Coronavirus and Avian Flu Tidbits #302


First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I'm getting.

Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don't be shy about that.

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Everyone paying attention knows that these are increasingly desperate times if we are to save our democracy (with all its warts). This is no time to sit out the election because you don't like Biden, or whoever the Dems hastily nominate in their (likely misguided) rush to replace him.

Just a casual reminder that Germans who “didn’t bother to vote” in 1932 didn’t get a chance again until 1946, after Hitler’s death. — There’s a lesson there." - Andrea Junker @Strandjunker Jul 1

So please work to register Dems in swing states. You can do that at and GOTV. Want other suggestions? email me. Thanks.

Suggested read on what TFG means to UK, EU, and Ukraine:


Covid levels cont to rise...

see Wastewater SCAN

Mike Hoerger:

PMC COVID-19 Forecast, Jul 5, 2024 (U.S.) Biobot has corrected last week's data upward 12% & reports a further 12% increase this week. We're still hopefully in a plateau the next few weeks, but now at 600,000-800,000 infections/day. V concerned for early Sept.

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“Massachusetts on Thursday reported 1,151 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 6 deaths in the week from June 23-June 29.”

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Seasons and Covid and boosters

CDC now notes that Covid is a year round threat, also increasing in the summer months, and is recommending those > 65 or vulnerable patients get a booster this summer.

They advise multi layered protection, including clean air.

In a stupid new graphic, however, they still stress handwashing and put masking only as an accessory measure. Ass backwards.

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Infectivity of masks:

“New study by Linsey Marr: ‘We aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 & pulled it through masks. After 1hr we were able to recover infectious virus from fabric masks but not an N95 or surgical mask. When we pressed artificial skin against the masks we found viral RNA but no infectious virus on the skin’.” (via Lucky Tran)

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Should people with long COVID-19 who have a new COVID-19 infection use metformin?

Canadian Guidelines for Post COVID-19 Condition suggests YES

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Organ damage from Covid:

"COVID-19 can also cause organ damage in individuals without symptoms, who would not fall under the current definition of Long COVID. This organ damage, whether symptomatic or not, can lead to various health impacts such as heart attacks and strokes.”

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New data from the official Spanish health survey.

The share of the population that has a chronic illness now stands 9.8 standard deviations above its prepandemic average. Hospitalizations, 5.9 standard deviations above its average. All age groups doing badly.
The source of this data is: barómetro sanitario del CIS. It's a survey of 2600 people, selected so they would be representative of the Spanish population.
via  @SamuelHurtadoBE
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Supremes strike Public Health

SCOTUS struck down the Chevron decision, "that directed judges to defer to reasonable federal agency interpretations of ambiguous or technically challenging aspects of the law." “What’s less secure is the individual actions and even temporary rules or permanent rules, final rules that are put in place.”

“Without Chevron, agencies may be wary of acting, even during an emergency, because their actions could be challenged, and they would no longer be able to cite Chevron in defense of their policy choices,” White said. (Stat news)

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Mask bans are advancing in several cities/states

I'll have a thorough overview of this in Forbes on Weds and will have the link next week. It's appalling.

NY: ACTION: Sign up for account on NY Senate webpage & let them know you oppose mask ban bill S09867. There is a question on right side of webpage for bill that asks if you oppose/support bill. Write you oppose the bill. Also add comment. #NoNYMaskBan

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Avian Flu

CDC confirms 4th human case of H5N1 avian flu

This one in Colorado, and presenting with conjunctivitis.

4% of Americans report regularly consuming raw milk products, and selling such products is legal in 30 states.

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How does Bird Flu Spread in Cows?

Study did not find evidence that #H5N1 can spread as a respiratory infection, suggesting that the virus is mainly spread via contaminated milking machines. Results offer hope that the #birdflu outbreak in cows could be halted.

"Dr. Richt said that the results offered hope that the outbreak could be halted before the virus evolved into a form that could spread readily between humans."

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@WastewaterSCAN has reported two positive samples over the past month from SF.

Epis think this signal is from a market where they sell wild birds. This isn't the first signal in NorCal. All assumed to be wild birds; ww sewer sheds are “leaky.” via Katelyn Jetelina

Given CA’s major agriculture sector supplying dairy nationwide and many raw milk consumers who live in the state, it’s crucial to know how much testing has been done. -- Krutika Kupalli

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H1N2v flu

CDC reported this year’s second and third U.S. cases of H1N2v (variant) #flu viruses. CDC recommends that people in contact with pigs take specific precautions. More here:

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local cases are now at 10 from 4 counties since the first of the year.

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still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines:

XBB booster offers protection against JN.1 infections

“COVID-19–associated ED visits were reduced 50% among those with XBB boosters (aHR, 0.50), while hospitalizations were 42% lower (aHR, 0.58).”


