Tuesday COVID briefing: County leaders warn we are on threshhold of sliding back to Phase 2

County Executive Dave Somers, above, and Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters speak during the COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.

We are 14 months into the COVID pandemic, and yes, we think we have “heard it all.”

We are numb to the charts that show yo-yoing new case rates; tired of being told again and again and again what we should or should not do. Exasperated by restaurants and shops that are open today, closed tomorrow; allow 50% of customers in… no wait, this week, only 25% of customers can dine inside. When does it all end?

Well, this week’s Snohomish County COVID briefing is not going to make anyone happy.  “We are,” says County Chief Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters, “on the threshold and in serious jeopardy of sliding back into Phase 2; and if it is not stemmed, could drive us back into Phase 1.”

No matter how much COVID fatigue we suffer, the reality is this: Coronavirus and its variants are “fighting back” at every inch of progress we make, says Spitters. The number of new COVID cases per week is up 250% – from 85 just a month ago to 205 for the week ending April 7.

COVID-19 snapshot:

  • 250% increase in new cases in a month
  • 1,700 new cases in last two weeks
  • Hospitalizations hit 39 last week, double what they were in mid-March
  • Cases increase for those aged 20-59.

It looks, says Spitters, “like we’re on our way up a fourth wave of COVID.”  We remain “precariously in Phase 3,” says Spitters, who adds that what’s leading the charge are increasing cases among those in their early 20’ through their late 50s. The doctor says too many people are getting together in gatherings with friends or family members who are not fully vaccinated, not wearing their masks and not social distancing.

But wait: The county is about to administer its 500,000th vaccine dose, 47% of all adults have had a first shot and 30% are completely vaccinated. The county is getting 55,000 vaccine doses this week, triple what the state gave us just a few weeks ago. Surely, that is making a difference.

It is, says Spitters, “already making a dent, but just not enough yet to eliminate sustained transmission.” He admits the virus is attacking fewer people than it did a few months ago. But he cautions that the number of COVID variants are expanding and that some can be transmitted far more easily than previous strains. “It’s an amazing, impressive and alarming reminder of how the virus can unravel all our best efforts,” Spitters says.

If you are going to gather with people, do it outside, say Somers and Spitters. Keep indoor get-togethers small; limit them to family or just a friend or two. Wear the masks when you go shopping or into restaurants. Get vaccinated.  The county quotes a survey that shows 88% of Snohomish County residents “want to get vaccinated.”

The threshold to a herd immunity is still out of reach. Spitters told reporters estimates are that 80% of the population would have to be vaccinated before the community could expect herd immunity, and we are only a little over halfway there.

On Wednesday, the county opens its seventh mass vaccination site, at Ash Way Park & Ride (16327 Ash Way) in Lynnwood.

As at all county vaccine sites, this one requires a reservation. You can make one here  or call the County COVID Call Center: 425-339-5278.

The Ash Way site will be either drive-through or walk-up. Take a Community Transit bus to Ash Way and walk over to the vaccine site. Seventeen CT bus routes directly serve Ash Way. Other buses are available with just a one-stop transfer. Ash Way will provide shots (with a pre-reservation) Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., depending on vaccine availability.

Snohomish County is also launching what it calls the ‘Emergency Rental Assistance’ (ERA) program. County Executive Dave Somers told reporters that across the county there are families in danger of losing their housing when the state eviction moratorium ends on June 30.  The ERA program will provide $25 million in federal money to assist. The program is in partnership with Volunteers of America, Western Washington.

To qualify, a family’s income must be at or below 80% of the area median income and they must have experienced economic hardship because of COVID, and they are at risk of homelessness or housing instability.

To apply, call the County Service hotline at 211.

The Emergency Rental Assistance program will give priority to those who earn at or below 50% of area median income, and one or more members must have been unemployed for more than 90 days.

Despite the warnings that the county could slip back to the restrictions of Phase 2 on May 2, Somers says “we have time, several weeks to turn this around; more people are gathering out of doors; we can absolutely turn this around.”

