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Discussion: A Wake Up Call from Covid 19

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 24, 2021 12:15 AM # 
gordhun:
Covid-19 got a foothold at the recent WOC and it seems athletes and officials took it home with them.
See the story on the IOF pages and in the recent Orienteering USA newsletter.
It seems eventual exposure to Covid 19 might be inevitable for everyone. The best defense against serious infection seems to be vaccination.
Should we be making vaccination a requirement for participation in orienteering events?
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Jul 24, 2021 1:59 AM # 
ken:
https://orienteering.sport/a-wake-up-call-from-cov...
Jul 24, 2021 6:43 AM # 
tRicky:
I dare say Australia is heading down the road of not being allowed to travel without a vaccination so requirements for other events (including orienteering) will no doubt follow. Is this taking away people's rights to choose whether or not to be vaccinated? Probably.
Jul 24, 2021 7:34 AM # 
coach:
At this time, a negative PCR test is the paper you need for entry into many countries (including the USA). Vaccination paper is not accepted.
Jul 24, 2021 10:29 AM # 
gordhun:
I guess I should rephrase the question:
Negative test results for the presence of the Covid 19 virus are required for entry into many countries. I'm not asking about entry into countries and I know those tests are prohibitively expensive compared to the cost of entry to an orienteering event.
All evidence points to the indications that people who get any one of the Covid-19 vaccines are far less likely to contact the virus than those who are not vaccinated and on the chance that they do test positive for the virus they are not likely at all to exhibit the more serious symptoms.
Getting vaccinated is free everywhere in North America. The vaccines are also pretty well universally available. Do we owe it to ourselves (as organizers for insurance purposes) and to our participants to require that all participants be vaccinated before coming to an event?
Jul 24, 2021 2:55 PM # 
Bash:
>>"Is this taking away people's rights to choose whether or not to be vaccinated? Probably."<<

As a Canadian physician recently said, "No, it's taking away their right to remain unvaccinated without consequences."

However, accommodations must be made for the tiny percentage of people who are medically unable to be vaccinated.
Jul 24, 2021 5:42 PM # 
Canadian:
Let's let the lawyers debate this one...
Jul 24, 2021 10:29 PM # 
Bash:
From the details in the article, it's not clear these positive cases were related to the orienteering itself, so this may not be all that relevant to regular O events. Maybe there is additional information they haven't shared from their analysis. The recommendations offer some clues, particularly: "Mask usage should be mandated by developments of the virus, not by the societal conventions of the organising country."

As some people mentioned when Canada decided not to participate, the biggest risks to WOC athletes were related to travel and accommodations, not running around the woods. Teammates and organizers likely spent considerable time in close contact with one another so if any individual got infected, they could pass it around their group.

Who knows how they implemented the WOC "bubble"? It sounds like athletes and officials needed a negative PCR test to get in?
Jul 25, 2021 1:06 AM # 
gordhun:
Here are the relevant facts from that article as I see them:
1) Some people who were Covid 19 positive got into the WOC bubble when they should not have.
2) When the WOC ended and the folks went home there were more people positive for Covid than when they had arrived.
It doesn't matter if they got the virus when orienteering, shagging or whatever. They contacted it when they had reasonable expectation that if they were reasonably careful and followed the rules in place for WOC that they would be safe.
Bringing the issue home the 2021-22 Suncoast (Florida) Orienteering season is just around the corner. Just like last season we have to provide pretty well all of our parks with a Covid safety protocol. For 20-21 we followed the O-USA guidelines and they worked probably because the school districts had their own guidelines involving a lot of contact tracing and keeping even casual contacts out of school activities. (The vast majority of our participants are high school students,)
So the word is that schools in Florida will be relaxing their protocols. What do you think then event US event organizers? Should we be proposing to O-USA a requirement that our participants must be vaccinated (or have a valid health reason for an exemption).?
Jul 25, 2021 2:34 AM # 
tRicky:
Depends on your views on vaccination though. For some the cure is worse than the disease. I'm not advocating for or against because I don't have the full facts (my sister does have some knowledge of health issues and keeps telling me that vaccinations can destroy your overall immune system) so taking away people's choice by saying they won't be able to participate in a growing list of activities will deny certain freedoms.

