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Re: Genealogist?
Can some please help me read the name of the friend and his address on line 17?
I'm not a genealogist, but went through something similar when searching my own family history. 

As mentioned above, the name you show (from the ships register) looks like Mattes Dornblum. 

A search in shows a Mathias Dornblum who lived at 141 Goerck Street in the 1920 US census.  Going back now to the ships register, it seems like the street listed could have been Georg St, perhaps reflecting the different accents and spelling abilities of the people communicating.  It's generally easier to figure out handwriting if you look at the entire page, and try to find similar-looking letters within words that are more clear, but it seems likely that Goerck was meant.  Goerck Street was on the Lower East Side, but was destroyed and built over in the 1950s.

Perhaps the Dornblums first lived at 139 then moved next door to 141.   Dornblum is the last apartment listed at 141 Goerck, and the next line starts with the Klein family at 139 Goerck, so perhaps the census enumerator mistakenly entered the incorrect house number.

This Mathias Dornblum was 55 years old, as was his wife Lena.  Mathias said he had arrived in America from Russia in 1908, his son Max  in 1909, and his wife and daughter Bluma in 1912.   Interestingly, on the day of the 1920 census, there is also a granddaughter living with them, 2 1/2 year old Annie, who had been born in Connecticut.  Max (25 yo) and Bluma (19 yo) are both single, so it is not clear from this document what was going on there.  Mathias and Max worked as finishers in the manufacture of cloaks (coats), while Bluma made wigs for dolls.

The Dornblums had 2 men living with them as "lodgers" (boarders).  They were also working in Cloaks, as sewing machine operators, and had immigrated from Russia in 1913.  Their names were Ab. Goldman (30 yo) and Charles Schmulger (23 yo).  Is one of these the name of your ancestor?  What is the date of the ships manifest where you found this name?

There had been a NYS census in 1925, and in that year, Joseph, Lena, Bluma and Anna Dornblum were living in Nassau, in Rennselaer County in upstate NY.  I suspect that Joseph is the same person, Mattes.  East European Jews often had two names, a Hebrew and Yiddish one, and used only the Yiddish name or nickname in Europe.  They often changed names several times in America.

In the 1930 US census, Joseph Dornblum says he's a farmer.
In 1931, Bluma Minnie Dornblum married Joe Nudleman (later Needleman)

Looking at the ships register at immigration, there are several immigrants who might be this same family:
Jossel Dornblum, arrived 1909, 40 yo, from Wolchocz, Russia
Lea Durenblum, arrived 1912, 60 yo, from Wocbotzk, Russia
Bluma Durenblum, arrived 1912 (with Lea), 9 yo.  has a "town finder", where you can insert these town names, and they will come up with the location.  This search can be made fuzzier, to find a town that might have been pronounced or spelled differently.  But if this was a friend of your ancestor, you might already know which town they came from.  Does it sound something like Wol...k?

April 12, 2020, 01:45:55 PM
Re: Genealogist? Here's a more complete answer:
Mattes Dornblum IS the same person as Joseph Dornblum.  Joseph/Mattes and his son Max/Meyer and family are all buried in the Mount Hebron Cemetery in Queens.  There's a photo of Meyer's matzeiva online, and it gives his name as
נתן מאיר בר יוסף מתתיה הכהן

In Europe, he was known as Mattes (based on the name his friend and nephew gave for the ships manifest when they immigrated) or Jossel (based on name he himself gave at immigration).  In the 1910 census, he gave his name as Max and his son as Nathan! In the 1920 census, he is Matthias and his son is Max.  In the 1930 census and thereafter, he is Joseph and his son is Meyer.

Joseph/Mattes and his wife Lena/Lea had two children who lived with them in America. 
Meyer/Nathan/Max (1896-1978) and Bluma (1902-1982).

Joseph/Mattes arrived first, in 1909, his son Meyer arrived in 1910 (under the name Nussem Dernblum on the ships manifest - probably Nussen)  and Lea/Lena arrived with Bluma in 1912. This kind of "chain migration" was common among poor Russian Jews - The father would go first, save money for a ticket for the next person, and so on.  So they were probably not well-to-do.  Joseph/Mattes said he was a tailor, and he may well have worked in that profession in Russia.  However, Russian Jews knew that workers were needed in clothing manufacture, so many called themselves tailor when they immigrated.