Spitters cautions that “going back a phase is painful and carries a heavy toll for many; and going back two phases even further is worse, but that’s where we’re headed in the next two weeks if these numbers don’t turn around.” He does agree that we have a “reasonable chance” to avoid the decisions that “choked” the economy and our social lives when the pandemic broke out.

— By Bob Throndsen

 

  1. I’m confused. More people are getting the shots, and there’s a 250% increase in cases. And mask usage is up, but the problem is were not wearing masks?

    Are we allowed to consider if the masks and the shots are contributing to the problem!?

    Fact 1. Masks are ineffective at protecting against transmission of infectious disease. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/)

    Fact 2. Wearing a mask has been demonstrated to contribute to immunosuppression and predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, among other things. Long-term consequences can include health deterioration and premature death. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/)

    Fact 3. PCR tests result in false-positives. (https://headlinehealth.com/fauci-fda-who-all-now-admit-false-positive-pcr-tests/)

    Fact 4. You can still get COVID after getting the shot. (https://fox59.com/news/thousands-testing-positive-for-covid-after-becoming-fully-vaccinated/)

    Fact 5. After getting the shot, you can be an asymptomatic spreader. (https://www.healthline.com/health-news/you-can-still-spread-develop-covid-19-after-getting-a-vaccine-what-to-know)

    1. Brian, My parents gave me chicken pox on purpose when I was a kid. They were inoculating me against chickenpox, because it was better to have that immunity later on in my life. Children getting COVID-19 (the virus originated from China and covered up by China) is more safe and ethical than children intentionally exposed to chicken pox. Even if masks worked, which people are pretending they are a panacea, we should intentionally expose portions of the population to COVID-19.

        1. Yes. I have been actively trying to get COVID-19. I hope it’s already gone through my house, including my wife and kids. I’m breathing well, staying thin, taking advantage of my healthy disposition to provide me and mine with a natural immunity. Those who are old or obese cannot and should not be cavalier as I have.

    2. So many don’t cover the nostrils adequately. And we’ll remember…distancing…6 inches isn’t 6 feet. Constant meet ups..Lots of rules ignored. Eating, drinking people have to remove their masks constantly…so all day every day…we broke rule after rule….now here we are. We should technically be in stage 2 again as our numbers are 205 at lat check April 5th or something. Why aren’t we in stage 2 now…I don’t get it.

      1. There are a grand total of zero studies showing masks reduce COVID transmission outdoors. As for your clamoring about going back to stage 2, I imagine you are in a perfect privilege to do so. If I may take a moment to profile you, I imagine you are middle aged with a family, with most of your life goals accomplished. Many of us do not have the satisfaction with life that you do. People in my age group have already been robbed of more than a year of ours lives, and to rob us of even more is in my minds an actual crime. I have missed out on a year of education, a year of networking opportunities, and a year of chances to meet people, a year of chances to explore myself, all because people became hysterical over what is no more than a bad cold. I am not sure how I am ever supposed to forgive the people who put me in this position, and frankly I do not expect to.

    3. You lost me early. But your sites you chose your words from are flawed. Fox…really. Even the Intelligent Republicans are shining that conspiracy crap…You in my humble opinion are no different than the maniacs.

  2. There definitely are a lot of people getting the vaccine, but not enough to counteract those working to increase transmission and regress us back into phase 2. The damage they are doing to our community and businesses is sad.

    I certainly would also check out the fact check on Baruch Vainshelboim before citing an article from him https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/apr/16/diamond-and-silk/medical-hypotheses-journal-article-lacks-evidence-/

    1. The refenced article is a convenient one-stop shop hosted on a NIH server. There are others, including:
      https://fee.org/articles/new-danish-study-finds-masks-don-t-protect-wearers-from-covid-infection/
      https://www.technocracy.news/masks-are-neither-effective-nor-safe-a-summary-of-the-science/
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8966883/Masks-DONT-stop-spread-Covid-experts-criticise-troubling-lack-evidence.html
      https://wsau.com/2020/07/31/masks-dont-stop-viruses-the-proof/
      It is extremely frustrating when policy decisions are made while ignoring or dismissing science.

