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Re: [802SEC] F2F meeting safety


I’m amused by the tangents on this thread and hope I will bring us back to the practicalities of managing a meeting.  If you go to, you will see the statement "Cases of reinfection with COVID-19 have been reported, but remain rare​.​“  if I go to I can similarly find the statement "since vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, some people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19”.  

I would assume the CDC statement of reinfection being rare includes the false positives in the total they consider “rare”.  I think I could also find statements that breakthrough infections of fully vaccinated people are rare.So, fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, neither guarantees a participant won’t be infected and possibly infect others.  I don’t find it productive to argue about reducing the probabilities of rare things, and hope I don’t contradict that with what follows trying to get to partialities.

I travelled to Europe the end of August.  I filedl out paperwork to expedite my entry into Germany (I included proof of vaccination).  When I travelled on to Russia, I was required to have a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure from Germany.  The same PCR test requirement existed for my return to the USA.  My negative PCR test paperwork was checked on arrival in the USA, but the person checking looked quite befuddled by the Russian form until I flipped the page over and pointed her to a few English words reporting a negative test result.  I will comment more about language practical issues later.

I recommend we accept the entry requirements of the country where we meet as sufficient if it is practical to enforce the same requirements for those that didn’t have to enter the country.  I think we should focus on what is practical for meeting management rather than dealing with the low probabilities of false positives or hopefully low probability (new corner case) of our participants providing counterfeit proof of vaccination (yes there are folk selling fake CDC vaccination cards in San Diego and I assume elsewhere).

I attended a musical play last night in a packed theatre.  Masks were required and “Proof of vaccination” to a theatre volunteer got us a little piece of paper indicating we were vaccinated thus allow us into the theatre on presentation of the little paper and our tickets.  (I don’t know if they were also accepting evidence of acquired immunity.)  To get that slip of paper, my wife showed photos of our CDC vaccination cards -- that was acceptable proof.  Germany accepted a photo of my CDC vaccination card but required additional information on a form.  Others attending the theatre last night showed the actual card, and yet another theatre goer I overheard used the QR code issued by the state of California (I guess one could call that a California vaccination passport).

Our meeting planners are likely to be familiar with the appearance of a CDC vaccination card, but are they equally familiar with the “proof of vaccination” issued by other nations?  Will we also ask them to accept “vaccination passports” from the large number of entities issuing them?  They could review proof of vaccination to issue me a badge for the meeting, but obviously would have to accept a photo or scan if proof of vaccination were a requirement to register.  

Or, might we choose to respect the integrity of our participants, and accept their declaration of vaccination or declaration of acquired immunity.  If we can’t trust our participants to act with integrity on such a declaration, then I would suggest we can’t trust they would not use a counterfeit proof of vaccination — and I have little confidence that I or our meeting planners would be able to recognize a well-done-fake CDC vaccination card let alone the equivilent fake of a Korean, Franch, Australia, etc. document.


On Oct 7, 2021, at 9:43 AM, Roger Marks <r.b.marks@IEEE.ORG> wrote:


You are still misstating the statistics. For example, the NSC chart says that the "Odds of Dying" from drowning is 1 in 1128. That means that, among 1128 people who died, 1 drowned. But you can't meaningfully compare that to 1 in 42K and say that drowning is much more likely than breakthrough COVID death, because the denominators are completely different. To illustrate, "In the US, an average of 3,500 to 4,000 people drown per year." Let's presume that, in 2021, 55% of those will be unvaccinated. So about 2000 vaccinated people will die in the US in 2021 from drowning, but 4333 of them have already died due to COVID.


On Oct 6, 2021, 9:20 PM -0600, Harkins, Daniel <>, wrote:

  OK, I will withdraw my comment about the probability of being struck by lightning being equal to me being killed by COVID provided that you agree that 42K means that it's still an order of magnitude less likely than choking on food or dying from sunstroke. Since I have engaged with you socially in different IEEE meetings I know that you are not an obsessive over death by sunstroke or death by choking (we had a nice, normal meal together in Korea if memory serves).


  So join me in saying that COVID should not be a reason to not meet face-to-face (since choking on food was not a reason to avoid face-to-face meetings before). If you're vaccinated you shouldn't care about the vaccination status of your fellow attendees (be more concerned about chewing each bite 11 times) and if you're not vaccinated you're just putting yourself at risk. Now, let's meet!





"the object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to

escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." – Marcus Aurelius


On 10/6/21, 7:55 PM, "***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** on behalf of Roger Marks" < on behalf of r.b.marks@IEEE.ORG> wrote:


57% (183,000,000) of the US population is vaccinated. So, to be fair to lightning, we should normalize to only vaccinated people; maybe only 6 of the 11. So maybe a better comparison of the ratio is 4333/6 instead of 4333/11. That’s bigger!

The attachment, per its label, is from a political advocacy group, and the statistics are displayed accordingly. Why else would someone create a chart in which “deaths by cause in a fixed period of time, divided by population” is compared to “deaths by cause divided by all deaths per lifetime”?

Also, 183,000,000/4333=42K, not 137K.





On Oct 6, 2021, 8:24 PM -0600, Harkins, Daniel <>, wrote:


  The "odds of dying" according to the NSC (see the attached):


Those 4333 are of how many vaccinated?