Meyer/Max married Fannie Katz and had a daughter Ann (1917-2007).  Fannie died the following year, in October 1918.  I haven't looked for her death certificate, but October 1918 is famous for having had the peak deaths of the 1918 flu pandemic, when 195,000 Americans died from that cause.  Maybe she was one of the victims. 

Meyer/Max moved back with Annie, to live with his parents and Bluma, and was there in the 1920 census when Annie was 2 years old.  However, he remarried, to Sadie Espass, soon after that census, and had two more daughters:  Sylvia (1921-2013) and Pearl (1930-2000).  Pearl shortened the name to Dorn, and Sylvia's name was always Dornblum, so it seems that neither of them ever married, and had no children.  Sylvia's obit says:
DORNBLUM--Sylvia. May 8, 1921 - May 2nd, 2013. Loved by her friends. Services Sunday at 12 noon from Schwartz Bros. Jeffer Memorial Chapel, 114-03 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills, NY. Interment at Mt. Hebron Cemetery alongside her beloved sister Pearl.

Anne Dornblum also seems to have never married and had no children, so there are no descendants from Meyer/Max. 

But Joseph/Mattes' daughter Bluma does have living descendants. 
In 1925 and 1930, Joseph and Lena, with their daughter Bluma, lived in East Nassau, in Rennselaer County NY.  This is a rural area, and perhaps they moved there to try their hand at farming, which was a thing to do back then.  In 1925 Joseph said he was a tailor, but in the 1930 census, he said "farmer".  Lena died in 1932, and is buried in Queens.  I haven't found where Joseph lived after this date, but he was buried in Queens in 1948.

In 1931, Bluma married Joseph Nudleman (1892-1966), and by the 1940 census, they were living in Port Jervis NY with their two children, Eleanor and Seymour, AND their niece, Ann/Annie/Anna Dornblum. 

It's in Ann Dornblum's obituary (2007) that you can find the names of Bluma and Joseph's descendants, Eleanor and Seymour, who were Ann's cousins, as well as their children and grandchildren.   That would be the place to start looking for living descendants!

April 19, 2020, 12:03:23 PM
Re: Termites Do you know if they are drywood, dampwood, or subterranean termites?

My experience is with drywood termites, in Florida.  A drywood termite colony begins with a single male and female who enter a crevice in a piece of wood, seal themselves inside, and mate.  A couple weeks later there will be about 20 young ones, and the adults mate again. They chew on the wood, thereby hollowing out a tunnel in the wood.  They obtain all the nutrients they need from the wood, digesting it, and releasing tiny fecal pellets ("frass"), that look like sand, and which they push out of the tunnels through tiny holes.  This frass is the only indication humans have that there are termites within the structure.  They continue doing this for 3-5 years, at which time the colony has grown to about 2000 termites.  At that time, some termites begin to develop wings, and those are the ones that will fly out in the spring, looking for a mate and a new piece of wood to create a new colony.  This swarming of termites can continue for a few weeks or months in the spring, usually at night, peaking around sunset and sunrise.  Hundreds of the flying termites exit the colony, but the original colony remains in place.  That is, 500 may fly out, but there are still 1500 inside the tunnels. The following spring, a new group will develop wings and fly out. 

So, if you have drywood termites, the answer to your questions are:

Yes, when you see flying termites, they are coming from a colony has been in existence for several years already.

No, the presence of flying termites this year does not necessarily mean that the previous year's treatment was ineffective, just that it was incomplete.  There are at least two explanations:

1.  Last year's treatment may have destroyed part of the colony's termites, which are living in tunnels several feet long, with many branches.  When poison is injected into a tunnel, it will kill many termites, but termites in a distant part of the tunnel can block off that region, and live happily on for many years in regions of the tunnel that are free of the poison.  It can be difficult to completely eradicate the colony in one treatment, so I would not blame the guy if the colony is still active.  Did he make only one visit last year, or did he return a few weeks later to check if the colony was still active? (by seeing new frass deposited outside the tunnels, for example)

2.  Last year's treatment may have effectively destroyed the colony that you identified at that time, but clearly your house is termite heaven.  If one pair found a cozy retreat in a window molding five years ago, and a second pair set up housekeeping in the basement window, and a third pair somewhere else.  So the guy may have effectively destroyed several colonies, but not been aware of all of them. 

