one does. That now is the question for Covid. As for grandparents, I think the question is of you are exposing them to something they have been taking pains to avoid. My mom is 90 and decided early on that with only a handful of ‘good years’ left she wasn’t willing to spend them in isolation. We were much more careful than she was. She only got Covid post vax and it was so mild and she was 100 percent in 72 hours. My personal standard is that I take pains not to expose those in settings they have no choice about. I wear a mask on public transportation, in grocery stores, pharmacies, etc…anyplace people have a need to go rather than just pure want. Since at grandparents day( which I consider an important event ) you don’t know everyone’s situation I’d go for masking that day. Before we visited n immune compromised relatives we did a lot of testing and masking the week before.



People do underestimate the unpleasantness of flu, because they call all kinds of relatively minor sickness “flu” that are not. So many people do not think of “flu” as something very unpleasant or potentially serious enough to care about.


Our friends who are still experiencing extreme fatigue after getting COVID over a month ago said they wish they had been more careful. This was worse than the flu for them and they are both healthy and in their 50s.

The other difference between COVID-19 and flu is that COVID-19 has a much greater period of presymptomatic or asymptomatic contagiousness. In other words, it is much more likely that someone contagious for COVID-19 does not know it and is going out and about without knowing that they are spreading the virus, compared to someone contagious for flu who is much more likely to feel sick and not want to do anything but rest and recuperate.

That is why typical seasonal flu has an R0 of only about 1.3, while ancestral COVID-19 had an R0 of about 2.9, while Omicron COVID-19 has an R0 of about 9.5. It is also why non-medical mitigation of COVID-19 depends on treating everyone as a possible spreader, unlike flu where most spreading potential is from those who are symptomatic (e.g. coughing, feverish, etc.)

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Covid shutdowns began 30 months ago. There have been around 71,000 deaths for those under the age of 50 since Covid arrived, versus ~975,000 deaths for those over the age of 50 in the US. An large outsized portion of those deaths have been by unvaccinated or “under vaccinated” people because of the lack of a vaccine and medical treatments in the 1st year and then dealing with vaccine hesitancy/resistance over the last 18 months.

The circumstances have changed for most citizens (especially the young) because the vaccines and medical treatments are protecting the vast majority of our population as intended (the prevention of serious outcomes). There are still some things we do not know, but I feel good about my own health and that of my family. I am actually rejoining my neighborhood gym next week (one of my remaining Covid based phobias). For those who have conditions that put you at a higher risk, or for anyone who feels that most people are not taking enough precautions, continue to protect yourself how you see fit because that is what we should all be doing. My other Covid phobias (airplanes and public transportation) have also been tackled recently, but I don’t know when I will feel comfortable enough doing either without a mask. And that’s okay.


Please forgive me for not scrolling hundreds of posts back: where did people buy the saNOtize/ENOVID nasal spray? Would you recommend your seller? My elderly parents are doing a river cruise in a couple of weeks, and I am concerned about them. I’m hoping to get them the spray as a bon voyage gift. Thanks in advance!

ETA: I see it available on ebay, but if anyone has a specific seller that was trustworthy I’m all ears. I’m also realizing that I might be too late to get it, as they fly to OR on 10/8.

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Are your parents planning on the new booster before their cruise?

We are planning on timing our booster for optimal immunity when traveling this fall. :crossed_fingers:

My mom might (I’ve asked her to consider it), but it appears difficult for her to acknowledge now that we have vaccinations that age is the biggest indicator of mortality/serious disease . My dad will not, but that’s because he had such severe responses to both initial vaccinations (difficult to rouse for ~36 hours both times, multiple falls. My mom’s a retired nurse, and she thought he was going to die the second time). We’re concerned that he’s just too frail to handle the booster. And yes, I realize that that means that if he gets covid again (he got it before vaccinations were available in fall, 2020) he might not make it. They are really looking forward to doing this cruise with friends, and they have all the information to make choices. I might choose something different for them, but just like we learn with our children, their lives are not mine to live. (It’s equally hard to accept with both generations, dang it!)



I recommend
I think it came in about 1 week


@TexasTiger2 , thank you! I wish they sold singles, but I guess this means that my family will get one, as will they. Thanks again!

