Apple Finally Admits Defeat on a Return to Office Date

Posted on December 16, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Apple with 176 Comments

A $350 Billion "Contribution" to the U.S. economy? No

Less than one month after declaring that most employees would return to the office by February 1, Apple CEO Tim Cook has thrown in the towel. He will no longer communicate a specific date for this return, due to anti-vaxxer idiots unnecessarily dragging out the COVID-19 pandemic and disrupting the economy worldwide in the process.

Like many other firms, Apple changed its expected return date several times throughout 2021. But it has also held on longer to the fiction that we will return to something resembling normal longer than most as well.

In mid-November, Mr. Cook told employees of the latest date, February 1, after previously citing scheduled return dates for September, October, and January. But now he has told them that the return has shifted to a more nebulous “date yet to be determined.”

Mr. Cook also told employees that each would receive an additional $1000 to help them furnish their home offices.

And Apple also announced that it was temporarily closing three retail stores, in Miami, Florida; Annapolis, Maryland, and Ottawa, Canada because of spikes in positive COVID tests for employees in those locations.

Apple still seems determined on getting as many employees back to the office as possible, in sharp contrast to most of its competitors. But the pandemic has at least inspired Mr. Cook to give employees a bit of flexibility whenever they do come back in the form of allowing them to work remotely four weeks each year.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (176)

176 responses to “Apple Finally Admits Defeat on a Return to Office Date”

  1. Chris Hedlund

    "anti-vaxxer idiots unnecessarily dragging out the COVID-19 pandemic and disrupting the economy worldwide in the process." WOW - really???

    • Cavorter

      Yes. Really.

      • red.radar

        The issue is that the COVID Vaccine is not a Vaccine. It is a shot. It doesn't prevent the person from contracting or spreading COVID. The Vaccine has FAILED. that is a fact. It doesn't immunize anyone.


        However, the goal post has moved because the "vaccine" still provides limited benefit if you do get COVID. Your risk of serious hospitalization is reduced.


        So since we do not have a VACCINE and the only benefit is to minimize personal risk to hospitalization this should be a personal choice. that is the fairest thing.


        Anything else is political distortion to minimize that yet again our government leadership has been playing politics rather than doing its job of communicating to the people the facts and information. Instead we get this Wear mask..Dont wear mask... Dont need a booster ...go get a booster. And now its the formulation doesn't need changed for Omni...well I bet if we follow the pattern after the poo hits the fan this Christmas we will see announcements that... wait for it... the vaccine will be reformulated.


        The reason we have issues is because our leadership sucks. Its every-man for himself. And it doesn't matter if its red ..blue..green or whatever your favorite party is. Problem 1 is restoring faith in our leadership and health officials ...then we can talk about solving Covid.


        Sorry for my rant.

        • garumphul

          What utter nonsense.

          • red.radar

            Your ignoring the data. Do some research. There have been breakthrough infections in areas with high levels of vaccination.


            The Vaccine is ineffective the question is why and can it be fixed.







            • garumphul

              I did my immunology research at university more than 30 years ago. You, my friend, literally know nothing.

              • red.radar

                so why are vaccinated people getting infected?

                • bluvg

                  Where do you get the idea that you can't get infected even though you're vaccinated? Who ever said that?


                  Read the medical journals. The data is in. The vaccines do impact infection rates vs unvaccinated, though the it's hardly 100% (no vaccine is). But more importantly, they have an immense impact--though again, NOT 100%--on hospital admissions, severe disease, and death. And that's just for the patient, not to mention the health care systems and collateral damage.

                • red.radar

                  @bluvg


                  I believe I mis-read you point. But is the reduction in infection rates enough?


                  There worrying concerns that the research is rushed and perhaps the infection rate as it pertains to the Omnicron variant are not what we think.

                • bluvg

                  Rushed? This has been one of the most-researched illnesses in history, across multiple continents and countries. mRNA research started in the 70s. DNA sequencing is now reality. We have far more resources to bring against a worldwide pandemic than anything in world history. Read a broad sweep of the medical journals--tons of great information to ease those concerns.


                  Omicron data is still so early, though it's absolutely amazing how much we already know in ~1 month. Read the Discovery Health study. There's some cause for concern and some cause for optimism. Main concern at the moment is overwhelming hospitals, because extremely high transmissibility x low severity (hopefully--read the report for caveats) still equals high admittance rates.

                • red.radar

                  My rushed comment was not related to the body of historical research nor the studies that allowed the initial approvals. I understand what our health officials did. They dramatically increased the sample size under the emergency authorization to allow the efficacy and safety aspects to be evaluated in much faster fashion. I have no issues there.


                  My comment was related to the statements in the last few weeks over OmiCron and the fact that the current formulation for the vaccine is good enough. I think that conclusion has been rushed. and I think there has been further damage to the credibility of our health leaders in making such statements. They should have said. "we don't know yet. " You have the pockets of breath through infections in highly vaccinated populations that are creating significant uncertainty and that needs dealt with.


                  My concern revovles around how long the vaccine remains effective. If it wears off too quickly then we put more pressure on the people that have to administer and distribute the vaccine. It was hard enough to get people to get 2 doses. Now we have to get 3. And we still have to reach everyone in the world. I fear the vaccine effort is futile because of the scale of the issue.

                • bluvg

                  "statements... that the current formulation for the vaccine is good enough."


                  I have not heard anyone say that as a conclusion; if anything, I've heard a lot of muted, cautious optimism with caveats. What I have heard from multiple sources is that they are looking at Omicron-specific formulations (similar to different annual flu formulations), but it would probably be March before we have them. At this rate of spread, that is pretty late, so our main weapon is still the current formulation (wish they would talk more about vit D, though!). The data is early, but the key finding is that the current formulations still appear very effective at preventing severe illness and death, even with 2 doses (T cell response), with reduced effectiveness at preventing infection (antibody response). 3rd dose boosts antibodies, and given the timeframe for most vaccinations in the US (waning antibodies), this is a good time to get one--we won't get an Omicron-specific one before Omicron is rampant.


                  "And we still have to reach everyone in the world. I fear the vaccine effort is futile because of the scale of the issue."


                  Africa is a huge concern there. It's helpful that it's summer for southern Africa (higher vit D levels), but vaccines are still the best weapon we have. I think just because the scale is huge doesn't mean it's futile. Preventing some severe illness and death and protecting health care systems is better than not.

                • Jogy

                  Saying that vaccines don't work because they do not 100% prevent catching a disease is like saying that traffic laws do not work because they do not prevent 100% of traffic accidents and some anti-vaxxers are like wanting to repel all traffic laws because they are "Government Intervention in our Freedoms!"

              • Greg Green

                Did you do any research on leaky vaccines, because that’s exactly what the mRNA shots are. Epidemiologists and virologists not in the thrall of big pharma or mRNA therapy were warning in the summer of 2020 of the dangers of poorly tested vaccines, and we are now living in their predictions.


                compare the mRNA shots to the polio vaccines. Did the polio vaccines work because:

                a) they gave people a mild case of polio

                or

                b) they gave enough people immunity to stop the virus from spreading.


                the answer of course is b, but we are now living in a.


                this vaccine is so bad that in October cdc changed their definition of vaccine to exclude immunity, the hallmark of traditional vaccines.


                this vaccine is so bad that in less than 6 months CDC Director Rochelle Walensky goes from saying:

                 March 29, 2021: Vaccinated people don’t get sick

                 August 19: increased risk of severe disease for those vaccinated early


                We are living in the world where the leaders are practicing utter nonsense, which is why few of their predictions are coming true.

            • waethorn

              Before COVID, “breakthrough infections” had another name:


              vaccine failures.

              • trparky

                Exactly. We have tons of breakthrough cases of this thing even among fully vaccinated people, yet the CEO of Pfizer goes ahead and buys himself a brand new expensive @ss luxury car. Someone should've told him that buying a car while people are literally dying was bad optics.

            • Greg Green

              Breakthrough infections is another way of saying failed vaccine.

        • Rik

          Allow me to address a number of things you say here and in other comments:


          • The vaccine hasn't failed. Nobody ever said it would make you 100% immune. We knew that from the start, we knew that other variants may have varying effects. The vaccines are however very much effective in keep people who would otherwise be on the edge between life and death far away from that, helps drastically reduce hospitalizations, and those who otherwise would have symptoms at all aren't getting it. We know this. Studies have done to validate this.
          • The goalpost has never been moved. Pfizer and others always mentioned the effectiveness of their vaccines right from the start.
          • We do have a vaccine, "shot" is not anything, what the hell are you talking about?
          • Apparently you have no idea how science works, because yeah, as we learn more, we must adjust how we behave towards it.
          • I like how you claim that they'll have to update the vaccine as if they're saying right now that it isn't needed. Of course the vaccine will be updated. Have you ever heard of a little disease called "the flu"? The fact that they are now saying that the vaccine is effective against Omnicron, doesn't mean that they can't improve on that effectiveness. Which they will. Because of course they will.
          • Why are vaccinated people getting infected? Because the vaccine never promised 100% protection against infection. There you go.
          • Is the research on the vaccine and/or Omnicron rushed? No. Of course not. But we do live in a pandemic and having up-to-date information is essential and we continue to learn more about this virus, and as a result of that - as said before - we must change tactics.