      Governor Inslee was able to test his hypothesis for a 14-day emergency test run to see if masks and social distancing would work. The statistics show our retransmission rate was steeply dropping before his “Stay Home, Stay Safe” lockdown proclamation, and was at or below the target of 1.0 prior to that edict taking effect. His March 23, 2020 proclamation did not stop the spread, our innate herd immunity did. Since that day, man has been trying to control mother nature and measure his success (or lack thereof) by a faulty assessment of case counts.

      For a community that is striving to be open-minded and consider the perspective of those who look different than each other, it is remarkable at the apparent resistance to consider a different perspective, particularly one supported by science.

      Now, more than 400 days after Inslee declared a state of emergency, his proclamations and public policies have failed to resolve it.

      There is an undeniable body of evidence that says we are healthier when we are unencumbered by masks, when we allow our natural God-given immune system to function per its intelligent design.

      We are all in this together. Let’s give that approach a shot for the next 400 days!

      1. Brian, I’m atheist, so I can’t agree on the intelligent design aspect of immunity. However, I was one of the first to refuse the anthrax vaccine when the War on Terror kicked off. I learned a lot about vaccines and policy back then. “Leaky Vaccines” and mandatory [or mass] inoculations can cause more a lot of problems, including making viruses stronger. Vaccines should be used to either eradicate a virus, and [if that cannot be done or isn’t feasible] vaccine should be used to protect vulnerable populations. Modern Medicine is defined by the invention of anti-biotics. Because of the over-reliance on this weapon, doctors are effectively threatening the existence of Modern Medicine, producing super bugs that don’t care. I see this same arms race kicked off against viruses and it’s dangerous. They do not know what they are doing.

    2. Evan, politifact is a bit like going to infowars to fact check things. Alex Jones might be stupid at times, and too quick to jump to conclusions, but politifact and snopes actually seems to be smart about their misinformation. There is real science out there. We don’t need fake, non-science.

    3. “those working to increase transmission and regress us back into phase 2”

      Walks in Edmonds Tuesday – masked, despite full vaccination – showed a dismaying number of people without masks; I even had to pass between two unmasked guys having a conversation from either side of the sidewalk – much less than 6 feet.

      “Well, this week’s Snohomish County COVID briefing is not going to make anyone happy. ” (Somers/Spitters)

      No – but public health and safety measures aren’t primarily to make people happy – they’re to protect people. If everyone would pull together, we could defeat this thing, but as long as there are selfish holdouts, it’s going to drag on and on. It’s 1944 folks – a bad time to say we’re tired of it and want to quit.

      1. This comment will unmask the politics right here in Edmonds. I hope MEN will allow this post because it is specific, and I apologize. We are talking about lives and livelihoods. Salt & Iron sidewalk was so busy this weekend that there was standing room-only. A line was formed on each side of the restaurant, people waiting to pass as a gauntlet of people eating maskless, plates of food going in and out. I challenge anyone who believes in the lockdowns, masks, distancing to look at this specific example. I believe that politics will prevent a universally applied appraisal of this.

    4. Yes, it is. This foolish, I can do anything I want attitude is the problem…in many ways. I know many here mean well. I admire them for caring. But, time to stop now. We can’t help and protect if we are dead, Ill or shut down. So.
      If you want a summer, if you want your job, if you want your restaurants open…your safest move honestly is to shut down totally until we get people vaxed. Those with no vaccination not permitted in eating establishments. I know harsh. But it could come to this. Required to have your proof of vaccine to enter. I wouldn’t take the chance if I owned a restaurant. Sorry all I say is out of caring. I want you to survive but another round like the last. Kids are getting this now…sports training every day perhaps. Just save yourselves…thats all that’s left to do. I am fully vaccinated so this is for you…not me.

