Le Mars?

Just read a story from KIWA (a radio station in Spencer) that suggests that Le Mars may be having second thoughts. Quoting from the article, “City officials in Le Mars, which had been tapped as the ride’s starting point, are talking about whether they think hosting this year’s opening night is a good idea, considering the amount of preperation lead time required and the remaining uncertainty about satety due to Covid-19”.

Anyone else hear anything?

48 Replies

KenH, January 29, 2021 at 2:36 pm

I have read many posts expressing the hope and belief that Ragbrai can somehow “convince” towns to remain on the ride at a time when the most optimistic projections of vaccine administration to the 20 somethings and older teens is the end of summer or fall.

I don’t think it is unreasonable to try to convince towns to remain on board until March 15. By that time we will have a lot more data on which to make projections of vaccine completion dates. I don’t believe any projection that is being made right now, they are all based more on speculation than data. We are still ramping up and so it is impossible to make believable data based projections right now. You can make them all you want but you know that even as you are making them they will change as more data comes in.

I’m not asking anyone to do anything they are uncomfortable with. The end of July is still far in the future, it is a little early to make a decision on what you should do then. But if there is not significant progress on the vaccination front by March 15 then I support any decisions that towns may make. Some fraction of us will be vaccinated by the start of RAGBRAI, that is certain because some tiny fraction of us are already vaccinated. What if they were to limit the ride to vaccinated individuals? Is that not a reasonable measure? I think that it is and based on that I can say that there is no safety reason to cancel RAGBRAI this year. It could be held at no risk to townspeople if it is limited to vaccinated participants.

Will there be enough vaccinated riders by then to make the ride economically feasible with the appropriate throttle backs on spending?

Aye, there’s the rub!

If the ride could be limited to, say, 2300 vaccinated riders and the scale of the entertainment and infrastructure could be reduced to levels that are affordable at that participation level and could be staffed adequately by vaccinated towns people what affect would the resulting “victory parade” have on Iowans who, like all the rest of us, are dreadfully tired of Covid and just want it to go away already? Events like RAGBRAI will be a vital component of the psychic recovery of the nation as it becomes possible to hold them again. It is important to remember this portion of the total equation too. I don’t want them to be held before it is safe to do so but I don’t want them deferred until long after it is safe to do so out of an abundance of caution either because that will be harmful too.

#1326405

Joseph Schlau, January 29, 2021 at 4:48 pm

As I read the three articles about Le Mars officials contemplating their decision, I did not get a lot of positive vibes from their words. They were sounding quite pessimistic and it will be interesting to see what they do on Feb 2nd.

Now vaccinated riders and townspeople only. That’s interesting. The one problem is, vaccines are not 100%. In fact, reading today’s reports on the Johnson and Johnson and Novalox vaccines, the makers can only claim a 50% efficacy against the current South African strain of covid. Now 50% is still considered adequate over time to bring the R number down which eventually minimizes spread, but is by no means protection for all.

So what if one of those adequately vaccinated townspeople brings a variant home. That Victory Parade will eventually lead to another kind of procession.

The 2019/20 version of the seasonal flu vaccine was around 45% effective. I had the vaccine and still got the flu. Because it was the seasonal flu, I recovered with the help of Tamiflu. If it had been covid, I am not so confident.

Then there is the issue proof of vaccine. I was in a discussion a week ago on the same topic. In about 4 minutes I found a sample of a vaccination record card by the CDC all ready to duplicate. So even someone who was never vaccinated or does not believe in it, and there are a bunch out there, can duplicate their very own proof to enter an event, board an airline flight or ride in the Victory Parade across Iowa.

Then there are the unregistered riders. No wristband, no vaccine, riding on public roads. No you cannot exclude people from public ways. And no, you cannot compel them to show you any identification much less a vaccine certificate.

Now I like RAGBRAI, I have registered for this year, but if the population of the nation is still not adequately vaccinated and the virus and all it’s variants are still not controlled, then it does not meet the definition of safe.

We may be dreadfully tired of covid, but it still has at least 2/3 of the US to burn through until it is equally tired of us.

