Coronavirus Tidbits #246 May 21, 2023


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.

Reminder, Resilience: One Family's Story... is increasingly pertinent, as some of our politicians shift rightward. All proceeds go to Holocaust education.

Available here.



Clotting in arteries in STEMI w Covid

The findings show patients with an ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI, and COVID-19 had a significant amount of clotting in their arteries both before and after intervention. Importantly, clots were seen in multiple arteries in close to 30% of patients, a phenomenon observed in less than 5% of patients with heart attacks who do not have COVID-19.

In the United States, someone experiences a heart attack every 40 seconds (CDC). Of these patients, more than 25% will experience a more severe type of heart attack, an ST-elevated myocardial infarction, or STEMI caused by the sudden, total blockage of a coronary artery. Pre-COVID-19 mortality in STEMI patients was below 5% (JACC). Previous NACMI research has shown that mortality jumps to 20% to 25% in patients who present with COVID-19 and a heart attack.

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Why is COVID life-threatening for some people? Genetics study offers clues

Immune genes could play a part in the risk of needing intensive care when infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Nature   Heidi Ledford 17 May 2023

An analysis of DNA from more than 24,000 people who had COVID-19 and required treatment in intensive care has yielded more than a dozen new genetic links to the risk of developing extreme illness from the disease.

The study, which was published on 17 May in Nature1 and has more than 2,000 authors, highlights the role of the immune system in fuelling the later stages of particularly severe COVID-19. The results could one day contribute to the development of therapies for COVID-19 — and potentially other diseases that cause acute respiratory distress or sepsis.

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COVID pos were subsequently more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.

2/ #COVID19 infection causes a flood of proinflammatory cytokines & chemokines in the brain. This sets the stage for profound, permanent neuro-damage. The 1918 #influenza #pandemic was also associated with an increased rate of Parkinson’s disease.

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@ahandvanish   May 14
New paper out this week looking at #LongCovid in kids after Omicron found 12-16% got LC compared to controls. There was no difference in prevalence between a first infection or reinfection Fatigue & concentration issues remained high after 6 months.

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@EricTopol       @PNASNews
How does Covid lead to high blood sugar levels, which is not uncommon, even in people without diabetes?  #SARSCoV2 infects and replicates in liver cells, stimulates glucose production; by @luiz_leiriaand colleagues
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Mpox Vax Flops in Chicago

When the global mpox outbreak began in May 2022, various health agencies quickly authorized a vaccine to be administered based on historical clinical data.

However, those vaccine effectiveness decisions may have been premature compared to new real-world data.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently confirmed a cluster of mpox cases in greater Chicago, Illinois.

And more than 50% of the new mpox cases in Chicago were in previously vaccinated people.

Unfortunately, this indicates the virus is still spreading in the U.S., even among over 1.2. million vaccinated people.

The CDC stated on May 10, 2023, 'We don't know why people in this cluster of cases (Chicago) have gotten mpox after vaccination.'

And 'we don't know if immunity after vaccination has decreased in these cases or how long the vaccine protects against mpox infection.'

'We don't know if the virus has changed,' wrote the CDC.


Dogs can detect COVID-19 with greater than 80% sensitivity

A review of 27 studies reveals that dogs have more than 80% sensitivity and more than 90% specificity for detecting #COVID19 in people through scent


***Long Covid -- Post-COVID conditions and sequelae

Curated hub of over 13,000 published articles on the long-term effects of COVID-19:

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WHO advisers recommend switch to monovalent XBB COVID vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) COVID vaccine composition advisory group met last week to discuss the latest SARS-CoV-2 changes and impacts on the vaccine and today recommended that vaccine makers drop the ancestral strain and switch to a monovalent (single-strain) vaccine that contains an XBB.1 descendant lineage such as XBB.1.5.


Masks and portable air cleaners reduced the spread of COVID-19 in schools, study shows

Daily average aerosol number concentrations without interventions were 177 ± 109 1/cm3 and decreased by 69% (95% CrI 42% to 86%) with mask mandates and 39% (95% CrI 4% to 69%) with air cleaners. Compared to no intervention, the transmission risk was lower with mask mandates (adjusted odds ratio 0.19, 95% CrI 0.09 to 0.38) and comparable with air cleaners (1.00, 95% CrI 0.15 to 6.51).

Epidemiology/Infection control:

“Teen suicides plummeted in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S

... returning from online to in-person schooling was associated with a 12-to-18 percent increase teen suicides.”

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Effect of Gender on care in serious illness

Life-threatening illness creates severe stress that may result in marital discord, separation, or divorce and may adversely impact treatment, quality of life, and survival. The few studies that are available to date have suggested that the risk of divorce is not higher in cancer patients, but to the authors’ knowledge, no data exist to date that have examined the effect of gender on this rate.

