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RPI 2021-22: Picking Up Where We Left Off

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  • Originally posted by rpi82 View Post

    "Nature's vaccine" - I like that. It's what I meant by "considerably milder might be a path out of this mess." A weaker version that is highly transmissible would rapidly spread natural immunity, which as you noted is likely to be stronger because the immune system is exposed to the full protein profile of the virus rather than selected subsets found in a vaccine, without the negative impacts on our medical system and tens of millions of patients. That could even make a mild "breakthrough" infection a good thing as it might be preferable to trade a few days of mild illness in exchange for greater likelihood of protection from a potentially more serious future variant.

    If Doc's theory is correct my major concerns would shift to my 92 year-old father that lives with us. Unlike my wife and I, he had absolutely no side effects from any of his three shots. I rationalized my few days of aches and generally tired feeling as an indication that my immune system was at work. Of course, if you buy that then you might be worried about him as he's elderly and with limited lung function. Before deciding how our household should deal with info like Wicked provided, I wonder if I should get him an antibody test to see if he's got reasonable immune response.

    P.S. Bringing this back to hockey, Northeastern has announced that all home athletic events are closed to spectators. However, in the "mixed messages" department, they then put their Beanpot allocation on sale and it quickly sold out. I guess they are betting (or hoping) the worst will be over by February.
    It is often very instructive in medicine to look back at the very long history of diseases and treatments. Those who ignore (or refuse to look at) the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them. Before we became so advanced and steeped in modern medicine, we studied the natural histories of disease and epidemics. I wonder if you ask all the pundits and so called epidemiology experts we are forced to listen to today, how exactly did the dreaded and misnamed Spanish Flu of 1918 come to an end? Certainly not with mandated vaccinations! For that matter, how did those horrible epidemics of the past disappear? The various incarnations of the Black Death and other plagues? The dreaded sweating sickness that swept through Britain during the 1500's? After over 50 years in the field I still prefer to tell patients that what I am able to do in practice is 75% science, 20 art of medicine (using treatments that are off label for example because I believe they might work), and the last 5% is pure luck. Sometimes we do everything we can right and the results are poor. Other times, we do nothing right and the patient thrives! And fairly often, doing nothing is far better than doing something. Benign neglect can be a very valuable treatment option.
    Back to hockey - I am really starting to fret about the rest of this season. NY has been reporting new cases in numbers I cannot keep up with. Will the un-elected Governor use these numbers of positive tests to ban indoor events? Will SAJ do likewise? Will the Ivy League teams rush to judgement and end their seasons? What will the ECAC and NCAA do? Although I am a little disappointed in our most recent performances, I do not want to see our season shortened.
    Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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    • Hope everyone here enjoys the holidays with their families!

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      • Originally posted by sezenack View Post
        Hope everyone here enjoys the holidays with their families!
        And to you too!!!!!!! Ours will be quiet, at home, just Jenny and I and of course Sirius Black (one of our few kitties that was not named for an RPI hockey player).
        Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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        • To: The Rensselaer Community
          From: Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Institute Professor, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, Professor of Engineering Sciences
          Re: Congratulations, Coach Ralph Isernia

          The fall 2021 football season has been a most uplifting and exciting time for our campus, thanks to our student-athletes and their coach, Mr. Ralph Isernia. Since his time at Rensselaer, Coach Isernia has profoundly and positively impacted our students and athletics program. His vision, tenacity, leadership, and fighting spirit led to an overall regular-season record for the Rensselaer football team of nine wins and two losses. The team's win-loss record in the Liberty League was five wins and one loss. The team won the Liberty League football conference title and earned a berth to the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons - truly outstanding!

          The first round of the NCAA tournament resulted in a win over Endicott College to advance to the second round of the tournament and a win against SUNY Cortland. The win over Cortland advanced the Engineers to the NCAA Division III Football Playoff Quarterfinal game against North Central College on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

          I am tremendously proud of Coach Isernia and our student-athletes. I am pleased to extend his contract as Head Men's Football Coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for a term intended to span a period of five consecutive years, through December 31, 2027. The contract extension recognizes his devotion to building a winning football program, consistency in postseason play in the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs, and dedication to all program players and coaches.

          "When people think of championships, they think of wins or losses," said Lee McElroy, associate vice president and director of athletics. "Coach Isernia is doing more than winning games. He is building a program that keeps our student-athletes and coaching staff connected throughout the university. Our players have consistently high GPAs and are very involved in community service. The leadership model that Coach Isernia practices helps our young people to be successful in life. They are committed, have character, and promote the Rensselaer culture of excellence in everything they do."

          Coach Isernia has led the Engineers team since 2013 and has guided the team to seven consecutive postseason appearances (a school record), four league championships, two ECAC championships, and three NCAA playoff appearances.

          "I want to thank Dr. Jackson, Vice President Curtis Powell, and Dr. McElroy for this opportunity," said Coach Isernia. "This extension represents a continued commitment to our program, coaching staff, scholar-athletes, and our standard of excellence. I am honored to continue to lead the football program at RPI."

