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Joey G

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Everything posted by Joey G

  1. I gotta wonder exactly what was in the "mist" that works in 8 seconds? Or... what residue was left on your skin and clothes.
  2. https://www.reuters.com/world/the-great-reboot/keralas-covid-19-lessons-india-modis-government-2021-08-26/ MALAPPURAM, India, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Vilified by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party for its high COVID-19 cases, Kerala's apparent poor record may actually hold crucial lessons for the country in containing the outbreak as authorities brace for a possible third wave of infections. The opposition-ruled, densely populated southern state is currently reporting the most number of coronavirus cases in the country and accounts for the second-highest national tally - unflattering headline numbers that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has seized upon as a reflection of bungled local leadership. Report ad However, a Reuters analysis of national and state data, and interviews with epidemiologists and Kerala health authorities paint a different picture. It shows the state's containment measures have helped to catch infections early, allowing authorities to better manage the illness and dramatically lower the death rate - a stark contrast to people dying in carparks and outside hospitals for lack of oxygen and beds in big cities like Delhi at the height of the health crisis a few months earlier. Report ad "While the federal government may have its views on rapid antigen tests, it is important to consider that the state's strategies have by and large succeeded in not just keeping mortality low but also in being able to detect one in six cases compared to one in 33 nationally," said Rajib Dasgupta, head of the Centre of Social Medicine & Community Health at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University. The efficient detection rate and its population density at more than twice the national average explain the high number of cases in Kerala. Report ad All the same, at 0.5%, Kerala still has the lowest fatality rate among all but one thinly populated state. The national figure is 1.4% and it is 1.3% for the country's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. Reuters Graphics The difference comes down to Kerala's reliance on rapid antigen tests to detect and strictly isolate infected people at home, an approach the federal health ministry has sharply criticised but which state officials argue has helped them to better allocate hospital beds and oxygen supplies for those who really need them. The government-recommended RT-PCR tests are more accurate but take longer to produce results, meaning by the time a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed the infected person is more likely to have developed severe symptoms and passed it on to others in a vicious cycle of more infections and deaths. Kerala's rapid test results allow for early treatment in home isolation which then narrows the virus' path to infections, state officials say. These factors, along with the strained medical resources across much of India, largely explain why the overall national death rate is much higher than in the Communist-run state. Kerala officials also say a state-run support service that includes phone consultation, provision of drugs and pulse oximeters that detect blood oxygen levels for people recovering at home provide a bulwark in the battle against the disease. Delhi had a similar support structure but it collapsed when cases surged. "We do have a different model and our fatality rate shows our model is on the right track," Kerala Health Minister Veena George told Reuters. But Kerala officials acknowledge that the fast-evolving pandemic can undo even the best thought-out plans unless authorities remain nimble and flexible. Reuters Graphics Reuters Graphics A MODEL TO EMULATE? When Reuters recently visited Kerala's most populous Malappuram district, which is reporting the greatest number of infections in India, a quarter of the 344 COVID beds in its biggest hospital were vacant and oxygen supply was ample. The Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended lockdowns for districts where more than 10% of the tests return positive results. The rate is about 15% for Kerala and even higher in Malappuram, but shops and restaurants are open for business. Kerala officials argue that they are able to keep businesses open as the state has the best testing rate among Indian states - 86 tests per 100 people, compared with about 33 in Uttar Pradesh- meaning they are able to catch infections early and ensure timely treatment. Reuters Graphics The model, epidemiologists say, can be replicated in few other states with good health facilities, such as neighbouring Tamil Nadu. "Their surveillance is good, they detect cases early and their testing is very focused," M.D. Gupte, a retired director of the National Institute of Epidemiology who advises the federal government on immunisations, said about Kerala. "Most people in Kerala are educated, so that helps." India’s daily demand for medical oxygen jumped more than eight times in May from pre-pandemic levels, but Kerala avoided major shortages of