    5. We need to be in Phase 2 now. Obviously that is the only way to tame these very confused minds. We also need to enforce the mandates. Mayor Nelson, please use the power you were given to require our citizens to mask, 6 ft distancing….This is your chance…take it.

      1. The city council denied Mike Emergency [punitive] Powers. Deborah, should Salt & Iron [as an example] be shut down?

  3. It can not be a a surprise after a Friday trip through downtown Edmonds on a sunny Friday evening. While I witnessed many wearing masks as they walked through town, I was amazed at the crowds in the restaurants & bars……packed. Three establishments in particular had overflowing crowds outside and tables that are definitely not socially distanced. I understand fully that people & businesses are fatigued ( my wife & I enjoyed a safe outside meal on Sunday) & I will give kudos to those places that take this seriously, but my eyes don’t lie & even with the vacination rate on the rise, this is not a good trend.

    1. I have seen this repeatedly…I don’t go in…you don’t have to its that obvious. Does Edmonds want to be the town seen as…well might not want to visit or dine out there! It will be…This should thrill the retailers NOT, as now again the alcohol/food businesses who are apparently determined to operate unsafe will effect them again…I would like to know which restaurants in Edmonds are not enforcing. I suggest if you are not one of them..you get your Establishments listed here right away…then those of us who are sicked by what we just read will come to eat at your restaurant. I am fully vaccinated now and waiting period over. I would not consider frequenting the mentioned restaurants. And that means forever. It’s not like people are going to just forget all of this ugliness. We will never forget any of this…That is the way it is…and always will be.

  4. Everyone wearing masks, most older people have got the vaccine, many have had the disease….and we are increasing? Do not buy it for a moment when many other states are open and not wearing masks and the Covid is going down. Is that because they are getting fresh air and not breathing in bad carbon dioxide? Then oxygen RICH blood can flow back to your heart and body….

  5. The fact that the citizens in this state have allowed themselves to be cowed and brutalized socio-economically this long by government hacks is truly stunning to me. When did everyone flip their critical thought switch to the “off” position ? This is becoming an “Orwellian” exercise in population control and if you think it will ever end, tell me when. IMHO, the only important number here is the death rate and where it is trending. People get sick all the time and many with the ( formerly referred to seasonal flu ) go to the hospital. Big deal. The death rate as posted by the state since this debacle began 15 months ago from ( associated with covid 19, their term ) is 0.00072 as compared to our overall state population or around 5,300 and almost all over 70 and or with multiple co-morbidities. Just how much socio-economic ruination are we going to allow at the hands of Jay Inslee and medical hacks that have not lost anything and will lose nothing if the lockdown persists. Time to assert your rights as Americans, throw away your “dehumanizing rag of tyranny” and start living again. Covid 19 is not the only thing that will kill you …Get it?

      1. Enjoy your fear Deborah, as well as doing exactly what you are told to do by government hacks. “Sheeple of Edmonds Unite” and demand that Mayor ” drop the Mike” close all of the horrible restaurants and bars that are daring to “try” to keep their livelihood’s alive. How dare they?!

        1. Rude, patronizing, hyperbolic, and putting words in the mouth of the other. Satisfying for the emotions perhaps, but hardly the way to convince anyone of your point of view. You might try listening, or persuading – they often work better than antagonizing. This sort of post shreds the fabric of community.

          Do we really want an Edmonds where people treat others like this?

  6. Read the article and follow the advice of Mr. Somers and Dr. Spitters.
    Do not listen to the ignorant , politically motivated noise surrounding this issue.
    Get vaccinated , when you can.
    Stay out of crowded enclosed spaces…take your restaurant order to go.
    Wear your masks when in the public and maintain socially distant behavior.
    These are not difficult parameters to live by.
    Instead of saying we’re sick and tired of wearing masks, why not say that we are used to it.
    Please have patience , strength and fortitude.
    If we have discipline now , we will get through this sooner than if we jump the gun .
    Let more people get vaccinated …we have a ways to go on that front.
    Be smart.
    Be strong.
    Let’s move forward, not backward.
    We can do this !
    Thank you everyone.