          I also like how you talk about moving the goalpost, but that constantly change your reasoning as to what your actual problem is whenever someone points out your just plain wrong.

          • rmlounsbury

            To add to these notes is the emerging detail that the 2-dose vaccine is not enough to protect against Omicron but a third booster shot gives one a 20 fold increase in protection bringing the two dose up to 70-75% efficacy against Omicron. Not as high as the original 2-dose vs. the previous variants but that is a huge boost.


            I fully expect that we will have an annual COVID booster to go a long with an annual flu shot. It would be great if they could combine the vaccines into a single shot if possible. In part because too many people aren't willing to wear a mask, social distance, get a vaccine. This could have been a shorter-term impact to the world. But here we are with a festering pandemic that seems to have no end.

            • bluvg

              "the 2-dose vaccine is not enough to protect against Omicron"


              For infection, it appears to have greatly reduced effectiveness. Against severe illness and death--which is really critical in terms of impact to healthcare--2 dose mRNA vaccines appear to still be highly effective.

          • waethorn

            Joe Biden literally went on TV and said “when you get vaccinated, you don’t get COVID, and you can take off your mask and get back to normal”. Your revisionist history follows Fauci’s narrative.

            • wright_is

              Where exactly did Biden study immunology and epidemiology?


              Our politicians never made such outlandish claims. But, thereagain, they were scientists before they became politicians - in fact, our Health Minister studied Public Health and epidemiology in Europe and the US, before he got into politics, with years of practical experience in the subject.


              And one of the reasons why, after explaining what she could, our Chancellor got out of the way and let the experts go into the details, because she knew she wasn't an expert on epidemiology.

              • Greg Green

                CDC Director Walensky:

                March 29, 2021: Vaccinated people don’t get sick

                 August 19: increased risk of severe disease for those vaccinated early


                fortunately for the pharmaceutical companies your memory is short. Like the effectiveness of the vaccine.

                • George Rae

                  The vaccines were developed against the original strain of Covid, and the statements made AT THAT TIME were accurate. Early on true experts were warning the reason to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible was to stop the inevitable creation of variants. They also said likely 3 shots, like other vaccines, will be required. They meant the world not one country. Then politics, money, and stupidity ruled, Delta appeared which wasn’t the only variant to. Comparing polio and other viruses that don’t mutate to ones that do to “prove vaccines don’t work” screams ignorance, nothing else. Now experts are amazed/worried how different Omicron is from the original virus having jumped generations of normal progression and incorporated other viruses DNA. Like natural immunity, the vaccines effectiveness has gone down against variants. The third dose works great. We are fortunate that Omicron appears so far to be milder, but not certain because it’s so new. It’s amazing how fast science has moved on a changing pandemic virus that didn’t exist in humans 24 months ago. That some choose to live in the dark ages has made this much worse than it could have been. The Governor of Colorado summed it up perfectly last week. Years ago comedian Ron White also nailed it with his famous line “You can’t fix stupid”

          • Greg Green

            The 100% argument is a straw man argument. The small pox vaccines were 90% effective and two shots of the polio vaccine were 95% effective.


            the difference between those vaccines and the mRNA therapy is that the immunity is lasting in traditional vaccines, while the immunity in the mRNA shots is transitory, hence the quarterly boosters.


            after five months the mRNA effectiveness is 3%, 64%, and 50% for the Jannsesn, Moderna, and Pfizer shots respectively. That’s what causing the variants.


            the goalposts were moved. In October cdc changed their definition of vaccine to exclude immunity, the hallmark of traditional vaccines. Look it up. It’s the only way the cdc could keep calling the mRNA shots a vaccine.


            this vaccine is so bad that in less than 6 months CDC Director Rochelle Walensky goes from saying:

             March 29, 2021: Vaccinated people don’t get sick

             August 19: increased risk of severe disease for those vaccinated early


            that means this ‘vaccine’ didn’t even have five months of testing before it was introduced. There’s no long term testing, or even mid term testing. That’s going on now in the general population.


            few of the ‘expert’ predictions have come to happen. The ineffectiveness of these shots is why the standards have gone from vaccinated to vaccinated with a booster, to a second booster, to quarterly booster shots.

            • nbplopes

              "this vaccine is so bad that in less than 6 months CDC Director Rochelle Walensky goes ..."


              Why don't you come with a better one? Just for the sake of argument in the same line.


              I mean, as you I would like a better one, hey one that makes as totally immune or would be great ... but this is the best we got for now. The data about it exists and its effectiveness can be measures ... it allowed countries to "reopen" while keeping death rates low in comparison with pre vaccination. At least in the country I am at the moment.




        • JimP

          What an idiotic comment. It's hard to believe that (some) people are that stupid, but there you go.

      • yaddamaster

        Prove it.


        Cornell just shut down its Ithaca campus despite having a 97% vaccination rate. 97%. Because they detected 903 cases of Covid. Almost all in fully-vaxxed students. We're talking a population not at great risk in the first place and when you're vaxxed there's almost no concern. So in what amounts to a controlled study - you can hardly say the unvaccinated are the problem.


        The problem is fear and control.


        The pandemic is over. Apple happens to be located in California where FUD rules everything.

        • ianbetteridge

          “The pandemic is over”. Which is why in the UK we just hit a new record number of cases. We’re a little ahead of you in Omicron, but if I were you I really wouldn’t be making silly statements like that right now.

          • yaddamaster

            The pandemic is most certainly over. It is now endemic and follows the predictable bell curve that all pandemics have followed in history. That is, evolving strains will weaken over time while t-cell immunity build up will help stave off further infection.


            By all means, get vaxxed. I'm pro-vaxx. But Paul committed an un-forced error. But hey - comments on this article are way up!

          • lvthunder

            Do cases really control here when from everything I've seen this new Omnicron spreads quicker, but isn't as strong as previous variants? I would look to hospitalizations and deaths more than just the number of cases.

            • bluvg

              From the medical reports I'm reading, greatly increased transmissibility but hospitalizations and deaths way down from Delta in SA, but different conditions on the ground, unclear data on impact on vax and previous infection vs. non-vax, unclear data on impact across age groups, still unclear on timing of potential cytokine storm (typically 2-3 weeks in the past), so a lot of uncertainty at this point. The Discovery Health study that just came out is probably the best data thus far; one doctor said in response that the virulence may not be less than previous strains, but previous vax or infection is the primary reason for lower severity. The main concern is transmissibility overwhelming health care systems: far higher infections but lower severity still can result in high admittance rates.


              Looks promising, maybe even "the end of the pandemic," but fog of war. Caution isn't unwarranted.

            • waethorn

              Stuffy nose and sore throat is what the doctors in South Africa claimed. It was actually found in another country first (Belarus I think…something with a B if I remember correctly) though it’s incorrectly credited as South Africa. One thing is for sure, the media cranked up the fear dial to 11 when it was announced, ignoring the light symptoms. Gov’ts sought to leverage that fear by announcing more lockdowns and pushing more jab mandates.

              • wright_is

                You mean Botswana. Although that has not been 100% confirmed. Initial thoughts were that it had spread from there to South Africa, but it was South African scientists that first discovered the new strain, which is why is called the SA variant.


                It seems that it was already in the Netherlands as well, by the time South Africa discovered it (retesting of samples after the SA discovery).

                • waethorn

                  So why isn’t it truthfully called the Wuhan Flu, since by all respects, every politician is conceding that’s where it came from now? Fauci funded WIV for gain of function through EcoAlliance as a proxy. In other circles, you would call that money laundering. The email leaks show that they even thanked him for gain of function money, and just prior to Obama leaving office, he authorized Fauci to continue gain of function research by way of the NIH, which he heads. Fauci paid to have a designer virus made, and now he and Bill Gates came up with a way to mandate sales of vaccines by making taxpayers pay for it, thereby profiting off it (Moderna’s biggest shareholders are Gates and Fauci’s NIH).


                  This is literally the plot line of the pilot episode of Aeon Flux. Watch it sometime.

              • Greg Green

                Both UK and US have had significantly higher covid death rates than the African countries they travel banned. The ban should’ve been reversed, it should’ve been the African nations banning UK and US travel.

          • waethorn

            “Cases” based on a PCR test that when run at over 35 cycles gives you more than a 90% false positive result. Many labs are running it at over 40. It’s supposed to be 24 or less. And even then, it wasn’t designed as a medical diagnostic tool - only in lab research scenarios.

        • Rik

          And how much of those 3% that aren't vaccinated are among those 903 cases? Is it a disproportional amount compared to the vaccinated group? Because you do realize that *that's* the problem, right?

        • nbplopes

          What's the size of Cornell population? Right ...

          Can you provide an example of a flu vaccine that give you 100% flu proof? Right ...

          • Greg Green

            The flu is a completely different beast, varying from year to year. It’s a bad example, but even this can be used as an example of the errors of trying to vaccinate in the middle of a pandemic, especially with a leaky vaccine.


            a better comparison is the polio vaccines. Those vaccines worked (90-95% effective, which is why the 100% argument is a straw man) not because they gave people mild cases of polio, but because they gave enough people immunity to stop the virus from spreading.


            these leaky coronavirus vaccines do not stop the spread, they merely alter the strain, creating a new variant.

            • nbplopes

              "The flu is a completely different beast, varying from year to year."


              Why is the comparison with polio better?


              "That’s what causing the variants." So the vaccines are causing the variants coming from "unvaccinated" countries ... where is the data correlating the causality?


              Humm.


              • waethorn

                You don't get "vaccine-resistant mutations" without the presence of vaccines.


                And unjabbed people aren't spreading Omicron around the world because they aren't allowed to fly on any commercial airlines.


                Unless you count illegal migrants and "refugees". They're getting a pass because vaccine companies are afraid that they could sue for adverse reactions. Imagine, if you will, illegal migrants in your country get more rights to bodily autonomy than you do as a citizen.

      • JWayneG

        Got any data to support that? Getting the jab will some how stop the spread when it's known that vaxxed people still catch it, and still spread it. It's here to stay just like the flu. Also, the folks labeled "anti-vaxxer" aren't anti-vax, anymore than those who don't want to install malware are "anti-software". The current offerings are rushed to the public without the trials and testing for quality and effectiveness, and don't deliver on the promise(they don't protect)...would you like that same for software? Provide a vax that actually stops the spread and more will take it. Please quit blaming those who don't want biological malware, and maybe rethink who is profiting from this. ya know follow the money.

        • MoopMeep

          I would like to see more data from new sites. The just report the basics, this many people got covid, this many people died.

          They need to post more info.

          I'd like to see percentages or people who got covid that had the vaccine.

          I'd like to see percentages of people that died who got the vaccine.

          Whats the percentage of people who got sick and needed hospitalization and what percent of those were vaccinated. Is hospitlization higher for non-vaccinated?

          • lvthunder

            A lot of that data can't be released because of the HIPPA rules in the US. Unless you are dead your medical information is private. That's why at the doctor's office you have to fill out paperwork stating who can access your records.

            • bluvg

              That's absolutely not true about HIPAA. Anonymized, aggregate data is fine, and there are even HIPAA provisions for release of private data for public health reasons (though high bar for this).

        • anoldamigauser

          Biological malware? Really?

          The vaccines were developed under Project Warp Speed which was funded by a former gameshow host and social media influencer who received the vaccine after having the disease.

          • Greg Green

            Hard to tell if you’re arguing for or against the vaccine with your TDS.


            biological malware is a good term. Traditional vaccines are made of dead or weak viruses, which your body’s immune system attacks. There is little collateral damage.


            the mRNA shots are completely different. They deliver biological malware to your own cells, hopefully just at the injection site, mutating your cells to develop spike proteins similar to what’s on the coronavirus. Your own immune system then attacks your body’s mutated cells, destroying not a virus but your own cells, and files the ‘invasion’ into memory.


            one problem is the immune response appears to be too specific, allowing other strains of corona to survive, mutate, spread and infect others.


            the real problem with this is apparently nurses are now taught not to aspirate, ie, withdraw the plunger before injection to ensure a blood vessel wasn't hit. As a result the malware may enter the blood system and head to organs. Let’s say 10,000 mRNA packets end up in your heart or lung cells and mutate 10,000 cells. Your immune system then comes in and destroys the mutated heart or lung cells. You’ve now had a partial loss of heart or lung function that stays with you forever.


            or the mutated cells cause clots to form before they’re destroyed. Those clots go on to form problems of their own.


            the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System has been gathering data from vaccines for 30 years. Currently 52% of all adverse reaction in the last 30 years have come in the 11 months. 68% of all deaths reported in VAERS in the last 30 years have come in the last 11 months. That means there’s twice as many deaths in the last 11 months as in the previous 30 years. That’s some malware.



        • nbplopes

          So anti-vaxers refuse to take the vaccine because they know for a fact does more harm than good. The proof is in the fact that in a population of 30k vaccinated less than a thousand end up getting it anyway? How is that doing any arm? How many end up in the hospitals?


          Any data than gaslight?


          Interesting.

          • Greg Green

            I’ll repost this, since it specifically addresses your challenge.


            the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System has been gathering data from vaccines for 30 years. Currently 52% of all adverse reaction in the last 30 years have come in the 11 months. 68% of all deaths reported in VAERS in the last 30 years have come in the last 11 months. That means there’s twice as many deaths in the last 11 months as in the previous 30 years. That’s some malware.


            Expressed another way, normally in the US there are less than 200 vaccine deaths a year from all traditional vaccines. There are now more than 8,000 deaths in the US attributed to the mRNA shots. That means the mRNA shots are 40x more deadly than all other real vaccines combined.


            here’s some data from openVAERS a site that easily extracts data from the complicated VAERS interface. Reminder, VAERS is sued internationally.

            Through November 19, 2021 

            19,000 deaths

            97,000 hospitalizations

            101,000 urgent care cases

            11,000 Bell’s palsy

            3000 miscarriages

            9500 heart attacks 

            14,000 myocarditis

            30,000 permanently disabled.


            when before has a government approved a medicine as dangerous as this? Even the thalidomide scandal affected well less than this worldwide, perhaps around 10,000, with “thousands” of miscarriages. This is thalidomide level dangerous.

          • lvthunder

            "So anti-vaxers refuse to take the vaccine because they know for a fact does more harm than good."


            Who says this? Most that I have talked to don't want it because the government is pushing it too hard. Remember when Trump said he would have a vaccine by the end of the year and all the Trump haters said it wasn't possible. That's where the mistrust in this vaccine started.

            • waethorn

              I have talked to people that get it just because they think they’re getting their freedom back. Of course, they’re not, but they also don’t think it’s their place to fight government on this.


              ”My body, my choice” is only good enough when you talk about in-utero lives, I guess. Gavin Newsom, governor of Liberal Village West, is in for a shock, because the rest of the Dems want to override Roe v. Wade just for gov’t-mandated jabs. He says California will be a body-autonomy safe space. That’s gonna be a hilarious how he deals with the remaining unjabbed in his state.

            • nbplopes

              Hi. I see several anti-vaccine people here, and other places, talking about their decision is based on data. And when someone have the opposite opinion the anti-vaccine people say ... "where is the data?".


              The data is everywhere for anyone to see it.


              1) No flew vaccine makes you 100% immune. In fact is usually much lower than that.

              2) No flew vaccine makes protects you from getting it 100%. In fact you may be a carrier and not be affected as the faccines increases your immune system ... against it.


              Knowing this the data points ..


              1) People that take the vaccine are much less likely to get it than the ones that don't.

              2) Even the ones that get it the immune system has better defences, leading to less chance to end up in a hospital connected to a machine, or worst .. die because of it. Not only, that ... because people vaccinated end up not need to be hospitalised, less people in the hospital, the ones that actually need the extra help ... get it.


              This is what the vaccine is all about. If politicians in USA told their citizens that once vaccinated they would be totally immune to it ... well that is a misrepresentation of what medical science have informed them.


              Now. I think people should be given the option not to take the vaccines. It's a bit like the smoking law. I think people should be allowed to smoke ... not necessary over other people.


              Cheers.





            • bluvg

              "said it wasn't possible"


              Maybe some said that, but most folks following mRNA R&D weren't saying that. I get mistrust of govt, but mistrust of clear medical data is something else; much of it seems far more about reactionary politically-motivated impulse. Anecdotal, but most anti-Trump people I know got vax'd when he was still pres. Most anti-vax people I know are pro-Trump, or perhaps more relevant, rabidly anti-Democrat/anti-"liberal".

