Ukraine live briefing: E.U. leaders in Kyiv make no promises for membership; U.S. announces $2.17B in aid     U.S. rocket artillery for Ukraine will double its explosive reach     Paco Rabanne, fashion designer who distilled ’60s spirit, dies at 88     Ukraine live briefing: E.U. leaders in Kyiv make no promises for membership; U.S. announces $2.17B in aid     U.S. rocket artillery for Ukraine will double its explosive reach     Paco Rabanne, fashion designer who distilled ’60s spirit, dies at 88     Essential insects in East Asia have declined massively, study finds     Pope Francis tells leaders of troubled South Sudan: Enough!     What China wanted out of Blinken’s now postponed visit     Ukraine live briefing: E.U. leaders in Kyiv make no promises for membership; U.S. announces $2.17B in aid     U.S. rocket artillery for Ukraine will double its explosive reach     Paco Rabanne, fashion designer who distilled ’60s spirit, dies at 88     Ukraine live briefing: E.U. leaders in Kyiv make no promises for membership; U.S. announces $2.17B in aid     U.S. rocket artillery for Ukraine will double its explosive reach     Paco Rabanne, fashion designer who distilled ’60s spirit, dies at 88     Essential insects in East Asia have declined massively, study finds     Pope Francis tells leaders of troubled South Sudan: Enough!     What China wanted out of Blinken’s now postponed visit     

News of Otsego County

dr. richard sternberg

Life in the time of COVID: Current Concepts and Constant Change
Life in the time of COVID

Current Concepts and Constant Change

Things in the world of COVID are rapidly and constantly changing. This week’s column is a brief compendium of some of these changes.

The alphabet soup of COVID variants and subvariants grows daily. Four weeks ago, we were talking about the new Omicron variant XBB. Now we are reading about the subvariant daily. A month ago, we were starting to discuss the properties of the original XBB. Now XBB.1.5 is considered the most infectious version of COVID yet. It’s not clear if symptoms are going to be worse than previous versions, but it does appear that regardless of previous infectious or vaccine status, almost everybody is going to be infected.

Life in the Time of Covid: He’s Just ‘Mostly Dead’
Life in the Time of Covid by Dr. Richard Sternberg

He’s Just ‘Mostly Dead’

Damar Hamlin in one sense is the luckiest undead person in the world. As probably almost all of you readers know, he is the Buffalo Bills player who went into ventricular fibrillation when he tackled an opposing player in the Bills-Bengals game on December 26 in Cincinnati. This was seen on national television by millions. He was successfully resuscitated on the field and rapidly transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which is the major teaching hospital in southwest Ohio. He has done so well that he was released from the intensive care unit at UCMC and transferred back to Buffalo on Monday.

There’s a big difference between mostly dad and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.

Miracle Max – “The Princess Bride”
STERNBERG: The China Syndrome

The China Syndrome

As I stated in last week’s column, it’s déjà vu all over again. Now the problem is new strains of COVID, which are beginning to take over in many countries including the United States. But more importantly is the rapid spread of multiple COVID sub-variants in China.

Initially in response to COVID, the Chinese government came up with a zero tolerance policy. Whole cities were locked down. China developed its own vaccines, called Sinovac and Sinopharm. These are attenuated viral vaccines. These are classic type of vaccines like the Sabin vaccine for polio. This is different from the mRNA vaccines that are used in the United States, Europe and much of the remaining world. They are not nearly as effective as the mRNA vaccines but reach World Health Organization qualifications to be declared effective.

SOUTHWORTH: Praise for Article, Fauci Insights
Letter from Caroline Southworth

Praise for Article, Fauci Insights

Many thanks to Dr. Richard Sternberg for his insightful article on Dr. Anthony Fauci and his many accomplishments during his long and distinguished career. I agree that but for jealousy and political hostility he would have been named officially as a great man. I agree with Dr. Sternberg that he is one.

Caroline Southworth

STERNBERG: Déjà Vu All Over Again
Life in the Time of Covid

Déjà Vu All Over Again

It’s the end of the year and it’s time to reflect where we are regarding many issues. With this column principally about COVID or other viral illnesses, today we will limit ourselves to that. I really regret having to be the Grinch.

The title of today’s column is a very famous statement credited to the great American philosopher Lawrence Peter Berra, who is also credited with many similar statements which appear to be malapropisms until you look carefully at them. “Déjà vu all over again” is one of those statements as it applies to COVID. Things have repeated themselves more than once.

First, anyone who tells you with any certainty that they know what will happen next, has a bridge to sell you. When I look back at this year it looks pretty much the same as the end of 2021 and the end of 2020. We would like to think we are beating the disease, but we aren’t.

STERNBERG: Thermal Nuclear Fusion: A Christmas Hope
Column by Dr. Richard Sternberg

Thermal Nuclear Fusion: A Christmas Hope

The most important news item of the 21st century occurred on Tuesday, December 13. It was not about the war in Ukraine. It was not about the U.S. political crisis or political crises anywhere else in the world. It had nothing to do with the ongoing three-year pandemic that we’ve gone through and which is now being exacerbated by epidemics of influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and other diseases. The most important news item of the 21st century was the announcement by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California of the ability to create a thermal nuclear fusion reaction that generated more energy than it took to initiate it.

Allowing for the fact that there was additional energy needed to set up the experiment, the importance is that the actual reaction produced more energy than went into starting it.

Weekly Medical Briefsl 09-29-22

Weekly Medical Briefs

September 29, 2022

Multiple Shots in One Arm?
Picking whether to give both shots in the same arm or separate arms seems to be a matter of debate and speculation rather than hard science when giving more than one vaccine at the same time. Some, including the White House, advocate giving both shots in one arm spaced at least one inch apart while others advocate using different arms for each.
Many pediatricians, who often have to administer four or five shots to a baby at once, are habitual splitters. “If there’s more than one vaccine syringe to give to a baby, generally, two legs are used,” “If there’s a local reaction to the vaccine, you can identify which vaccine it was if you separate them by space.” (The author of the article had a more painful reaction in her left arm, where she received the COVID shot. Others have reported the same disparity.)

The Atlantic

Column by Dr. Richard Sternberg


September was the 50th anniversary of the TV premier of MASH. The Smithsonian Museum has a new special exhibit that includes one of the iconic props from the TV show, the sign post with the distances to places all around the world.

In 1983, the museum had a special exhibit called MASH: Binding Up the Wounds, that I visited twice.

The program was about people thrown into what to them, with their technical and scientifically based training, was a completely absurd situation: an army hospital near the front lines during the Korean War.

What started out as a broad comedy quickly took on emotional issues about war, life and making a family of those around you in such an environment. The Korean War background was really a metaphor for the war in Vietnam which was still raging when the show came on the air.

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.

STERNBERG: New COVID Vaccine Offers Broader Protection
Column by Dr. Richard Sternberg

New COVID Vaccine
Offers Broader Protection

On Wednesday August 31 the FDA authorized, for emergency use, two new, bivalent, COVID vaccines. Bivalent means that each shot contains two variants of the vaccine. The following day the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommended the use of those vaccines and the same day, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the committee’s recommendations for use of updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older, and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older. Updated COVID-19 boosters add Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components to the current vaccine composition, helping to restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination by targeting variants that are more transmissible and able to avoid immune responses.

Currently about 89% of circulating virus in the United States is Omicron BA.5 and almost all the rest is BA.4 and BA.4.6. Both vaccines are RNA types, that is it gets the body’s cells to manufacture antibodies to the COVID virus spike protein but do not affect the body’s cell’s DNA. The virus itself does not make up these vaccines unlike the case with polio, which is either dead virus or live-attenuated virus (see this column’s article of September 24.)

Sternberg: Monkeypox Outbreak Worldwide
Column by Richard Sternberg

Monkeypox Outbreak Worldwide

As of today, there been more than 5,200 cases of monkeypox confirmed in the United States. Over 1,300 of those cases have been in New York State, the majority of these in the New York City area. The monkeypox outbreak worldwide continues to increase, and last week the World Health Organization declared it a public health emergency of international concern. There needs to be an internationaly coordinated response to try to control this viral disease.

In order to prevent the disease from spreading further, there needs to be more testing, access to vaccines, and treatments along with other public health efforts. Unfortunately, much of this is not in place, and messaging to the public is not always been clear. The coordination, for what it’s worth, seen in the fight against monkeypox, is nowhere near that as seen in the global fight against COVID. Information about who was at risk and access to care is not always been clear. It is difficult to find testing. Vaccine distribution is irregular. Other treatment options are unclear.

New terms begin in Cooperstown

Mayor looking past pandemic as she starts new term

Village of Cooperstown Trustees Dr. Richard Sternberg, left, and Sydney Sheehan, right, flank Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh after the three took their oaths of office for their new terms.

Village of Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh this month embarks on her third two-year term leading the village, hopeful COVID’s worst is behind but proud of the work she, the Village Board of Trustees, and Village employees were able to continue throughout the pandemic’s worst months.

“Only now in retrospect are we seeing how all-consuming COVID management was for every person in this village,” she said in a conversation with The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta. “We had to just keep moving along as the guidance changed and the requirements shifted.”