When the public health officials open everything up and this is in our rear view mirror, then it’s time to ride. The so called Spanish Flu had a run from 1918 to 1922. Pandemics just don’t go away because we want them to. They either burn through the population back and forth until they have reached almost everyone or with an abundance of caution and science, they are stopped.

While some may put RAGBRAI at the level equal to an event that is a vital component of the psychic recovery of the nation, there are city and health officials more concerned about keeping grandma safe.

#1326411

Uncle Kraig, January 29, 2021 at 8:36 pm

Damn Joseph, you are much too logical. I like, and hate, reading what you have to say 🙁

#1326413

Sandaltan ., January 29, 2021 at 9:37 pm

Joseph has submitted well reasoned comments. Yes, Grandma is of vital concern. From the local newspaper: https://www.lemarssentinel.com/story/2860695.html
I would very much like to read RAGBRAI’s “formal agreement form” referenced at the end of the article. Something new this year from Gannett’s team of legal eagles.

RIDE RIGHT

#1326416

LawnchairMan, January 30, 2021 at 2:28 am

My first reaction to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was one of, “66% why bother when Pfizer is much higher?” Then I learned that the 57% “effective rate” in South Africa prevented deaths, even of those already infected. I don’t think anyone who took it has died. And it can keep people out of hospitals. It actually increases its effective rate over time. After a month from the injection, it can be at a rate of 85%. That’s not bad for one dose. The Pfizer vaccine requires two shots to get that high. And it doesn’t require the ultra-low temps to maintain it. This means that it is better for remote locations that don’t have cooling facilities. So, to me, this is another avenue we can take to combat the disease.
Of course, my immediate concern is for the people here in the US. But this is a global disease. If we cured everyone here that would be great, but we would still have to ward off new strains that developed abroad. To stop mutations we need to eradicate the virus globally. This new vaccine can help in less developed nations.
As far as Ragbrai is concerned we need vaccines produced faster and distributed quickly. That is why getting Biden’s bill passed is a must. We need the funds for faster production and distribution. I think it will happen and vaccines will be widely available by the end of April. Just my gut feeling. Convincing Iowa town’s people is another story. Until we know one way or the other I am riding to get in shape for this Summer. I’m crossing my fingers for luck. (makes it hard to hold the handlebars though) Y’all stay safe!

This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by LawnchairMan.

#1326422

Joseph Schlau, January 30, 2021 at 5:26 am

I would very much like to read RAGBRAI’s “formal agreement form” referenced at the end of the article. Something new this year from Gannett’s team of legal eagles.

I did contact the editor of the Daily Sentinel asking about the type of public comments received. No answer at this point. If there is a subscriber to the DS out there, perhaps their edition also contains public comments. The Feb 3rd edition of the DS should shed more light on the direction of opinion.

Starting towns and end towns have additional concerns. They see some of the same people twice. Because some RAGBRAI charter groups meet in the end town, riders camp overnight then take a charter bus to the starting town. When they arrive at the end of the town a week later, they may also camp, use showers and restaurants before leaving. The starting town also sees a significant number of riders a week later when riders return to pick up their cars from the long term parking who may also camp, use showers and restaurants before leaving.

In either case, even riders who practiced the greatest of care to remain outdoors and away from anyone else can find themselves on a charter bus for hours like an airliner if they use a bus or shared transportation for any portion of their starting or return trip.

The charter bus question was a also a concern for our team as well which we have yet to sort out. An enclosed space with recirculating air where people are eating and drinking makes this environment more like a bar.

#1326424

mootsman, January 30, 2021 at 9:11 am

Some have questioned here why the J&J vaccine should be considered with its lower effective rate. This article explains that its a “double stranded DNA” vaccine instead of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. Plus my doc says mRNA vaccines are linked to higher rates of autoimmune disease 2-3 years down the road. Just something to consider.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/health/johnson-johnson-covid-19-vfaccine.html

As far as RAGBRAI this year, it appears there will be another go/no-go decision date in our furture.