hospital beds and oxygen that crippled many states when nationwide infections saw an explosive surge. The federal health ministry did not respond to emails requesting comment. VACCINE PUSH Minister George said the state was on course to administer at least one vaccine dose to all adults by next month, the fastest pace among all states. Currently, the state has covered more than 55% of adults with at least one vaccine dose, compared with 48% for the whole of India, which wants to vaccinate all its adults by December. Kerala, with 35.5 million people, has so far reported 3.8 million infections, or 12% of India's total of 32.5 million. Its 19,757 deaths, however, account for only 4% of the overall nationwide fatalities. The Indian government recommends 70% of all COVID-19 tests be carried out by the RT-PCR method, while Kerala's rate is less than 50%. "This is not the Kerala model, this is a model of mismanagement," BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda, India's former health minister, said last week. He said BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh had better managed the pandemic, though a government survey estimated in July that more than 70% residents of both states had been exposed to the virus. The figure was 44% for Kerala. Kerala's COVID-19 hospitalisation rate is only about 3%, a state official said, compared with more than 5% nationwide when cases peaked in May. T.S. Anish, a member of Kerala's COVID Expert Committee, said the state was now focused on vaccination. "If you are able to vaccinate large numbers, you will get infections but your health system will not be overwhelmed." Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Additional reporting by Chris Thomas and Jose Devasia Editing by Shri Navaratnam
  3. OMW... lets face it... the rules can change any time after you leave... personally I wouldn't sweat it... once the kids get to the US, they aren't leaving, and you won't leave them... trust me. Even if you decide to return for a longer period of time... I'm not sure starting rom scratch would be any harder than anything else you try to prepare for... thats my approach... besides Balikbayan is just too easy... overthinking it wasn't worth the headache for me Now if you've got property investments you're leaving behind... different story perhaps.
  4. As usual Geoff has the right idea. I'd also add... take that same machine from home and use it right in front of the doctor. See what he says. That not withstanding... at some point everyone with high blood pressure was lower and it went up... and sometimes just because you got older. I wouldn't be experimenting with doses though... the med's and doses are to control it over a 24 hour/7 day period... taking it at the same time is important as well... readings vary, individually they can give a false sense of security, or just as easy the opposite... ask your doc
  5. Housing prices... it's all about location, location, location. You want a good location (and view) you're gonna pay for it. You don't mind living in the province, on a farm... dirt cheap. The in between places are limitless. In the Philippines I'd be more concerned about finding a place with clear title and deed than anything
  6. So how many times can a vehicle be sold, change ownerss, and not change the registration, before it's an issue? I.e, Is it legal for the most recent vehicle owner to just keep any previous "bill of sales and sellers ID's" from multiple previous owners who never registered it, and carrying them around (rather registering the vehicle)?
  7. Assuming its a speed radar gun as JGF says... the ticket would be issued by the officer to the driver rather than the vehicle. But IF the officer were to check registration of the vehicle during the stop, AND figured out the person never changed it after purchasing it... yep, whole new issue for some to deal with.
  8. But if you're traveling without your spouse when you enter, you can't get a Balikbayan Visa stamp... unless this PSA copy over rides that requirement?
  9. Wonder what you get in return for all that paperwork?... something that says you are officially married in the eyes of the Philippine Government? Or is the original marriage certificate still OK by itself?
  10. Haha... I will admit I didn't know all Filipinas get questioned when they leave the country... but I'm actually not new by stretch... been married 40+ years... lot's of trips and stays there... some long, some not... but never got questioned why we were leaving. Maybe just luck on our part. However, in 1979 when we left together the first time (she has a K-1 in hand) I actually ran out of cash when we got to the line where you have to pay the "exit fee"... think it was $20USD each then... I only had $20 and managed to talk to them into letting her take the $20 and proceed... and they let me pass for free. Guessing things have changed and wouldn't happen today.
  11. If you weren't married... how did they know you were together... and why did they care?
  12. Yeah... no experience here with that anyway's... so, I guess if your wife just has to get into the airport... she doesn't have to leave the country, just has to standing next to you when you get in front of the immigration officer... surely there is way to get on that side of the immigration line... no?