METHODS:A total of 515 patients were prospectively identified as having either a malignant primary brain tumor (N¼214), a solid tumor with no nervous system involvement (N¼193), or multiple sclerosis (N¼108) who were married at the time of diagnosis. Basic demographic information and data regarding marital status were com-piled. Patients were followed prospectively from enrollment until death or study termination.

RESULTS:Women composed 53% of the patient population. Divorce or separation occurred at a rate similar to that reported in the literature (11.6%). There was, however, a greater than 6-fold increase in risk after diagnosis when the affected spouse was the woman (20.8% vs 2.9%;P<.001). Female gender was found to be the strongest predictor of separation or divorce in each cohort. Marriage duration at the time of illness was also correlated with separation among brain tumor patients (P=.0001). Patients with brain tumors who were divorced or separated were more likely to be hospitalized, and less likely to participate in a clinical trial, receive multiple treatment regimens, complete cranial irradiation, or die at home (P<.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Female gender was found to be a strong predictor of partner abandonment in patients with serious medical illness. When divorce or separation occurred, quality of care and quality of life were adversely affected.

Cancer 2009;115:5237–42

Tips, general reading for public:





COVID emergency orders are among `greatest intrusions on civil liberties,′ Justice Gorsuch says

       COVID-19 has killed more Americans than combat in every war since 1775.

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re why CDC now rec 5 air changes/hour:


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@ScottJCollette May 19
Sudowrite asked novelists to submit full manuscripts in exchange for free outlines, and then spent four months reverse engineering it for yesterday’s launch. Were the aspiring writers who used it made aware that their unpublished works would be used as data collection?
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An estimated 1.5 million people on Medicaid would likely lose insurance coverage if a Republican work-requirement plan passes Congress.
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The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (Explanation). It has been enacted into law by 15 states and DC with 195 electoral votes (Map of states). It needs an additional 75 electoral votes to go into effect.
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what stage of capitalism is tipping a corporation for letting me scan and bag my groceries
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WBAL's @TollyTaylor was colossally stupid w this:   May 18
Tonight on @wbaltv11: A man with an AR-15 has been showing up for weeks to a school bus drop off for local elementary school students. Parents say their kids are afraid, the man says he’s protesting @GovWesMoore’s new gun control law. You’ll hear from both sides at 5+6pm.

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@KarbonSays May 20
A lesbian cisgender women is escorted out of the women’s bathroom by police because a Karen called the cops on her think she was a man. Bathroom transvestigations are only about enforcing gender conformity. Nothing else.
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@Esqueer_   May 18
Ron DeSantis just legalized the kidnapping of trans kids by unaffirming parents. They could take them from safe states to Florida and get emergency jurisdiction for custody.
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@RawStory   May 19
Texas AG's investigation into trans care is based on illegal release of kids' medical records: report
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Racism and ignorance:
Here’s the police body cam video showing what happened when a

@Hertz worker at the New Orleans airport called police because a Puerto Rican man kept insisting that his drivers license was valid. The Hertz worker denied the man his pre paid rental car because he couldn’t present his passport. The Hertz worker thought Puerto Rico was another country and so she insisted the man needed to show a passport. He didn’t. He is a U.S. citizen as are all Puerto Ricans. This body cam video was first obtained by @FOX8NOLA. You can judge for yourself the unidentified @KennerPolice

officers demeanor / behavior. Marchand found it to be extremely rude and demeaning. As for the Hertz worker, she seen on video saying to the customer, Humberto Marchand: “Because you recorded as you’re not gonna be able to rent from Hertz ever!” That’s not true. Hertz has already apologized to Mr. Marchand publicly and stated that the employees were wrong and will be retained. It is clear that neither the officer, nor the Hertz employee, know that Marchand is right: his driver’s license is as valid as any other license issued in any other state. He didn’t need to show a passport to anyone. The officer could’ve provided clarity to the situation based on the fact that Puerto Rico is not a foreign country. He did not or was unaware of that fact. In my initial report, I stated that Marchand heard the officer say that he would call border authorities. The body cam video does not show that. As

@FOX8NOLA’s @news_fuentesreported, the officer said: “Do not come back up here and cause any more disturbances.” In the body camera video, Marchand asks, “You’re going to call what? Border services?”
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@BGrueskin   May 16
A West African immigrant and political independent is about to be elected mayor of Colorado Springs, defeating the former GOP secretary of state. And if you know anything about that city's conservative political history ... well, this is astonishing.

