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.
Horrifyingly, we have reached the point where 1/1000 in the US has died of Covid.
Why? Mostly failed leadership…
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For a fine example of Science Communication, see Dr. Ian Mackay’s post on the evolution of the Swiss Cheese model of infection:
I particularly like the addition of personal and shared responsibilities and the misinformation mouse that has been eroding the other layers.
still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.
Pfizer and BioNTech today announced an agreement with federal officials to supply 100 million more vaccine doses.
expect to deliver the full order to Operation Warp Speed (OWS) by Jul 31, 2021.
Based on the original agreement announced in July, the government will pay $1.95 billion for the extra 100 million doses.
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UNC Study: COVID-19 Mutation Spreads Faster, But Treatable by Same Vaccine
According to the research published in Science magazine, patients with this strain carry the virus more in their upper respiratory tract and were reported to show increased infectivity. The report says D614G has now become the most prevalent version of COVID-19 in the world because of how effectively the mutation causes transmission.
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement seizes fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine websites
The domain names, mordernatx.com and regeneronmedicals.com, purported to be the websites of actual biotechnology companies developing treatments for the COVID-19 virus, were, in fact, spoofed websites used to collect personal information of individuals visiting the sites for fraud, phishing attacks, and/or deployment of malware.
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New CDC Guidance on who should receive the Covid Vaccine
[Key is that we don’t have enough experience with the vaccine–but this is the same pattern that is seen with every drug that comes to market. That’s why there are recalls after approval, once the drug gains widespread use. At this point, I think that the best I can say is that the risks of death or long-term disability from Covid are so high that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks…and I say this as someone at higher risk of a problem w the vaccine.]
Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. The following information aims to help people in the groups listed below make an informed decision about receiving the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
People who have weakened immune systems
People with HIV and those with weakened immune systems due to other illnesses or medication might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19. They may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, they should be aware of the limited safety data:
- Information about the safety of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for people who have weakened immune systems in this group is not yet available.
- People living with HIV were included in clinical trials, though safety data specific to this group are not yet available at this time.
People with weakened immune systems should also be aware of the potential for reduced immune responses to the vaccine, as well as the need to continue following all current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19 (see below).
People who have autoimmune conditions
People with autoimmune conditions may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. However, they should be aware that no data are currently available on the safety of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for them. Individuals from this group were eligible for enrollment in clinical trials.
People who have previously had Guillain-Barre syndrome
Persons who have previously had GBS may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. To date, no cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) have been reported following vaccination among participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. With few exceptions, the independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) general best practice guidelines for immunization do not include a history of GBS as a precaution to vaccination with other vaccines.
People who have previously had Bell’s palsy
Cases of Bell’s palsy were reported in participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not consider these to be above the rate expected in the general population. They have not concluded these cases were caused by vaccination. Therefore, persons who have previously had Bell’s Palsy may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
After vaccination, current guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be followed
Until experts learn more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide under real-life conditions, people who decide to get vaccinated should continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19 after they are vaccinated. That means:
- Wearing a mask
- Staying at least six feet away from others
- Avoiding crowds
- Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Following CDC travel guidance
- Following quarantine guidance after exposure to COVID-19
- Following any applicable workplace guidance
Full or nearly full ICUs
The number of hospitals with full or nearly full ICUs has doubled nationwide since the pandemic began, and currently, more than two in five US hospitals with ICUs have 85% or higher occupancy levels, according to a New York Times analysis of hospital data.
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More than 2,900 healthcare workers have died
in the pandemic since March, according to the latest analysis from Kaiser Health News and The Guardian.
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Three new variants of the coronavirus have been detected in recent weeks,
spreading to at least 13 countries worldwide. However,
none of the variants so far has been found to be more fatal, or more likely to be able to evade vaccines or treatments.