          Coach Isernia and his staff have garnered postseason Coach of the Year awards from the Liberty League, ECAC, and D3football.com. He has received the Marvin Anderson Award, which his peers awarded.

          A coach since 1991, he has experience in Division III, Division II, and the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA). Coach Isernia came to Rensselaer from Ferrum College, where he served as an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator for the Division III Panthers. He spent six years prior at the University of Charleston as an assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and interim head coach.

          A member of the American Football Coaches Association, Coach Isernia has been a speaker and clinician at the organization's events and camps around the country. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Davidson College and a Master of Science in Counselor Education from Western Connecticut.

          Please join me in congratulating Coach Ralph Isernia, his coaching staff, and our brilliant student-athletes for their continued successes on and off the playing fields. We are delighted he will continue to inspire them to greatness.
          Great news, but there's another coach who needs a contract extension, Shirley

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          • https://uvmathletics.com/news/2021/1...cember-30.aspx

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            • https://dailygazette.com/2021/12/24/...to-burlington/

              It will be multiple weeks before the RPI men’s and women’s hockey teams host any more games.

              The RPI men’s hockey team is making an unexpected second trip back to Vermont after the school announced Friday that the Engineers’ game next Thursday against the Catamounts had been moved from Houston Field House to Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vermont.

              Meanwhile, the RPI women’s hockey team’s games against Merrimack Jan. 1-2 at the Field House have been canceled.

              Kevin Beattie, RPI’s associate athletic director for communications, cited the current COVID-19 situation as the reason for the changes. The decision to not host the men’s game came Thursday, but was announced Friday after it was determined Vermont could host the contest. That game will start at 2 p.m.

              “They could host, and we could not,” Beattie said. “We’re not hosting events at the moment, so instead of canceling the game, they were generous enough to host.”

              RPI played at Vermont on Oct. 23. The Engineers won 2-1.

              The RPI women’s team wasn’t able to get their games moved to Merrimack.

              Classes resume at RPI on Jan. 10, but will start remotely. Beattie said classes are expected to be remote until Jan. 24.

              The men’s hockey team’s next scheduled home game is Jan. 21 against Yale, while the women are back at the Field House Jan. 14 against Quinnipiac.

              “We don’t have other home games for a while, and that will allow for our students and community to be tested on a regular basis,” Beattie said. “That should not be an issue down the road.”

              After canceling all sporting events last season because of the pandemic, RPI has limited fan attendance at athletic events this season. Only students, faculty and staff have been allowed to attend games.

              RPI’s announcement comes three days after Union athletics updated its COVID-19 regulations. Fans 12 years and older attending all indoor collegiate sporting events at Messa Rink, Viniar Athletic Center and Alumni Gym Pool will have to bring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

              The policy goes into effect Thursday, when the women’s basketball team hosts Middlebury. The Union men’s hockey team is hosting UMass Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. The next Union men’s basketball game is Jan. 7 against Skidmore. The men’s and women’s swimming host Hartwick and Springfield Jan. 8. The women’s hockey team returns to Messa Jan. 14 against Princeton.

              Comment


              • Now I am getting a bit worried. If we can't host a game on 12/30, with outside fans already excluded and virtually no inside the containment fans on campus, what are the standards for hosting in the future?

                As of today Army hasn't made any changes to their admittance policies for the 1/2 game. Proof of vaccination is required and masks are to be worn. Since it is a Sunday on a holiday weekend (one of the major travel days of the year) and the cadets are only due back on campus by 5 that afternoon, attendance will probably not be that high anyway. Hopefully they'll be cautious about imprementing further restrictions.

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                • I am cautiously optimistic that we will play out the season, but I don't know if fans will be in the building.
                  I don't understand why we can't host the Vermont game. The students are not on campus, so there will be very few if any fans at that game. Are the locker rooms not sanitized?
                  In any case, I am glad to know that we will have at least one more game to enjoy this season.
                  Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
                  Benjamin Franklin
                  The harder I practice, the luckier I get.
                  Gary Player