“I’m very proud that we never laid off or furloughed employees during COVID,” she said. “We were told that we had to reduce the number of people in the offices so we had a number of people working remotely, but our Village

STERNBERG: Your Arm, My Nose

Life In The Time Of COVID-19

Your Arm, My Nose

Richard Sternberg

In 1882, John B. Finch, then chairman of the Prohibition National Committee, wrote “… your right to swing your arm leaves off where my right not to have my nose struck begins.”

This seems like a very appropriate commentary on the current argument between those who are concerned about easing COVID-19 restrictions now and those who want to open the economy immediately.

Sadly this, like almost all things in this country, has become highly politicized with each side having its own facts. Interestingly, there appears to be a reasonable compromise to allow rapid and safe recovery of the economy while decreasing risk of propagation of the disease: Everyone wears a mask while in public, all the time, everywhere.

I am indebted to Martin and Meg Tillapaugh for directing me to the article “Masks for All? The Science Says Yes” by Trisha Greenhalgh and Jeremy Howard.

In it the authors, in very easy to understand language, discuss the epidemiology of disease spread, the physics of droplets and aerosols, the material science of masks, the mathematics of disease transmission, the politics of mask wearing, mask-wearing experiments, the behavioral science of mask wearing, the economics of mask wearing, and the anthropology of mask wearing.

The bottom line is that most of the scientific evidence supports mask wearing and, to quote Governor Cuomo, “It’s disrespectful to me (for you) not to wear a mask.”

In my opinion it would be much easier for me, someone who has six co-morbid conditions for complications with COVID-19, to accept opening things up more if everybody did everything
reasonable to protect each other.

The arguments against mask wearing that I’ve heard include its uncomfortable, it looks funny, I’m not at risk, kids and young people don’t get it, it’s a free country, I don’t have to do what anybody tells me, and it’s a Democratic conspiracy. None of these are valid in this situation.

Well, we are all at risk. We are all at risk of spreading it to friends, loved ones, other human beings, and of becoming infected, contracting the disease, getting sick, and dying.

Children are not immune. They can become very ill and die or transmit it to someone else who becomes sick and dies. One form of the disease in children, Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, is particularly nasty.

If the number of children dying of this wasn’t overshadowed by the unfathomable numbers dying overall there would be public uproar of why we weren’t doing more to help these poor children.

Trying to out yell or politicize this disease is not going to lead to solutions. Marching on state capitals while refusing to social distance and not wearing masks, thereby putting everyone including the children present at risk, and carrying semi-automatic rifles which in that context can be for no reason but intimidation, which no government could capitulate to, doesn’t win any additional support.

On the other hand, if everyone who wanted to see everything open up quicker than it has so far, and that should be about everyone, were to wear masks whenever in public, transmission rates would drop, new cases would drop, and deaths would drop, all strongly supporting allowing a return to normalcy.

To quote a famous American, “Why can’t we all get along?” If we all work together and compromise in what we are saying to each other and in what we are doing, we will find that all win. This would not be a you or me, win or lose, but win/win all the way around.

Richard Sternberg, a retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, has agreed to provide his professional perspective while the coronavirus threat continues. Dr. Sternberg, who is also a village trustee, resides in Cooperstown.

‘Stealth’ Cell Tower Proposed On Village Roof

‘Stealth’ Cell Tower

Proposed Atop Key Bank

Robert Willson, right, a project manager for Pyramid Network Services, East Syracuse, went before the Cooperstown Village Board last evening to propose placing a T-Mobile cell-phone tower on the roof of 103 Main St., the Key Bank building. The proposed design uses a “stealth design” construction to blend into the building. At left, Village Trustee Richard Sternberg listens to the proposal, but the village asked Willson to look at additional sites for the tower. A public hearing on the project will be held in January. (Patrick Wager/

So many people have now been looking at getting a cell tower installed near their home. It can certainly help whoever owns the land (or home) that the cell tower is on, as they can get something back from it. If you have a cell tower on your land then you can just check out this cell tower lease for more information on what you would be getting. For starters, better signal is good thing, but so is being paid for it. If you don’t mind having it on your land, then there’s nothing wrong with signing a lease for it.

Although the village does not currently seem keen on building a cell tower on the top of the roof od 103 Main St., the Key Bank Building, perhaps they might see all the benefits that this could bring. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens though. The villagers might change their minds, but obviously this is a big decision for them and it’s one that must be thought about carefully. There’s no point rushing into something like this.


Third Times The Charm,

Presenting The Election Of 1800


THE GATHERING PLACE – 2 p.m. Learn the story of the American Presidential Election of 1800 and how it changed the United States with Dr. Richard Sternberg, Village of Cooperstown Trustee. Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, Karen Cadwalader @ (607)547-0600.

BUDGET VOTE – 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Cast your ballot on the proposed school budget for the 2017-18 school year, choose the new board members, and cast your ballot on the bus lease program. Cooperstown High School rooms 304 & 305. Info,

Posts navigation

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