Again, this is for drywood termites.  Dampwood and subterranean termites have somewhat different life cycles and living conditions, and I have no experience with them.  But I think my answers would generalize to them as well, that is, (a) flying termites reflect a long-term colony, and (b) the local guy should not necessarily be blamed for the reappearance of flying termites this year.  They can be hard to get rid of, especially after a single treatment.

May 03, 2020, 09:27:33 PM
Re: How much milk do you have in your fridge? To use up the milk:

Chocolate Pudding 

Mix all these together in a pot:

5 Tablespoons cocoa
6 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Slowly stir in:

2 cups milk (red, green, blue... whatever you want to use up)

Cook over medium heat, stirring all the time so it doesn't stick and burn on the bottom.  When large bubbles break on the surface, let it boil one more minute.  Take off the heat and immediately stir in:

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cool and chill in refrigerator, even though you're tempted to eat it right away, because it really tastes better when cold. 

If you don't like the "skin" on top, cover it while it cools.
If you DO like the skin, keep it uncovered while cooling and chilling.
If you LOVE the skin, pour some while hot onto a large plate, and you'll get a large plate that's almost entirely skin when it cools.

This makes about 4 adult servings.  You can easily double or triple the recipe, but I recommend trying it first this way, then adjust the recipe to your taste. 
If it's too intensely chocolaty, decrease the cocoa to 4 or even 3 T. 
If it's not sweet enough, increase the sugar to 8 or 10 T. 
If it's too thick, add 1/4 - 1/2 cup milk.

1. Instead of vanilla, try almond or mint flavorings.
2. For a higher-fat creamy taste, stir in 1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at the end, together with the vanilla.
3. For reducing quarantine-induced stress, stir a little rum into the pot with the vanilla, or pour some into your own bowl just before eating.

May 13, 2020, 03:22:36 PM
Re: How much milk do you have in your fridge?
Forget the milk and apples, I'm inundated with cherry tomatoes which my (any) kids won't touch. So any recipe ideas which include milk apples and cherry tomatoes would be appreciated ;)

This doesn't help with the milk and apples, but I had a similar problem a few weeks ago with cherry tomatoes.  I saw they weren't going to last long, so I chopped them up, cooked them with other vegetables and tomato sauce, till they got good and soft, then made shakshouka out of it.

May 13, 2020, 09:41:16 PM
Re: Dropping Antibody Levels
That graph shows IgG staying in the blood, not dropping to nil as the Dr claimed.
Like I said, hopefully just faulty testing.
This is not my field, but here's how I understand it:
The graph is just meant to show how symptoms and antibodies change over time, but is not showing real data (note the lack of numbers on the y-axis and the Disclaimer below the graph).  The red line shows that IgG decreases after the infection has been fought off, then the line stops in midair. It doesn't necessarily mean that the levels plateau there, just that nobody knows exactly what will happen next.  Like the edge of medieval maps, where dragons and sea-serpents indicated that nobody really knows what's beyond this point.  It IS normal for the body to stop wasting energy producing a specific antibody when it's no longer needed, but it's not yet known how quickly the levels will go down, how far, for how long, etc.

The text on the graph seems a little misleading, where it says "IgG provides long-term immunity".  The ability to fight off future infections does not occur because of the presence of those antibodies in the blood, but rather because of the presence of memory B cells, which "remember" how to produce that particular antibody.   

During the first infection, antibodies are produced to fight the infection, which (in this graph) took about 12 days to reach an effective level, and in the interim, the virus caused disease symptoms. 

In a second infection, the memory B cells pour out IgG antibodies immediately, reaching an effective level so quickly that the virus is neutralized before symptoms can appear.  So IgG IS involved in long-term immunity, but it's not the remaining antibodies from the first infection, but rather similar, newly-produced IgG antibodies.