      • Greg Green

        This is a pandemic of the vaccinated. The vaccinated are creating the variants they’re not protected from.


        epidemiologists and virologists not in the thrall of Big Pharma we’re warning of this in the summer of 2020. They said you can’t vaccinate your way out of a pandemic, especially with ‘vaccines’ as leaky as these. Their predictions beat almost all the Twitter approved experts.


        the concept is similar to flu vaccines, which are made well before flu season, not during flu season.

    • juan

      Yes really

    • jbinaz

      Paul is welcome to believe and write whatever he likes; it's his name on the site. But comments like that are not why I read this site - it's not germane to what I assume is the point of his site. Irritating ~50% of your readers can't be good for subscriptions.


      I personally know some very intelligent people who have chosen to not get the vaccine, and that's their right. (I'm not one of them - I am vaccinated.) But to call people idiots for choosing not to get the covid-19 vaccine seems spiteful and counterproductive to keeping readers on a tech-oriented blog. And although the vaccinated are less likely to get covid, get as sick, and don't spread it as easily, they still do get covid, get sick, and can spread it. Getting vaccinated to protect others is like wearing a seat belt to protect someone else in a car accident.


      Covid is here to stay unless it completely burns itself out, but the vaccines aren't going to eradicate it. Thankfully the early signs are that omicron is less deadly even if it's more transmissible, which as I understand is how viruses typically work. That would be good. Because I don't care if I get a case of the sniffles - at that point, it's just another cold.

      • bluvg

        "Getting vaccinated to protect others is like wearing a seat belt to protect someone else in a car accident."


        This is a bad analogy. The collateral damage in this is far greater, especially to healthcare systems. Even though Omicron looks promising re: severity (read the recent Discovery Health study for caveats), greatly higher transmissibility x lower admittance = still potentially very high admittance raw numbers. This could easily overwhelm already stressed healthcare systems, drive up # of employees not working, etc. etc.. It's not just about "you".

        • Greg Green

          The leaky vaccine is causing the variants that the vaccinated aren’t protected from.


          we’ve been fighting this the wrong way from nearly the beginning. On the first human Petri dish available, the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess, 99.2% of the ship’s passengers and crew were not seriously affected. Close quarters with common ventilation, dining, exercise and entertainment areas, with little social distancing, hand washing or masking, and the vast majority was safe. In fact 82% never got the virus, 6% got the virus had no symptoms, and 11% got the virus with minor symptoms. Average age of passengers was 68, crew 38.


          yet too many scientist relied on computer modeling to frighten themselves rather than look at the real world. That made this far worse than it deserved to be.

    • mikegalos

      Really. Viruses don't survive or mutate into new strains without people to infect. Like it or not, the idiots who aren't getting vaccinated are well over 99% of the reason that SARS-CoV-2 is not extinct.


      • Greg Green

        Actually it’s the opposite. Viruses generally don’t mutate unless there pressure to mutate. Why would they if they’re already effective? They (and any other organism) mutate when there’s pressure. Ineffective vaccines are that pressure.


        the vaccines are too specific in what they cause to be targeted, as a result minor mutations in the virus allow it to pass through the vaccine screen and become the dominant strain.


        this was predicted by virologists and epidemiologists in the summer of 2020. Many were banned from twitter for theor heresy, but their predictions have stood the test of time. Research ‘leaky vaccines’, it’s the world we’re now in.

      • Donte

        And pretty much any other virus. I doubt any virus has been 100% eliminated by a vaccine. If they do disappear it's a combination of a vaccines and just burning out.

    • Truffles

      I can't believe Cook said that - his public facing email account is going to be overflowing. I suppose that's why they get paid the big bucks.

    • wosully

      I love Paul's writing. Just lay it out there - truth!

    • Donte

      Yeah I will never have "Premium" under my name. This is just link bait at its best. This topic is so controversial. Other sites rightfully disable comments for this kind of tech news.

    • JimP

      Thurrott is absolutely correct. The pandemic would be over (no more lockdowns or masks) if weren't for anti-vax morons who apparently want the pandemic to last for the rest of our lives. We have a perfectly safe and effective medicine but too many people are too stupid to take it.

    • Chris Hedlund

      Two years, three shots and nothing has changed. I wonder who the real idiots are...

      • bluvg

        Nothing? Greatly reduced mortality for vax'd + greatly reduced severity for vax'd + more people alive and well and can work + reduced stress on already-stressed healthcare + many new variants in 2 years + ...

        • Greg Green

          US covid deaths under Biden, with the vaccine) are now greater in less time than covid deaths under Trump. How is that better?


          none of the pro vaxx expert predictions have come true. In fact the cdc has moved the goalposts just this year by changing the definition of vaccine to exclude immunity, and to reverse their initial prediction that vaccinated wouldn’t get sick.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Objectively and absolutely, yes.

    • StevenLayton

      Yeah I know, I could hardly believe they’re still spouting that crap as well….

    • yaddamaster

      Paul going full idiot inside on this one. The only ones prolonging the pandemic (let's be honest - it's now endemic) are politicians and health officials.

      This is following the traditional bell curve of any pandemic. Fully vaxxed people still pass covid. They can still get covid (but with greatly reduced symptoms).


      I'm fully vaxxed and encourage everyone to get vaccinated. But Paul once again dipping his toes into topics of which he knows zilch is amusing.

    • Chris Hedlund

      The stupidity of Paul's statement is quite telling...

    • simont

      Yes. Really. Ant-vaxxer complete idiots

  2. matt11to5

    I'm glad they're making a decision to improve employee health. Too many of these mega-corporations are only focused on profits at the expense of all else.

  3. jbinaz

    Vaccines protect you - not others. The vaccinated might be less likely to spread it because they are less likely to get it, but can still spread it. And vaccines only reduce the likelihood of getting it and reducing severity.


    Getting vaccinated to protect others is like wearing a seat belt to protect others.

    • bluvg

      There stats show a reduction in infection rates, but the % is hardly 100%, especially with Omicron. But it does have a huge impact on hospital admissions, severe disease, and death, which protects the healthcare system, which in turn absolutely does protect everyone--not only from the effects of COVID, but for any kind of medical care, not to mention all the other collateral effects (losing healthy workers, global economy, etc.).

      • waethorn

        According to Pfizer’s own trial data, the vax killed 2 people for every one it supposedly saved from illness. Court-ordered documentation from their 75-year wait period for release states that there were over 1200 deaths attributed to the vax out of the 40,000 tested. Effectiveness based on real figures instead of relative risk figures show all shots with single-digit effectiveness.

        • steenmachine

          This is blatantly incorrect. No medical treatment would be allowed if it killed twice as many as it saved. Please some quoting infowars crap and other click-bait headlines. You are misinformed.

          • waethorn

            It was in an FDA response to a FOIA response, actually. It’s clear you didn’t do your homework on this.


            phmpt.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/5.3.6-postmarketing-experience.pdf


            • steenmachine

              This is from the AE database, not the entire set of patients (billions) who received the vaccine, of which the vast majority reported no events.


              You have grossly misinterpreted this.

              • waethorn

                This was in the first 90 days of rollout. And VAERS data is underreported due to rules of jab status I.e. less than 2 weeks after jab counts as unjabbed, meaning severe immediate reaction isn’t reported to VAERS.


                Yet it only takes 3 reported cases of salmonella or e.coli to get vegetables removed from grocery stores.

      • LocalPCGuy

        Even with flu shots, about 1/3 of the vaccinated still contract the flu. Vaccines help, but don't cure. What I don't understand is how some people think that because a vaccinated person still can catch a milder version of a disease, that somehow the vaccine was ineffective. I consider it the equivalent of body armor, it helps, but isn't perfect.

        • bluvg

          Right, spot on. Even when the % effectiveness was far higher than that of flu shots--even for mere infection, not to mention severe illness and death--the vaccines were still dismissed out of hand.


          The body armor analogy would be closer if it also somehow incorporated the combat medics, kept the army at the front, etc. etc.

        • waethorn

          Don’t equate this to a flu shot. The flu shot is made early in the year based on a best-guess of which is the prominent strain during the winter season. Even so, the flu shot has traditionally only had a 10% efficacy. The COVID jab is a heavily targeted shot that even Fauci says you don’t need an Omicron-targeting booster, and you didn’t need a specialized one for Delta either. It’s also not a vaccine because the CDC removed the definition of immunization from their website to fit the narrative of this new shot. No other vaccine has needed multiple shots within a year, and Israel is on their 4th and the Pfizer CEO says Omicron is going to possibly need a 5th. Imagine taking 4 shots within a year for one so-called vaccine. And your life hasn’t gotten back to normal one bit.

