editor: fred miller December 14, 2020 #23 December/2020
It is frustrating to hang at home and have to read about the idiocies of the trump minions and wanting to respond by putting up the billboards, flying the banners, hacking social media, putting full page ads in papers all with one message; LOSER-GET OUT!. And the stank will likely linger another month with the dickwad and twatbot losers spouting nonsense and trump trying to squeeze the last bucks from the federal tit and the suckers. But except for the true believers, the end is nigh.
What will the punditocracy do? Besides stirring up speculative crap among the dems (that the dems bite on every time), they wasting a lot of ink and pixels churning out dire warnings, bemoaning the long term effects of the trump attack on democracy. It seems to me that if democracy as a 'system' is that weak and fragile that it can't withstand a petulant whiny loser throwing manure then it should collapse. Not likely. There will be needed reforms that bolster our freedoms and likely our elections will be even more secure.
I think the single most worrisome fact to come from the past four years is that trump has shown a sizable portion of Americans will accept repeated lies as truths and truths as bunk.
I've included a couple long pieces about vaccines, what they are and whether they are safe. I've read a lot of articles, and these seem to be the best at summing up the sitch.
I've suggested in a call to the public at the council meeting Tuesday night, that a State of the City presentation with info about revenue, budget,% of departments spending, and possible ways of dealing with shortfalls might be appropriate at the first of the year and this middle point in the budget year.
Thanks to all that have inquired about me post opo. I'm doing well, will get my neck brace off in about 6 weeks, am walking 3-4 miles a day, doing a good half hour or more of exercises every day, and kind of bored at the restrictive life I lead.
Regular Council Session Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 7PM
Due to Covid 19 this meeting will be conducted electronically by Zoom and Facebook. The public can join, listen and view the meeting as follows:
City’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/COB118Arizona/). A Facebook account is not necessary.
Zoom by calling in at 1-346-248-7799 or by the following link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85376736465 the meeting/webinar ID is 853 7673 6465.
The public can submit comments that will be read at the dais by a staff member to firstname.lastname@example.org. Citizens can also be recognized to speak during the meeting only if they sign up ahead of time at the email address above. Please indicate if you are signing up to speak under Call to the Public or a specific item number.
Background here: http:///www.bisbeeaz.gov/agendacenter click 12/15
#3 possible approval of IGA with SV about animal control services. This likely will be voted down, or at least should be cause it is not a good agreement, as there are two agenda topics dealing with animal control services.
#5 This seems moot as the council did last session and will consider again at this meeting.The petition had 300+ signatures
#8 possible direction to the CM for a new RFP for animal control services
#9 one month funding for FBAS for January
#10 possibly putting council comments after call to the public, instead of at the end of the meet, and adding a new council member report on their assigned commissions at end of meeting.
#11 Temporary business extension permits....six bars/restaurants (Grand hotel, Bisbee Social Club, Bisbee Table, Copper Queen Hotel, Screaming Banschee, and St. Elmo's, sent a letter to mayor/council requesting temporary outdoor business extension of premises. Basically they are asking for a permitting process that would allow them temporary extension into parking areas in front of their businesses. They cited Ducey's directive easing restrictions and encouraging outdoor dining. This item could establish a permitting process for those extensions. Noted that there are some restrictions such as only 60' allowed from the permitted premises although can be noncontiguous, insurance covering the City, and others. Hmmm get out the tape measures...how many parking spots are within 60 feet of some businesses?
#12 the City applied for and was awarded a pre development planning grant . they want to use it to update a previous preliminary engineering report. for the Bisbee Sewer Lateral Rehab project. This is required so that the City can qualify for a grant that would, if received, would work on Sewer Lateral Rehab. Whew! this grant stuff can get muy complicado!
#13,14,15 are all PW purchases approved previously by the council; these are the terms of the purchase.
INVOCATION: A Moment of Silence
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
MAYOR’S PROCLAMATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:
CALL TO THE PUBLIC
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED, CONSIDERED AND/OR DECIDED UPON AT THIS MEETING:
1. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds
Approval of the Consent Agenda
Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on November 3. 2020 at 7:00pm.
Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on November 17, 2020 at 7:00pm. Approval of the Minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on December 1, 2020 at 7:00pm.Approval of the Appointment of Stephen Pauken to the Civil Service Commission.
Approval of the Appointment of Monika Patience to the Streets and Infrastructure Committee.
Approval of the Appointment of Chris Brown to the Police and Fire Advisory Committee as the at large member.