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Good explainer about mutations:
What do we know about the new #SARSCoV2 variants? How worried should we be? What does it mean?— Kai Kupferschmidt (@kakape) December 24, 2020
I promised to summarize the main points from my reporting over the last few days.
So here is my latest story and a thread (and then it’s Christmas)https://t.co/vY9M7XSepj
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No surprise: The same pattern was seen with SARS
1/📌Evidence of #Airborne #SARSCoV2 traveling 12 floors of an apt building through the drainage system: 200+ residents in a wing of a high-rise were tested, revealing 9 infections. Those families lived in 3 vertically aligned flats connected by drainage pipes in the bathrooms🧵 pic.twitter.com/VyLYI7t2Bw— Dr. Ali Nouri (@AliNouriPhD) December 24, 2020
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1/📌Possible #Airborne #SARSCoV2 Transmission through Air Ducts: after a series of infections, all 437 residents of an apt building were tested. 10 infections uncovered, all living on different floors but along two vertical lines with openings through their bathrooms🧵 pic.twitter.com/kcRqP8OR00— Dr. Ali Nouri (@AliNouriPhD) December 22, 2020
Tips, general reading for public:
Wash your hands.
Rinse and repeat.
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On the stingy proposed “stimulus” of $600/year:
For $600 a year or only $1.64 a day, you too can sponsor an American.— YS (@NYinLA2121) December 26, 2020
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Millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet have now lost their unemployment benefits. They expired at midnight as President Donald Trump refused to sign the #COVID19 relief bill. https://t.co/KG3shgUAlK— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) December 27, 2020
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Why Georgia Senate race is critically important – 1 part
1 out of 17 Americans has tested positive for #COVID19.— Charles #GetCovered-ba (@charles_gaba) December 27, 2020
Every one of them now has a pre-existing condition which could get them denied coverage if the #ACA is struck down.
The Georgia Senate runoff elections could decide the fate of the ACA.https://t.co/kLJ2zqG7up
If Dems don’t win Georgia, Mitch will continue as a sole dictator, blocking everything the Dems hope to do.
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The hypocrisy burns:
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In depth profile of @Cleavon_MD, an amazingly determined and tough guy. A ‘duty to warn’: An ER doctor, shaped by war and hardship, chronicles the searing realities of… https://t.co/CNHBzmQBrt via @statnews #RoleModel— Judy Stone (@DrJudyStone) December 24, 2020
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GOP's 2020— Burns Like Whisky 🇺🇸 (@Scotch_Rox) December 20, 2020
Dec: Vaccine? ME FIRST!!!
Feel good du jour:
It's a wonderful life.https://t.co/pjxkbyzVNV— Carl Elliott (@FearLoathingBTX) December 25, 2020
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Because you want to see a man saving a deer that is stuck on a frozen lake back to safety. pic.twitter.com/ihZSUJIwql— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) December 24, 2020
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And another story re kindness:
my mom is my role model.— Annadote 💊 (@AnnaKhadejah) September 20, 2019
her student couldn’t find a babysitter today & being the true African mother that she is, taught a THREE hour class with the baby on her back & fed him.
I’m so blessed to be raised by a woman who loves the world as much as her own children. pic.twitter.com/6yuynJhuPw
I’ve watched this 10 times at least. Hope it brings all who need it some laughter! pic.twitter.com/8pvSiHfKWr— Dr. Adriane Lam (@ForamWhisperer) December 25, 2020
I am a full-time professional purveyor of thoughts and prayers, and I would just like to emphasize that they are not a substitute for humane public policy and accessible healthcare for all.— Rabbi Oren Hayon (@RabbiHayon) October 8, 2020
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“He was born into an America recovering from the Great Depression & about to face WW2, times of loss & sacrifice…He died in a world where many of his fellow Americans refuse to wear a piece of cloth on their face to protect one another.” https://t.co/HSz6jZWf2B— Jennifer Cohn ✍🏻 📢 (@jennycohn1) December 27, 2020
Bits of beauty: