Coronavirus Tidbits #36 4/20/20

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News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty

Announcements:

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.

News 

Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day:

I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the interfaith commemoration for Yom HaShoah in Providence, RI, at Temple Emanu-el.

There were significant technical difficulties, but you can see the talk here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_ASqXKmf3g&t=3604s

I also wrote a post for Forbes:

Kindness In The Age Of Coronavirus – Lessons From The Holocaust

Diagnostics:

Will antibody tests for the coronavirus really change everything?

“There are signs that the promises of COVID-19 antibody tests have been oversold, and their challenges underestimated. Kits have flooded the market, but most aren’t accurate enough to confirm whether an individual has been exposed to the virus.

And even if tests are reliable, they can’t indicate whether someone is immune to reinfection, say scientists. It will be a while before kits are as useful as hoped, says Smith. “Countries are still gathering the evidence.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01115-z

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Good overview: Everything we know about coronavirus immunity and antibodies — and plenty we still don’t

https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/20/everything-we-know-about-coronavirus-immunity-and-antibodies-and-plenty-we-still-dont/

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Tired of waiting for Trump, Gov. Hogan’s Korean-American wife, Yumi, brokers to get 500,000 tests from Korea

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2020/04/20/maryland-acquires-500k-covid-19-tests-from-labs-in-south-korea-after-gov-hogan-first-lady-yumi-hogan-close-deal/

 

Drugs:

Trump backed hydroxychloroquine to be tested in Mumbai slums

Totally unethical, w/o consent. Modi, like Trump, is attacking poor and Muslims.

Apparently learned nothing about ethics and Nuremberg trials.

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-04-17/trump-backed-drug-to-be-tested-on-thousands-in-mumbai-slums?

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Tociluzimab

Still looks like a promising drug to treat the cytokine storm associated with an overexuberant immune response in some patients.

It’s also in increasingly short supply, in part d/t https://twitter.com/julienpotet/status/1251905575006408709?s=20

Devices:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

Getting a handle on asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection

Overall asymptomatic transmission ~40% in this review.

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Interactive dataviz on reproductive rate, ie. How quickly does the virus spread?

How does your state stand? https://rt.live/?fbclid=IwAR0NS5NawYUtGtmLyyBF9b_C30K63Ne4DRnq8iAaDK7r6bfJjSpEAxsyYpM#ND

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Nearly a third of 200 blood samples taken in Chelsea show exposure to coronavirus

This is more interesting than the Stanford study, because these researchers actually took a more random sample of people on the streets outside Boston. Their point? “We need to be able to identify cases and then give people the things they need to prevent perpetuation of the spread.”

“Many live in three-decker houses, Ambrosino said, where it’s hard for people to isolate themselves. Many work in the hospitality industry and health-related fields, where exposure to the virus is greater. And a lot of them must go to work during the pandemic.”

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Another large outbreak on a naval carrier

No surprise to me, but the French are wondering how COVID19 could have spread wildly in closed quarters…

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/04/18/france-finds-more-1000-virus-cases-aircraft-carrier.html

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Medical staffing companies cut doctors’ paywhile spending millions on political ads

Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Politics:

Would be dictator-in-chief Trump declares executive order to entirely suspend immigration:

“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”

Perfect way to commemorate Yom HaShoah…also to tank agriculture, which depends on Mexican/Central American workers to pick crops.

Xenophobia and white nationalism on display.

Feel good du jour:

Comic relief:

Given the ongoing spat between Trump and governors over supplies for testing and PPE, seems an appropriate time to share this image:

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Deerfield Testicle Festival on hold

the celebration of eating deep-fried testicles began in Deerfield nearly 50 years ago…At times, the festival has reached an attendance of more than 2,500 individuals.

T-shirts are available through the Deerfield American Legion.

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Bovid-19  –  The damned virus has jumped species, I’m told

Perspective/Poem

Thoughtful read:

Advice to students and their parents from a Holocaust survivor

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/04/21/opinion/advice-students-their-parents-holocaust-survivor/

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Healthcare Workers Asked to Work Without Pay: Systems Profit From Their Altruism

https://vocal.media/journal/healthcare-workers-asked-to-work-without-pay

Bits of beauty:

from Mary Baudo. A daffodil in social isolation at our home in Maine.


 

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