Coronavirus Tidbits #140 5/16/21


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

Tidbits will likely be weekly for the foreseeable future.

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

Special announcement - Seeking help for our friends in India, or

How this nice Jewish girl ended up starting a GoFundMe for Touch Ministries…

It began with the saying, "Whoever saves one life, it is as if they saved the world."

As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and having had very bad experiences with takeovers of community hospitals here by Catholic networks, I was surprised to find myself volunteering at a mission hospital in India in 2011...I remember my initial dismay and discomfort with their morning prayer and meeting. Conducted in Hindi, I quickly found them peaceful and comforting, a good reminder for staff of their purpose and good way to start the day.

Dr. Philip Alexander before morning prayer meeting.

I quickly fell in love with Lady Willingdon Hospital and especially Dr. Philip's leadership. That was 10 years ago. Heather spent ~6 months there initially researching drug resistant TB; she and I have been back and remained close to them.

Judy at Jibhi clinic

Heather at clinic in India









India is facing an overwhelming #Covid19 crisis. Manali's area serves a population of 100,000 and is projected to serve as many as 13,000 with Covid. LWH is a 55-bed charity hospital.

LWH Hospital urgently needs help, so I have set up a GoFundMe for supplies.  Donations are tax-deductible for this charity. You can see how modest their "wish list" of supplies is:

Supplies for LWH 1

Supplies for LWH 2








Please consider joining me in supporting these wonderful people. There are few opportunities I can think of for you to make a more immediate and tangible difference.

I know they will maximize donations received, using them carefully and strategically.

Any donation, no matter how large or small, is appreciated and will be put to good use

Please also share this with your networks. You can learn more at Thank you!

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New Posts:

Covid Vaccine Equity - Developing Countries Need Our Help

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Why U.S. Vaccine Nationalism Hurts India

by Judy Stone, Joshua P. Cohen, Madhukhar Pai


CDC relaxes mask mandates

To my dismay, and that of many (723 in NYTimes survey) epidemiologists, the CDC drastically reduced mask mandates. They are allowing gathering unmasked indoors or outdoors for vaccinated individuals, except for in a few settings like hospitals--even in what would be high risk settings like crowds, gyms, and where there is exercise or singing.

I think @CDCDirector /CDC is acting prematurely. We have lots of antimaskers here in WMD and only ~36% who have been vaccinated against COVID19. We also know little about the variants coming, particularly from India. That's why I wrote my post last week and will cont. to advise masking indoors for sure and with people I don't know about or large groups outdoors. 

While the vaccines are effective against the variants to date, we do not know whether variants that can evade the current vaccines will emerge from the uncontrolled pandemic ongoing in much of the world.

I also view it as my responsibility to help protect others around me who cannot be vaccinated or who are immunosuppressed.

In the NYTimes survey of epidemiologists, "In particular, they say that masks are a norm that should continue, even if that view puts them at odds with the new C.D.C. guidance. More than 80 percent of them say people should continue to wear masks when indoors with strangers for at least another year, and outdoors in crowds."

Best critique so far:

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American Kids Can Wait


still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines

Vaccines seem to work well against coronavirus variants (well, so far). It’s also complicated

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Can We Spread COVID After Vaccination?

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‘It’s not over yet’: Uncertain protection from Covid vaccines leaves cancer patients in limbo

‘It’s not over yet’: Uncertain protection from Covid vaccines leaves cancer patients in limbo

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Epidemiology/Infection control:

To prevent next pandemic, scientists say we must regulate air like food and water

Humans in the 21st century spend most of their time indoors, but the air we breathe inside buildings is not regulated to the same degree as the food we eat and the water we drink. A group of 39 researchers from 14 countries, including two from the University of Colorado Boulder, say that needs to change to reduce disease transmission and prevent the next pandemic.

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Our failures with the pandemic:

“The combination of poor strategic choices, unwillingness to tackle inequalities, and an uncoordinated system created a toxic cocktail which allowed the pandemic to turn into a catastrophic human crisis,” the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR) writes in its report, which was presented today.

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Contact-tracing apps prove that they save lives

A study published today in Nature shows that the NHS COVID-19 app for digital contact tracing, based on the DP3T protocol, averted between 300,000 and 600,000 COVID-19 cases in England and Wales. The researchers used data from the NHS to show and quantify the epidemiological impact of such privacy-preserving apps, which are now available around the globe to help control the pandemic.

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Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.


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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he will pardon any state resident charged with violating regulations related to masking and social distancing. (New York Post)

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Feel good du jour:

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Comic relief:

Insanity: I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry...

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Bits of beauty:


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