What next, you can't come if you have a poor driving history (you're a risk of hurting someone on the way to the event)? You don't eat properly so you're a risk of heart attack on course? People don't like you so please stay away or you'll ruin their enjoyment of the event? Sounds fair to me. As long as you're vaccinated why should someone else's failure to do so bother you?
Jul 25, 2021 2:39 AM # 
edwarddes:
As long as you're vaccinated why should someone else's failure to do so bother you Because vaccines are only x% effective, and rely on everyone being vaccinated for full protection. When a large enough percentage of the population selfishly refuses to be vaccinated, it brings down the effectiveness of the system for the entire population.

keeps telling me that vaccinations can destroy your overall immune system Please don't repeat bullshit.
Jul 25, 2021 3:27 AM # 
Bash:
As an aside, I found IOF's COVID-19 protocols for WOC. It appears that entry into the WOC bubble was based on a single PCR test rather than 14 days of quarantine away from others after arrival. So there was a reduced level of risk inside the bubble but it should have been expected that some COVID-19 positive people would get in.

Teams likely shared rooms and ate meals together so they accepted the risk of being infected by a teammate or team official. The protocols for interacting with people outside the team look good, if they were respected. However, the article alludes to inter-team socializing, unmasked contact and other interactions outside the bubble, such as spectators.

It sounds like the infections at WOC came from unmasked contact, likely indoors - the same way most people get COVID-19.
Jul 25, 2021 3:43 AM # 
robplow:
Please don't repeat bullshit.

That would pretty much rule Tricky out of Attackpoint altogether ;)

And lots of others.
Jul 25, 2021 3:49 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
@tRicky.
The term you are looking for is "Freeloader". I see no reason to grant the benefits of herd immunity to those with no medical reason to be unvaccinated.
Jul 25, 2021 4:24 AM # 
tRicky:
Please don't repeat bullshit.

I guess those reported deaths, heart and blood clot issues related directly to vaccines were due to underlying health problems and not the vaccine(s) then.

Look I have no strong views one way or another relating to the taking of vaccines (I will be getting it myself when Aus sorts out its vaccine program and I've had far more vaccines in my life than most) but I do have strong issues with denying people the freedom to make their own choices by blocking access to activities or whatever unless they've done so.

Have you been vaccinated against hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, smallpox, MMR, the flu, polio, tetanus and chickenpox? What you're missing one? Well jail for you then.

TIL, herd immunity can be effected by either vaccination or else contracting the disease directly ;-)
Jul 25, 2021 4:25 AM # 
Pink Socks:
As long as you're vaccinated why should someone else's failure to do so bother you?

Because some of us have kids who are not yet able to be vaccinated. And those kids can be vectors, and so on.
Jul 25, 2021 4:26 AM # 
tRicky:
It's shown that vaccination won't stop you contracting the virus though.
Jul 25, 2021 4:47 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
Nothing is absolute in this. Its messy data. The vaccine won't stop you contracting the virus, but will reduce the risk. It won't guarantee you won't get ill, but will greatly reduce the likelihood compared to being unvaccinated. The AZ vaccine isn't completely safe either. The decision to accept it (the choice we at the moment have in Australia) is a balance of benefits and risks on both sides of the ledger. I have chosen to be vaccinated with AZ. I do so knowing the small risk in taking this step, but seeing the greater personal benefit in terms of future Covid infection risk, and the broader benefit to society and the economy in eventual herd immunity benefits. If I refuse to accept the small risk with the vaccine, I fail to see why I should expect to benefit from future relaxation of social restrictions due to herd immunity. If I was immuno-compromised, that might be different. But given I am not, I would be choosing to freeload upon the risks others choose to take for the broader benefit. I think its a reasonable proposition that freeloaders should not expect to partake of spillover benefits as a right. Its not a question of freedoms. Its a question of personal responsibility.