        • Greg Green

          Did the polio vaccine work because people only caught mild cases of polio, then spread it to others?


          or did the polio vaccine work because it provided immunity to enough of the population to kill the virus without allowing mutations?


          the answers are no and yes. It’s why the polio vaccine was miraculously effective (lasting 95% immunity with two shots) and the mRNA shots are stubbornly ineffective (3%, 64%, and 50% for Janssen, Moderna, and Pfizer after five months, VA study).

    • SvenJ

      Oddly that's not a bad analogy. While seatbelts don't prevent injury or death, they certainly lessen the instances in an accident. If two seat-belted motorists collide, they are less like to have substantial injuries than if one driver is belted and the other not. In that case the unbelted driver is much more likely to suffer severe injuries. If neither party is belted, both could require life saving intervention which may stress the availability of that assistance. Wearing seatbelts is not only beneficial to the user, but indirectly to society as a whole, in reduced insurance costs, required emergency services and saved lives. We made that a law.

      • bluvg

        Really excellent points. I didn't think to extrapolate, and how that turns a bad analogy into something quite spot on!

  4. pecosbob04

    A thought or two on reader engagement.

    Paul's work here is brilliant! a two step tour de force!

    The article at its essence is a pretty innocuous piece that would normally garner maybe a ½ dozen comments and quickly drop from sight. But the catchy headline; Apple finally admits defeat is guaranteed to pique the interest of Apple fans and haters alike. Followed on by a shot at anti-vaxxers has this article clocking in over fifty comments in just a couple of hours. Sheer genius! We are not worthy! And oh yeah he hit the nail on the head too, also.





  5. markbyrn

    When it comes to reading articles about Apple from Paul, I'm usually prepared to disagree. In this case though, his comment about anti-vaxxer idiots is spot on. Every argument I hear from anti-vaxxers is a flat-earth mentality. You get any vaccine to reduce (not eliminate) the chance for contracting the disease and more so to reduce the severity if contracted. The COVID-19 vaccine has proven to do just that yet the anti-vaxxers reset the definition of vaccine effectiveness to an impossible standard.

    • jbinaz

      You say getting a vaccine reduces the chance of contracting the disease and severity if you do get it, then why do you care if someone else is vaccinated? That means that getting vaccinated is for you and not others, right? So what's the issue with someone else not being vaccinated?

      • bluvg

        "That means that getting vaccinated is for you and not others, right?"


        As with other replies--it's absolutely not just "for you and not others."

        • jbinaz

          In what way? If vaccines reduce the severity of the illness and likelihood of death, they do that for you, and not for anyone else. They may slightly reduce the risk of spreading it because you're less likely to contract it (which protects you), but if you have it, you can still spread it. And if you do spread it, at that point, it's on the other person to be vaccinated. And if the "other person" is unvaccinated, they have made their own personal risk assessment as to whether to be vaccinated and to go out.


          And before anyone says anything, if you do have covid, you should stay home out of courtesy to others. But even if someone with covid doesn't stay home, and potentially spreads it, others have made the choice to go out. If they're out unvaccinated and catch it, it was their decision to go out unvaccinated, all pointing back to vaccines protecting individuals and mitigating individual risk. Everything after the individual is societal effects, which are a completely different argument.

          • bluvg

            "They may slightly reduce the risk of spreading it because you're less likely to contract it (which protects you), but if you have it, you can still spread it."


            Reduced spread is still helpful; the percentage reduction isn't as high as with early strains (though the same self-focused arguments were used then), but I can't see how one could argue some percentage reduction is useless to others (or one's self).


            "if the 'other person' is unvaccinated, they have made their own personal risk assessment as to whether to be vaccinated and to go out."


            So if they need medical help, they should refuse? Even if that's your argument, that's not reality. Many unvax'd are going to hospital. And that affects that shared resource. Less abstractly: if you or your loved one has a heart attack over the holidays and is turned away because the hospitals are overwhelmed, that absolutely affects you. Directly.

            • waethorn

              Reduced spread only comes from the UNjabbed. Spike proteins in an mRNA jabbed body are produced at over 50 times the infection rate, and shedding is a real thing. The spike protein is the dangerous part of the virus.

          • mattbg

            I follow your argument, and I think it's a decent one, but I can never close the circle when we have a healthcare system that will refuse care to the vaccinated to take care of someone that is unvaccinated.


            I'm in Canada, and it's a different situation here because healthcare is far more rationed, but it's absolutely true that if our hospital wards fill up with unvaccinated COVID patients then surgeries, cancer screening, and all sorts of other necessary activities within the system come to a slow or a stop to take care of the COVID emergency, creating a backlog that will take years to clear. So, the vaccinated may die of things that they were waiting excessively to have taken care of because the unvaccinated are clogging up the system with offroad COVID cases.


            So, I get that many here are in the US where healthcare is more available if you have the money to pay for it, but all healthcare everywhere is rationed to some extent. Some hospitals in the US did exceed capacity at various times during this fiasco. The systems are not built with endless excess capacity, and it's expensive to build and operate facilities, and to train and employ the specialists and other workers needed to run them.

            • waethorn

              The numbers are in. The provinces laid off over 10,000 nursing staff that aren’t getting the jab likely due to what they’re seeing in hospitals. Lakeridge Health in Durham Region in Ontario has 1 COVID ward for 5 hospitals - it’s in Oshawa. All the other hospitals from Ajax-Pickering to Port Perry don’t. Someone I know spent some time there recently because they got sick and a PCR test said they had COVID (the symptoms were of a brain aneurysm but they treated it like COVID because of the test result). The ward was far from full, and at least half the ward was vaxxed individuals as reported by the nursing staff still there. Many wards are empty, with nursing stations abandoned. Many hallways have the lights turned off with patient rooms empty and nobody around - not even security. The nursing staff even admit that the media lie about hospitals being full, but administrators report numbers based on patients per nurses, and even those numbers are inflated because there’s still more nurses than are necessary for the number of patients in that ward. This was for a little less than a month ago.

  6. red.radar

    Do the people that have to come into the office get hazzard pay? Do they get to expense their travel expenses and allocate that commuting time? If yes. I am good with this approach.









    • wright_is

      Travel expenses should already be calculated into your salary, you know before you start working somewhere, whether the salary will be enough to compensate for your travelling expenses. I’ve taken jobs with less money, because they were nearer home and involved a shorter commute.


      We also get a tax rebate for every kilometre for the way to work. Likewise we now get a rebate for part of the broadband costs and for power and office space,

  7. jwpear

    I think the best thing is for employers to ride this out for a while. I fully expect we'll naturally reach some new balance of time in "the office" and time working from home. There are advantages to both. Folks, especially those not in an urban area, will grow tired of being stuck at home on video calls and want some in-person interaction.


    I do wonder if this will change our concept of an office. It feels like we could see more 3rd party meeting spaces popping up that groups of colleagues can use to gather and collaborate on an ad-hoc basis. Of course, we have this now, but imagine them popping up in unique places and offering unique amenities to attract folks.

  8. garumphul

    Could all the people who lack a basic high school level understanding of how vaccines work (I'm looking at you, red.radar) please shut up?

    Pretty please?

    It's very depressing to have to read your disinformed garbage.

    • Greg Green

      You haven’t explained anything. You just claim that you’re the expert who apparently doesn’t have to explain anything.


      yet the numbers aren’t in your favor. Why did cdc change the definition of vaccine?

      why did cdc Director Walensky believe in March vaccinated wouldn’t get sick?

      why have most of the reports in VAERS come in the last 11 months, outnumbering the previous 30 years?

      the vaccine was once good, now we need boosters.

      one booster was once good, now we need two?

      two boosters were once good, now we need them quarterly?

      how does that sound like people who know what they’re doing?

      how does that sound like a therapy that’s been well tested?

    • red.radar

      I am willing to engage in a civil discussion and opened minded enough to be persuaded. However to simply engage in ad-hominem doesn't advance the discussion. It also further galvanizes those who have come do different conclusions looking at the same publically available information.


      If you can refute the argument with evidence and data then PLEASE DO SO. It will help others too! Engage civically into the discussion


      And lets say for the sake of the discussion I am wrong (Which i am ok with). Then it perfectly highlights my point that I am trying to make. Our leadership has failed because they can't reach out across the breadth of people to educate and communciate. Instead they resulted to... name calling. That isn't going to work. It perpetuates the problem



      • lvthunder

        He doesn't want civil discussion. He only wants to read what he agrees with and engages in name-calling for anyone who doesn't think like him. Just like Paul did in this article.

        • red.radar

          And i will be honest I am intentionally trying to take the counter position to provoke the discussion to flesh out the points. I truely believe the racor discourse and namecalling is the problem. But until we change the hearts of people so a civic discussion can occur we will never reach the people that need to hear it.