"the object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to

escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." – Marcus Aurelius


On 10/6/21, 6:58 PM, "Roger Marks" <r.b.marks@IEEE.ORG> wrote:


I'd like to put into perspective the comments I've seen comparing the odds of death from breakthrough COVID to that from lightning. Let's take a look at a sample population: the US.

As of September 27, 4333 fully vaccinated people were reported dead in the US from COVID [excluding 893 who died with COVID but not necessarily from COVID]. Virtually all of these were in 2021.
As of September 8, 11 people were reported dead from lightning in the US during 2021.

I don't mean to diminish the risk of lightning. Where I live, people take precautions against it.





On Oct 6, 2021, 7:28 PM -0600, George Zimmerman <>, wrote:

All –

I know how much we like to debate stuff outside our fields – it’s interesting, makes us feel smart, and an issue like this can impact our actual lives.

I guess today is the day we all pretend to be immunologists and public health professionals.   Personally, I read the direct literature, and often.  The headlines and summary papers are usually just a guide to go look these things up.  With this, and particularly on this issue, what I can say is see that the data is complex, nuanced, and relatively varied – as there are a lot of variables at play.  Odd how real science in medicine is pretty much like real science in engineering.


What anyone can see is that if you want to find sound bites, you can, but the answer of whether you have durable immunity due to infection is not clear.  One can also see (as John D points out) that false positives or even the ability to track whether someone actually had covid is problematic.  And I’m sure we could find more observations.


But instead, I decided to get a data point on from the SMEs, as we’d say. I decided to ask some folks I know who work for large hospitals in settings where the people really ought to know the science what the policies were, and why.  One is chief resident in surgery at UCSF, and the other a professor of clinical pharmacy working in both Los Angeles County hospitals and University of California Irvine. 

In both cases, proof of vaccination is a job requirement to be on site.  Prior infection is not a substitute.  The reasons for this include all the above.


The plan below would err on the side of safety.  What I see being debated is whether that level of safety is needed.  I suggest that if & when we go back to face-to-face meetings we should take what are then considered the proper safety precautions.  As of today, the plan below seems to fit.



From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> On Behalf Of Harkins, Daniel
Sent: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] F2F meeting safety




  To quote your link:


"Townsend and his team analyzed known reinfection and immunological data from the close viral relatives of

SARS-CoV-2 that cause 'common colds' — along with immunological data from SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East

Respiratory Syndrome. Leveraging evolutionary principles, the team was able to model the risk of COVID-19

reinfection over time."


So they made a model. Models tend to suffer from the bias of their makers and some of them are just garbage (e.g. the Imperial College one). Better to pay attention to studies that actually worked with people who had the virus and recovered. Like this one. Here's a study of COVID that shows the opposite of what the model you referred to does:





"the object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to

escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." – Marcus Aurelius


On 10/6/21, 4:51 PM, "***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** on behalf of Andrew Myles (amyles)" < on behalf of> wrote:


G’day Steve,


I agree that that we should follow the science …


A study reported in The Lancet Microbe reports, “Reinfection can reasonably happen in three months or less. Therefore, those who have been naturally infected should get vaccinated. Previous infection alone can offer very little long-term protection against subsequent infections.” (see summary)


… which suggests strong protection following natural infection is short-lived




From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> On Behalf Of Steve Shellhammer
Sent: Thursday, 7 October 2021 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] F2F meeting safety


Can’t support a non-scientific plan like this.   Suggesting that a person previously infected must get vaccinated is non-scientific.  I will stop there.





From: ***** IEEE 802 Executive Committee List ***** <> On Behalf Of Jon Rosdahl
Sent: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 4:20 PM
Subject: Re: [802SEC] F2F meeting safety


WARNING: This email originated from outside of Qualcomm. Please be wary of any links or attachments, and do not enable macros.

Thanks Andrew,

I agree it is a good plan that we could mimic.



Jon Rosdahl                             Engineer, Senior Staff
IEEE 802 Executive Secretary   Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
office: 801-492-4023
                  10871 North 5750 West
cell:   801-376-6435                   Highland, UT 84003

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On Wed, Oct 6, 2021 at 5:07 PM Andrew Myles (amyles) <> wrote:

G’day all


A Cisco colleague recently attended his first F2F conference for some time (it was actually a hybrid meeting, but the on-line component was mainly broadcast rather than interactive). It was sponsored by the Linux Foundation.


The experience was apparently not perfect, with my colleague reporting that some sessions were too full for his comfort, but generally pretty good. The most important aspect was that the Linux Foundation took COVID safety very seriously, including imposing:

A mask mandate

A vaccine requirement (with no exceptions for previous infection, etc)

Daily temperature checks

A social distancing code, with wristbands

See for details


This is the sort of thing that is going to be required for F2F activities to be provided in safety and comfort, at least in the near future. The Linux Foundation has done an excellent job at showing what is possible. This might be a good example for IEEE 802 to follow …


Andrew Myles

Manager, Cisco Standards


Andrew Myles
Manager, Enterprise Standards
Phone: +61 2 8446 1010
Mobile: +61 418 656587

Cisco Systems Limited
The Forum 201 Pacific Highway
St Leonards 2065


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