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Yale 62

COVID Corner

This page serves as the one-stop source for everything we’ve posted regarding COVID throughout the pandemic. Please stay tuned as we add to it. Thanks.

1/13/22 From our This Just In page:

Jan. 13, 2022. We have new reports of Covid amongst our classmates and their spouses. Roman Weil mentions how his brush with Covid derailed his football plans three days ago, while Bill Reilly notes: “Our family was hit hard by the virus. Libbie lost her younger brother, and I lost my older sister. And we both caught and recovered from it, with no apparent enduring effects.” John Stewart reports that while Jolly tested positive and suffered only mild symptoms, he continued to test negative. Others report catching and surviving it, but wish to remain unnamed. Stay as safe as possible, everyone!

Vaccines or Vitamins?
By Richard Howard

At the July Coffee Hour, classmate Earl Staelin gave a presentation covering various health subjects. I could not attend this meeting and much of what he said went unchallenged. Most of what he said was not accurate. I have written the following for clarification. READ RICHARD’S REPORT HERE

Our July Coffee Hour

For our ‘First Thursday’ Coffee Hour this month, we featured a discussion about treatments for COVID – specifically, vaccines or eschewing vaccines. Moderated by Lee Bolman and Tim Hall, Dr. David Johnson and Earl Staelin spoke from their perspectives. The first 30 minutes are the presentations; the remaining 25 minutes contain the Q&A period.

Comments? Please make them here.

Hong Kong Take-Away
Some Personal Reflections on What the Pandemic has Brought and What We Will Keep
By Bill Stork

Having lived and worked through the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic in Hong Kong, I went into this virus experience a little bit better prepared, knowing that the most critical factor, in addition to the physical heath precautions, was to maintain a good mental outlook. And, rather Pollyanna-like, I continually look daily for positive ways in which this current situation has affected us and how we have… READ BILL’S UPDATE IN FULL HERE

The May Coffee Hour Surprise

At the Y62 Coffee Hour on May 6, the conversation about our experiences with the pandemic triggered a debate about health and the Covid vaccines. Earl Staelin argued for a holistic view of health, emphasizing nutrition and lifestyle, and expressed significant doubts about the short- and long-term effects of the Covid vaccines. David Johnson, who led an earlier Coffee Hour focused on Covid, spoke from his experience as an endocrinologist and argued that the evidence for the safety and efficacy of the vaccines is very strong. Part of their dialogue is in the video above. Several Coffee Hour participants expressed interest in continuing this conversation in a future event.

Do you have comments you’d like to make about the clip we’ve shown above? Please make them here.

Special Event Zoom: COVID and College Admissions

At 7:30 PM EST on April 15, thirty classmates convened to discuss Yale (and other Ivy) applications, admissions, and Covid. You can view the 60-minute session immediately below. The various exhibits by panelists Bolman, Chambers, and Weil are linked as well.

Lee Bolman’s presentation
Official Yale materials (discussed by Al Chambers)
Roman Weil’s presentation

Do you have comments? You can make them here.

Covid-19, Admissions and Litigation at Yale

By Lee Bolman
Yale and its challenges

There’s a lot happening on multiple fronts these days. There’s a lot of good news for Yale, but the university and higher education also face serious challenges… CLICK FOR LEE’S REPORT

Keeping Calm while Coping/Cowering with COVID

By William Stork

(Editor’s Note: Bill’s latest update from Hong Kong details the Government’s continuing success at containing COVID19 cases. Bill explains important technology, communications and vaccination initiatives, all designed to open more of Hong Kong and return life to normality. He told us that he thinks what is happening is that the Government’s success, “even with the National Security Act, is now being used to provide encouragement for the populace to be patriots.” At the same time, Bill maintains his own one-year near total self-isolation, but is “hopeful” for the future, despite the increased restrictions from Beijing. You will find the contrasts to the United States fascinating.) CLICK FOR BILL’S REPORT

The COVID Questions

(EDITOR’S NOTE: During the dramatic weeks of January and early February, dozens and perhaps hundreds of Yale62 classmates received COVID19 vaccinations. We thought it an appropriate time, while the experience was fresh in your minds, to invite descriptions, comments and opinions to the following questions. Please respond to one or both in around 100 words each. Classmates who have not been vaccinated may also respond and express opinions. Opinions and questions about what other classmates have described are encouraged, but please be sure to click the reply button below the specific comment you are addressing so that the material will thread together for others to read.

Many more classmates also were having tests and knew family and friends diagnosed with COVID19. Just for the record, national daily cases dropped about 16% in the past week but remain high at about 140,000 new cases and 3,000 deaths per day. Concern and uncertainty about new variants persist, including whether vaccinations will have the same high efficacy in combating the new threats. Thank you for participating.)

Click here to view the questions, respond to them yourself, and read the responses of your classmates..

1/27/21 Communications Team member George Snider offers up the following: “I turned eighty on Monday, January 25, and my best present did not arrive until 6:10 p.m., when a regional pharmacy chain texted that I could be vaccinated the following morning – which of course I did. And I only had to drive two miles.

“I was surprised by the exhilaration and sense of relief that Monday’s text created. Apparently I was more nervous about the novel coronavirus than I had thought.

“In addition to the pharmacy chain, I had registered with two hospital giants – Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland – but through some miracle the pharmacy has acquired the most vaccine the fastest. What’s more, the online application was short and simple, and the IT app tracked me down on the very day I became eligible. Tuesday morning, I was in and out of the pharmacy in 30 minutes.

