Politics Before Science

There was a time when scientists would err on the side of caution and make decisions based on the best outcome for the most people. In the case of how long to isolate or quarantine after a positive test for COVD-19, the CDC has caved-in to politics and shortened the isolation period to five days.

If you look at the science and try to examine all of the available information it is clear that five days is not enough to provide safety to people you come in contact with. The CDC does suggest that after five days of isolation an infected person get re-tested and then wear a mask for another five days. That is almost a concession to the fact that there is a high likelihood they can transmit the virus beyond five days.


Which Test When

People are flocking to testing sites to find out if they have COVID. That is a good thing and it means that a good number of people are taking responsibility for their safety and the safety of others. But when it comes to testing, there are options and it can be difficult to decide when to get tested and which test is best under certain circumstances.

The state of Vermont made over 300,000 rapid diagnostic testing (RDT’s) kits available a few days ago and they were grabbed up within a short period of time. Before people use them it would be a good idea to do some research and find out how to use the kits and when to use them. I will be getting some and I hope the instructions in the kits are useful.


Masking Smartly Makes A Difference

Are people who are getting infected and re-infected with COVID using masks? Are they using masks correctly? When we hear about numbers of cases or individual cases there does not seem to be any reporting about mask use. This got me to wondering if people who use masks are using them to maximum benefit.

I have read a number of peer-reviewed medical journal articles and I also looked at data from the CDC and the EPA(Environmental Protection Agency) to determine the most effective masks and how they should be used.


COVID Christmas

I thought we could retire this one last year, but now it’s a becoming a regular holiday special. Here it is again, the COVID Christmas Anti-Viral Holiday Special…  stay safe everyone!


Vermont on PBS NewsHour

Vermont was featured on the national news last night. The PBS Newshour did a segment on Vermont and the pandemic. Our rising numbers contrast with our early successes and this makes for interesting news.

They said that Vermont’s numbers were up because 1) everyone got their shot early on so we’ve had a long time for the effects to weaken, and 2) variants are more contagious now.

People ending up in hospitals are mostly unvaccinated. People who are vaccinated are getting milder cases, but are transmitting it to those who are not vaccinated yet.  Booster shots aren’t as popular as the first round of vaccinations, either.


FOMAG Has Cancelled the 2021 Messiah Sing

For those who may not have heard the news already through other media, Friends of Music at Guilford tried to plan a Messiah Sing for this December but with rising COVID statistics, we decided it wasn’t worth the gamble, even with protocols in place. To quote from the FOMAG Facebook post…

Well, we hoped and we tried. We had the venue reserved, we had a conductor and keyboard and soloists. We felt optimistic as things were opening up late summer / early fall. We worked on protocols for preregistration, contact tracing, proof of vaccine, limited seating, even debated about proof of negative COVID tests. We held off on making any go / no-go decisions as long as possible. But those accursed COVID statistics have just been getting worse and worse.


COVID’S Bigger Lessons

It is two years since the emergence of the first versions of the COVID virus. The world was slow to figure out what was going on and even slower to figure out ways to deal with this new deadly disease. Despite all of the technology and science that we have developed over the years, COVID continues to make fools of the humans who are trying to beat it.

On the surface it may seem that the best way to contain COVID and to make it less of a threat to humans is to develop effective vaccines and get those vaccines to as many people as possible. It sounds like a simple plan and it makes sense from a scientific perspective.


Brattleboro Face Coverings Required

At its November 23 meeting, the Brattleboro Selectboard passed a resolution that established a rule requiring that face coverings be worn by all employees, customers, and visitors in any store, office, or other indoor setting where the public is invited. The adoption of this rule was made possible by the State of Vermont authorizing municipal legislative bodies to adopt rules requiring individuals to wear face coverings while indoors at locations open to the public. The Vermont Legislature passed a bill to that effect in special session on November 22 and Governor Scott signed the bill into law on November 23.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda & Notes – November 23, 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard will meet on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at 6:15pm over Zoom. The Municipal Center (230 Main Street) will be open to the public with limited seating spaced six feet apart and face coverings will be required. The public is encouraged to participate in the meeting over Zoom. The attached agenda contains information on how to access the meeting remotely, including the required “passcode.”  ASL interpreters will be available for deaf and hard-of-hearing community members.


Selectboard Meeting Notes – FY23 Budget Season Begins

selectboard nov 1 2021

The Brattleboro Selectboard kicked off their FY23 budget season with an overview of the proposed town budget by Town Manager Peter Elwell. Questions were limited at this meeting, allowing the board and the public to take in a broad overview. Deep dive questions begin next week.

One of the lengthier passages in this meeting was a discussion of prepaid assigned funds compared to unassigned funds and how they both are accounted for legally and financially.


Brattleboro Selectboard Agenda and Notes – November 2, 2021

Budget season begins with an overview of the proposed budget by the Town Manager to the Selectboard, and this starts at the next regular meeting of the board.

They’ll also approve more repairs for the skating rink, increase the deductible on health insurance for town employees, review their goals, and more. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.