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TT after Delta variant

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    Posted: 08/15/2021 at 11:41pm
I was wondering how many of our forum members have been able to play our wonderful game since Covid-19.

Personally, I was lucky to be able to hit a little with dad in his basement during the initial lockdown. 

Things started to feel a bit more normal again when our club opened up close to two months ago.

But now with the delta variant, people are again opting to stay home. 



Typically the gym holds a full 14 tables with players and bystanders.

Hope everyone can continue to be safe and smart!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2021 at 1:18am
Yeah it's gg for me now too. But it's a blessing in disguise coz now I can focus on my composing projects....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2021 at 2:22pm
still playing and coaching though I cannot jog due to restrictions by policies. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote vanjr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2021 at 2:33pm
Our club is open. I am fully vaccinated as are most members. I wear a mask (including playing) and encourage others as well, as we are in a huge "local" outbreak. (By local I mean Texas and most surrounding and Southern states).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2021 at 2:39pm
I am only playing at home with my younger daughter who is hooked to the game now, she's asking for it! I am the happiest dad because she is 14 but when she was 8, she played a bit (maybe 2 hours total in 15 minutes slices) but quit because I was too intense coaching. Now I just let her play and I talk only if she asks something: she is having a blast. She can fh drives pretty good and starts looping, her bh is just a gentle wrist snap with a bit of a punch block to it, I did not tell her much about it, she came up with that natural stroke that I don't want to tweak because she feels good with it, it's low and deep so I won't pollute. She definitely understand the complexity of the fh and likes to gently drive 3 or 4 times before going for it with a full body motion, jumping on a circle and all.

My counsel to tt dads: don't coach your own kids because love gets in the way and if the kid must choose between dad and the tt coach, they will fire the coach to protect their relationship with their dad --> they'll quit playing! The sweet spot is to have a conversation about the game and about what THEY want to learn when they ask, not on what we want to shove in their game at the time of our convenience. It sounds easy to say when it has sunken in for good and all is stable but for me it was a difficult process to chew, swallow and digest over time.


Edited by stiltt - 08/16/2021 at 2:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ejprinz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2021 at 3:19pm
I've been playing at PongClubATX since June 2020 (always with a 7-layer mask until I got vaccinated) and also at the ATTC for a couple of months now. We wear masks there when we are not playing. I kept my "ideal" weight and take 2 1-hour lessons / week. From what I see going grocery shopping or eating out is a bigger risk. I would feel more comfortable if vaccination were mandatory because of the possibility of infecting unvaccinated folks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote mts388 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2021 at 3:25pm
I play in two small clubs.  One club is back to the pre covid numbers.  Mostly older players who have been vaccinated.  The bigger of the two clubs has gone from 17 players to now 6 or 7.  I've called two of the regular pre covid players and asked them to come.  Both have been vaccinated, but are terrified that if they come, some unvaccinated player will give them covid and they will die.  They're not just afraid, but terrified.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2021 at 5:21pm
Hey smilett, 

I was just there at PCTTC for two Weds and one Sat, the Sat when the county put the masks indoors rule back on.  I have to think that stopped some people playing again because it was pretty close to normal the first Weds.  

While I was up there I looked up the Arlington club that plays at Gunston and the whole community center is still closed.  No idea if that club will revive when this ever ends.  It would be a shame to lose it.

This week I'm in scenic Huntsville AL and will play at North Alabama TTC Weds and Fri.  I was also here for three weeks in June.  That's when I first played again after a 16 month layoff from Feb '20.  In June NATTC had about half the attendance as before Covid.  The community center had re-opened for play only about a month earlier.  Alabama has a bad case of the Delta so attendance may have dropped even more now, like at your club.  Also on Saturdays here they have 40 or 50 players at the Chinese Christian Church of Madison.  They started playing again there in August '20 after the first wave, and when I went in June '21 almost everybody was there.  Some regulars were at the US Nationals the week I played or it would have been a full house.  I doubt Delta has stopped them from playing as I'm pretty sure adult vaccination rates at CCCofM approach 100%.  

Then starting next week I'll be home in sunny FL, home to both the magnificent Broward TTC and one-fifth of all new Covid cases in the USA.  Before the vaccines came out BTTC was open but with fewer tables and by reservation only, no hanging around for open play like the good old days.  But they just had a camp, and they have been running tournaments, with another scheduled for late September.  So I assume things there are back to mostly normal, no idea about attendance since I haven't been there during the pandemic.   Florida's overall vaccination rate is roughly the national average, but the senior citizen rates are really high, and my guess is the ping-pong-player vacc rate is quite a bit higher than the state average.  The relative absence of kids from TT in Florida almost guarantees that even if you don't assume TT players skew smarter than the general public. 

