Coronavirus Tidbits #20 3-27-20  


Wondering if you should seek care for suspected COVID-19? Apple and CDC have a new app and symptom checker with a decision tool.

When can we stop the social distancing?

We can’t…at least until there is widespread testing. Then you could monitor and slowly loosen restrictions in selected areas.

“To consider letting off on social distancing will require sharp decline in cases, widely available rapid diagnostics wherever pts get clinical care, the right PPE available to all HCWS who need it, safe and good hospital capacity to deal with all pts with COVID.” Tom Inglesby, Johns Hopkins

Here’s a thread by Scott Gottlieb that explains more:

Our path to safety rests on massive support for our healthcare system to care for sick, and forceful steps by local leaders to break chains of transmission and quell epidemic spread. If we’re smart and aggressive across nation, cases nationally could peak by late April. 
Then what’s next? We’ll be able to transition away from population based tactics aimed at keeping people at home, to more case based interventions that target people with disease. But we’ll need new public health tools, technology, and tactics to make this transition work…more at


Obscene: A NY Nurse Dies. Angry Co-Workers Blame a Lack of Protective Gear. #PPE


‘We were not given a warning’: New Orleans mayor says federal inaction informed Mardi Gras decision ahead of Covid-19 outbreak


15″ diagnostic test? coming soon, but we still don’t know enough about the reliability of the tests.

Drugs, Treatments:

“Efforts to widely distribute unproven treatments are misguided at best and dangerous at worst,” @drJoshStells @cpiller in this look at why scientists are aghast at the promotion of unproven anti-malarias to treat #Covidd19.”

Want to understand more about why scientists lament Trump’s embrace of risky malaria drugs for coronavirus? Read this.

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Passive antibody transfusions:

5 very sick patients w/ #COVID19 whose breathing was being supported by a machine stabilized and/or improved after being given a treatment – antibodies to #COVID19 (which were obtained from the plasma of other patients who successfully recovered from #COVID19)

This is not enough to “prove” anything, but supports the need for urgent studies.

Epidemiology/Infection control:

“I’m worried about emerging situations in New Orleans, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, among others. In China no province outside Hubei ever had more than 1,500 cases. In U.S. 11 states already hit that total. Our epidemic is likely to be national in scope.
Scott Gottlieb, MD

Download county-level data for coronavirus cases in the United States from The New York Times on GitHub.

Tips, general reading for public:

Another guide for how long viruses stay on surfaces incl paper & money:well explained by Ian MacKay and Kat Arden

Community organizing


Join @JeremyKonyndyk @NTI_WMD & @georgetown_ghss next week for a webinar introducing the *NEW* #COVID19 Frontline Guide – a framework to help local leaders establish effective strategies to fight the outbreak. Register to attend:

For Kids questions: Coronacast podcast


Why hasn’t Trump used his powers under the Defense Production Act until now to have companies make ventilators? Why not PPE, too?

“Crisis management has two parts—you have the brain, which is the policy side, and then the muscle, where the agencies are. This administration is doing neither but is owning both, and that’s where the confusion is.”

White House is blaming everything on Obama…they did have warning:

We’ve now uploaded the full White House pandemic playbook, color-coded rubrics and all.   from Dan Diamond/Politico

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Trump tells Fox News he doesn’t think areas need 30,000 to 40,000 ventilators. New York has more than 37,000 COVID-19 cases and 380 deaths so far…and going up.

Just this evening, Trump invokes to act to force GM to produce ventilators more quickly.

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E.P.A., Citing Coronavirus, Drastically Relaxes Rules for Polluters


Trump is badmouthing Michigan’s governor & casting doubt on ventilator requests, while a Detroit hospital is advising very sick patients will be taken off ventilators so people with a better chance of survival can use them.

Thread: Trump is asked what he wants from governors of Washington state, Michigan, who have criticized federal response: “Very simple. I want them to be appreciative.”

Trump says of Pence: “He calls all the governors. I say, ‘Mike, Don’t call the governor of Washington. You’re wasting your time. Don’t call the woman in Michigan.’ … If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call.

Reporter: Can everyone who needs a ventilator get one? Trump: “Look, don’t be a cutie-pie, okay?”

Feel good du jour:

I am grateful to see the public pulling together in so many ways to help each other, especially when the government is failing us:

Animal Hospitals, Vets And Zoos Donate Use Of Ventilators To Treat Coronavirus Patients

Here is a list of animal hospitals and zoos that have ventilators available.

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From a Seattle friend, on gratitude:


Bits of beauty:

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