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New College of Florida graduates turn backs, wear masks in protest of leadership, changes forced by DeSantis, boos Scott Atlas

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The law passed in Florida this year allowing medical professionals to refuse care for religious (and other) reasons is abhorrent. It isn’t clear to me if EMTs and paramedics are included. Emergency care in an ER is not covered, only because EMTALA creates a Federal preemption, but most EMS agencies are not hospital-based anymore, and thus not beholden to EMTALA the same way. If this bill allows EMS providers to refuse care, it is unbelievably dangerous.

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@tomaskenn   May 14
I didn’t know this but @marcorubio's grandfather received an order of deportation in 1962 and he stayed in the US "illegally" until 1977, when he was allowed to stay after having his case reviewed. Here’s Rubio being called out as a hypocrite for pushing anti-immigrant policies
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@natsechobbyist   May 16
Yesterday a friend’s daughter took the Florida American history exam. Instead of “slaves” the exam said “forced servants. Japanese internment camps were referred to as a “relocation program.” If the truth sets us free what does this do?
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@BarbMcQuade   May 13
A government can fairly be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. Rolling back child labor laws is a terrible for kids and our nation. This is not who we are.
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@guardianogeloso  May 15
REPUBLICANS ARE LITERALLY PLANNING TO EVICT LIBERALS FROM RED STATES AT GUNPOINT. Kansas Republican Adam Peters was secretly recorded saying that: 1) GOP must make it hostile for political opponents to live in KS 2) They need to do it by taking up arms
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Republicans who control the Missouri House passed a budget that doesn’t give its public libraries a single cent of state money.

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New Hampshire:

In June 2022, Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law House Bill 1178, that prevents the state from enforcing any federal statute, regulation, or presidential executive order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms
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New York:

New York High School SUSPENDS 13 Female Athletes Who Started Petition To Wear Sports Bras During Training

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After nearly all Pennsylvania counties certified primary results last year, six GOP commissioners across three counties resisted the process and refused to certify their count. On Tuesday, all six secured the GOP nominations to serve another four years.
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@TexasTribune   May 19
The Texas Senate passed a bill that would allow the removal of locally elected prosecutors who don't enforce certain laws. It's part of a larger GOP effort to rein in district attorneys who have said they don't plan to prosecute abortion cases.
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“(NPR) couldn't find a single case of a police officer who reported being poisoned by fentanyl or overdosing after encountering the street drug that was confirmed by toxicology reports.”
Exaggerated fears of fentanyl make it harder for police to do their jobs protecting the public…With fentanyl deaths still at record levels, police are often first responders. Experts say how they're trained & view the dangers of fentanyl could mean life or death for many people.
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UK, journalism:
@CFWIJ   May 19
#UK: Despite ruling @carolecadwalla's reporting was in the public interest, the appeal court orders her to pay £1M in libel case. The decision has a chilling effect on journalism in the UK. #CFWIJ condemns the ruling and calls on the gov to immediately revise its libel laws.

Feel good du jour:

NH State Rep  @WendyENThomas

Let me tell you about the village that is the house democrats in New Hampshire. I had major surgery on Monday where they opened up my entire chest for a revision. We had session scheduled for Thursday. There were some bad bills that needed to be voted down.
One Dem friend drove me up and back + wouldn't let me carry anything but my sweater. One friend prepared a snack bag with water. One friend delivered a lunch with an incredible assortment of food. One friend made black/white cookies and gave me a stuffed whale.
One friend constantly checked in to see if I needed anything, she filled my water bottle as needed. One friend made sure my votes were counted. Too many to count friends checked in during the (very long) day. It absolutely takes a village and I am living proof of that.
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Erich Schwam, died at 90 years old. In his Will, he left $2M+ to the French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in thanks to the town for hiding and saving his family during WWII. Schwam arrived to the village with his parents in 1943. The family was saved by local residents who hid Jews in a school until after the war. Schwam has requested the town use the money for education and scholarships for the local children. May his memory be a blessing.


“I do not mean to be sentimental about suffering…. but people who cannot suffer can never grow up, can never discover who they are.

~ James Baldwin

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My name is Mom.
Last night I dreamed I was transfigured, 
lighting a way through the forest with a torch.
Often I feel abandoned, paralyzed by grief,
guilty for things I did or left undone.
But I always feel blessed.
I ask the universe: Am I still a mother? 
If so, where is my beautiful daughter who died?
The answer: 
Transfigured, lighting a way through the forest with a torch.
by @ethnobot May 14: "My only child died in February. Writing poetry to, for, and about her has saved me from the abyss. Uttering (outering) words onto a page helps keep them from destroying me from within. Like many grieving mothers of only children, the unbidden question arises: Am I still a mother?"
I pull on the tall rubber boots you no longer need, and trudge up to the garden.
Even with heavy socks my feet slop up and down inside them.
Remember all the years I bought you those slightly too-large shoes?
You grew so fast.

Bits of beauty:


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