Edit: That was Good Neil talking. Bad Neil finds appealing the prospect of allowing natural selection to increase the overall intelligence of the herd.
Jul 25, 2021 4:49 AM # 
blairtrewin:
One difference to note here is that in the US (and numerous other countries), we're now at the point where essentially any adult who wants a vaccine can get one, whereas we're still some months away from that in Australia.
Jul 25, 2021 8:31 AM # 
Robin:
For some of you - my mother is in her 90s and lived through polio and other epidemics, nursed babies with whooping cough, and saw what these diseases caused. Without the vaccines for these, and people of her and subsequent generations (but not everyone now) they would still be with us. So we have free loaders for these diseases now, and sometimes they cause infections in babies who are too young to get full coverage.
Jul 25, 2021 11:39 AM # 
jayne:
A kiddo in my little one’s daycare room came down with chicken pox last week, unlike the UK Australia vaccinate against CP so I was pretty surprised. They don’t routinely get done until 18 months and he’s in the babies room so none of them had been vaccinated and it can be pretty nasty. I’m assuming it got passed on as not sufficient people have the vaccination to get rid of it?
Jul 25, 2021 7:24 PM # 
Becks:
There are extremely rare dangerous side effects to the AZ jab, yes. There are much much much more frequent dangerous events associated with catching COVID.

But jabs in general do not ‘destroy your immune system.’ There’s actually an enormous amount of non-specific benefit to immune adaptation that crosses between jabs. I collaborate with some of the world leaders on the topic and the BCG vaccination decreases your risk of yellow fever, yeast infections, and a bunch of other apparently unrelated diseases through training of your innate (non-specific, first line defense) immune system. Same goes for MMR - it has immune benefits outside of protection to Measles, mumps and rubella.

The ethics of this stuff are important and interesting and not my specialism, but the science of vaccine efficacy is astonishingly clear. They are of enormous benefit to the health of our society, and extraordinarily safe compared to the risk of catching these diseases.
Jul 25, 2021 9:10 PM # 
jjcote:
What baffles me in the USA is the demographics of the people who are opposed to getting vaccinated. You'd think those people would be pushing others out of the way to get in line for the vaccine(s) developed by Trump's Operation Warp Speed.
Jul 25, 2021 10:55 PM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
You would think the likes of TC would be concerned by a differential extinction of MAGA voters.
Jul 26, 2021 1:14 AM # 
EricW:
@Becks- Thanks for your informed post.
Much more educational than one word derogatory labels.
Jul 26, 2021 2:53 AM # 
mikeminium:
Curious to hear more about why AUS is so far behind the curve on vaccinations. As a modern developed country, what's the problem? And why (Blair) "months away from that", not days? Surely the USA and a number of other countries by now have millions of surplus doses of the various vaccines which could be shipped to AUS in a matter of hours?
Jul 26, 2021 3:02 AM # 
EricW:
Same question re Japan.
Jul 26, 2021 3:09 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
Someone with professional expertise will be able to correct any errors that follow. The problem here was placing a bet on two vaccine candidates in particular. One was being developed in Australia using "molecular clamp" technology. It was abandoned in early trials after it gave false positives for HIV antibody tests. The remaining big bet was AZ. It was sort of public domain and Australia had the capacity to manufacture it. When the blood clot problems emerged with AZ, the medical advice was shifted to make it only recommended for over 50s, then 60s, now 50s again, depending on which State you live in. Confusion and vaccine hesitancy accellerated. Few orders had been placed for other candidates so we found ourselves at the back of the queue for mRNA vaccines. Pfizer shots are in very short supply and are being rationed. The schedule of delivery means we won't have enough until the end of the year. Its the number one political issue in Australia at the moment. Rumours in the media have claimed that Pfizer was upset with how our government treated them with disrespect early in the order process. A past Prime Minister from the opposition party was asked by business leaders to lobby Pfizer, showing some lack of confidence in the capacity of the current government. Whether it made any difference is now a minor political dispute.
Jul 26, 2021 3:20 AM # 
tRicky:
Mike, depends who you ask. Talk to a state Premier and they blame the Federal government. Talk to the Federal government and they blame other countries for inhibiting our supply. Reference TIL's post above - he'd have more knowledge than me (I try to avoid politics).

