Coronavirus Tidbits #35 4-18-20


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.



America's shame:

A coronavirus outbreak has sickened at least 37 children at a Chicago shelter for unaccompanied & undocumented immigrant youth. These poor children should not be in group shelters. Many have relatives in the US to whom they should be released.

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Big Idea: A National Digital-Cyber Land-Grant University System

to address the growing imbalance in wealth and access to technology and technological expertise, which will lead ineluctably to broader socioeconomic instability.

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While Trump cuts funding to the WHO, The @GatesFoundation will commit an additional $150 million to the global response to #COVID19. We have a responsibility to meet this global crisis with global solidarity.

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Trump/Pompeo are attacking WHO for failing to do things that WHO...has no authority to do.

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A rational approach to reopening:

"A shift to Phase II could be considered when the following 4 criteria have been met: (1) the number of new cases has declined for at least 14 days; (2) rapid diagnostic testing capacity is sufficient to test, at minimum, all people with COVID-19 symptoms, as well as close contacts and those in essential roles; (3) the healthcare system is able to safely care for all patients, including having appropriate personal protective equipment for healthcare workers; and (4) there is sufficient public health capacity to conduct contact tracing for all new cases and their close contacts, as described in our National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US."

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still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.

You cannot reasonably open up the economy w/o testing. And 30% false negatives, w only very limited testing still being available doesn't come close to being adequate.


Dialysate shortage may be next...

"Hospitals in #NYC are seeing a sudden shortage of dialysis fluids as thousands of #coronavirus patients develop kidney failure, an unexpected development that could presage the next critical supply shortage nationwide"


Epidemiology/Infection control:

10 original carriers of COVID-19 went on to infect 6,200 in TN

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Antibiotic treatment for COVID-19 complications could fuel resistant bacteria

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We need to protect our health care workers.

Of states reporting such data, a whopping 19% of #COVID19 cases in the US are healthcare workers! Mostly younger (<45 y/o) females and 55% had only healthcare exposures! ~10% hospitalization rate and 27 deaths (0.6%). STAY SAFE!

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NHS staff told 'wear aprons' as protective gowns run out

More than 50 frontline healthcare workers have died amid fears a lack of PPE is leaving them exposed.

The Royal College of Nursing last week made clear that nurses should refuse to treat patients if they were not happy that the level of PPE available would protect them properly.

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A Virologist Explains Why It Is Unlikely COVID-19 Escaped From A Lab

Good read by Jason Kindrachuk

Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Covid19 in Kids news:

in a very large case series of more than 2000 children in China, 7% of kids under age 5 ended up in severe or critical condition due to Covid infection.

Preschool-aged children and infants were more likely than older children to have severe clinical manifestations.

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Hunger and Food Waste - idiocy

? who can suspend these rules?

Getting pork destined for food service into hands of the hungry

NPPC asks USDA to purchase more than $1 billion in pork to clear out backed-up meat supply, supplement agency food bank programs amid COVID-19 need.

National Hog Farmer Ann Hess | Apr 17, 2020

In the last four weeks, we've seen the images of long car lines at food banks and heard the reports of shortages at food pantries across the nation, as more than 22 million Americans have now filed for unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the U.S. pork industry now sitting on an ample supply of bacon, ham and sausage that was destined for food service, it begs the question why can't this source of protein be sent to help fill food bank needs?

According to Dallas Hockman, vice president of Industry Relations for the National Pork Producers Council, it should.

"It's important to know that we have two separate government inspection systems in the U.S.: foodservice and retail," Hockman says. “The product produced for foodservice is not allowed to be sold at retail due to larger package sizes and does not contain the required on-pack nutrition information. It is just as safe and nutritious; it’s just not packaged in a consumer package seen at retail.


Trump took to Twitter to suggest that residents of states "liberate" themselves from strict social distancing and stay-at-home orders. These included  Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia

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We know how this ended...

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Trump’s ‘LIBERATE MICHIGAN!’ tweets incite insurrection. That’s illegal.

Federal law bans advocating the overthrow of government.

Feel good du jour:

More private individuals are making large donations for masks, PPE, etc.

I appreciate and admire their generosity.

Why isn't the Federal government doing its job? This wouldn't be necessary if they were.

Comic relief:


“I have to tell you this: this whole thing is not about heroism. It’s about decency. It may seem a ridiculous idea, but the only way to fight the plague is with decency.” — Albert Camus, The Plague

Bits of beauty:




Last night, April 17, was so cold and raw that we splurged and made a fire in the fireplace. #SelfCare

What shapes do you see in the flames?



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