Coronavirus Tidbits # 17 3/23-24/20  

Coronavirus Tidbits # 17 3/23-24/20  


I wrote a new post; I hope you will check it out here.

Immigrant Detainees Are Sitting On A COVID-19 Time Bomb – First Infection Reported


The coronavirus is not mutating significantly according to scientists who are closely studying the novel pathogen’s genetic code. That relative stability suggests the virus is less likely to become more or less dangerous as it spreads, and represents encouraging news for researchers hoping to create a long-lasting vaccine.

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At a time when we desperately need more doctors…

“The status of more than 4,200 foreign doctors who were chosen to do medical residencies in American teaching hospitals — hospitals that will desperately need their help to cope with Covid-19 — is in doubt because the State Department has temporarily stopped issuing the visas (J1 visas) most of them would need to enter the country, according to a group that sponsors international medical graduates.


New York will be the first state to test using antibody-rich plasma from recovered coronavirus patients in people who are ill. The treatment, known as convalescent plasma, could provide “passive immunity.” This is still several weeks away.

For respiratory problems: The clear plastic hoods seen over the heads of patients seen in Italy provide continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) without risking transmission as with standard CPAP machines.

Also such Helmet-based ventilation is better than face mask for patients with respiratory distress

Epidemiology/Infection control:

What happens when you stop social distancing?

Critically important perspective from Tom Inglesby, Director of JHU Center for Health Security

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Dr. Fauci (Director of NIAID) has also urged continued social distancing.

In an unusually candid interview  with Jon Cohen (@sciencejon) on how he tries to make the White House listen to facts of the pandemic, normally reserved Fauci said,

‘I’m going to keep pushing.’…Asked how he responds to falsehoods from the President during press conferences, Fauci said, “I can’t jump in front of the microphone and push him down,”

I am fearful that Fauci is toast now. And I was terrified last night with his absence and with the watching the “just let the virus do it’s thing and keep the economy humming” school, which is so scientifically ignorant.

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@kaitlancollins asked Trump a great Q about his plan to reopen things soon: “have any of the doctors on your team told you that’s the right path to pursue?” In response Trump explains why he views the doctors’ opinion to be irrelevant,

@TopherSpiro: Dr. Birx said only one more week of social distancing, looking at Trump as she said it. Clearly he ordered her to say it. This would be catastrophic.

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Why you need to StayAtHome:

Bruised faces:

This is just one of so many examples.

Still not convinced we need to put people above profits?

Check out this video clip from Spain, where there are no more hospital beds. People lying on the floor getting oxygen. Patients sitting on the chair with no doctors available to see them yet.

4000 health care workers ill.

1/6 of young people in Spain require hospitalization.

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Doctors in Italy urge that most care be given at home.

“Western health care systems have been built around the concept of patient-centered care, but an epidemic requires a change of perspective toward a concept of community-centered care.

Hospitals might be the main Covid-19 carriers [source of transmission], as they are rapidly populated by infected patients, facilitating transmission to uninfected patients

Home care and mobile clinics avoid unnecessary movements and release pressure from hospitals.”

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Since tests are not widely available, Harvard/Boston Children’s launch #crowdsourcing to identify where cases are to understand community transmission:

Princess Cruise and How long does virus live on surfaces?

From Tara Smith, @aetiology, Professor of Epidemiology

I’ve also seen this misrepresented already. “SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic & asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the DP but before disinfection procedures had been conducted” /6

Say it with me: *viral RNA doesn’t necessarily mean live virus was present.* Now you’re going to see “coronavirus can live on surfaces for 17 days!” over and over, but we don’t know that based on this study and for those using live virus, it’s much shorter. /7

Tips, general reading for public:

Handwashing – Watch this Video:

It might save your life.

Made me appreciate how superficial I’ve been for some time.

Also, I will separately (?tomorrow?) upload info sheets on Clorox/bleach prep and on safely removing masks and gloves. You will be able to search for them or scroll between Tidbit posts.

Community organizing resource:

from Jeremy MORE PPE NOW Konyndyk @JeremyKonyndyk

NEW INITIATIVE Local action & ownership is the frontline of pandemic response. But there is little guidance out there designed for local leaders. Over the past 2 weeks, a group of us have been working to start filling that gap:

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Collect any supplies you can to donate to hospitals:

MedSupplyDrive [] to collect idle supplies from research labs and other facilities and direct them to medical professionals in dire need.

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Lies have consequences:

Arizona man (–and several in Africa–) dies after ingesting chloroquine in an attempt to prevent coronavirus. There are no drugs approved to try to prevent or treat the new coronavirus. Self-medicating to prevent the coronavirus can be dangerous and possibly deadly.

Don’t make the same mistake, taking bad advice from someone who knows nothing about this.

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Take care of each other like this, from AOC –

On Saturday, our campaign began mobilizing volunteers for COVID community check-in calls. Volunteers are connected via Zoom party & trained to help our NY-14 neighbors. We were able to call 2,700 neighbors in one day!

More of us should be trying to make safety net systems like this for food and other.


This is now my favorite DIY Mask. It has a nose bridge wire and pocket for a filter:

This article is the best resource on materials:

Nice mask by Jessica Nandino, which will also cover N-95, though maybe takes longer to make.



Some people, almost all of one party, are proposing putting the economy and their profits over people’s lives.

Texas Lt. Gov: Senior Citizens Willing to Die to Save Economy for Grandkids

This is why #NotDying4WallStreet is trending and why I am having nightmares again.

I suggest they visit ravaged hospitals or dying healthcare workers.

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Angela Merkel:

Perspective, Ethics

I met Linnea Duff Olson in 2013 at the AHCJ Health Care Journalist’s Conference and have been following her story ever since then. She is an fiercely independent, determined woman with metastatic lung cancer. When I met her, she spoke of having participated on Phase 1 (first in human) clinical trials and her drive to live–and live life to the fullest–as long as she can.

Fast forward to 2020, several Phase 1 trials later, and having recently begun yet another painful trial, determined to live. Enter Covid-19…Linnea wrote this post, and gave me permission to share her story. Here is an excerpt from Am I ok with this?

Yes. Obviously much of this is out of our individual control but I would like to think I at least have a fighting chance.

That I, an individual who has beaten the odds for fifteen years now, should be given a shot at continuing survival.

It is incredibly demoralizing to understand that should I be unfortunate enough to contract coronavirus (despite my every effort to isolate) I might be denied supportive treatment. Based simply on my age and comorbidity (stage IV lung cancer).

It bites to know that those young people who were cavalier enough (selfish?) to crowd the beaches of Florida during spring break would be an instant priority. That I, who have fought like hell to stay alive for one and a half decades now, would be considered a non–priority.

Seriously? How is this going to serve society in the long term? I thought death panels were a thing of rumor, not reality?

…Don’t give up on us. Just don’t.

I highly recommend both Linnea’s blog and that of Lisa Bonchek Adams, who died far too young. She shared many words of wisdom and introduced me to her daily looking for bits of beauty.

Bits of beauty:

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