    1. Bill, which country have masks worked? Which one implemented masks and saw a demonstrable effect? If I google this question, governments, the WHO, pseudo-authorities and media all point to Asian countries as being that evidence. No one points to the UK for example. Ironically, those are also countries which culturally had already adopted masks, in the case of China it is the country where the virus originated (which begs the question), and [not coincidentally] those countries have very few obese people. Obesity is directly linked to COVID mortality. No one can deny that being thin and maskless is many orders of magnitude more safe than being marginally obese double-masked.

    2. Thank you for this Bill…wise advice and really in the long run very easy to comply with. Masks work, social distancing works and until the 16 to 59 age groups gets vaccinated we need to be vigilant. Patience pays.

    3. It is extremely unfortunate that rational opposition to government overreach of nonpartisan authorities is misconstrued “politically-motivated noise”.

      It is hardly “noise” when the comments are supported by evidence.

      Where is the evidence that COVID vaccines are effective at stopping the spread? The FDA, CDC, and WHO can only say with certainty that they suppress symptoms in the recipient. See Facts 4 and 5 above.

      To me, the “noise” is the contradictory statements of Somers and Spitters. Read the last two paragraphs of the article. Is it two weeks or several weeks to turn things around?

    4. I’m with you Bill. You are absolutely right and you were very gracious about it too. Your civility was noticed. Thank you. If you own or operate a business here please let it be known. I will shop and or eat there and encourage many others to do the same.

  7. Not surprising that we are slipping backwards. I visited the Channel Marker restaurant last week in Edmonds. It was crowded, doors closed and no ventilation and no one wearing a mask. Completely out of control from the governor’s mandate. They don’t follow the rules, and they’ll lose business dropping back to phase two or one.

    1. Jeffrey, the more our lives are “out of control ” from the government’s mandates, the better we and this Republic will be. I have never in my 70 years seen so many people so compliant to whatever the government says. This is especially bothersome to me knowing the majority of government employees are not “the best of the best” if ya know what I mean. I get out my cow pasture sized salt lick every time I am exposed to the next ridiculous edict from Inslee, Nelson ,”The fauch” and a host of others.

  8. Masks work.

    That’s why brain surgeons wear them.

    Now, you can follow the advice of the same 5.8 anti-maskers that regularly post on this website, or you can take the cue from people who think like brain surgeons.

    Your choice, of course.

    1. Ben Carson is a brain surgeon and wore masks religiously and championed it. He still got COVID-19 and he’s now questioning the practice. Surgeons, generally, wear masks to protect the field [the wound] and prevent splashes from the wound.

      “The purpose of the mask is not only to prevent germs from entering the patient’s wound from the surgeon’s nose and mouth, but also to protect the surgeon’s face from spray and spatter.”

      …also note:

      “When air is inhaled into the nostrils, the airflow forms a vortex in the tortuous channel, so that the airflow drawn into the nasal cavity is heated. Some tests have shown that when cold air of minus 7 ° C is drawn into the lungs through the nose, the airflow has been warmed to 28.8 ° C, which is very close to the temperature of the human body. If you wear a protective mask for a long time, it will make the nasal mucosa fragile and lose the original physiological function of the nasal cavity.”

      https://www.venchmedical.com/Why-do-surgeons-wear-protective-masks-id3909342.html

      1. Here you go, from your link:

        ” … medical protective masks are suitable for the protection of airborne respiratory infectious diseases by medical staff and related staff …”

        Thanks for the citation, I couldn’t have phrased it better myself.

        1. It is your choice, Paul, to take an excerpt of a quote out of context, but you are not helping your position. The context was that there are different types of masks.

          For the benefit of those who may not read the part of the statement you omitted, here it is: “…ordinary medical masks have inadequate protection against pathogenic microorganisms.”

        2. Thompson.

          Of course you have to wear a proper mask (many don’t), and of course you have to wear it properly (many don’t). This should go without saying, but – as you yourself illustrate – with some people it just has to be said, repeatedly.