      • bluvg

        I hear you about civility. Leadership is a mixed bag... I see a lot of civility and patience in some leadership, but it probably depends on your view, and there is a lot of grandstanding. The incivility I see I chalk up to primarily frustration and lost patience. There was a great deal of civility at the beginning of the pandemic, but what was a clear public health issue was almost immediately made into political tribal war in an election year with the refusal to acknowledge or the purposeful misconstruance of clear medical data for political gain.


        Turning down the volume would be great, but when someone feels like the other person isn't listening, naturally they start to speak louder. ? And we already had plenty of loud bombast going into the pandemic. But I worry about whether civil discussion is even possible when you can present a broad sweep of peer-reviewed evidence, and people reject it out of hand because it goes against their politics, which they've decided to make a core part of their identity.

      • Rik

        You want to engage in "civil discussion", yet you *are* in fact just spreading lies that fit your worldview?


        How about you actually bring in data to substantiate the points you're making? It's not up to us to disproof your statements. You proof them to us (you won't be able to, but hey...).

        • jbinaz

          Civil discussion and spreading misinformation are not mutually exclusive. One can be quite civil while spreading misinformation.


          And note that I'm not stating whether the things anyone is saying is true or not. Just don't conflate being civil with misinforming.

        • red.radar

          I am not spreading lies.


          There exists performance issues with the vaccines that are allowing Omnicron to spread in vaccinated populations. Cornell just shut down and they had already mandated compliance. There are other cases internationally. I have brought forward evidence and points. To paint with a broad brush that they are lies without engaging to refute the assertion is further galvanizing others who feel like they are not being heard. Shouting at people that they are anti-vaxer..morons..liars...or other names calling without directly addressing their concerns and refuting their arguments just perpetuates and makes the problem worse. The leadership failure is when they sanctioned the name calling by calling them "those people" and "loosing patience".


          And I am not moving the goal posts, I am speaking about two different issues that are getting conflated into one talking point which I apologize I didn't articulate clearly They are:


          1. personal outcomes
          2. Ending Covid.


          I never doubted that the vaccine improves the personal outcome if one gets COVID.


          What I doubt is the fact that Vaccine will end COVID. From that point of view I say its a failure. You can't make the vaccine fast enough and distribute it wide enough before the efficacy wears off and the virus mutates. The virus spreads in an exponential fashion but we can only produce the vaccine in a linear fashion. So we have to make and distribute it at rate to exceed spread. And you have to do it at a global scale. It is just nearly impossible. And I personally have lost hope.





          • nbplopes

            "There exists performance issues with the vaccines that are allowing Omnicron to spread in vaccinated populations."

            Yes ... end? What's a performance issue? That inspite taking the vaccine a person might get the flu? Do you know that regular flu vaccines are adapted every year to encompass mutations?


            You mention the Cornell controlled test, talk about the percentage of people vaccinates, mention the number of people infected ... yet leave out the population size ... oh the percentage of people inffected? Is this on purpose or are you plain dumb?


            Finally you admit that the vaccine helps in reduction the spread of infection and come up with:


            "I believe I mis-read you point. But is the reduction in infection rates enough?"


            Are you serious? Enough for what?


            To end COVID? Of course not. Don't people get the regular flu even today? Haven't you ever got e runny nose paired with high fever ... It is here "forever"... reality check.


            Get the grip over your mind man.


            Onmicron is a COVID flu mutation .. we haven't yet got to grips with it to make an all encompassing vaccines. The virus is mutating fast ... and its evolution do not seam yet to go for circle.


            What the vaccines are suppose to do improve your immune system against this virus. The more people have an improved immune system less opportunities the virus have to mutate. Yes, it's a bit like going to war agains leaches that move from host to host. The more people are armed / vaccinated the less chances has the enemy to win over as it will have a harder time to find places to leach on. The flu virus is like a leach.


            Do you really want to help us fight COVID or just want to sprawl around your distrust on the government, sometimes well deserved, and scientific data ... totally undeserved.


            Cheers.



          • Jogy

            The polio vaccines were also not 100% effective, but helped practically eradicating the disease in US and other developed countries - by mass immunization.

            • Greg Green

              Two shots of polio vaccine gave a lasting effectiveness of 95%. The 95% did not get mild cases of polio and then pass it to others.


              the mRNA shot after five months has effectiveness of 3%, 64%, and 50% for Janssen, Moderna, and Pfizer respectively, from VA study. This is why vaccinated get mild cases of covid and pass it to others.


              the mRNA shots are the leaky vaccine some warned about in the summer of 2020. The shot isn’t thorough enough to kill all the viruses, and the mutated ones make it through the screen and become predominant. Since they successfully evaded a vaccinated body, they are successful in other vaccinated bodies they are passed to.

          • bluvg

            First... I appreciate your willingness to discuss this civilly. :) And also for the distinctions you're drawing.


            Ending COVID: I think this depends how this threshold is defined; if eradication, I would agree: vaccines will not eradicate COVID. I don't think anyone is claiming or has claimed that. I also don't think anyone is claiming that vaccines mean the end of any other countermeasure, so I think the Cornell example is a non sequitur. Different places, different circumstances, different risk tolerances and alternative options.


            If the threshold is defined as an acceptable-risk, functional endemic phase, though, then vaccines are the most potent weapon we have in that goal. Anti-vax certainly doesn't help that goal. Broad, equitable distribution is another challenge, but I think this is far from hopeless. The existing vaccines and previous infection immunity are still proving effective against severe illness and death; I don't think anyone disagrees that we can live with another cold-level illness (fingers-crossed, including for the immunocompromised). Anecdotally, I have many friends in 3rd world countries that are witness to competent vaccine rollouts well underway.


            We can't stop all death and suffering, but we can put up a very good fight, significantly reduce our losses, minimize collateral damage, and bring a functional end to hostilities (there are still some skirmishes after nearly every war). The vaccines are the best weapon we have.

            • red.radar

              Likewise I appreciate your willingness to discuss. I agree we appear to be heading into a functional endemic. Which I personally find disappointing. I had hope that we could return to the "old normal". Perhaps that was a misguided. Whether it was based on my ignorance or someone misleading me that unfortunately is water under the bridge.


              I feel like the leadership misteps in galvanizing the population for their personal choices sealed the fate that this was going to be a long pandemic which would then turn it into a endemic. I have never forgiven our leaders for that mistake. So I take great offense when people scream at each other and call each other morons, anti-vaxers and ect. It is that attitude that I feel sealed this forever as something we will all forever live with and it dashed the hope that we would get back to normal.


              What I would have done differently if I was in those leadership positions is remained poised and continued to outreach trying to educate and build bridges. The task would have been monumental and would not have been easy and success wouldn't have been guaranteed, but we would have have retained hope and at least the knowledge that if we failed it was because we tried. Now ... our fate has been sealed and this is an endemic not because we didn't have the tools or knowledge, but because we lost focus and went into name calling and tribalism.


              Someone made a seat-belt analogy. I have a 78 F150 the seat belt in that thing is terrible. It digs into you and it is very uncomfortable. So I understand why my parents fought and complained over the seatbelt laws. However 40+ years later. They have become much more comfortable and no one even notices that they are wearing them. Maybe there is still some hope, the promising anti-viral drugs, better and more advanced vaccinations and some better public policy perhaps the new normal will be more like the old normal to the point it won't be so bad.


              .... But i am still pissed.


              • nbplopes

                ".... But i am still pissed."


                Be pissed with COVID. Be pissed with the government inability to be truthful ... some pathological liars there .. lying even when there is no need to do so ... if there is ever a need. But don't be pissed with science, medical data and the solutions that come out of such a process.

                • Greg Green

                  But it’s right to be pissed at scientists who don’t follow science; at scientists who believe computer models over real word models; and government bureaucrats who say they are Science.

              • waethorn

                In Ontario, Canada, the public health officials just read off the notes that are handed to them. Yes, there’s video of this admission.

  9. rm

    The vaccine works, but anti-vax people don't understand how any of the vaccines work. They think a vaccine means that a virus will not longer enter your body, like there is an invisible force field around you killing every virus that dares to cross it!


    The reality is that the virus does enter your body and your body reacts to it. But your body is ready to fight it off because it already knows how to because of the vaccine. This is true of all vaccines.


    With COVID-19, starting with the delta variant, things changed in a significant way. The virus replicates itself faster so that you have a much higher viral load. This means if you have the virus, you give someone else a lot more viruses, somewhere around 100 times more than prior variants.


    The result is that it takes longer for you body to fight off the delta variant even though your body is ready to fight it with its immune system. Also, anti-vaxxers think that vaccine fights the virus, it does not, no vaccine has ever attacked a virus, it is your body's immune system that does this. But your body is ready to do so already and you will not get as sick and you will get over it quicker because of it.


