Mari writes:


At the beginning of the last episode, I think you mentioned that you were going to talk about dogs later in the episode, but I didn’t hear a follow-up.

I have been concerned about my 20 week old puppy, who I have been taking to obedience and puppy playtime classes, where he has close contact with 6-9 puppies every week. Masks are required, but many of the owners do not wear them, making me question how covid conscious they are. I have been telling myself that the positive impact of socialization outweighs the risk of him contracting covid. Am I wrong about this? I have not been able to find many studies showing how often dogs or cats have gotten covid from their owners, or how severe the cases have been when the animals do contract the disease. As cases rise in Colorado, I’m questioning whether I should be taking the puppy out in public. 

Unrelated second question: If I am vaccinated (and boosted), and wear a KN95 in stores, do I need to worry about people that refuse to social distance? 

Thank you so much for everything that you do. TWIV and your twitter account has helped keep me calm and well-informed throughout this pandemic, and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share your expertise with all of us! 

Mari and Emmett the puppy 

Denver, Colorado 

Daniela writes:

Dear Dr Griffin and Dr Racaniello,

With case numbers exploding here in germany the need for good information is increasing at the same rate.

I am a bit confused about the tests. Dr Alice Howarth expained in this article why she thinks a positive quick test should be seen as for sure positive. Here in Germany the official stance seems to be that these tests are only good to tell that you are negative right now and only a PCR confirmed infection can be real.

Christian Drosten on the other hand put out on Twitter today that if you have been vaccinated lateral flow tests are unreliable.

So what does this mean?

Everyone I would want to meet has been vaccinated at least twice with the exception of one little girl of 8 who will be as soon as a vaccine is available for her. 

My father is at higher risk, not only through his age but also because he had operations and chemotherapy this summer, and his second vaccine in between two chemos.

At the moment I meet a group of 7 friend regularly, as it gets colder ventilation gets less good, the little one testet 3 times a week. Everyone testing if they feel weird. If I meet my father I test on that morning.

Are we behaving dangerously if we keep this up because tests are so unreliable? I get so much conflicting information, partly the “back to normal” crowd screaming that any mandates have to stop and on the other hand those who put me with the covid deniers because I think wearing masks in crowded spaces and two vaccine doses are fine for me.

Could you please clear this up a bit?

Greetings from sunny but cold Berlin 7°C


Rob writes:

I have a “friend” that was reluctant to get vaccinated, but eventually did last month. He then presumably got Covid (lost taste/smell, and other respiratory symptoms) a week or so later. 

This friend is a body-builder, in phenomenal shape, multiple hours in the gym every day. Apparently, he was taking steroids during the vaccination period and infection period (not dexamethasone. the illegal, injectable kind). He first tried to blame the vaccine, but I told him he was an idiot and explained the whole steroids suppress your immune system thing, which would prevent the vaccine from working well and make it harder to clear the infection. His symptoms lingered for about a week and then he finally stopped taking the product. Symptoms went away a week or so later. 

He then noticed some spontaneous heart rhythm problems occurring. Getting very slow/stopping for a second, then beat beat beat very quickly. He got several EKGs and other tests which were fine according to his doctor (because the arrhythmia didn’t occur during the test). Supposed to get a 24-hour echocardiogram and stress test next month. 

He said he never experiences the issue when working out and doesn’t notice any loss of ability/strength. 

It seems too coincidental for this to not be related to Covid. Just wondering if you have experienced anything similar or have any suggestions?

Thanks for any info.