        3. Paul, I can point out that none of us are “medical staff and related staff”, so it doesn’t apply to us. This must be the same sort of science-magic that prevents infections while we sit at tables and are eating without masks. Surgeons could probably take some of that PPE off if they sat and ate pizza while they operated, or if they performed surgeries outside in shanties on the sidewalks of the hospital.

          Brian, your calls for critical thinking are so important.

    2. I am pro-health, not anti-mask.

      The straw man argument that surgeons wear masks is proof they work has been long put to rest. Surgeons wear masks to protect the sterile field from droplets.
      https://cnsnews.com/commentary/dr-jim-meehan/surgeon-destroys-myth-if-masks-dont-work-why-do-surgeons-wear-them

      Further, the stress surgeons endured while wearing the mask would be relieved when the operation was finished and the surgeon took off their mask and went home or out to relax and unwind.

      Our homes are no longer peaceful sanctuaries, nor are our restaurants or golf courses.

      It is your choice to trust the Government or a bumper sticker slogan. I wish I could be content with that choice.

      Instead, I have chosen to exercise critical thinking, examine the evidence, and draw my own conclusions. Based on my findings, I care enough for you and the rest of our community to share what I have found in attempt to encourage others, as Frank Demme has, to take back the liberties and freedoms that have been subverted by our own government.

  9. Brian Thompson, these are facts: Our home is definitely a very peaceful sanctuary. I just played eighteen holes at Whitehorse in Kingston & it couldn’t have been more peaceful. And my wife & I just had very safe & peaceful dinner out at a local Mexican restaurant………hope you find peace.

  10. Let’s talk masks…
    The only mask that works is N95( made in USA and cost $5 each). Doctors and Nurses wear them. ONE a Day. The blue/white mask (made in China cost $1 each) China is making millions on masks.) yes the very country that brought us Covid you are lining their pockets.
    Only to be worn ONE a day.
    So are you wearing 1 mask a day? The N95? Nope.
    Th fabric ones…well they are cute.

  11. Brian, thank you for your reasoned comments. Over a year ago, I researched the effectiveness of masks in surgical environments. Studies were done in Europe in the 80’s. The results would get me banned from social media. We have access to information from every state and many countries, yet we continue to make believe Washington state has special humans who live under a different set of scientific parameters. This is becoming exceedingly difficult to endure. If people won’t even consider the logic of others, we are going to usher in a new age of mob rule. The comments in this chain lead me to believe others are intent on making medical decisions for others. Count me out.

  12. If, and I readily admit I do not, consider Covid-19 to be an imminent threat to my existence, I would be wearing an equivalent to a Mark V gas mask at all times. Having been tear gassed, I would not rely on devices with inadequate micron filtration levels to protect me. If I can smell through a mask, it failed. They don’t play politics as much when you receive military training, they don’t have the resources to lie to you differently every four years.

    1. I wore MOP gear for 2 months in Abu Dhabi. I was delegated to train my peers on basic chemical warfare (a detail I did not enjoy). Our masks had charcoal filters that had to be changed out frequently. We were preparing for an eminent anthrax attack, the spores being orders of magnitude larger than covid, our masks being much better than N95. I think we were given a 80% mask effectivity as a benchmark, if I remember right.

      1. Did you wear it, when you were a soldier? I have nothing to say to you. Except my friends who are many would are veterans are getting the vaccines.
        I also want to say Thank You for your service.