My former club in Vero Beach stayed open throughout, except for a few weeks when the mall they are in was completely closed during the first shutdown.  They got maybe 60% of the normal players.  A lot like me just stopped going while waiting for the vaccines.  But now that I'm vaccinated I'm going to play.  I'll wear a mask when not playing, that's easy.  Covid is endemic now and we need to adapt to it.  I'm not interested in finding a new sport so I'll play TT, and get my booster shot when those are allowed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/16/2021 at 10:11pm
In case anyone is undecided, when I got the vaccine each time my arm was a little sore for about a day.  Both shots.  That was it.  Some people may feel a little more than that, maybe but it's no big deal. So let's hope all of the table tennis players here who have access to a vaccine (which would be essentially everybody in the United States) well take advantage of them.

My colleagues here at the Texas Medical Center are seeing that about 95% of the people sick enough to need hospitalization are unvaccinated.  The the other 5% are mostly people with special conditions for example they are taking cancer chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive drugs that probably have reduced their ability to respond to the vaccine. People like that should get a third shot now that it's been approved in the US.  That's anecdotal of course but that seems to be the pattern in most places.

Fortunately all of the evidence says that both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines are effective even against this horrific Delta variant. Effective doesn't necessarily you can't get sick at all. It means it should keep you out of the hospital.

People who have followed my comments on this subject over the last 18 months will know that from the beginning I've not been particularly optimistic about the epidemiology of this virus although I was quite certain that we would get effective vaccines, as we did. 

But even with my general pessimism I never anticipated that a variant wouls emerge with THIS much of an increase in infectivity.  And I never predicted that once vaccines were available that so many people would refuse to take advantage of it.  If you're hesitating, PLEASE go ahead and protect yourself.  With this variant being young and healthy is no longer enough. 

As the OP noted, this thing now behaves almost like a new virus, so the odds that might have worked in your favor a year ago may not work now unless you take very specific actions.

If you're fully vaccinated though, live your life.  


Edited by Baal - 08/16/2021 at 10:30pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2021 at 12:11am
I am among the people who are terrified by the delta variant. I know I would survive it because my double shot and my veganism but I am afraid of the sequels, the smell of rot being high up there in the list of stuff I do not want to experience. My sense of smell went up through the roof (so did the taste buds capabilities) when I switched to a plant based diet and I am not going to lose that benefit. The fact that even immune I can still infect people is my easy way to stay away for now. I am more in an expectative state and above all I do not trust anybody on how to approach something so new, money and business fluidity are far too high in the deciders' minds to hope that one of them would think for the good of the people.

Edited by stiltt - 08/17/2021 at 12:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liulin04 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2021 at 6:57am
Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

I am only playing at home with my younger daughter who is hooked to the game now, she's asking for it! I am the happiest dad because she is 14 but when she was 8, she played a bit (maybe 2 hours total in 15 minutes slices) but quit because I was too intense coaching. Now I just let her play and I talk only if she asks something: she is having a blast. She can fh drives pretty good and starts looping, her bh is just a gentle wrist snap with a bit of a punch block to it, I did not tell her much about it, she came up with that natural stroke that I don't want to tweak because she feels good with it, it's low and deep so I won't pollute. She definitely understand the complexity of the fh and likes to gently drive 3 or 4 times before going for it with a full body motion, jumping on a circle and all.

My counsel to tt dads: don't coach your own kids because love gets in the way and if the kid must choose between dad and the tt coach, they will fire the coach to protect their relationship with their dad --> they'll quit playing! The sweet spot is to have a conversation about the game and about what THEY want to learn when they ask, not on what we want to shove in their game at the time of our convenience. It sounds easy to say when it has sunken in for good and all is stable but for me it was a difficult process to chew, swallow and digest over time.

My wife much prefer to hit against the robot instead of me saying my intense coaching is affecting her output
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2021 at 2:16pm
Realistic minded scholars advicing us to take the world without any delusions of the happy end.
--   Happy end is a sweety fib for ignoramus. There are many more viral variances to come.



Please take care you keep up the mask-on total regime.

Edited by igorponger - 08/17/2021 at 2:47pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThePongProfessor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2021 at 4:18pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

In case anyone is undecided, when I got the vaccine each time my arm was a little sore for about a day.  Both shots.  That was it.  Some people may feel a little more than that, maybe but it's no big deal. So let's hope all of the table tennis players here who have access to a vaccine (which would be essentially everybody in the United States) well take advantage of them.