                  Comment


                  • We already are under some of the strictest rules and regulations of any school in the country. As RPI82 stated, if we cannot host the Vermont game then when and under what circumstances can we ever host a game? As more and more regulations about testing are put into place, and you have to be tested for virtually every activity, of course we will be finding more positive cases. I am sure if we test everyone in the same fashion for regular flu we would also see an abundance of cases (we do not and have not ever tested like that before). Fully understand the need for testing but if 75% or more of the new cases are of a new mild strain that causes little or no morbidity let alone mortality, we should be focusing not on the number of positive asymptomatic cases, but on the latter (morbidity and mortality) instead. There are a plethora of viruses that circulate year round with season peaks that we do not test for. If this new variant is the cause of the spike in cases, but causes only rare if any significant disease - please tell me why we need all of this?
                    If we are moving to Vermont for this next game I guess the virus is less contagious in that state?
                    Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by DrDemento View Post
                      We already are under some of the strictest rules and regulations of any school in the country. As RPI82 stated, if we cannot host the Vermont game then when and under what circumstances can we ever host a game? As more and more regulations about testing are put into place, and you have to be tested for virtually every activity, of course we will be finding more positive cases. I am sure if we test everyone in the same fashion for regular flu we would also see an abundance of cases (we do not and have not ever tested like that before). Fully understand the need for testing but if 75% or more of the new cases are of a new mild strain that causes little or no morbidity let alone mortality, we should be focusing not on the number of positive asymptomatic cases, but on the latter (morbidity and mortality) instead. There are a plethora of viruses that circulate year round with season peaks that we do not test for. If this new variant is the cause of the spike in cases, but causes only rare if any significant disease - please tell me why we need all of this?
                      If we are moving to Vermont for this next game I guess the virus is less contagious in that state?
                      Sure, there are fewer people in Vermont, so there are fewer positives, and figuring out percentages is too difficult for politicians. :-D
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                      • Originally posted by DrDemento View Post
                        If we are moving to Vermont for this next game I guess the virus is less contagious in that state?
                        Well, Vermont is getting federal assistance to fight COVID, so I don't think that's the case.

                        Sean
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                        • Originally posted by Ralph Baer View Post

                          Sure, there are fewer people in Vermont, so there are fewer positives, and figuring out percentages is too difficult for politicians. :-D
                          You have hit the nail on the head!! They need to know a little bit of mathematics to understand and I suppose they were all political science majors.

                          Add to that, trying to figure out mortality rate or hospitalization rate from an infectious disease, you must able to come up with the proper denominator in the equation. For something like Omicron, which so far is apparently a very mild infection, how can you possible know how many people actually have it if they exhibit virtually no symptoms and do not therefore present for testing or to a doctor or hospital? Insanity! Actually, perhaps that is what we need to be testing for?
                          Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

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                          • Originally posted by engineerhockeyfan View Post
                            I am cautiously optimistic that we will play out the season, but I don't know if fans will be in the building.
                            I don't understand why we can't host the Vermont game. The students are not on campus, so there will be very few if any fans at that game. Are the locker rooms not sanitized?
                            In any case, I am glad to know that we will have at least one more game to enjoy this season.
                            I would assume that the coach wants the team to return to campus and practice this week before the Vermont game. If they're going to be at the Field House and practicing, then the team and the Field House staff are subject to the same degree of risk during practice sessions as they would be if they played the game at home. As you point out, the number of fans at a game when school is not in session and the general public is excluded would be so small that they should be easily able to establish plenty of social distancing.

                            Maybe they're doing this out of concern for UVM's team, lest they might get infected if they came to the state of New York.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Waite21 View Post

                              I would assume that the coach wants the team to return to campus and practice this week before the Vermont game. If they're going to be at the Field House and practicing, then the team and the Field House staff are subject to the same degree of risk during practice sessions as they would be if they played the game at home. As you point out, the number of fans at a game when school is not in session and the general public is excluded would be so small that they should be easily able to establish plenty of social distancing.

                              Maybe they're doing this out of concern for UVM's team, lest they might get infected if they came to the state of New York.
                              Yes- God knows how much exposure they could get if they get off their bus and have to walk a few yards to the field house with virtually no one inside.
                              Take the shortest distance to the puck and arrive in ill humor

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by DrDemento View Post
                                We already are under some of the strictest rules and regulations of any school in the country. As RPI82 stated, if we cannot host the Vermont game then when and under what circumstances can we ever host a game? As more and more regulations about testing are put into place, and you have to be tested for virtually every activity, of course we will be finding more positive cases. I am sure if we test everyone in the same fashion for regular flu we would also see an abundance of cases (we do not and have not ever tested like that before). Fully understand the need for testing but if 75% or more of the new cases are of a new mild strain that causes little or no morbidity let alone mortality, we should be focusing not on the number of positive asymptomatic cases, but on the latter (morbidity and mortality) instead. There are a plethora of viruses that circulate year round with season peaks that we do not test for. If this new variant is the cause of the spike in cases, but causes only rare if any significant disease - please tell me why we need all of this?
                                If we are moving to Vermont for this next game I guess the virus is less contagious in that state?
                                Totally agree Doc. Logic and reason left the building a loooooooooong time ago. We're not gonna let UVM play in our building likely due to "safety" concerns ??? so we'll instead will throw our guys on a bus and make them travel and go play a game in a different state inside of a building full of..... .GASP...... humans !

                                I have ZERO expectations that fans will be inside HFH this season. We'll be lucky if they're allowed to play out the schedule. June 30th cannot get here fast enough.

                                ""Ralph is the Chuck Norris of this board. Ralph doesnt sleep he just waits." - fishcore12

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