    Yes you can still die from COVID-19, but many more die that do not know how to fight the virus before they are exposed to it.


    Yes you can still get hospitalized or be contagious from COVID-19 but you are not nearly as likely to be hospitalized or to be contagious if your body already knows how to fight it before you get exposed.


    So, yes, high vaccination rated groups of people can still get COVID-19, but they will not be sick as long or as likely to die. If everyone was vaccinated worldwide, COVID-19 would die off pretty quickly. Only would take a couple of months.


    So, the articles comment "due to anti-vaxxer idiots unnecessarily dragging out the COVID-19 pandemic" kind of fits. It would be nice to say the "ignorant anti-vaxxers", but at this point, I don't think they really have listened or want to understand, they are just tired of the pandemic and want it to magically go away. The only problem is, it will not just go away.



    • waethorn

      What you are saying is not backed by any factual statistics so far.

    • Greg Green

      The vaccines worked? CDC Director Rochelle Walensky goes from saying:

       

      March 29, 2021: Vaccinated people don’t get sick

       August 19: increased risk of severe disease for those vaccinated early


      this clearly indicates it didn’t work as expected. That it didn’t work at all.


      Nearly the only vaccine predictions that have come about are the ones made in the summer of 2020 saying a rushed vaccine in the middle of a pandemic would create variants and not stop the pandemic. Unfortunately none of those people seemed to work for governments, and have probably been banned from social media.

  10. aelaan

    We just got the news today that our offices are closing. We were on streak of two months working part-time in the office. It was great to see my co-workers and just like that we are working from home again.

    I am staying out of the politics around this decision and the terms used in the article. I have an opinion and you know what... I am keeping it to myself, that never hurt no one.

    • lvthunder

      Where are you located? Here in Las Vegas at the 20-30 employee firm I work at we only had the office closed for like 4-5 months throughout the whole pandemic. I'm in Las Vegas.

  11. beckoningeagle

    Apple spent 5+ billion dollars for a building inaugurated in 2017. Less than 3 years into "the lease" the pandemic hit. 2 years after that it has been proven that theses large companies can very much function without a building this big and still keep their productivity and secrecy intact. This is all about trying to justify to investors an investment in a building that may one day become the "Willis Circle" in California. A huge building that has never been filled to capacity and probably never will, just like the Sears Tower. Remote work is here to stay, like it or not, and these huge real estate investments are very hard to justify.


    As for vaccines, we have the highest vaccination rate in the nation and still this week some schools closed and a lot of people went into panic because of a higher than normal spike in cases arising from the most recent "Bad Bunny" concert.


    Yet the government decided no to go back to lock down or quarantine measures, which I think is the correct move. Once this pandemic has been controlled to a point in which infection does happen but is not life threatening, it is time to re-open and for life to begin getting back to normal. The emotional toll that this is taking in our young people is insane. Being locked down at the only time in their life that they can live without big financial obligations.


    I am the father of two teenagers and have seen many of these teenagers go so deep into their depression that is scary as hell. With higher than average suicide attempts. I tell my friends that we either die from COVID or from depression.


    In the beginning I can understand the government being in charge of keeping the citizens as safe as possible. Now that vaccines are readily available, and you can just walk in into any Walgreens or CVD (at least US and it's territories) and get a vaccine without making a line and for free, this responsibility should fall on the citizens. If you do not want to get vaccinated, fine and dandy, don't get vaccinated, but recognize that you accept that higher risk of getting infected and a higher risk of dying.


    The government should just re-open and stop this silly proof of vaccination crap which doesn't make a difference in infection rates and concentrate on trying to educate as much people as possible as to the real benefits of the vaccine, which is literally a lower risk of getting infected and a lower risk of dying, lower being the keyword that most people ignore.

    • waethorn

      There are already 2 very high-quality studies that show that natural immunity after infection is more protective than Pfizer vaccine-induced immunity. One from the Israel Institute of Technology, another approved and published by Sheba Medical, also in Israel. Israel should know a thing or two about Pfizer, since they’re on their 4th jab there. The studies showed that after 6-8 months, the re-infection rate of Pfizer-vaxxed was 6 times higher than someone who never got the shot. And you wonder why gov’ts have set up these 6 month intervals on boosters….

  12. waethorn

    Omicron didn’t spread around the world by the unjabbed, because they haven’t been able to fly on commercial airlines for months. This is a fact.

  13. waethorn

    In Canada, all employees at Apple stores were forced to get jabbed by a date long passed, or be laid-off or terminated, as I suspect was also the norm in several American States. So you can’t blame them for any “uptick” in COVID cases of the unjabbed.


    Similarly, travel licenses, ahem, I mean “vaccine passports” have been the norm for these stores, and malls that contain them, for many months, so even customers can’t be blamed for being unjabbed. The unjabbed could only enter grocery stores and drug stores without a vaxpass. That’s all. Soon it’ll require a gov’t tracked QR code, which also requires separate photo ID to go along with it. Enjoy your “Show me your papers!” society.


    This is a pandemic of the vaccinated.

  14. wosully

    Just reading these comments - this is why America and so much of the world are still dealing with this. We cannot come together against a common foe: stupidity.

    • Greg Green

      When people ignore facts in front of them, when people place belief in government, when people can’t remember what was promised six months ago…


      against stupidity the god themselves contend in vain.

  15. LT1 Z51

    Return to work will keep getting delayed until we reach a point where there is a variant out there that is highly contagious but relatively mild (aka COVID becomes a stronger version of the common cold/super flu). At that point people will have to stop fearing getting it, and then vaccination status, masks, et al will be irrelevant.


    The professional leagues testing for it at this point is getting close to ridiculous as the vast majority of cases are being found only thorough testing (meaning they are asymptomatic).


    Will high risk people likely need to still take precautions? Yep, and at some point that group becomes small enough that like any other "disabled" group it will be sawed off and ignored. Is that right or fair? Not saying it is, but that's the reality of how societies work.

    • waethorn

      You are describing Omicron. And look how the media and governments are treating it.


      If by “professional leagues”, you mean sports, there’s a list of over 300 worldwide pro sports players (many soccer players) who have been taken off the field with sudden heart and breathing problems, on camera. Many have died, some pronounced dead on the spot. This past weekend, 3 were added, and a US football player was added to the list. Of course, nothing suspicious happening there….

  16. waethorn

    OMG this is freaking hilarious!


    reuters.com/world/refugees-lack-covid-shots-because-drugmakers-fear-lawsuits-documents-2021-12-16/

  17. waethorn

    I’m sure Newsom will find some reason to cut their spaceship parking taxes.

  18. madthinus

    Paul, I beg, can we lay off the social commentary and revert to just news. It would remove 100% of these comments that is not helpful. I beg!

  19. Greg Green

    Next year those with four booster shots will be blaming the continuing epidemic on those with only three booster shots. And they’ll still believe the shots work.

  20. compuser

    Well, it sure didn't take any time at all for this to become an argument about the effectiveness of the vaccines that, according to both Moderna and Pfizer, aren't vaccines (the only one that is a vaccine is the Johnson & Johnson one which almost no one is getting thanks to the media), instead of discussing the topic at hand which is Apple's policy for returning workers to the offfice. The question I have about the actual subject of the article is, if you don't work for Apple, their policy doesn't affect you in any way whatsoever, so why do you care?

  21. waethorn

    Apple is too liberal to get people back to the office. IBM found out several years ago that WFH doesn’t work after recommending it for many prior clients. When they tried their own suggestions, they found productivity went into the toilet because at-home workers weren’t, in fact, working. Instead, they’d log into their online work portal, and then f$#& the dog or go and do stuff around the house instead. IBM ate some major crow over the whole ordeal, and before the plandemic, they had the majority of workers with back with mandated office work hours so they could monitor them more closely. They cancelled their WFH recommendations for clients when that happened. I can just imagine that Apple will lose all kinds of money on their glass donut over this.

  22. sirjowrick

    Shoutout to anyone that scrolled to the bottom of the comments out of curiosity. Funny seeing tech enthusiasts lose their $#!+ like this.

  23. j5

    Hey who cares about all the vaccine talk here…let’s talk about how awesome they’re giving $1,000 to each employee to help get what the need to work from home!!!! My company said is they’d just cover up to $200 bucks.

    • mattbg

      My thought is always: "you're an IT worker and you don't have a desk, chair, and monitor at home?!" Unbelievable.


      But I do understand it: it's the same reason that so-called Full Stack Developers don't understand how Linux works. IT has stratified; the generalists are on the way out; and it's a career now for many and not something that one is "enthusiastic" about.

