Coronavirus Tidbits #31 4- 9/10-20


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

Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. I have been immersed in it and I need to spend a little more time on self-care, which for me means seeing the spring flowers emerge and digging in the dirt. Pesach is always a bit rough anyway, so I will turn to more nature.

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


Criminally negligent:

Vice President Pence says WH officials are looking at whether healthcare workers can wear reusable cloth gowns and will have a recommendation soon.

He said: They may have to "recycle gowns" to make sure U.S. has the supplies they need.

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Highly recommend this article in Stat. Dr. Eric Topol: “The American public doesn’t know that a large portion of this catastrophe was preventable, if not for the sinful incompetence of our leaders. It didn’t have to be like this.”

See more at Doctors fume at government response to coronavirus pandemic

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Opinion: Angela Merkel, Queen Elizabeth II show how to communicate

DW's Melinda Crane.

When citizens have the facts, they can make informed decisions about how to mitigate risks, both individually and collectively. When leaders obfuscate, deny and deceive, they turn a potentially manageable risk into an incalculable danger, sowing anxiety and passivity.

Transparency, empathy for those affected and avoidance of blame are standard crisis communication practices designed to ensure credibility and trust. When citizens are asked to submit to serious incursions upon their liberty, trust is perhaps the single strongest enabler of compliance.

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A Natural Coronavirus Experiment Is Playing Out In Kentucky And Tennessee

Dan Vergano:

As of Tuesday, Kentucky is now reporting 1,008 cases and 59 deaths, while Tennessee is reporting 3,802 cases and 65 deaths. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency on March 6, while neighboring Tennessee’s Bill Lee waited until March 12, and then took until the end of the month to suggest people stay at home. The two approaches led to two drastically different outcomes playing out on the national stage.

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With over 14,000 Americans now dead, Trump is ending federal funding for COVID-19 testing sites.

Timothy Snyder @TimothyDSnyder:

The plan seems to be to not count the dead in Republican counties and not count the vote in Democratic ones.


still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Totally agree with this truly alarming scenario, suggested by @GovInslee

If and when the curve flattens, we're going to need *more* testing, not less. That's because without it, resuming normalcy risks a second wave. Trump's failures have left us behind on this, too.

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Labs nationwide aren't testing COVID-19 to their full capacity, according to scientific journal Nature. Academic labs that adjusted their facilities to enable COVID-19 testing have been held up by regulatory, logistic and administrative obstacles, a Nature investigation found.

For example, some California hospitals had to decline testing offers from certified academic labs because the lab didn't use compatible health-record software or have existing contracts with the hospital.


Besides hydroxychloroquine, for which there is NO good evidence to support its use in COVID-19, Trump is now touting Zinc.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is a Public health lung and ICU doctor, in addition to being a medical contributor for MSNBC, called Mr Trump’s remarks “mystifying.”

He added that “there’s no evidence I’ve seen in the literature suggesting zinc in addition to hydroxychloroquine would be helpful.

It would be refreshing if TP would listen to their medical experts, rather than trying to muzzle them.


see diagnostics and lack of testing, above

Epidemiology/Infection control:

My new post @Forbes:

Why Should You Care That Ferrets, Tigers And Cats Have Coronavirus?

Plus: Pet tips--and notation that testing animals does not deprive people of tests.

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Coronavirus unlikely to significantly diminish with warm weather, per National Academy of Science.

Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Bleach disinfection: remember

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Kindness: these hospice workers found creative ways to bring light to patients

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The Atlantic has an article on free things to watch/learn.

Making something with your hands is a great, screen-free way to cope with stress or boredom, and origami is a highly accessible option: The only material you need is paper, and you can complete a project during a five-minute break from work. Among many other craft tutorials, the DIY site the Spruce Crafts offers step-by-step instructions for a variety of folded-paper creations; for kids, these activities double as a hands-on guide to shapes and fractions. You can make simple birds and flowers from single squares of paper, or piece together interlocking Sonobe units to make intricate geometric designs. A jumping frog or flapping bird will provide nearly instant gratification, whether you’re the parent of children claiming boredom with their existing toys or a housemate-less adult who could use some cute paper creatures for company.  — Rosa Inocencio Smith



One good move: Eliminating cross-state barriers to practice.

Physicians can now directly care for patients at rural hospitals across state lines via phone, radio or online communication. Nurse practitioners can conduct some medical exams for Medicare patients at skilled nursing facilities.

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Trump faulted the WHO’s coronavirus response. But it’s guided by rules the U.S. helped write by Helen Branswell

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Please read the Stat article, on why Doctors are furious with the government response to Coronavirus.

Two Cheers for the World Health Organization

It’s getting slammed by Donald Trump and others. Better to credit the WHO for what it does, and make it better.

by my cyberfriend, Crawford Killian (@Crof):

Feel good du jour:

Amish in Ohio are making medical supplies very creatively

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Teddie Peanut Butter, my favorite, boosts production

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In a burst of creativity and kindness, my husband and friends in Maine, Dave and Chris Gagne, surprised me with a tri-state concert over the internet:

Sorry the pics aren't better; the dogs were laying across my legs, too. Cozy evening and wonderful to be serenaded by two friends.

Comic relief:

A little late for the Seder, but still amused me:


Nice way to start the morning! Explore the indoors (Ferðumst innanhúss)

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This was a terrific boost: the cast of Beautiful "performing" You've Got a Friend

I could watch this over and over.

Bits of beauty:


Flowering Cherries and Redbud in Snow

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