This is diagrammed on Fig. 2 on this page, don't know how to insert:

So this might be what yeshivabucher expressed in other words:

No your body still retain the ability to spool up again it's just no longer on red alert

May 15, 2020, 05:07:01 PM
Re: Dropping Antibody Levels Most of what I know about coronavirus I've learned through DD, so I'm sure there are many here more knowledgeable than me!  But I'll try to provide an answer of sorts to what I think you're asking, and perhaps others can correct it.

A test for B memory cells wouldn't necessarily get you the information you want, because, for example, one could have B memory cells that are physically present, but that are not functioning properly to produce sufficient antibodies.  What you really want is not to know your level of B cells or any of the other cells and molecules in the fascinating poster that Eru Ilķvatar posted, but rather to know whether you're immune to a second infection of coronavirus.  And rather than answering this by dissecting and analyzing all the components of your own immune system, it makes more sense to answer this for the general case:  Do humans develop immunity to this coronavirus after a first infection?

Answering this would take a long time, as the doctors have told you.  If you want to know whether people are immune for two months or 6 months or 1 year or 2 years after their first infection, then obviously you have to wait two months or 6 months or 1 year or 2 years to get your answer.   There are two ways to study this:

1. Experimental:  Take a group of people who have recovered from Covid-19, infect them with the virus, and watch them over the next two weeks to see whether or not they get sick with Covid-19 a second time.

This kind of deliberate infection research has been done in the past, most famously when Nazi doctors infected people with tuberculosis or typhoid, and took careful scientific notes as they watched the infected people get sicker and sicker and finally die.  The post-war trial that disclosed this research horrified the world, not because it was worse than other Nazi atrocities, but because it was conducted by doctors who had taken an oath to use their skills in healing.  In response, international and national guidelines were composed that now regulate research on human health. 

To do this sort of experiment today, researchers would first need to decide on the exact details of the protocol they will use, including:
What people will you test?  Males, females, or both?  Young, old, or both?  Those who had severe symptoms, mild symptoms, no symptoms, or all of these?  Those who were treated with particular medications?  Those who had tested positive for the virus only, for the antibody only, or both? Etc.
How will you infect them?  Inject them with the virus, or spray it on their face with a sneeze-machine?
Which virus will you use?  Several mutated versions are known to exist already. 
What dose of the virus will you use?  If nobody gets sick, you won't know whether that's because they're immune, or whether you used too small of a dose to cause disease.  If you use too large a dose, and people are not sufficiently immune, you might cause an especially severe disease response.
If people DO get sick after this second infection, how will you treat them?  There are ethical issues in infecting someone with a potentially fatal disease before we have clearly effective treatments.
How will you obtain informed consent?  This means that anyone who participates in the experiment has to agree that they are doing so voluntarily, and have been informed of what might happen to them as a result of this participation.  For example, they might have a slight reaction at the site of the injection, but not get sick beyond that.  That of course is what we're hoping for, and it certainly would be great if that's the result. It's also possible that immunity does not develop, and the people will develop Covid-19 a second time. That would be annoying to go through that again, but at least people know what they're getting into.  But there's a third possibility, which is that following the second infection they will have a worse reaction than the first time.  Perhaps their immune system was partially weakened the first time, and now they are less able to cope and develop a more severe case.  Perhaps they had slight unnoticeable changes to the blood vessels the first time, and with the second infection, they are more likely to develop clotting disorders.  As far as I know, these last possibilities just exist in my imagination, but the point is that the researchers would have to consider all the things that might go wrong, and notify the participants in the experiment of these in advance.

After the researchers have figured out all these and other details, they would have to send this protocol to a review board, which would discuss whether the experiment, as proposed, is ethical and whether it is likely to lead to significant findings.  They might ask for changes, or they might turn it down entirely.  Or they might approve it, at which time the researchers would start looking for people willing to be subjects in the experiment. 

There are probably researchers considering this sort of experiment, but the process above could take weeks or months, so the rest of us won't hear about it until they announce that they're looking for subjects. 