My colleagues here at the Texas Medical Center are seeing that about 95% of the people sick enough to need hospitalization are unvaccinated.  The the other 5% are mostly people with special conditions for example they are taking cancer chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive drugs that probably have reduced their ability to respond to the vaccine. People like that should get a third shot now that it's been approved in the US.  That's anecdotal of course but that seems to be the pattern in most places.

Fortunately all of the evidence says that both the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines are effective even against this horrific Delta variant. Effective doesn't necessarily you can't get sick at all. It means it should keep you out of the hospital.

People who have followed my comments on this subject over the last 18 months will know that from the beginning I've not been particularly optimistic about the epidemiology of this virus although I was quite certain that we would get effective vaccines, as we did. 

But even with my general pessimism I never anticipated that a variant wouls emerge with THIS much of an increase in infectivity.  And I never predicted that once vaccines were available that so many people would refuse to take advantage of it.  If you're hesitating, PLEASE go ahead and protect yourself.  With this variant being young and healthy is no longer enough. 

As the OP noted, this thing now behaves almost like a new virus, so the odds that might have worked in your favor a year ago may not work now unless you take very specific actions.

If you're fully vaccinated though, live your life.  

I am no epidemiologist but merely a medicinal/DNA chemist who has taught on therapeutic intervention strategies against C19. For what it is worth, I second Baal's message, with the added cautionary note that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine seems to be waning after a period of time, which will require booster shots. It will likely be impossible to avoid C19 in the long run (endemic), but there is (and will be) a huge difference whether one is exposed to SARS-nCoV2 having vs being devoid of antibodies from vaccines.         
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Egghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2021 at 6:04pm
One club has so many players that it needs to open another location. Another club is back to pre-covid numbers in rush hr on avg. Having said that, I noticed no more lone wolf. Players come in with their friends. They may not play with other players if they see them first time.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote piligrim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2021 at 6:42pm
What about gamma? How is to play after gamma variant? Get ready for epsilon variant
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThePongProfessor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/17/2021 at 9:46pm
Originally posted by piligrim piligrim wrote:

What about gamma? How is to play after gamma variant? Get ready for epsilon variant

Yes. That's called genetic drift and to be expected. The hope and expectation is that i) existing vaccines (if delivered as booster shots) will confer protection, or ii) revised mRNA vaccines proving effective against new strains will be developed. 

Once again, there is a big difference between being immuno-naive (no antibodies, historic average mortality rate of ~1.5%) or having been vaccinated two or more times (>95% protection against hospitalization/death, meaning mortality rate would be somewhere around (1-0.985)(1-0.95) = 0.015 x 0.05 --> ~0.075% (i.e., 5% of 1.5%). As somebody who is fully vaccinated, I am not overly worried for myself (but I do worry for those who are ineligible to be vaxxed).     
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ddoocc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/18/2021 at 4:32am
I mainly played with my 5 years old daughter these days, sometimes my wife. No coaching, no match.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/18/2021 at 9:34am
Regarding "variant gamma" etc, this is a table tennis forum so I don't want to get very technical about this, but it is a reasonable question to ask . The short answer is that there is a good likelihood that existing vaccines will continue to be effective against new variants that emerge. 

The reason is that they were very carefully designed so that people will generate antibodies that recognize the portion of the virus that binds to proteins on human cell surfaces. The interaction between the viral S-protein with a cell surface protein called ACE2 is required for the virus to enter the cells that it infects. And it has to enter cells in order to replicate. What that means is the virus cannot mutate very much in that part of the S-protein and still be able to infect human cells. So the antibodies humans generate in response to the vaccines will probably continue to be effective. However, it will be important for people to be sure that their antibody levels are sufficient. 

That is why I will get a booster shot as soon as I am eligible. And, if you are in any way immunocompromised, you should get a booster shot now.

For anyone who wants a little bit more technical detail, the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein and the human ACE2 protein is now understood in essentially atomic detail. The structure of the complex between the two proteins has been solved by a method known as x-ray crystallography, which is the gold standard for determining the structures of macromolecules, and with modern structural modeling methods it's possible to understand what the effect of almost any mutation or combination of mutations would be on that interaction. (The Pong Professor knows more about that kind of modeling than I do, since it is a mainstay of modern Medicinal Chemistry). And from that we know that the virus does have certain constraints. Actually, the virus mutates constantly, but most mutations diminish its function and so consequently they never result in a variant that spreads wiithin the population. In fact, coronaviruses mutate faster then most replicating organisms, because, unlike you and I, there is no "proofreading mechanism" in their genome replication.  They are unable to correct any mistakes made when their genome replicates.  By the way, the ACE2 protein is part of a signaling system my laboratory has researched in the past, but not in the context of virology.