        1. I wore the gas mask every day immediately after Sep 11th. We expected an imminent anthrax attack. We have to be at a “MOP Readiness Level”, and drilled every day on donning the mask. We even wore the chemical suits in the desert. President Bush instituted a mandatory anthrax vaccine program. The anthrax vaccine, like the COVID vaccines, where approved through an expedited process. Lots of people I served with got sick due to the vaccine. A Sergeant on our base got Guillain-Barré Syndrome and he shared some of his story to me in confidence. I got a civilian doctor and lawyer and started to research my options. The factory that made the vaccine in Michigan (BioPort) was shut down due to failing inspections and general cleanliness of all things (sound familiar). I refused the vaccine and was nearly court martialed for it. My lawyer gave me horrible advise (a DC lawyer named Mark Zaid, the same lawyer who represented Eric Ciaramella). My upstairs neighbor in my apartment building off-base got infected with anthrax state-side as she worked as a mail sorter in Hamilton New Jersey. She took antibiotics and was fine. Robert Meuller was assigned to investigate the anthrax letter attacks. He initially pinned the terrorism on an innocent man by getting dogs to smell the letters, and the dogs signaled on a virologist who worked in Maryland. Meanwhile another scientist, Bruce Ivins, committed suicide and was eventually determined to be the source of the letters (who knows for sure though?). The whole saga, along with my case and a few others involving a Guard squadron in Texas, ended up being such an embarrassment for the US government that my court martial was dropped and I finished my enlistment. I see so many contemporary parallels.

        2. Thank you for your service and for sharing part of your story, Matt. Your commitment to your principles and concern for your fellow man is admirable.

          The film “Vaccine Syndrome” produced by Scott Warren Miller (son of classic ski filmmaker) opened my eyes to the anthrax vaccine program.

          In 2019, Miller wrote, “My original intention… was to open the discussion to whether a soldier, airman or marine should face court marshal for refusing a vaccine. That discussion needs to occur in the civilian population, as it is not possible to disobey a direct order or protest it. Since then, the promotion of mandatory vaccines for school age children, the promotion of flu vaccines with no ability to properly screen adverse reactions and new legislation to force vaccination with experimental drugs, begs the question of whether or not it is possible for a doctor to give informed consent.”

          With the uncertainty and contradictory information surrounding civilian vaccines, including those recently introduced through emergency use authorization, yes, there are definitely parallels, and the question of informed consent looms.

          If you’re prepared for a heavy dose of reality regarding one aspect of what our servicemen and women endure, you can watch the film at https://vimeo.com/220515652

          The discussion in the film regarding problems with vaccine manufacturer quality control made me think of the FDA statement just released 4/21/21 regarding Emergent BioSolutions, who manufactures both J&J and AstraZeneca shots. Besides mixing up the ingredients, based on other FDA Form 483 findings, they were just forced to pause new production. Now, while CDC has finally approved resuming administration of “J&J” doses, the FDA says existing doses must first be tested. We’ll soon learn, I’m sure, if injection sites got both memos!

  13. Matt and all “masks don’t work folks”. Masks work in Edmonds! When I wear a mask I “Believe” I am helping others and protecting them from my droplets. When others wear their masks I “Believe” I am safer. So if I “Believe it” I will act on my beliefs and do not need argue about studies and all that stuff to be as peace with my beliefs.

    When we close the streets for Walkable Edmonds, I Believe many folks will not wear masks and our city will just encourage masks but not make them mandatory. Therefore I will not go to that area including not going to do food pick up.

    Some of us who are older will just feel better to go somewhere else where mask are more commonplace. Hopefully that will be in a fun place and not a hospital where all are masked up during these times.

    Our city officials say they primary job is to keep us safe. I Believe closing the streets and allowing us all to walk about, do other “fun” things for kids or whatever is not the best thing to do to keep us safe.

    1. I wish the consequences of the wrong belief weren’t so dire for either side: I believe our health is at risk the more we wear a mask, you believe our health is more at risk if we don’t.

      There are experts and studies on both sides, and either of us can interpret statistics to support our belief. Cam we find common ground?

      The common ground I see is that we both disagree with the rulemakers.

      Though for me, one example is how we’re allowed to sit in a restaurant without a mask, but not in a library–makes no sense. Either both are safe, or neither is.

      Add to that how we can all recognize you can’t catch shrimp with a crab pot, and the screen on a sliding door stops bugs in both directions, but not odors. So if the virus is smaller than the weave of a cloth bandana or a disposable papermask, then it can get through.

      That leaves me upset with the politicians who bend as the wind blows, as I conclude the whole mask/vax thing is a mere attempt at window dressing; and what’s worse, they’re contributing to sickness.