Approval of the Resignation of Bryant Keefe from the Planning and Zoning Committee.
3. Discussion and Possible Approval of an Interagency Governmental Agreement between the City of Sierra Vista and City of Bisbee for Animal Care Services.
Theresa Coleman, City Manager
4. Notice of the Council Appointments to Various Boards/Committees and Commissions.
Ken Budge, Mayor
5. Discussion and Possible action or direction on the Petition submitted by Heather Glenn regarding the Friends of the Bisbee Animal Shelter.
Ken Budge, Mayor
6. Discussion and Possible Approval to extend the waiver of Fire Inspection Fees for Commercial Inspections scheduled through a time frame that Mayor and Council decides.
Jim Richardson, Fire Marshal
7. Discussion and Possible Approval for a new 60-month lease agreement between the Bisbee Police Department and RICHO USA Inc. for 2 upgraded intelligent series copier/fax machines to replace the current obsolete leased copier/fax machines.
Albert Echave, Police Chief
8. Discussion and Possible Approval of instructions by the Mayor to City Manager Coleman to advertise for a new animal care services RFP, as configured through a discussion and agreement with the majority of the City Council.
Ken Budge, Mayor
9. Discussion and Possible Approval of an additional one-month funding with Friends of the Bisbee Animal Shelter for the month of January 2021 in the amount of $4,999.00 to allow for a review and consideration of all submitted proposals for a new RFP contract, as directed from Council, to provide for animal care services.
Ken Budge, Mayor
10. Discussion, Motion and Possible Approval for amending the City Code 2.5.5 (A)- Order of Business.
Ken Budge, Mayor
11. Discussion and Possible Approval of Temporary Premise Extensions and Permit Application for Business Establishments.
Theresa Coleman, City Manager
12. Update and Discussion of the Pre-Development Planning Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Jesus Haro, Public Works Director
13. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Lease-Purchase Agreement for a Compact Track Loader (Skid Steer).
Jesus Haro, Public Works Director
14. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Lease-Purchase Agreement for a Mini Excavator.
Jesus Haro, Public Works Director
15. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Lease-Purchase Agreement for a Trailer.
Jesus Haro, Public Works Director
16. City Manager's Report:
Legalization of Recreational Marijuana
CCTEC Marketing Plan
Mitigation requirements for events Executive Order 2020-59
Other Current events (No Discussion)
VACCINES...WHAT THEY ARE, HOW THEY WORK IN REAL LIFE
(This is from a newsletter called Scrap Facts, info at bottom)
Covid-19 vaccines-a primer on different ways vaccines work to trick our bodies into making protective antibodies.
You’ll notice that historically, the best vaccines (meaning the ones that generate the strongest antibody response) have been weakened or killed viruses. Given how dangerous and new SARS-CoV-2 is, most vaccine manufacturers aren’t using a live virus.
Most vaccines have been targeting the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2. Essentially, that’s the virus’ ~signature lewk~ to distinguish it from others for our immune cells.
The three vaccine candidates that have so far generated the most preliminary data from late stage clinical trials are AstraZeneca/Oxford, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna. They’ve only released press releases so far, which don’t present as high a standard of evidence as transparent, peer-reviewed scientific papers.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is a viral vector vaccine: It takes a virus that infects chimps and has replaced the inner bits with genetic code for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The chimp virus can’t make us sick, but should behave enough like a virus to dupe our immune systems into springing into action.
Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccine uses mRNA. This is a new kind of vaccine that uses the same form of genetic material our cells translate into the proteins that keep us alive every day. This mRNA slips into our cell membranes through a tiny fat bubble, and codes for the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Our bodies make the protein, which spooks immune cells into making antibodies against it.
Right now, we only know about these vaccine’s efficacy—which is how well they work in a controlled clinical trial. Pfizer and Moderna’s candidates prevent 90% or more cases of Covid-19! AstraZeneca’s candidate prevents ~70%, but there are a lot of questions about their study design.
Assuming each of these candidates get regulatory authorization for widespread use, these countries have already pre-ordered enough to vaccinate their entire populations:
Here’s what we don’t know and why, and how that may play a role in the way the pandemic eventually gets under control:
We don’t know how long it’ll be before life can go back to normal, even with a vaccine.
We don’t know any of these candidates’ real-world effectiveness—it may be lower than their efficacy. Life isn’t as clean and neat as a clinical trial.
We don’t know if the vaccine stops viral transmission; it should, but we have no data on that so far.
We don’t know how well the vaccine will work in extremely vulnerable populations, like the elderly; surprisingly Pfizer’s vaccine candidate seems to work well in these populations, who normally don’t produce strong antibody responses to vaccines.
All public health decisions about going back to “normal”—having large gatherings, traveling, not wearing masks—hinge on metrics like community spread and hospitalization rates, not how many people have gotten vaccines.
We don’t know how vaccines are going to be distributed equitably, which is essential to ending the pandemic.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is the cheapest and needs the least amount of specialized storage equipment; it’ll be the most likely to get distributed in poorer countries; Pfizer/BioNTech’s and Moderna’s require cold storage; Pfizer has built specialized freezers to ship their vaccines, but many rural areas won’t have the freezers to actually store them.
The UK is taking a completely centralized approach to distributing vaccines, which ensures that everyone who needs one will get one, regardless of their ability to pay.
The US has a much more decentralized approach to healthcare in general, and it’ll be up to individual states to figure out how they want to distribute vaccines. There likely will never be a federal plan to distribute or mandate any kind of vaccines.
I'm a reporter covering health and science with insatiable curiosity. I love everything I learn, not all of which gets its own story. Each issue, I'll bring you some of my favorite facts that I picked up on the job or while out living life.
Love Scrap Facts? Consider hitting the “like” button, or tell your friends to sign up!
GETTING FAMILIAR WITH THE RISKS AND BENEFITS OF THE COVID 19 VACCINES.
(Note this email was sent to me by a friend. The author is a doctor in California. It was sent to most health care professionals and some colleagues. I've included all his comments because although he is talking to health care providers, his thoughts about how this is talked about is relevant. Thanks to BG.)
-You need more than a passing familiarity.
-This is important so that you can make an educated and science-based decision on whether you will get the vaccine.
-It is also important because patients are going to ask you. I hope that once you review the data with me in this email you will be comfortable talking to patients about it. That is includes ALL of us whether you are primary care, radiology, or sub specialized in 5th digit DIP reconstructive surgery. The community will look to us. We will all be asked, and we need to have the data driven answers.
-I am not going to tell you how to think. You can look at the data and make your own conclusions.
-I am going to share with you my summary of the data because I know most of you will not read the 53-page report on the Pfizer study.
-And then I am going to tell you what I think.
Why am I torturing you with this long email?
This is potentially the most important moment in our professional lives. I cannot overstate this. If we, as a society, are not successful in producing a safe vaccine and then delivering it to the masses, then the pandemic continues to torment us: medically, socially, and politically. The first part of producing a safe vaccine looks to have been accomplished (at least in my opinion, you get to decide for yourself). The second part of ensuring that enough of us get the vaccine to produce herd immunity, well, that is up to each of us as the leaders of the local medical community.
There is a disturbing amount of vaccine skepticism out there.
We need to provide our patients with science-based facts so that they can make informed decisions.
If you agree with my assessments of the data, then you need to lead through example by getting the vaccine and telling everyone you know that you made an informed decision to do so. Our actions will be way more meaningful than anything we say.
Cliff notes of the study analysis:
The vaccine is truly effective and safe based on my analysis of what looks to be very high-quality data.
I will have NO reservations about getting the vaccine. 6 months ago, I would NOT have made this claim. I would have told you I was very unsure and skeptical about getting the vaccine. I am no longer unsure.
For those of you who don’t know me well: I am no cheerleader. I am a natural born skeptic and generally highly critical most of the treatments and the data that doesn’t always support many of our medical therapies as much as we think it does.
The Pfizer vaccine appears to be the real deal (I have not yet seen the full report on the Moderna vaccine, but based on what I have seen, it too looks to be very effective/safe as well). I have no stock or financial conflicts in any of this.
If you don't want to read the details about the study, go the end.
********* STUDY ANALYSIS/SUMMARY ************
Here is my summary/analysis of the Pfizer vaccine study. For better or worse, this is 100% my analysis. I have not seen/been biased by analysis from manufacturer conclusions nor have benefited (or been misled) from analysis of other experts. That being said this data is pretty straight forward stuff.
STUDY DESIGN and DEMOGRAPHICS
-Multi country study (US, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, South Africa and Turkey)
-43,448 enrolled participants >16 years of age (21720 vaccine, 21728 placebo)
-Subjects given two shots about a month a part (either two vaccines or two placebos).