  24. lwetzel

    Anti-Vaxers = Thining the gene pool.

  25. darkgrayknight

    Seriously, Covid-19 is the problem and we do not have any perfect solutions or even enough knowledge to prepare for the next wave of the next mutation of the virus. Blaming people isn't helpful, especially when the data is sparse on whether any particular action alleviates the spread and by how much. Can we move on from blaming people for being idiots (the default existence of all humans) and blame the actual problem: Covid-19. We would still be in this position regardless of everyone vaccinated, masked, etc. or even the opposite run of unvaccinated, unmasked, etc.

    • bluvg

      "the data is sparse on whether any particular action alleviates the spread and by how much"


      But the data is not sparse. We have a flood of data. And it's consistent and conclusive on what reduces severe disease and death, and impact to healthcare and society as a result.

      • darkgrayknight

        I did NOT say that data was sparse on "what reduces severe disease and death, and impact to healthcare and society as a result."


        I said: "data is sparse on whether any particular action alleviates the spread and by how much".

        So my point is that we cannot know that "anti-vaxxers" ARE the cause of the continuation of the pandemic, because we do not have that data or much of any data about actually stopping the pandemic. It isn't going to stop and it isn't blameable that it isn't going to stop on any group of people. We just have to deal with it as part of our life now and stop blaming people.

        • bluvg

          I said: "data is sparse on whether any particular action alleviates the spread and by how much".

          So my point is that we cannot know that "anti-vaxxers" ARE the cause of the continuation of the pandemic, because we do not have that data or much of any data about actually stopping the pandemic. It isn't going to stop and it isn't blameable that it isn't going to stop on any group of people. We just have to deal with it as part of our life now and stop blaming people.


          Sorry if that came across as missing your point, which I thought might be misconstrued. Yet even as it pertains to spread, the fact that the vaccines greatly reduced it at the beginning was not accepted by the anti-vax, so it comes as quite disingenuous and memory-forsaking to stand resolutely by the lower effectiveness against current variants as supporting evidence. If the threshold is anti-vax is the reason there's anything less than full eradication, that's silly. If the threshold is something plausible, like anti-vax has contributed greatly to breadth and depth and multi-fold impact of this pandemic, then the resentment is quite understandable.


          But to the larger point, you're right; shame is apparently a bygone thing, and blame doesn't work. Another societal breakdown perhaps, but these are the cards we're dealt.

          • Greg Green

            Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States


            In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people.


            ncbi.nlm.nih dot gov/pmc/articles/PMC8481107/


            more data that vaccines certainly aren’t helping.


            in the study they compare Iceland and Portugal with Vietnam and S Africa as examples, with the third world countries coming out better with less vaccinated. What’s being overlooked in this I think is first world vs third world. Most first worlders have access to a good transportation system and are wealthy enough to use it, where many third workers don’t. I suspect that first worlders have more cases because they travel more and meet a wider variety people during the average day, hence more cross exposure. I’ve not seen anyone take this angle yet.

  26. jchampeau

    So much contempt. If anyone wants to read a good book that will help you define, identify, process, and (hopefully) work to dismantle the contempt displayed here and everywhere else around us, I recommend "Love Your Enemies: How Decent People can Save America from the Culture of Contempt" by Arthur C. Brooks. Here are a few particularly poignant quotes:


    "It took a few years for me to figure out that my whole working premise was incorrect. Fact-based arguments don't persuade people very well at all, it turns out, because people don't work like computers, updating their beliefs in response to the highest-fidelity data."


    "The point of disagreement--if disagreement is to make us better and draw us together--is never winning."


    "The single biggest way a subversive can change America is not by disagreeing less, but by disagreeing better--engaging in earnest debate while still treating everyone with love and respect."


    [I realize not everyone here is in America. I think these things apply universally, but the book was written about the culture of contempt in America specifically.]

    • bluvg

      Good stuff, though it requires a shared value in actually saving America (for all, not just one's ideology), let alone saving it from a culture of contempt.

  27. conan007

    "Christmas Celebrations Cancelled in Most Vaccinated Area in the World as Cases Spike" I'll let you find out what this place is and % vaccinated. And this happened before Omicron. If you think a high vaccination rate means the end of the pandemic then I have bad news for you.

    • bluvg

      Non sequitur; different places have different circumstances and risk thresholds. "End of the pandemic" must be defined, also: functional end (as in acceptably low levels of severe disease and death), or full eradication? If the latter, then I would agree, but it seems an unrealistic viewpoint to stand by.

  28. nicktirrell

    Glass half full perspective: this is a win for disabled folks, who get to continue to compete on a skills basis in a game that has always been tilted to favor those with the ability to be on site.

  29. reservoirmike

    Does not getting the flu shot also qualify you as an anti-vaxxer?


    Asking for a friend.

    • waethorn

      Flu vaccines have about a 10% effectiveness rate, and they make them early in the year based on a best guess as to which will be the prominent strain in the winter season.


      Last time I had one, which was about 8-10 years ago, I was extremely ill afterwards for over 3 weeks with a chest infection and cough that lingered for 3 months. One of my ears swelled shut and did damage to my eardrum causing permanent tinnitus. I haven’t had a flu vaccine since, and have not been as ill since. I still get the usual seasonal winter cold for a few days, which hasn’t included a fever (meaning it wasn’t likely the flu - that’s how you can easily tell them apart). Just a runny nose, sometimes a sore throat, but is treated with liquids and sometimes cough syrup, but goes away after a few days.

    • LT1 Z51

      No, I'm (and many others are) of the opinion that a Flu Shot is mostly useless (I've gotten them only twice including this year) and I have all other Vaccines. Flu shots have limited use per the people who develop them, and mostly are for people who are at high risk of complications for the flu (in the way that having a door keeps more people out than no door logic).

      • reservoirmike

        I believe the term is relative risk, which is the oft omitted phrase when discussing COVID.

        • waethorn

          Unless you’re talking about vaccines, which gives them their “90% efficacy” ratings. Absolute risk reduction is ~1% or less.

  30. mattbg

    I'm partly-returned to work at the moment. I do see some benefits, but it's hard for those benefits to fully materialize unless more people are coming back... and the "full return" is what keeps getting delayed (or isn't even scheduled), so it can be hard to keep some faith that it matters.


    There's a strong "I'm afraid of COVID because I don't want to go back to the office" cohort out there.

  31. wright_is

    $1,000 for home refubishment? That will just get you an Apple monitor stand! :-D


    Seriously though, my computer desks cost around $600, the chair another $700, plus a monitor, keyboard and mouse.


    In Germany, it is a legal requirement for employers to make sure that the home office environment for employees meets all health and safety guidelines (height adjustable desk and chair, height adjustable monitor, ergonomic mouse and a keyboard), if they are letting/making them work in home office.


    The only exception was during the lockdown. Now lockdown is over and employees are allowed to work in the office, if the company is letting them work at home, the above rules apply. Probably why many companies are not really happy about employees working from home - the additional costs, a second workspace at the employee's home and the logistics of getting everything delivered and set-up properly is a nightmare.


    Luckily, we are only responsible for the IT side, but that means laptops, docking stations, monitors, mice, keyboards, headsets and webcams - most have the laptop shut and use the main screen for working and video calls. The standard Dell docks cost around $250, the monitors another $200-$250, webcam & headset around $60 and $200-250 (Logitech C505 and Jabra Evolve 2 75s with base station). We are already at over $700 and no laptop, desk or chair.


    I was lucky/unlucky, my wife bought me new office furniture for Christmas in 2019 and I'd previously bought a good office chair. So I could work in home office straight away - my home office is actually better kitted out than my real office workspace, although I did manage to talk the company into getting me the same 43" 4K monitor for the office that I use at home.

    • Chris_Kez

      I think we got a $250 WFH allocation in December 2020. It was a joke. My in-office setup would cost ten times that to replicate. And now our local office is closing despite 50% of people saying they want/need an option for mixed in-office/remote. So now I'm permanently providing free infrastructure to my employer.

      • mattbg

        I’m saving $300/mo in transportation costs to work from home, not to mention the 1 hour commute each way. I haven’t been asked to pay my employer back for this yet - I have had raises, in fact - so I’d say I can absorb a few home office expenses.

      • wright_is

        Do you get tax breaks for working from home?


        We get 20c per Kilometer for the way to work.


        For home office, we get a percentage of the cost of broadband back and a general allowance per day to cover the office space, electricity etc.

    • Paul Thurrott

      It will get you one Apple product. :)

    • lvthunder

      You are making the assumption that this is the only payment they have made for this.

  32. dougkinzinger

    I read the entire page! :D