Frequently Asked Questions about Covid-19, Week of June 1, 2021

  “Shared expectations lead to predictability.”

 Update on reopening! 

Q: How close are we to reaching a decision to reopen?

 A:  All 4 mandatory metrics documented on the website Covid Act Now ( were met on May 24th!  The countdown has begun.  All 4 metrics must stay below their individual thresholds for a total of 21 consecutive days (3 weeks).  That target is now June 14.

Don’t forget: if any of the 4 metrics go above their thresholds before June 14 – even for one day – the count will go back to the beginning for a new 21-day count to start when all are again in place.  Caution: COVID-19 is known for its surges.

BUT WAIT!  We don’t actually reopen on that date after 21 consecutive days!  The Policy Board will be informed that the community risk of COVID-19 will be at an acceptable level as of that date.  There are other teams at work evaluating and modifying the ventilation system, and a whole lot of logistics being worked out.  All of these will have to be evaluated before THE POLICY BOARD DECIDES ON THE ACTUAL DATE WE WILL REOPEN!


  1. Confusion clarified over conflicting messages about booster vaccines 

Q:  Will there be a need to get a booster of refresher dose of the vaccine soon? 

A:  Politically, the Biden administration has faithfully followed the formula to base its decisions on science.  The CDC has cooperated without interference from politicians since the vaccines have been available   But other variables can get in the way.  Pfizer issued a press release several weeks ago announcing they have been developing a booster shot and this may be needed in the weeks or months ahead.  Scientists are still busy studying the need for this, but they are limited by the short time people who have been vaccinated can have the duration of their immunity evaluated.  Pfizer had been criticized earlier by releasing to the public their findings from the vaccine clinical trials by press releases before it was evaluated by the FDA or the CDC.  Pharmaceutical companies have much invested in and much to profit from their work.  Whether announcing their booster vaccine was advertising for future sales, or simply bragging about their progressive research and development, Science still has yet to find if immunity will fade over time.  The need for booster shots is not at all certain.

According to researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine, basic immunity from the original novel coronavirus-19 could last a lifetime.  They studied 77 patients who had recovered from mild cases of COVID-19. Of these, 18 submitted to periodic bone marrow sampling over a 5-month period.  The bone marrow cells sampled continued to secrete antibodies capable of preventing COVID-19 infections for years to come.  More research is called for because of the small size of this study group and the need to determine variability with different mutations of the disease.  But this and other studies shows the need for the public to be patient and accept that science is not a technique to learn immediate answers to complex questions.  And to recognize that pharmaceutical advertising is driven by competition and pricing.


  1. Myocarditis (heart inflammation) after vaccinations present but rare 

Q: I read in the newspaper that teens have come down with a heart problem after getting vaccinated.  That’s why I won’t let my son get vaccinated!

A: It’s true that last week one Connecticut newspaper reported there were 18 heart inflammation cases in the state after being vaccinated.   It went on to say that this condition is mostly found in teenagers and young people, but is extremely rare.  Only 18 cases have been reported, and all of these were resolved quickly with no lingering after- effects.  In fact, there is no evidence the vaccines actually caused the conditions.  There are many events that appear alongside each other, but a common maxim of logic states, “correlation does not prove causation.”  For example, many “anti-vaxers” of school children still believe that vaccines can cause autism.  Even though that assumption has been scientifically disproven, there really is a correlation of children who have been vaccinated and the display of early signs of autism.  Causation means that one comes first and directly leads to the other.  But perhaps there is an underlying common cause of both.  In fact, childhood vaccinations are usually given at the same age as autism first appears.  Thus, these events are correlated, but one does not necessarily cause the other.  For the recent news report, perhaps there is a factor of age, or hormone levels during and post- puberty.  Or another “common cause” might exist.  Specific to the mild myocarditis, or mild cardiac inflammation, scientists are studying the specifics in relation to the COVID-19 vaccines.  So far, there is no evidence that the vaccines trigger and cause this condition.  Yet another lesson can be found from this phenomenon: people have a difficult time perceiving, evaluating and reacting to different levels of risks.  A few alcoholic drinks, or driving sober without using seat belts to many feel safe behind the wheel.  But information about a very rare incidence of a medical problem can cause paralysis and withdrawal.  As one pundit was quoted, “People are funny, aren’t we?!”

  1. Long term effects of non-hospitalized COVID-19 studied for 8 months

 Q:  How do COVID-19 non-hospitalized patients fare in the long term?

 A:  In a research paper due to be published in July in The Lancet, a group of researchers in Europe have followed 958 patients who have had confirmed COVID-19 disease, but were not hospitalized.  Most other research to date has focused on the serious cases who were hospitalized.  This research was to explore what, if any, long-term health issues remain for those who had milder disease.  These patients were observed from April 6 to December 2, 2020 – a period of 8 months.  The percentages of the group showing signs of the most common conditions that remained long-term were 12.4% anosmia (loss of smell), 11.1% ageusia (loss of taste), 9.7% fatigue, and 8.6% shortness of breath.  Overall, at least one of these symptoms was present in 34.8% of the group at 7 months from infection.

This study begins to define the need for a new category of long-term follow up care identified as “post-COVID-syndrome (PCS)


  1. Lawsuit dismissed against requirements for school children to wear masks

 Q:  Whatever happened to that lawsuit filed by parents demanding children be free of wearing masks while in school?

 A:  This lawsuit was filed last August by the CT Freedom Alliance after the State Education Commissioner ordered children in school to wear masks.  Many parents were upset about this and a series of legal actions were taken to reverse that order.  The legal basis of the claim was that a single department within the executive branch did not have the authority to issue such an order.  An initial court hearing was heard earlier where the decision was moved to a higher court.  In a filing last week, Superior Judge Thomas Moukawsher decided that the Connecticut constitution did allow Governor Lamont to issue the emergency orders including the wearing of masks in school.  In addition, Judge Moukawsher cited the legislature had tightened the standards governing emergency powers and approved his previous acts.  His conclusion: this further demonstrates that the order was made in accordance with the sate constitution.

It is noted that previously, the legislature authorized the elimination of the frequently used “religious waiver” for parents to avoid having their children vaccinated before enrolling in school.  Parents, acting under the “practice of medicine,” had assumed the authority to waive this practice as the guardians of their children’s health.  But in the “practice of public health,” many rules exist to force a person’s compliance to protect the health of others.   Quarantines, isolation, vaccinations, – and masks are part of the need to protect others.