Now nothing is 100% certain, and maybe the virus will mutate somewhere else in a way that produces some completely unexpected new trick. Still, the odds strongly favor people who are vaccinated, and the odds for unvaccinated people are not the same as they were six months earlier. They are worse.


Edited by Baal - 08/18/2021 at 9:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SmileTT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/18/2021 at 9:45am
Glad to hear many of you are masking up during play, it certainly takes some getting used to. 

I still sometimes see some masks resting on the chin though. 

Also happy to hear about families developing their bonds through table tennis, our sport really is a social game.

I'm preparing to upload some content on YouTube, so that we may all have a means to connect digitally, while physical distancing is in effect.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SmileTT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/18/2021 at 9:57am
BRS: Wow you are keeping active in so many places, please do be safe. It's unfortunate we did not have the opportunity to play together during those days! I'm curious to know how the Broward Club is doing these days. Say Hi to Terese, Carlos, Rick, and the players for me! 

Baal: Yes, I do think boosters are a good idea, especially if you are considered at risk!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SmileTT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/18/2021 at 10:42am
Sorry for the 3x post. 

But this video from 3 years ago did not age well... LOL

Now we play with masks on and if you hear someone coughing. Shocked


Edited by SmileTT - 08/18/2021 at 2:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/18/2021 at 8:22pm
We have been hiding down here in New Zealand, listening to our Mother Prime Minister and not playing with our neighbors thus keeping all the Covid viruses at bay, groups of 40-50 thousand people have attended concerts and Rugby games without masks or peril
 Even in the Weekend 140 players attended a local TT tournament 
On Tuesday I have 8 oldies playing in my shop while 2 others hired my Table tennis robot
1 young man shock hands with me 4 times as he left at 3.15 pm

Within the next 10 mins news was coming in that someone in NZ had the virus in the community, they traveled, attended bars, shopped, people he knew went to a Church and a shopping mall , traveled to other areas moved around Auckland on a bus another is a school teacher at a school with 2500 students, places of interest include a building a few hundred meters away from me
 By 11.59 mid night our whole Country into a level 4 lockdown thus creating the normal supermarket toilet paper and water rush, big lines for testing, most shops, industry, Schools shut, we have been slow on the roll out of the jab, now the blame game starts

Our smirk has gone
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/19/2021 at 12:24am
Let's see how that strategy plays, the numbers will talk, it is important some country tries that way and many thanks to yours for going that hard. We need to know if it's the right way and nobody does. It is honorable to have that much guts and trust to go the way of NZ. If one country can succeed going that strong, NZ can as islanders and not a world hub like London. 
Is it a chimera though? "it will find his way in" some people say. "So what? better late than now" says NZ. 
In the race of vaccine production that slow down infections, there is so much money to make NZ might be right to bet on a severe strategy to maximize antibodies in people's blood before it hits hard everywhere.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mon22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/19/2021 at 7:08am
I love my Orlando TT family

I had to let them know that last night will be the last time I will be playing for awhile.

Working for the hospital I’ve seen what the Delta Variance can do, and there are some hardcore older dudes that refuse the vaccine at my club that I rather not risk for the sake of the game

They were sad but they understood and was happy I thought of their safety and was concerned. 

Time to EJ while I’m stuck at home £
I am a total Newb. Come at me!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/19/2021 at 8:03am
Originally posted by smackman smackman wrote:

We have been hiding down here in New Zealand, listening to our Mother Prime Minister and not playing with our neighbors thus keeping all the Covid viruses at bay ...

Our smirk has gone

Using the numbers Google gives me:

Total Covid infections per 100k population
NZ = 60
USA = 11,365

Maybe you can smirk for a bit longer still. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/19/2021 at 11:17am
It is a World of Total Hazard, dude. Much worse World than prior to yesterday.

Edited by igorponger - 08/19/2021 at 11:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kuifje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/19/2021 at 12:21pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

there is no "proofreading mechanism" in their genome replication.  They are unable to correct any mistakes made when their genome replicates.  

Not TT related but as a microbiologist I can't resist commenting on this. Coronaviruses are one of the few RNA viruses that do have a proofreading mechanism within their RNA polymerases. So the antigenic drift is much slower than in most other viruses (eg influenza). But give SARS-Cov2 enough opportunities (as several countries have so brilliantly done) and mutations do accumulate leading to new variants. If you want to read about this, check eg https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8142856/, but that's a bit hard core and difficult to follow if you don't have a background in biology/biochemistry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/19/2021 at 12:23pm
Youre right..  I stand corrected.

Edited by Baal - 08/19/2021 at 12:29pm
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