Epidemiology/Infection control:

Tips, general reading for public:






this Murdoch, Koch, And Singer funded coalition (see timeline above), UnMaskHateNY, Is intent on rolling this out nation wide. The Manhattan Institute website is clearly a one stop shop for legislators. (via @LazarusLong13)

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Presidential election

The Washington Post, NYTimes, CNN and others are all showing incredibly biased reporting for TFG, all urging Biden to bow out. No (or negligible) mention of TFG's cognitive difficulties, felonies, unhinged threats, etc. Their push makes me want Biden to stay in more...

Trump now claims he knows nothing about Project 2025 and has nothing to do with it. Yet here is Project 2025 leader Kevin Roberts saying Donald Trump gets full “credit” for creating Project 2025 and will enact it if he wins. His national press secretary, Karoline Leavitt, is now also working for Project 2025. I won't keep going with all his lies...

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson just articulated why President Biden is better on his worst day than Donald Trump at his best. Biden is surrounded by leaders. Trump is surrounded by crooks.

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Give TFG immunity:

as Sotomayor's notes, "the president is now a king above the law."

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Chevron doctrine (see last week's post.

Our food supply is among the safest in the world BECAUSE of the FDA. Airplane travel is the safest form of travel BECAUSE of the FAA. Our water is drinkable BECAUSE of the EPA. Trump's illegitimate SCOTUS just ended all that the same week they made bribes legal. --Patrick S. Tomlinson, @stealthygeek

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Clarence Thomas takes aim at a new target: Eliminating OSHA

@pjavidan  :
This hit—in the midst of a heatwave—as soon as activists got Biden to back new federal law protecting workers from extreme heat, developed by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which aims to trigger protections when the heat index reaches 80° F.
This is a major power play, messaging that if any institution whose purpose is to serve the public interest dares to attempt to regulate health & safety in the public interest, the institution itself shall be destroyed.

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Rabid religion:

It’s never a good sign when your church has to cancel services because no insurance providers will offer them coverage for sexual abuse. It just happened to one of the largest and most influential Christian megachurches in Canada.

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3/ Leonard Leo received that $1.6 billion donation, the LARGEST POLITICAL ADVOCACY DONATION IN HISTORY, in 2021.

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Leo has funded 60 of over 80 Project 2025 initial advisory groups, including over half the Advisory Board in 2022, using hard-to-track dark money.

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Remember the first Black mayor of a small town in Alabama who was locked out of his position by bigoted white residents? As of June 21, 2024, a federal ruling affirmed that Patrick Braxton is the rightful mayor of Newbern, Alabama. The court declared that he is entitled to all the powers, privileges, and duties of the mayoral office, following his civil rights lawsuit against racial discrimination that denied him the role solely based on his race.

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Conservative activists in Georgia and some other states are quietly pushing a way to remove names from the voting rolls without filing a formal legal challenge.

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where a 13 year old is forced to carry out pregnancy but can’t go to the library

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Votes to allow children to carry guns on public land without adult supervision.

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Leonard Leo is trying to buy the AG Office in Missouri. State by state. AG by AG. He gave Will Scharf $2 million. Stop this corrupt takeover by voting for @BigElad.  via @piper4missouri
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$6,200,000.  That’s how much a Texas oil baron and his son have spent on Texas and federal political campaigns since 2010.  And yeah, that oil baron is the same Scott Sheffield who’s under fire for price-fixing allegations.
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In a 4-3 ruling, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s liberal majority has reinstated the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots:

Feel good du jour:

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A number of people volunteer their time on July 4 to stay with dogs at a shelter and keep them calm during fireworks

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This is Frank and he has had a coffee stand at the top of the steps at Bethnal Green tube for as long as I can remember. When the new restaurant/coffee shop next door opened along with another high street outlet opening across the street, Frank suddenly found that his license from the council had been revoked and he was chucked off his stand. I believe it was to make way for these new shops to take his regular custom. They didn’t need him in the way of gaining maximum profit... so Frank was gone. Well the locals were having none of it and a petition started demanding his return. How dare they do this to him. How dare these people smash his business and leave him with nothing.

After a lot of pressure the council backed down and Frank had his licence and pitch returned to him but sadly by that time Frank had sold his equipment to feed his family and try to survive. So the good people of Bethnal Green started crowdfunding and here’s the result... Frank back in business on his old pitch with brand new equipment and even a little hut now to shelter him from the rain... Brilliant!! He is truly the happiest man in East London and it’s wonderful to see. It really does show that if we all stick together, stand up to them and just say no... the little guy can win. If you’re in Bethnal Green come and have a coffee with this lovely man.

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According to biologists, the function of zebras' stripes is to ward off insects. Based on that idea, a team of scientists painted zebra stripes on cows. This reduced the number of biting flies on the cows by more than 50%. Applied evolutionary biology!
Were the flies just repelled by the paint? Apparently not. When control cows were painted with black stripes only, there was little reduction in the number of flies.
What other animals achieve through biological evolution, humans achieve through culture. "[W]hite-striped bodypaintings, such as those used by African and Australian people, may serve to deter horseflies."  @SteveStuWill
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Comic relief:

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Bits of beauty:


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