Suspicion swirls over Russia’s plans for Belarus after minister’s death     Who is Susan Hussey, queen’s courtier at the center of racism row?     Regret your Kanye West tattoo? This studio will remove it for free.     Suspicion swirls over Russia’s plans for Belarus after minister’s death     Who is Susan Hussey, queen’s courtier at the center of racism row?     Regret your Kanye West tattoo? This studio will remove it for free.     Ukraine live briefing: Spate of letter bombs sent in Spain; U.S. signs air defense missile deal     Letter bombs strike Spain, including premier’s office, U.S. and Ukraine embassies     Britain saves ‘grandparent’ of all modern skyscrapers, built in 1796      Suspicion swirls over Russia’s plans for Belarus after minister’s death     Who is Susan Hussey, queen’s courtier at the center of racism row?     Regret your Kanye West tattoo? This studio will remove it for free.     Suspicion swirls over Russia’s plans for Belarus after minister’s death     Who is Susan Hussey, queen’s courtier at the center of racism row?     Regret your Kanye West tattoo? This studio will remove it for free.     Ukraine live briefing: Spate of letter bombs sent in Spain; U.S. signs air defense missile deal     Letter bombs strike Spain, including premier’s office, U.S. and Ukraine embassies     Britain saves ‘grandparent’ of all modern skyscrapers, built in 1796      
SUBSCRIBE MY PROFILE
HOME | BREAKING NEWS | IN MEMORIAM | PEOPLE | OPINION |
 JOBS  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 HOMES  
 CARS  
 FUNERAL HOMES  
 GOODS & SERVICES

News of Otsego County

COVID-19

STERNBERG: Diligence Called for, Now More Than Ever
Column by Richard Sternberg, M. D.

Diligence Called for,
Now More Than Ever

Again, just when it seemed we reached the point where we can go out with people and decrease our use of masks, COVID strikes back and possibly with more virulence than previous strains. The number of new strains to consider is large. New strains include BA.5.2.6, BA.4.1.9, BE.1.2, BA.4.7, BF.13 and XBB, among others. Already BA.5 and BA.4 strains have high penetrance in the U.S. The new and improved booster shots only use RNA to code for the original strains, BA.1 and BA.2

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others warn that this year the winter viral season will be worse than usual because we have to deal with flu and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). A side effect of the lockdowns and protective behavior over the last two years has been decreased contact between people so that influenza, rhinovirus (common cold), and other circulating viral illnesses have decreased, off-setting some of the increased mortality due to COVID. RSV is primarily a disease of children which makes it difficult for them to breathe and doesn’t have a vaccine yet. There are approximately 300 deaths in children in the U.S. each year from it.

STERNBERG: COVID’S Silver Lining
Column by Richard Sternberg

COVID’S Silver Lining

Sometimes, out of the worst experiences something good happens. At the end of my column on MASH last week, I mentioned that I have learned about creating family where you found it. Amazingly, because of COVID, I found my family that I wasn’t even aware of for the past 45 years.

At the very beginning of the COVID epidemic in March 2020, a friend of mine from college who lived on the same dormitory floor started groups who met on Zoom. This was for alumni of our era. She knew people from a few years before she started and other for a few years after she graduated. She put together a group of graduates from 1968 through 1982 and then divided them into three groups. My group, classes of 1974 through 1978, decided to meet monthly. We turned out to be the most active of the three groups. This kept up for the last 30 months. Over time, as we brought each other up to speed on what had happened in our lives, more than one of us came to the conclusion that indeed we were a family, sometimes dysfunctional, sometimes at odds with each other, but isn’t that what a family is about anyway? You could actually feel and hear the love between people, many of whom had no contact with each other for 45 to 50 years.

STERNBERG: Mr. President, COVID Is NOT Over
Column by Dr. Richard Sternberg

Mr. President, COVID Is NOT Over

I like Joe Biden. By that I mean I like him personally. I lived in the state of Delaware, in Sussex County, the southernmost of Delaware’s three counties, between 2000 and 2008. While there are beach communities hugging its eastern Atlantic shore and a small city, Seaford, anomalously hugging its western, most land locked area, the majority of the county is rural. The area is jokingly called Lower Slower Delaware. Many of the people come from families that have been there for 350 years. Most of the land is planted in feed corn for the millions of chickens that are raised there. Perdue is headquartered just across the border in Salisbury, MD and Mountaire Farms is headquartered in Millsboro, DE. Tysons has a very large presence. What I’m trying to say is that this is an area where things are very less formal and life moves a little slower. It’s a small state so the people involved in politics tend to know each other. It’s a state that, at least when I lived there, Democrats and Republicans after the elections got on very well with each other.