“My wife, who is younger, needs to wait a few more weeks, but hopefully her experience will rival mine.”

1/25/21 Chip Neville and the COVID vaccine

We once more checked in with Chip Neville, whose earlier communications regarding COVID are located farther down on this page. Here is Chip’s latest news:

Dear Classmates,

Judi and I got our Pfizer COVID-19 shots on January 16, 9 days ago, so we are now about 60% protected. But we still mask up except while eating and home in our lovely apartment. The powers that be here have even opened the dining room for breakfast and dinner.

Judi has started moving furniture in from our house, so we now have rugs and a lovely dining room table with a great view of the spacious window. She has also made good friends and goes upstairs almost every night to play scrabble.

As for our experience getting our first shot, they were supposed to be in the morning. I had to get up early to make it, so I only got 4 or 5 hours of sleep. Then CVS didn’t get here for several hours, and we finally got our shots around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. One of Judi’s lady friends said, “It’s like the Army, ‘Hurry up and wait.'”

Otherwise, it was a breeze. It barely hurt, my arm was only a tiny bit sore like with a flu shot, and I had on other reactions. But I understand the second shot on February 6 can cause much more uncomfortable reactions. I hope not, but even so it will be worth it.

Connecticut, where we live, had a serious epidemic of COVID-19 infections in nursing homes and retirement communities. We had several cases and deaths here. But the Governor announced last week that the vaccination program has reduced COVID-19 infections in nursing homes and retirement communities to nearly zero.

Best Wishes to All and Keep Well, Chip

1/04/21 COVID and Me By Carl Kaestle

John Stewart asked me to write a paragraph about my experience with the Covid virus. About ten weeks ago, I developed a set of cold symptoms: mild cough, drippy nose, slightly sore throat, and a bit of fatigue. “Uh-oh,” I thought. “Here it comes.” And it stayed for maybe three or four weeks, but didn’t get worse. So, I decided that I had gotten the “woosie” version of this virus. The lab confirmed that it was indeed the corona virus. By this time, everyone was using a mask and keeping distance, so I did not get near people at the corner store in my rural village of North Egremont. My girlfriend kept her distance; my son-in-law came for Thanksgiving for several days, as a guest in my house. We used masks in the house sometimes. He went back to Virginia, healthy as a racehorse. Then the nurses monitoring me said I should quarantine myself for two weeks. So I did that. By the end of that time my symptoms had weakened and quit. What a nice virus. How lucky I was. Surely some classmates had nastier encounters with the virus. That’s my upbeat story of covid and me.

1/04/21 Update on Chip Neville A check-in with Chip yielded the following, on Christmas Day: “Thanks. Yes, we are still OK [negative test results]. We are scheduled to get our first vaccinations in the week after New Years, but they may be delayed depending on supply. Steve Buck wants me to post about our vaccination appointments. I hate needles, especially the square, rusty, horse needle kind, but I hope the rest will be a breeze.”

12/23/20 A Note about COVID Corner and by Al Chambers

Dec. 11, 2020 Classmate Chip Neville reports: “Well, the COVID-19 virus has hit home. Judi and I went to bed with headaches and sore throats last evening. We feel better now, but we are quarantined until our COVID-19 tests come back. We get tested every Wednesday here at Brookdale Chatfield, and today was Wednesday.

“I had an appointment with my PCP physician, but UCONN told us they wouldn’t let us in the building. Fortunately, we called first. I guess if it’s serious we have to go to the emergency room. It could be worse. Hospitals in some states are soon not going to have room left to treat anybody, but Connecticut isn’t there yet.

“We are in the midst of an epidemic here. Tom across the hall from us has the Corona Virus, and there is a sign on his door saying do not enter without full protective equipment. His friend, and our friend, Bob upstairs also has the Corona Virus.”

11/02/20 Shakespeare: understanding “the heavens’ plagues” by Michael Bristol

10/12/20 Personal Experience with Trump Medication by Chip Neville

9/25/20 According to Yale Today, Yale has designated three independent laboratories to perform the university-developed SalivaDirect™ COVID-19 test. Along with Yale Pathology Labs — the first to offer the test — Access Medical Laboratories, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), and Mirimus, Inc., represent the initial wave of providers for the innovative testing method. They will make SalivaDirect™ available to people in Florida, Minnesota and New York by late September. For the rest of the story, visit the Yale Today site here.

7/23/20 Pandemic Reading, Anyone?

7/17/20 COVID and Confusion By William Stork

Yale Announces Plan for Fall Semester

On Wednesday, July 1, President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel announced the fall semester news in a message to the Yale community. We asked classmate Lee Bolman for his reaction. “On a quick look: moving classes online is the right thing. Bringing back ~60% of students is risky. The extensive testing regime may help, though CDC says there’s not evidence that such a program reduces infection beyond what you can achieve with social distancing. How will the quarantine requirements for students from high-risk areas be enforced? Almost inevitably, there will be mini-spikes of Covid-19 in the undergraduate population, and the hope is that they can be identified and controlled quickly. As the university acknowledges, the program is intrusive in many ways, and how well undergraduates will comply with the social distancing and travel restrictions is an open question. Interesting times, for sure.” For Lee’s recent essay on “Yale, COVID and What About Fall 2020?” please READ ON

“Whether” Report: Hong Kong. July 1, 2020 By William Stork

Yale, COVID and What About Fall 2020? By Lee Bolman

Updated 6/19/20
Happy 80th Birthday, Y62 style, in the COVID era