COVID-19: Part 59

June 15, 2021 6:25 pm
  • Out-of-Quarantine Day 1
  • Days spent in Quarantine: 455
  • Livermore cases: 4,345
  • Alameda County cases: 85,865; deaths: 1,225*
  • * The number of Alameda County deaths is lower than the previous posts. It seems to have been revised downward, but I have no details about that revision.
  • U.S. cases: 33,303,000+; deaths: 597,000+

The Alameda County Public Health Department is currently reporting that 59.8% of eligible Livermore residents are fully vaccinated and 72.1% are at least partially vaccinated!

The CDC is currently reporting that 51.4% of the eligible U.S. population is fully vaccinated and 61.5% is at least partially vaccinated!

Today California lifts most remaining public-health-related restrictions throughout the state. No more capacity limits or distancing requirements.

Mask requirements are still in effect for all persons in higher-risk locations like healthcare facilities and mass transit. Fully vaccinated persons no longer need to wear masks when indoors (businesses may still enforce their own rules, but may not prohibit wearing masks). Unvaccinated persons are required to continue to wear masks indoors. However, I don't think it likely we'll see much adherence to that since just saying, "I'm vaccinated" is enough to meet the state's enforcement guidelines. Mass gathering events also have some additional restrictions.

Hopefully the rates of vaccination and immunity acquired via prior infection are enough to keep things under control so life can go back to normal.

Normal, for those of us that made it through unscathed. Our family is healthy. Our extended family is healthy. 582,000-720,000 people died in the past 16 months in excess of the expected number of deaths during that time frame (according to the CDC data). The Imperial College London's paper from March 2020 warning that without mitigation measures the U.S. could lose 2.2 million people doesn't seem impossible.

We still have a disturbingly large swath of the country insisting none of this is real. The virus isn't real, but if it is it's just like the flu so it doesn't matter; the vaccine is a secret conspiracy to inject them with microchips; being asked to wear masks is just like the holocaust, the whole thing is a liberal plot to destroy democracy (somehow, there's not logic involved). None of those statements are exaggeration on my part. There are people making those claims on a regular basis. Some guy in Georgia shot and killed a cashier at a grocery store yesterday because he was asked to wear a mask. It's so messed up.

In other news, in contrast to the stock market collapsing back at the beginning, the stock market has been just constantly climbing since March 2020. It's up 79% since then, which is ridiculous.

I'm still working from my closet. The Lab is formulating a plan for returning on site. Last I heard they'll be phasing people in throughout the summer. The blanket telecommuting agreement has been extended through September.


I've just been taken some time to read through my early blog posts in this series. Man that's a wild ride. I think I'll get those printed into a little book.

COVID-19: Part 58

June 1, 2021 8:17 pm
  • Quarantine Day 442
  • Livermore cases: 4,323
  • Alameda County cases: 85,335; deaths: 1,648
  • U.S. cases: 33,093,000+; deaths: 591,000+

Jess got her 2nd-dose of the Pfizer vaccine just over two weeks ago. So she is now considered to be fully vaccinated. Alameda County still has not moved to the yellow tier yet, but that's apparently not going to matter anymore. Despite most of the state still being in the orange tier, California is dropping almost all restrictions on June 15. So I guess that will be the end of our stay-at-home orders which have been in effect for 442 days so far.

According to the CDC's data, California is doing the best in the nation for 7-day case-rate per 100,000 right now--substantially better; so that's really nice to see. California has a rate of 10.2 cases per 100,000 over the past 7 days. The worst states in the country are Colorado (92.3) and Washington (90.2).

We had friends over this past weekend, inside the house to hang out, for the first time since this started.

The Lab is starting to put together a plan to bring people back on site. They're planning to phase people in throughout the summer rather than just saying, "okay, back to work now."

We booked a beach trip in August with the expectation that things will stay under control. The only weekend the hotel we like to visit in Fort Bragg had any availability was the 2nd-to-last weekend before school starts again. Everyone wants to get out and do stuff again, so everything is booked everywhere. That's going to make trying to do anything difficult for awhile.