2. Observational.  The second way to determine immunity is to simply wait for people who've recovered from Covid-19 to leave home and lead more normal lives, during which time some of them will inevitable come in contact with the virus again.  People who get sick with Covid-19 will be asked about their previous infections and previous positive tests for the virus or antibodies, and researchers will be able to analyze how many, if any, of the new Covid-19 cases are in people who had an earlier confirmed Covid-19 infection.  If no new infections occur in those who've had confirmed Covid-19 in the past, then we can assume that a first infection causes immunity. 

Again, if those with previous infections don't get sick for two months, we'll only know that immunity lasts two months.  It will take longer to find out whether this immunity is longer-lasting.

This study will take longer than the previous one, because you have to wait for people to incidentally meet up with a virus somewhere, rather than infecting them deliberately all at once, but it can be started more quickly.  In fact, it's started already.  We've heard of a few cases in China and South Korea that suggested that a recovered patient had gotten sick a second time, and researchers there are trying to figure out exactly what that means. Is this really a second infection, or a continuation of the first?  Was the first infection really the flu? There will undoubtedly be more such cases in the US as people increase their social activity.

May 18, 2020, 07:19:59 PM
Re: Dropping Antibody Levels Thanks for this very interesting article! 

It does say that 90% of people have antibodies to coronavirus, but they mean the general class of coronavirus, not  the novel coronavirus that causes covid-19.   

The body fights infections by making antibodies that can neutralize a particular infectious agent, so each antibody is made to neutralize a very specific bacteria or virus. (In rare cases, an antibody may "cross-react" with something else, but we'll ignore that for now.)  So for the 4 different types of coronaviruses they studied, there were 4 different types of antibodies, each with a somewhat different structure.  These coronaviruses have been going around for years and cause typical cold symptoms, especially in children.  They did this study in 2016-2018, and apparently published it now because it might give us an indirect clue about what to expect for the novel coronavirus. 

Of 86 people who had a positive nasal swab test for one of those 4 coronaviruses, 12 had a second positive test for that same  coronavirus within the next year or so, indicating that they were re-infected.  One second positive test occurred just 4 weeks after the first, but most were 9-12 months later. 

So the bad news: This suggests that immunity to a coronavirus may last less than a year, so it's worrying that this might be true for the novel coronavirus, too. 

The more hopeful news:  Only 12 of the 86 (14%) people who got sick were reinfected, so perhaps immunity lasts longer for most people.  And re-infections occurred for only 3 of the 4 coronaviruses they looked at, so perhaps some coronaviruses produce a longer-lasting immune response.  Remember they only looked for about a year, so we don't know how long immunity lasts for that 4th coronavirus they studied.  But it at least raises hope that the novel coronavirus might produce longer-lasting immunity.

The somewhat-good news:  In their records of the cold-symptoms people reported over this time, they found that people who got sick twice had similar symptoms both times.  If they had a mild cold the first time, they had a mild cold the second time.  If they had a severe cold the first time, they had a severe cold the second time.  Interestingly, those who were asymptomatic with the first infection, were asymptomatic with the second infection.  So it's reassuring to hear that the re-infection did not cause worse symptoms the second time around.  And if we extrapolate to the novel coronavirus, it makes us hopeful that those who have a positive virus test but had no symptoms, may really be unlikely to get infected in the future.

Interesting news:  Some families (children and parents) reported mild symptoms, others families had more severe symptoms.  The researchers think severity of disease depends on some unknown genetic factors.

May 20, 2020, 01:28:37 PM
Re: Dropping Antibody Levels

@biobook What is your educational/work background?
I have been educated, and I have worked!  But not in immunology or epidemiology or medicine.  I just read a lot, including here at DD, and am learning all this together with everyone else.

Not to bring any proof from the New York Department of Health, however, in the Nursing Home industry, Cuomo has mandated all employees in New York to be tested twice a week. At first the FAQ stated that an employee who had previously had a positive test and/or has a positive antibody test would be exempt from continuing to take the twice weekly test. However, yesterday they completely reversed this stating that even with positive antibody test they are still required to take twice weekly tests "until more is learned about immunity following Covid-19". Don't know if this is still part of their covering up the mistakes they made with regards to the nursing homes since March or if they are seeing some data in regards to the antibodies.
If they're trying to "cover up", they're not doing a terribly good job, because you've found out about it!  No, it seems more likely that they originally thought that a positive antibody test meant the employee would have long-term immunity, and now they're not so sure, so want to test more frequently to make sure that the antibody levels remain high.  Or maybe they're concerned about false positive tests.

