Coronavirus Tidbits #128 3/11/21

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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.


Antibiotic prescribing during the pandemic raises concern about drug resistance

A new study from PEW suggests antibiotics were overprescribed to patients during the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic. ~ ~ ~

the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is particularly attracted to the  A antigen found on respiratory .

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still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines:

Do vaccines help long-haulers?

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bamlanivimab plus etesevimab cut hospitalizations and death by 87% in a phase III trial, Lilly announced.

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Study: UK COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7: More deadly than previous strains

The highly infectious variant of COVID-19 discovered in Kent, which swept across the UK last year before spreading worldwide, is between 30 and 100 per cent more deadly than previous strains, new analysis has shown.

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In a lab study, Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine neutralized the Brazilian P.1 variant. (New England Journal of Medicine)

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More antibodies needed to counter COVID-19 variants

New research from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis seemingly confirms scientists’ and health experts’ worst fear that all three of the prominent, fast-spreading variants of COVID-19 can resist vaccines and antibodies currently effective against their forebear.

Published in Nature Medicine, the results of the lab-based experiments determined that COVID-19 drugs and vaccines may become less effective as the new variants dominate the old virus. More antibodies could counter this, but presently the results held true for all three major new variants: those from South Africa, the U.K., and Brazil.

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Meet the GOP voters who could decide whether the U.S. reaches herd immunity

Almost one-third of Republicans tell pollsters they ‘definitely won’t’ get vaccinated. ~ ~ ~

Op-Ed: The Ethics of Vax Schemes and Schemers

— Vaccine rollout demonstrates that equality is a myth in the U.S.


Epidemiology/Infection control:

Op-Ed: When Is It Safe (and Ethical) to Travel Again?

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Kids Hospitalized With COVID-19 Frequently Have Neuro Symptoms

22% — had neurologic involvement. Most symptoms were transient, but 12% of children with neurologic involvement developed life-threatening neurologic disorders, Randolph and colleagues wrote in JAMA Neurology.

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Infected by two coronavirus strains at once? Apparently it happened in Brazil.

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Stupidity of Texas, MD, other states opening up now => 

likely outbreaks of variants. We do not have immunity to those and only a rel small proportion of the population has received the Covid vax (19% in MD).

This is a general overview on some of the variants and need for more monitoring and sequencing.

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‘Falling through cracks’: Vaccine bypasses some older adults

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New Initiative By Health Insurers Aims To Help Vaccinate 2 Million Vulnerable Seniors

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New study links allergy season with a higher risk of COVID-19

higher pollen levels were linked to an extra 10 to 30 percent increase in the infection rate of SARS-CoV-2,

Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

For the millions of people working from home — many for the first time —

these simple activities, performed for three minutes every hour, can help lower the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle.


Without telling Congress, the Trump administration funneled $10 billion from a COVID-19 hospital fund into Operation Warp Speed contracts.

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In Palm Beach, Covid-19 vaccines intended for rural Black communities are instead going to wealthy white Floridians

In Palm Beach County, while Black people make up 18% of residents and Hispanic people 21.7%, these communities had received just 4.1% and 4.7% of vaccines respectively, as of March 1.

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One Medical, the national concierge practice chain, gets congressional scrutiny for allegedly letting ineligible patients cut the line for vaccinations. (CNBC) President Trump and first lady Melania Trump quietly got vaxxed in January; speaking at the CPAC meeting on Sunday, Trump urged “everybody” to do the same(Axios) ~ ~ ~

Researchers Call for ‘Full and Unrestricted’ Investigation Into COVID-19 Origins – WHO

A recent WHO investigation has left many questions unanswered.

Unsatisfied with the WHO investigation, a group of researchers issued an open letter on March 4 calling for a full and unrestricted international forensic investigation into the origins of COVID-19. The WHO team, in their view, simply did not have adequate access to information to determine whether the outbreak was due to a natural spillover from an animal species or a laboratory/research-related incident.

Among the defects in the WHO investigation is that most of the fieldwork had to be conducted by the Chinese members of the team, with the results simply being communicated to the international members for review and discussion. Another is that reports had to be approved by consensus, meaning that the 17 members appointed by the Chinese government who comprised half of the WHO team have effective veto power over what will be ultimately reported. Further, the WHO investigators did not have access to lab records, data, and personnel that would have enabled them to confidently evaluate various hypotheses.

Open Letter =

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Big Ten’s Secret Huddle

So just why did the Big Ten football conference abruptly switch course on playing its fall season? Was it early access to reassuring cardiology studies? Political pressure?

It’s impossible to say, The Washington Post and other media outlets reported, because presidents and chancellors at member schools utilized an online portal to share information — one largely hidden from view.

So the universities thus far have shared little, even though 13 of them are state-sponsored. Several denied public records requests for communication and documents shared via the portal.

In early August, the conference said, in what was billed as a final decision, that no football games would be played in the 2020 season. But a month later, conference leaders changed their minds, allowing an abridged season to begin in October.

The Post sought to find out how and why, but instead learned that school officials were keenly interested in “keeping their discussions from entering public view,” the newspaper reported. “They see [the portal] as exempt from open-records law.”

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Op-Ed: The American Psychiatric Association Sickened America

— It’s time to right their wrongs and move toward recovery

interesting op-ed on Trump and APA

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Feel good du jour:

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Comic relief:

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Bits of beauty:

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