For the record I'm not against vaccinations and I've had my fair share in my time. My family (mother and sisters) has had all the childhood vaccinations and the periodic tetanus injection as required but is dead against Covid vaccine for some reason? If not for the difficulty with Australia's supply and vaccination program I'd have had it by now.

Becks thanks for the info. I did base my previous comment on uncredited advice from my sister who has some health knowledge but for all I know she got that from a conspiracy theory FB page! I do still think people should have the right to choose (TIL's natural selection ideal does have some appeal).
Jul 26, 2021 4:22 AM # 
yurets:
This discussion reminded me of collectivization in the Soviet Union in 1930s. Collectivists then rounded up everyone who they sensed did not share their communist views, those who valued freedom of choice ---- and sent them to the GULAG.
Jul 26, 2021 4:48 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
Let me put it in a libertarian frame for you Yurets. Some people expect to do no work but still be supported by the rest of the community. Atlas might again shrug.
Jul 26, 2021 8:31 AM # 
tRicky:
Much like in the organisation of orienteering.

Yay I brought this thread full circle.
Jul 26, 2021 9:53 AM # 
robplow:
Same question re Japan.

No time to organise vaccination when you have to organise a covid safe Olympics.

But seriously, both Japan and Aus had very low infection rates compared to US EUR etc. That means there is less imperative to vaccinate quickly. Certainly Japan did not rush approval of vaccines as many countries did so the vaccination program did not get going until March or April. But now with rising infection rates in both countries and lockdown fatigue, etc you see them suddenly getting a greater sense of urgency in their vaccination programs
And I think it is safe to say in both cases (AUS JP) there was also a fair amount of government incompetence involved as well. Both have pretty right wing governments - no where near as bad as Trump but still in that vein where ideology trumps policy and action.
Jul 26, 2021 10:49 AM # 
slow-twitch:
5 points to rob for using the phrase 'in that vein' in a discussion about vaccinations.
Jul 26, 2021 10:50 AM # 
blairtrewin:
Australia doesn't have the capacity to manufacture mRNA vaccines (does Japan?), and another factor in the slow start is that both the US and the EU had formal or de facto export bans on vaccines until their own vaccination programs were well advanced.
Jul 26, 2021 10:56 AM # 
jayne:
I think there’s probably some element of “not my problem” in the uptake of vaccinations as well. When vaccination started it had been a while since Australia had had any cases so people got quite despondent, the recent cases have increased vaccination rates but for those outside the cities I still don’t think there’s much urgency. There’s a fair proportion of the country (30-40%?) don’t have a passport so the argument that a vaccine will help you travel again doesn’t really work. Like a lot of things people need to understand why it matters to them.
Jul 26, 2021 11:03 AM # 
blairtrewin:
Although the rates amongst over-70s (who have been eligible for some time) aren't too bad (about 78% for first doses last time I looked), so there isn't that much apathy out there - the main problem is a supply shortage.
Jul 26, 2021 11:12 AM # 
jayne:
I do wonder whether at this stage the prioritisation should have an element of location as well as age to it. Densely populated city locations are clearly more at risk than woop woop.
Jul 26, 2021 11:43 AM # 
tRicky:
the recent cases have increased vaccination rates

This is where I ran into trouble. It was only opened up to my age group immediately following a lockdown so suddenly all the people who had previously been eligible but were twiddling their thumbs developed a sense of urgency and jammed up the vaccination centres.

an element of location

This too, with Sydney claiming the bulk of recent vaccine imports despite Melbourne having far more outbreaks and lockdowns because Sydney's in trouble right now. There didn't seem to be any big need to acquire vaccines until our biggest city came under threat because to hell with Melbourne. The PM doesn't live there.
Jul 26, 2021 11:47 AM # 
Uncle JiM:
He is the PM for NSW's ;)
Jul 26, 2021 11:47 AM # 
robplow:
Nic, pretty sure vaccines are not intravenous. So not an unintended pun.

Another factor in Japan is high rate of vaccine hesitancy due to an MMR vaccine program in the 90's that was discontinued when it was suspected to cause meningitis. That experience makes the govt a little more cautious when approving vaccines.
Jul 26, 2021 1:02 PM # 
Bash:
Ontario’s vaccines were initially allocated by population. Then it became clear that more vaccines needed to be directed to densely populated communities with high risk essential workers - people who can’t work from home, often live in larger households and can’t necessarily afford time off if they get the sniffles. It made a big difference.
Jul 26, 2021 3:36 PM # 
rlindzon:
"Australia doesn't have the capacity to manufacture mRNA vaccines (does Japan?), and another factor in the slow start is that both the US and the EU had formal or de facto export bans on vaccines until their own vaccination programs were well advanced."

I don't think it's fair to put any of the blame on the EU. The EU put a permit process in place, but that was supposed to be to just allow it to retaliate against countries that were restricting supplies to EU countries. For example, I believe there was some retaliation against the UK at one point when the EU considered the UK to be restricting its supply of the AZ vaccine.

Canada's supply of both mRNA vaccines was manufactured in the EU (as a result of the US ban on exports) and Canada was receiving mRNA vaccines at the same rate as the EU countries. There was a hiccup for a couple of weeks around February when Pfizer temporarily reduced the amount it was producing in the EU in order to ramp up capacity for the longer term in which the numbers showed Canada getting impacted by that reduction more than the EU countries, but then the Canadian numbers caught up to the EU numbers over the following weeks.

At this point the Canadian federal government says it's holding back delivery of some supply to the provinces because the provincial governments were starting to receive supply faster than it could be used.

Canada has reached 80% of those 12 and over having received at least one dose (and official numbers would understate the actual numbers slightly because they wouldn't include all Canadians who got vaccinated while in the US). The goal is 90% of Canadians being fully vaccinated.
Jul 26, 2021 4:14 PM # 
feet:
@rlindzon: the EU did indeed block a shipment of AZ to Australia - eg, https://www.politico.eu/article/vaccine-export-blo... - on the grounds that Australia didn't need the doses given it had kept Covid out with border closures while the EU had a huge case load, and that AZ had not supplied EU countries with their promised deliveries on time. However, as it turns out, Australia has lots of AZ doses by now but many are unwilling to take them, so it is not really accurate to blame the low Australian vaccination rate on this. As far as I can tell, Australia has received its promised Pfizer doses on time; they just screwed up / lucked out / failed to diversify their order and so don't have enough of them.
Jul 26, 2021 6:10 PM # 
Tundra/Desert:
Came to AP second time this year to get more inside-info on exactly who got Covid at the WOC. Ended up with Ed's infinite wisdom instead. Thanks Ed. Seriously. Signing off.
Jul 26, 2021 7:56 PM # 
rlindzon:
So it was still a matter of the EU retaliating, but in this case not retaliating against a country, but effectively retaliating against AZ and somewhat sideswiping Australia in doing so. Canada's AZ supply came from India instead of the EU, and much of it is being donated to other countries as a result of the mRNA vaccines having become the preferred vaccines in Canada.

The Canadian government initially screwed up as well in planning to rely on the Chinese vaccine, which was being developed based in part on Canadian research, despite the Chinese government holding Canadians hostage. However, the Canadian government did come around to making deals with Pfizer, Moderna, AZ, J&J and others before most other countries once it became obvious that the supply of the Chinese vaccine promised to Canada for clinical trials wasn't coming.
Jul 26, 2021 10:49 PM # 
tRicky:
If I want to book in for an AZ dose I can get in this week. For Pfizer it's two months' time.
Jul 27, 2021 1:03 AM # 
jayne:
There's some element of location even in Victoria, tRicky. Bendigo Health are doing walk ins for Pfizer if you're eligible (and have a Bendigo address)
Jul 27, 2021 6:08 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
@jayne Woop Woop is a great distance from medical facilities, it has a much older population that Melbourne, and a higher burden of disease. Transport access is fragile. If an outbreak happened in Woop Woop it could be very ugly.
Jul 27, 2021 6:14 AM # 
robplow:
Chinese government holding Canadians hostage