Drnek: We’re All in This Together

We’re All in This Together

Mark Drnek

Grand plans and strategies. From the moment I rise ‘til I trundle off to bed, I’m generating notes, workflows, and timelines. There are people to call. Committees to fill. Problems to solve.

Plans and strategies… they’re so important. Until they’re not.

Last week, the tick-tock of my work-clock stopped. On Friday, I opted for a day away from City Hall. I wasn’t feeling well. But rest didn’t have its desired result and I grew increasingly ill as the weekend passed. On Monday, I tested positive for COVID.

Weekly Medical News: 09-01-22

Weekly Medical News

September 1, 2022

Editors note: The following is a compendium of medical news items and releases we found interesting over the last 10 days. Please let us know your thoughts on this feature at info@allotsego.com.

General Information

The CDC announced that it will make major changes to how it operates following what it admits was a failed response to COVID-19, monkeypox, and polio. Director Rochelle Walensky stated “my goal is a new public health oriented culture that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communications, and timeliness.”

According to the National Center of Health Statistics, average life expectancy fell 1.8 years in the U.S. in 2020, the first year of the COVID pandemic, and because of “unintentional injuries” such as failure to seek timely care for other illnesses and increased drug overdoses.

Vaccines are recommended. The ideal time to receive the vaccine is September or October, right before the flu season begins. The CDC says the vaccine can be given the same time as the COVID vaccine, though there is no mention of whether it can be given with other vaccines. Note: some physicians feel that while reportedly safe, there should be some spacing between vaccines if for no other reason than to know that if there is a reaction which vaccine is causing it. In parts of the world where it is difficult to get to a vaccination site, giving them together makes sense.

Phillips: Bassett Was Awesome
Letter from Dottie Phillips

Bassett Was Awesome

I had the most wonderful experience at Bassett Hospital when I was admitted a week ago with Covid.

Bassett was a great experience. I was admitted in inpatient care on the third floor. There was staff from all over the world, from Nepal, Dubai, Philippines, Miami, a Native American, New Delhi.

They work 12-hour shifts and worked non-stop, and were so kind to us. I was so impressed and want to thank Bassett for hiring all of these people. Many times, the patients are so mean to these employees, and no one works harder than the Bassett employees.

I don’t think people understand the quality of workers at Bassett.

I just want to say thank you again to Bassett. I had to get intravenous antibiotics and a lot of blood tests, and they were on top of me every minute. I knew they were extremely busy but they just kept telling me they were going to take care of me every minute.

Walking down the hall was like being in the United Nations. And everyone was so pleasant. Thank you again.

Dottie Phillips
Cooperstown

STERNBERG: Monkeypox Vaccines

Column by Dr. Richard Sternberg

Monkeypox Vaccines

There are several things to remember about the current monkeypox outbreak for those of us in Otsego County.

According to the county health department website on Monday, there are no cases identified locally. Vaccine for monkeypox is not available locally. After checking the New York State Department of Health website (www.health.ny.gov) it appears that the closest location for vaccine is Albany County. I would suggest if you qualify for the vaccine and want to receive it, you or your health care provider can contact the Albany County Department of Health or the state. You can find criteria for eligibility at www.cdc.gov.

STERNBERG: COVID – Here we go again

Column by Richard Sternberg, M.D.

COVID: Here we go again

There are 3006 counties, 14 boroughs, 11 census areas, 64 parishes, and multiple independent cities in the United States. The good news is that The Center for Disease Control reports that only 79 of these have a high incidence of COVID transmission.

The bad news is that of the 79, 36 or almost half are in or surround Central New York. Risk in Otsego County is only moderate, but it is contiguous to high-risk areas.

On Friday of last week, Otsego County reported 47 new COVID cases. This represents approximately a four-to-five-fold increase from one month ago. Testing positivity is up to 8.8%. What are we doing wrong?

On the relatively good side, there have been only 16 deaths year-to-date in Otsego County attributed to COVID. Case rate is increasing, but it does not appear that the death rate is increasing, at least not significantly.

In the past week alone, the person whom I went to visit on Saturday wouldn’t let me in his house because his wife tested positive that morning. The visit devolved into a shouting conversation from about 60 feet apart.

Fully vaccinated Governor Hochul tests positive for Covid-19

Fully vaccinated Governor
Hochul tests positive for Covid-19

After testing positive for Covid, Governor Hochul issued the following statement over the weekend: “Today I tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, I’m vaccinated and boosted, and I’m asymptomatic. I’ll be isolating and working remotely this week. A reminder to all New Yorkers: get vaccinated and boosted, get tested, and stay home if you don’t feel well.”

Out of My Shell

Column by Dr. Richard Sternberg

Out of My Shell

Last week, I took a major step for myself and poked my head out of my shell. I decided that the situation with COVID is really not going to get much better. It is going to be endemic like the flu or the common cold and we’re going to have to deal with it. It’s time to get life back to as normal as possible.

I decided to take a trip to New York City, specifically Manhattan. There were several things that I wanted to do, and I haven’t been able to do for over two years. My personal schedule gave me a small window of opportunity to make the trip. I was also interested to see the response in the city to the continued presence of COVID and increase in lab-positive cases.

I went to a museum and I went to a Broadway show off Times Square. I also had a report from a friend of the crowd reaction at New York Rangers hockey game.

One day I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art specifically to see a special event, a major retrospective of the works of Winslow Homer. By the way, if you have any interest in American art, you must get down to see this exhibit. It is worth the trip. These major retrospectives of Homer occur only approximately once every 25 years. This one is every bit as spectacular as the last one was in the mid-90s.

Stealth Omicron

Stealth Omicron

By Richard Sternberg, M.D.

While Omicron appears to be peaking in New York overall (though not yet in Otsego County) we have now been told that there is a new “stealth” version of Omicron named BA.2 that is beginning to replace the variant we have been experiencing for the last two months. While it is too early to know for sure, BA.2 does not seem to be more virulent than the original Omicron BA.1, but appears to be even more transmissible. And while not likely to lead to another disastrous surge it will probably extend its length.

About a month after Omicron first appeared in Africa, scientists saw a unique variant that carried many but not all of its mutations and had new mutations of its own (labeled BA.2). Additionally, they found a third variant — BA.3 — which appears to be an amalgam of BA.1 and BA.2, theorized to have resulted from BA.1 and BA.2 infecting someone at the same time, exchanging genetic information with the new variant, then replicating.

BA.1 contains a mutation rendering it invisible to the standard PCR test. BA.2 doesn’t contain this mutation, allowing all three coronavirus genes to be seen in the test. BA.2 therefore can be separated from BA.1. It can also be separated by genome sequencing, though that isn’t routinely done because it is much more expensive and time consuming.

COVID update for February 2

COVID update for February 2

The latest information from the Otsego County Health Department shows:

68 new cases

5 hospitalized

0  new deaths reported

11.7  seven-day average percentage positive

Otsego County and all of New York State remains under an indoor-mask mandate from Governor Kathy Hochul, with exceptions under certain conditions when proof of vaccination is required for entry to an indoor public facility. Read more about New York State’s mask requirement at this link.

COVID update for February 1

COVID update for February 1

The latest information from the Otsego County Health Department shows:

46 new cases

4 hospitalized

1  new deaths reported

11.9  seven-day average percentage positive

Otsego County and all of New York State remains under an indoor-mask mandate from Governor Kathy Hochul, with exceptions under certain conditions when proof of vaccination is required for entry to an indoor public facility. Read more about New York State’s mask requirement at this link.

In Memoriam Lloyd H. Johnson, 83 April 24 1938 – January 30, 2022

In Memoriam

Lloyd H. Johnson, 83

April 24, 1938 – January 30, 2022

Lloyd H. Johnson

ONEONTA – Lloyd H. Johnson, 83, passed away January 30, 2022 at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown from complications of Covid and underlying health conditions.

He was born April 24, 1938 in Halcott Center, the son of Milbert and Edna (Simmons) Johnson.

He married Rosanne Brickwedde on November 17, 1956 at St. Mary’s Church in Oneonta. Together they owned and operated the family dairy farm, Fairlane Farm on Delhi Stage until the early ‘80’s. Lloyd then drove truck until he was stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. After a grueling recovery he went to work at Ouleout Golf Course in Franklin for close to 30 years.

Court grants governor full stay on masks

Court grants governor full stay on masks

New York’s Appellate court on January 31 granted a full stay to Governor Kathy Hochul’s mask mandate for all public indoor spaces for the remainder of the appeals process currently underway.

A state Supreme Court judge first struck down the mandate as unconstitutional on January 24, a second court overturned that decision on the Governor’s appeal. The January 31 Appellate court ruling keeps the mandate alive through the next court date in the appeal – March 2, 2022.

The governor last week also extended her mandate until February 10, promising to revisit her decision biweekly. That means, technically, the mandate could come down before March 2.

She first announced the “winter surge” requirement on December 10 with an executive order mandating masks to be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses or venues implement a proof-of-vaccination requirement for anyone 12 years of age or older.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103