  13. Just checking ... is your wife a US citizen? If not... she is not a Balikbayan unless she was out of the country for at least a year. https://immigration.gov.ph/faqs/visa-inquiry/balikbayan-privilege 1. Who are eligible under Balikbayan Program? a. A Balikbayan, who may be either one of the following: i. A Filipino citizen who has been continuously out of the Philippines for a period of at least one (1) year; ii. A Filipino overseas worker; iii. A former Filipino citizen and his family who had been naturalized in a foreign country and comes or returns to the Philippines. b. Immediate family members (spouse and children) of the Balikbayan, who are nationals of countries falling under EO 408, travelling together with the Balikbayan.
  14. Have read the same about long refund waits on many respectable travel forums... I'd say if one is due a refund, purchased their ticket on a credit card, and have not gotten thier refund within 7 business days (might depend on country of purchase), I would file a claim with the credit card company. It's not guaranteed you'll get a refund... they must have some money in the bank for the credit card to recover... but it's your best shot. Personally... I haven't flown on PAL internationally since 1988, only domestic since... I considered them to on the verge of bankruptcy for many decades.
  15. well at least they kept aboveboard and went with "National" rather than "Underground"
  16. The companies themselves are profitable... but it isn't showing up in the dividends to shareholders.... the dividends are pitifully low. Case in point, US Steel paying a whopping .15% annual dividend... yep, thats 15/100 of 1 percent.... might easier to measure in peso's I think. If you bought steel stocks a year ago, sell now... if you think steel stocks will out play everything... make someone happy and buy the stock they selling today
  17. According to my doctor, the efficacy of the two vaccines I received (Moderna) is expected to be lower at 8 months, but not "gone" by any stretch. In fact the level of efficacy depends on the person, and not locked in the same for the entire population. The booster could be be the same as the last one, but could also be tweaked for variants. From my view... holding off as long as possible might result in getting the better vaccine booster.... but I will get it. Regarding reports of "breakthroughs"... those are the people vaccinated who actually still get sick from COVID, AND get tested to verify it... there are many who have been vaccinated who "catch COVID" and don't get sick at all... or not enough to get tested. I've probably been "sick" to some level over 100 times in life... never got a test for anything to see what it is...
  18. If by "all in one" you mean COVID and flu... nope, totally separate. In fact the COVID booster is going to be 8 months vice a year. I could end up with 3 COVID shots between last years flu shot and this years flu shot.
  19. I didn't know they were testing for that to get a vaccine... it definitely isn't happening in the USA... they didn't even ask about it.
  20. Deciding to use it (assuming it's available) probably depends on the situation you're in (how sick)... a one gallon empty jug is far from being considered a life preserver in the water, but in some instances I'd hold on to it for dear life.
  21. The volatility is high enough where you can buy "best in brand" stocks on 10% downswings weekly and then sell making a 10%+ profit when they bounce back... it's safer than options... and historically even if they don't bounce back within weeks, the "guarantee" they will later out weighs the risk of options. With that said... I know some who folks have certainly made a bundle on options this year... but the risk/reward is too high for me.
  22. ER's have always been a problem in Eastern Samar... so few doctors (let a alone a regular family doctor) that everyone uses the ER for any medical issue they have. The line forms daily and the range is everything from arthritis to a stroke. I've often contemplated that if I ever got sick enough requiring a trip to the ER, I might be better off rushing to the airport and taking the next flight out (probably not an easy option if there today) Heeb... you're one lucky dude... even in a US hospital staph can get out of control fast and often requires surgery when it's a resistant strain... happening more often these days. Glad you're doing better
  23. Couldn't agree more... I'm all for vaccinations and q'ing those who are positive... but somewhere along the line here the risk (of vaccinated people passing to other vaccinated people and then passing it on to other unvaccinated people).... becomes lower than many other things that can wrong in life.
  24. yeah, looks like a BMW grill, but the hood emblem doesn't seem so....
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