in retaliation for Canada holding one of theirs.
Jul 27, 2021 6:39 AM # 
jayne:
TIS that’s a fair point, the cases in Mildura had a very quick impact on the number of health care workers
Jul 27, 2021 6:41 AM # 
blairtrewin:
Just in case any non-Australians are looking for it on a map, Woop Woop does not actually exist.
Jul 27, 2021 8:56 AM # 
tRicky:
If the vaccines in Woop Woop go to waste though, what was the use in sending them there? No point asking for assistance if an outbreak happens down the track that could have been prevented, which is basically the sum total of Australia's numerous responses so far.
Jul 27, 2021 9:25 AM # 
robplow:
Woop Woop exists, you just won't see it marked on any official map.
Jul 27, 2021 11:11 AM # 
TheInvisibleLog:
From the Urban Dictionary.
"A place a long distance from an 'urban' centre."
There are many Woop Woops in Australia.
Jul 27, 2021 11:40 AM # 
robplow:
Jul 27, 2021 1:07 PM # 
rlindzon:
robplow: "Chinese government holding Canadians hostage

in retaliation for Canada holding one of theirs."

Utter nonsense! She's held under an extradition treaty that's binding on the Canadian government. Maybe you haven't heard of them, but Japan and Australia are parties to extradition treaties as well. That's how the men who assisted Ghosn to get out of Japan got returned to Japanese custody from the US.

In any event, your comment is totally irrelevant to my point that it wasn't the time for Canada to place its reliance on China to ship vaccines.
Jul 27, 2021 1:13 PM # 
tRicky:
Touchy.
Jul 27, 2021 1:18 PM # 
robplow:
Sure I know all that. From the Chinese perspective it was retaliation. They claim the US arrest warrent was political and Canada was also complicit. I wasn't passing judgement - just pointing out that those very unfortunate Canadians were not just arrested in China out of the blue.
Jul 27, 2021 1:59 PM # 
gordhun:
Does this thread now set a new Attackpoint record for the number of times and directions it has drifted off-point?
Jul 27, 2021 2:10 PM # 
FrankTheTank:
@gordhun: likely not but I'm sure people can fix that. The thread is young.
Jul 27, 2021 2:42 PM # 
j-man:
I love AP and it’s the best, but threads like this make me which for FB-style reaction emojis.
Jul 27, 2021 3:20 PM # 
RLShadow:
"Does this thread now set a new Attackpoint record for the number of times and directions it has drifted off-point?" Not even close, I would say!!!
Jul 27, 2021 3:39 PM # 
jSh:
@rob, thanks a lot for the laughing fit (or would that be wooping cough?) you induced with that map. However there seems to be some unexplained non-woopiness along the coast North of Brisbane? What's happening there? :)
Jul 27, 2021 4:24 PM # 
robplow:
look at a (real) map - there are several regional cities along the coast from Brisbane to Cairns.

We were taught at school that 90% * of Australians live within 100 km of the coast.

* I cant remember the actual figure but it was pretty high.

Isn't there a similar figure in Canada - the % that live within 100km of the US border?
Jul 27, 2021 4:29 PM # 
jjcote:
66% within 100 km of the USA, 90% within 100 miles. Or so says a quick web search.
Jul 27, 2021 4:45 PM # 
robplow:
And my quick web search says 85 % within 50km and over 90% within 100km of the coast
Jul 27, 2021 5:13 PM # 
jSh:
Ah, OK, my bad - I was going by the "A place a long distance from an 'urban' centre."-rule TIL posted and saw no qualifying centre North of Brisbane on your map. Very interesting stats about distance to coast though!
Jul 27, 2021 5:45 PM # 
jjcote:
Even in the USA, 2/3 of the people live within 100 miles from the edge.

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