-Subjects tracked for development of COVID and adverse events for 2 months after receiving the second vaccine or second placebo. You can look at the study if you want to see how they were tracked, but it seems legit to me. If there were any place for bias here it would be to the advantage of the placebo arm, ie its reassuring. Much too long to explain in an email- but can be part of a debate with me if you are so inclined...
-The study will continue for the next couple of years to evaluate for duration of achieved immunity and serious adverse events.
-The 16–18-year-old cohort was not large enough to provide statistically significant data. Only 1 participant in this sub group was COVID positive!! So we don't have answers for the Pediatricians (but please keep reading my small adult doctor colleagues, you need to decide if you will get the vaccine or if you will tell your parents to get the vaccine)
-1700+ subjects over age of 75 who completed the study (and yes, providing statistically significant data)
-Pregnancy was an exclusion criterion, but 23 patients are known to have become pregnant during the study. They will be followed very closely to provide pregnancy related data, but the number will likely be much too small for statistically significant data to guide vaccination during pregnancy.
-3% of subjects had COVID prior to enrollment (yes you read that correctly, these patients were included to determine if prior infected individuals would receive benefit or harm from the vaccine, spoiler they did receive benefit).
-Over half of ALL participants had elevated BMI: 34% of subjects were overweight. 35% were obese.
-20% of all subjects had comorbitities (separate from increased BMI).
-Very similar demographics between vaccine and control groups. NO red flags that caught my eye. Actually slightly higher comorbities in vaccine group, not statistically significant but the deck was clearly not stacked to provide a favorable outcome for Pfizer.
-Good subject retention (few drops outs from study, which if were present would be a red flag).
-95% of people who got COVID were in the placebo arm, 5% of the participants who got COVID were in the vaccine group (this is what they mean by 95% effective as reported in the news). It is less effective after just one shot, so ensuring our patients get both shots is critical.
-95% effective across all subgroups/cohorts (for example 95% of cases of COVID in the elderly obese cohort had received placebo, while only 5% who got COVID in this cohort had received the vaccine)
-Slight drop overall with elderly: 94% effective in the elderly (<65). 100% effective over 75 years old!- not statistically significant but certainly reassuring.
-19 patients who got Covid in the study had evidence of having had Covid PRIOR to study enrollment (only 1 of whom was in the treatment group, 18 in placebo). Point: Your patients should be vaccinated EVEN if they previously had COVID. And the vaccine may actually be more protective than prior COVID infection. This may seem surprising, but the phenomenon has been seen in other non-COVID vaccine trials.
Non-Serious ADVERSE EVENTS
The treatment group had higher rate of minor adverse events- think immune response stuff like fever, body aches, headaches, fatigue, and pain at injection site. These things are to be expected to varying degrees with effective vaccines. All were self-resolving.
NO major significant difference between groups with other things like vomit, diarrhea.
Serious ADVERSE EVENTS
NO serious side adverse events related to vaccine.
There were 0.6% non-fatal adverse events in the study (things like MI, appendicitis, facial bone fractures etc).
The distribution of non-fatal adverse events was equal in the control group and treatment group.
The rate of non-fatal adverse events mirrors expected rates in the general population (ie the same number of people got appendicitis as you would expect if you took 43,000 people and watched them for several months).
Fatal ADVERSE EVENTS
6 deaths total, 2 in vaccine group, 4 in placebo. FYI Already the anti vaxxers are pouncing on the 2 deaths, even though twice as many deaths occurred in the placebo group <groan>.
None of the deaths seem to be vaccine related (they were things like MI, hemorrhagic stroke etc). All over age of 55 except one of the placebo deaths.
All deaths represent events that occur in the general population of the age groups where they occurred, at a similar rate (this is per independent reviewer, not Pfizer)
Nothing of significance. Some subjects in treatment group had transient reduction of lymphocytes without connect to other adverse events. Self-resolving.
There is no evidence of vaccine enhanced illness
I think there may even be a trend against it, but I had a hard time gleaning from the data available in the paper.
You will hear detractors. There are always medical cynics with every study the comes out. Always. That is a healthy part of medical science. However, the bottom line is this is one of the most effective vaccines ever developed for short term immunity (and maybe long-term immunity, we just don't know for sure). For those of you not familiar with these things 95% effectiveness is truly remarkable.
We don't have ALL the answers:
We do not know how long immunity will last.
We do not know long term side effects. But there is no physiologic/immunologic reason to believe there should be significant long-term effect.