The working theory, IINM, has been that Covid is more contagious than the average coronavirus. Are the 12 recurrences due to immunity of the other 85%, or lack of repeated exposure? Additionally, the study says that reinfection was most common in children. I'm curious to know if that would hold true here, and what the ramifications would be for schools, especially since, at least at one point, children were (or are?) viewed as dangerous silent spreaders. (I'm not sure if this still holds true.)
First, I should mention that they started studying 191 people, and only 86 of those had any positive test at all during the year.  So more than half of the people were never infected at all during the year.  Not surprising, since we all know that when "some cold is going around" not every single person catches it.  But we can't tell if it was because nobody in their vicinity had the virus, or if they were just better at washing hands and keeping hands away from their nose.  And the same applies to the question of why the 85% had virus in their nose the first time, but never tested positive again during the year.  Maybe they weren't re-exposed to the virus, or maybe they managed to wash hands and keep it out of their nose.   

We wouldn't say that 85% were immune, because that would imply that they were infected with the virus but didn't get sick, while these 85% weren't shown to be infected a second time, so we don't know if they were immune or not. This study wasn't trying to figure out how long immunity might last, but rather how short it might be.  So all they can really conclude is that in some people, immunity to these coronaviruses may last just a few months.

Re: children, yes, 9 of the 12 who were re-infected were children.  Again, not surprising, since children are so much more likely to stick their fingers in their nose and to develop colds.  The novel coronavirus affects adults and children differently, so I don't think we can conclude anything at this point.   

The images of lungs with Covid have shown extensive damage, even for those with very mild symptoms. There have also been reports of the virus attacking other organs, on an individual basis. With the average coronavirus, is there documented damage to any internal organs? If yes, how does a second attack on those same organs not cause cumulative damage? If not, is it possible that our virus may prove to hit harder during a second infection due to the attacked organ being weakened by the first infection?
From this article, it sounds like these 4 coronaviruses generally just cause respiratory symptoms, not other internal damage.

If the novel coronavirus acts like these 4, we would expect a second infection to be as bad as the first, but not worse.  But the novel coronavirus is different in so many ways, so this expectation is very iffy. 

If we draw any conclusions relevant to our current situation, it would be that those who've recovered from a bout of covid-19 should not think that they're immune for life, but should be taking the same precautions as those who've never been infected, to try to avoid a second infection.

May 20, 2020, 11:19:37 PM
Re: Interesting Articles: COVID-19 Edition
Thank you! How nutty is that? The CDC had clearly had this on their website for over a month for crying out loud and every national news source is now trumpeting this like itís major breaking news because some idiot at the Post didnít read the fine print.

Itís the CDCs website, for goodness sake. How hard can it be to research that??

Thatís the media for you.
This news article says that the CDC did make changes to that site this month (perhaps they didn't update the date of update?) but it sounds like maybe it's just changes in editing and formatting.  And it sounds like the CDC pushed this out.

First article on page is "Ex-FDA commissioner urges nuanced read of CDCís updated guidelines on transmission via surfaces"

It's quoting a CNBC interview, and says, in part:
ďMost of the transfer here is probably from respiratory droplets and sustained human contact with people, but I wouldnít discount the probability that there is some spread through contaminated surfaces,Ē Gottlieb said... 

Gottlieb said he doesnít read the study that informed the CDCís revision as ďdefinitively saying the disease canít be spread through inert surfaces,Ē and he stressed that mass transit, offices and any surface that numerous people touch throughout the day should still be diligently disinfected...."

So that was my question.  Is there a new study that led to the revision?  Or is this just a re-wording of the earlier finding, with a different conclusion?

Earlier:  Covid might occasionally spread via surfaces.  So let's all stay home and sanitize surfaces. 
Now: Covid only occasionally spreads via surfaces.  So let's open up and not worry about surfaces.   

May 22, 2020, 10:49:14 AM