#1326427

Joseph Schlau, January 30, 2021 at 10:14 am

Plus my doc says mRNA vaccines are linked to higher rates of autoimmune disease 2-3 years down the road. Just something to consider.

https://apnews.com/article/fact-checking-afs:Content:9889529642

Something else to consider is that the story on higher rates of auto immune disease is a false story posted to Facebook by a nurse practitioner.

#1326432

Joseph Schlau, January 30, 2021 at 10:20 am

Posting a false story will get you tossed from Facebook. Maybe a little bit more fact checking on your part is called for before any more “my doc said” fiction is posted. If you have a real MD that is spreading false information from a nurse practitioner, time for a new doc. If they are a chiropractor, run.

Maybe you should consider deleting this section of your post.

This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by Joseph Schlau.

#1326433

Jboz, January 30, 2021 at 10:41 am

Posting a false story will get you tossed from Facebook.

Posting a false story story that deviates from the approved narrative will get you tossed from Facebook.

Facebook is not the arbiter of truth, so I fixed it for you.

#1326436

Joseph Schlau, January 30, 2021 at 12:02 pm

Ok I’m looking at my post, and nothing was corrected. It’s all still there just like I wrote it.

#1326444

Joseph Schlau, January 30, 2021 at 12:22 pm

We just don’t have the vaccine’: Iowa counties warn COVID-19 shots will be very scarce for weeks to come
Tony Leys
Des Moines Register

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2021/01/29/covid-19-shots-will-be-scarce-for-weeks-to-come-iowa-counties-warn-vaccine/4309861001/?utm_source=desmoinesregister-Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_briefing&utm_term=list_article_thumb

Leaders in Polk and other Iowa counties warned Friday that their supply of COVID-19 vaccine will remain far below demand for at least several more weeks.
At the same time, the state is on track to expand vaccine eligibility to Iowans age 65 or older as well as people in certain high-risk professions.
“We are begging you to be patient as we continue to navigate this impossible situation,” Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly said at a news conference. “It is a tough, difficult time. People want to be vaccinated, and we want to get that vaccine in their arms.”

Helen Eddy, director of the Polk County Health Department, said her agency will have only enough vaccine to offer first doses to 2,575 county residents next week, plus second doses to 4,500 people who already received initial shots.

Polk County has about 61,000 residents who are 65 or older and have been declared eligible for the vaccine by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

#1326445

mootsman, January 30, 2021 at 1:43 pm

Posting a false story will get you tossed from Facebook. Maybe a little bit more fact checking on your part is called for before any more “my doc said” fiction is posted. If you have a real MD that is spreading false information from a nurse practitioner, time for a new doc. If they are a chiropractor, run.

Maybe you should consider deleting this section of your post.

I listen to my doctor not random people on the internet or Facebook. He said there is a link between higher incidents of autoimmune disease 2-3 years after getting them and RNA vaccines. He did NOT say as the FB person you mentioned that these particular RNA vaccines cause autoimmune disease. That would obviously take 2-3 years to find out. So I’ll weigh the 90% effective rate with the Pfizer and Moderna RNA vaccines and the possible autoimmune issue in a few years against the 70% J&J vaccine that is a DNA vaccine. Before reacting I’d suggest carefully reading posts.

My doctor actually said that to me so it is not fiction. The fact he told me that. Maybe you have more medical qualifications then he does? (many decades of being a doctor) BTW, did you mistake this forum for Facebook?

This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by mootsman.

This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by mootsman.

This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by mootsman.

#1326447

Joseph Schlau, January 30, 2021 at 2:22 pm

Show me this link your doctor is talking about. If these vaccines just came out, explain this link 2-3 years from now.

#1326451

mootsman, January 30, 2021 at 4:12 pm

Show me this link your doctor is talking about. If these vaccines just came out, explain this link 2-3 years from now.

Stop thinking about the internet. Doctors don’t get their info from the internet. Actual medical research that MDs get. He was talking about OTHER RNA vaccines, not these. But the link is thought to be to RNA vaccines in general. That NP you quoted was obviously referring to that same research and over reached a bit by assuming these 2 new RNA vaccines have a proven link. But since they are RNA vaccines they MAY have an issue in 2-3 years.

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