COVID-19: Part 57

April 24, 2021 9:21 am
  • Quarantine Day 404
  • Livermore cases: 4,184
  • Alameda County cases: 82,157; deaths: 1,442
  • U.S. cases: 31,730,000+; deaths: 567,000+

Alameda County has been in the orange tier for about 4 weeks now and the trend continues to look good. So hopefully in another week or two we'll be upgraded to the yellow tier. The state of California has set a target for all restrictions being lifted by June 15 and it seems like we're on track for the public health situation to support that move.

Jess is getting her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine today with the second shot scheduled for May 15. There's a public clinic being held just down the street from us which she can walk to/from in about 5 minutes.

So things are looking pretty positive in our local area, maybe even an end in sight. However, there are some concerning trends elsewhere in the country and the world. India's case rate has skyrocketed in the last week or two and Japan has announced a new wave of lockdowns. Brazil has been a mess for a long time and that doesn't look to be changing. More locally, Michigan in particular, but also Minnesota, are not doing very well right now either (relative to the rest of the country).

COVID-19: Part 56

March 27, 2021 9:38 am
  • Quarantine Day 376
  • Livermore cases: 4,107
  • Alameda County cases: 79,488; deaths: 1,359
  • U.S. cases: 29,903,000+; deaths: 543,000+

The girls went back to in-person school this week. First time at school in just a bit over a year. Their options were to stay remote, go in person, or stay with their teacher regardless of which style that meant. We opted for them to both stay with their teachers which resulted in them both going back in person.

They're only on campus for 2.75 hours M, T, Th, F (at-home only on Wednesdays). Everyone wearing masks, and maintaining 6-feet of separation. No food served, so no communal dining setting. They can eat a small snack during recess if they want, but have to sit apart and still be outside. The rest of the day is at-home assignments.

Heather has class in the morning, Corinne has class in the afternoon. This makes lunch time a bit cramped as there's only 50 minutes between Heather's pick-up time and Corinne's drop-off time. But it also means that Jess can focus on them one at a time to complete their at-home assignments.

They both said they liked being in school. Corinne, in particular, was excited to see the classroom and meet the class guinea pig, Tigger.

COVID-19: Part 55

March 12, 2021 2:46 pm
  • Quarantine Day 361
  • Livermore cases: 4,064
  • Alameda County cases: 78,514; deaths: 1,291
  • U.S. cases: 29,113,000+; deaths: 529,000+

I got vaccinated on Thursday. On Monday, the vice principal of the school I volunteer at for Mathcounts contacted me and said they had an opportunity to include school volunteers in a vaccination clinic this week. So I went to the community center on Thursday afternoon. After over an hour standing in line, I received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein vaccine at 4:00pm.

That night at about 9pm I started feeling chills which fairly rapidly turned into uncontrollable shivering. I eventually fell asleep after shivering in bed for some unknown amount of time.

At 2am Friday I woke up heavily, though briefly, disoriented feeling weak and incredibly hot and with a fever of ~102F, but no longer shivering. Jess escorted me to the family room as I didn't think my muscles would get me there on my own. I felt very much like I had the flu. After eating some dry Cheerios I took some Ibuprofen. I can't even remember now whether it helped or not.

After being awake for about an hour I lumbered back to bed. Some time later I awoke drenched in sweat and had to take off my pajamas because I was uncomfortably hot (and my clothes were now soaked in cold sweat).

I woke up again around 9am with my muscle strength having returned mostly, but still had a fever and a severe headache now with muscle & joint aches. Had some cereal for breakfast, then took some more Ibuprofen, but it didn't seem to make any difference. I eventually fell asleep on the couch and slept for a couple of hours.

Waking up again around noon my headache had subsided (though not gone). Fever was still present.

It's now 2:40pm. I managed to take a shower. It has not been fun, so this vaccine better work.

This is how pandemics end. This or by filling up cemeteries.