ETA: just saw that in came in about a week for you–my screen wasn’t scrolled all the way up. Hurray! Here’s hoping for a similar turnaround. Ordered!


SaNOtize officially says that its nitric oxide nasal spray is not for sale in the US or Canada: FAQ - Sanotize

If it does get approved for sale in the US, it is unlikely to be called Enovid, since the name is used for a kind of oral contraceptive in the US. It is branded VirX in some countries where it is officially for sale.

Not for sale in the US because not FDA approved yet
Israel purchased for its citizens several months ago and once the pharmacies over there had ample supply, they began allowing orders from other countries and shipping via DHL

I bought 2 in April and they were $75 back then.

Just as an fyi for anyone interested: I ordered the Enovid from the link provided by @TexasTiger2 on Sunday night and the bottles were delivered today, two(!) days later. Granted, my parents live in near a major metropolis in SoCal, but even so, this was an amazing turnaround!


Very very conflicted. DH and I have been regularly testing our spike protein antibody levels. After our last (and only) booster in November 2021 both of our antibody levels were beyond the maximum level measurable by the Quest Labs test.

Mine started declining around the 6 month mark…going from a test maximum of 150 down to 109 at 8 months. This is still considered to be a high level. I got COVID in August 2022 - so no booster for me for at least 4-6 months.

DH’s antibody levels are still above the maximum 150. He has never had COVID (that we know of…no longer able to self order the nucleocapsid spike protein test). He’s scheduled for a bi-valent booster today. I really don’t know if this is the right thing or not.

There are now numerous papers available for review which are pointing towards some unnerving lab (in mice) results. The most recent…which I posted in another thread - is showing that previous exposure to Alpha, Delta OR the mRNA spike protein is decreasing the resistance to Omicron. They use the OAS word! There is no human data on the efficacy of the bivalent booster. There is an assumption that the bivalent is as safe as the original.

We are all part of a great and what will be a long running lab experiment.

PS. We are clearly NOT anti-vax…but we do include new information in our decision process.


Are you referring to the study referenced in Inside Medicine. What Are You Seeing? [COVID-19 medical news] - #5662 by ucbalumnus ?

That study found that, in those with 3 Pfizer shots but no prior infection, Omicron infection increased antibody response against ancestral, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and itself (though, interestingly, the increase was least for itself). But it also found that in those with 3 Pfizer shots and prior infection with the ancestral virus, Omicron infection did not significantly increase antibody response.

There were human trials on bivalent boosters for other variants (ancestral + Beta and ancestral + Omicron BA.1). However, the problem is that by the time full human trials complete, the variant in question has been displaced by another variant (much like flu strains for seasonal flu vaccines). If you are really concerned about wanting human trials on the exact variant of bivalent booster, you can go to Europe and get a bivalent booster with ancestral + Omicron BA.1 instead of ancestral + Omicron BA.5 in the US.

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It’s interesting to see how others are looking at the data.

With my family’s early-July Omicron (presumably) experience, we are in no immediate hurry to get our bivalent vaccinations for our own sakes. However, we don’t want to catch/spread the virus to vulnerable people. We plan to time our vaccinations to be two weeks before we see Mr. stringbird’s mother next month.

On the other hand, I’m pretty eager to get a flu shot into each stringbird family member’s arm. Australia’s flu season was pretty awful this year, which bodes badly enough for the US, but we stringbirds in particular have been very careful for the past couple of years, and I suspect our bodies are “out of practice” and could use a little extra help if/when we encounter this year’s flu.

That horse has already left the barn for the stringbird household. Does the study you are looking at address infection, severe illness, death, or all three? I don’t want the first but most important to avoid the last.

My understanding is this approach is modeled on the approach we use for flu shots. I.e. flu shots also are not tested on humans prior to release because they are similar enough to each other that it is not felt the entire testing process needs to be repeated.

I agree. Though in a way, that’ll be true whether or not you get the booster as there is also still data coming out about the impacts of catching wild COVID. You’re either going with the control (wild COVID) or the test (tame mRNA). There is continuing uncertainty both ways, but given the other problems of wild COVID, my family will choose the vaccinated path, at least for this go around.


Will they use the Enovid, though?