      It’s like they think we’re some dumb baby elephant, “Wanna fly, hold onto this here feather.” I admit, letting go in mid-fall, after having been told it’s needed to fly, began as nerve wracking, was frightening, and is now freeing. Call me Dumbo, but I “Believe” I can fly better without them. And I believe the same is true for each of us.

      1. It’s theater, just like the TSA. The TSA continuously fails audits, where 90% of bombs and firearms make it through checkpoints. It’s “feel-safe” though, and people support it. Even through there are better options, more provable ways to actually be safe verse feel safe.

      2. Brian, great comments. All I was saying is I have the right to believe and act upon my own believes not those of others. I am not suggesting anyone need to do what I will do. Nor do I condemn forks for doing what they would like to do. If asked to debate masks or no masks I am not skilled enough and way to old to be able do that very well. But I can do what I want and I will not be going to the street closure. Besides it is to hard to find parking.

        So I do not see that we need to agree to disagree. I think you would support the notion that I can do what I want and you can to what you want. I think that is where we agree. Hope to met you some time, you seem to to have ideas from which I can learn.

        1. Mr. Haug, thank you, I appreciate your perspective and genuineness. Absolutely, you do you, I’ll do me.

          My posts were not intended to shame others for their choices, but were rather an attempt to explain and share the basis for my choice. I interpret your post the same way.

          Our casual passing at the MEN anniversary event a couple years ago was too brief. I would love to sit down together and hear your story.

          My frustration persists with our government, media, and pharmaceutical companies, and the wedge they have driven between us.

          When I wear a mask, it’s out of respect for the company I’m in; not in submission to arbitrary and capricious tyrannical rule.

          That’s not to say I’m reckless; I have multiple high-risk people in my home. But in that, we had already been conditioned to practice good hygiene, particularly during flu seasons past. So, when the mass fear of COVID started, our perspective was, “Welcome to our world.” I have a MD and ARNP as in-laws who supplement the independent research my wife and I do.

          I don’t know claim to know enough to tell other people how to live, but I am informed enough to decide for my own family. Too bad our own government doesn’t extend the same respect and understanding you have for others. Thank you, sincerely.

  14. Being an American, I believe in personal freedom. If an individual would like to wear a mask, go right ahead. What shouldn’t be happening is government mandates based on beliefs, doxxing or attempting to shame others because of beliefs, screaming at your neighbor because of your beliefs or lying about scientific research and data in order to support a belief. The science is out there and free to read or ignore. And accusing those who question our government of being “never” anything is just a cheap shot. I have worn masks, gloves, hearing protection, face shields and arc flash gear and value their use, but only when they serve a purpose. If I can look up past research and make a reasoned decision, what are our leaders doing? And why?

  15. Brian Thompson, Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I met so many nice folks at the MEN celebration and glad you were one of them. I think it was you who pointed out “ok to sit in a restaurant but not the library” yes that makes not sense until you follow the money. I do not know that these statements are true but here is one take on some of this stuff. Workers get paid the revenue a their place of work.
    Grocery stores have customers so they have revenue to pay. Forget for the moment the hazard pay and all that.
    Restaurants, while they may have some supportive grant money lost revenues and with restrictions workers did not have the same income opportunity as others.
    Library revenues are taxes. That did not change but likely the costs went down so Sno-isle probably is money ahead and can pay the full amount to employees. Just a guess because I do not know.
    Those folks tied to tax revenues likely did not get big hits, especially if they were part of a union. Dont rant about unions folks, this is for us to think a little.
    City costs were cut very early, 12% in think. But revenues from sales and other variable taxes went down less than 12%. So the city budget probably is in better shape now and reserves are better than at the start. The current stimulus revenue will be over $9m. Not sure the string on this but clearly some of it can be used for “covid” issues. We will likely do some grants, but some can be directed by council. How are the going to prioritize? We survey for closing streets and climate. How about a survey for how to spend the windfall?

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