Coronavirus Tidbits # 43 5/4/20

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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.

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

News 

Idiocy on so many levels:

Why waste millions of dollars for this kind of show when HCWs are dying for lack of PPE and preparedness? Other than to soothe someone’s ego, for not getting tanks at the 4th of July parade?

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Reopening Economies Prematurely As A Civil Rights Issue

In Milwaukee, where African Americans are 27% of the population, they account for 70% of the deaths from COVID.

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/03/849837029/reopening-economies-prematurely-as-a-civil-rights-issue

Civil rights leaders wrote an open letter encouraging African Americans to stay at home in states that were beginning to reopen… Their “letter called reopening in these states an act of, quote, “reckless disregard for the health and life of black residents,”…

There were a number of jurisdictions in the South that once they closed the schools simply ended instruction for African American children and stopped providing meal service, free and reduced lunch, for children who are dependent on that service.

We’ve also filed a series of voting rights cases, three in all now – Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama – demanding expanded access to absentee voting so that black voters will not have to make the choice that black voters in Wisconsin were compelled to make – to choose between their health and their life and their ability to participate in the political process.”

NAACP is beginning suits over these issues.

(See also 4/28 Tidbits or WaPo

‘For black folks, it’s like a setup: Are you trying to kill us?’ Fear and mistrust in rural Georgia as Gov. Kemp urges the state to reopen (prematurely). https://washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/26/coronavirus-southwest-georgia/?arc404=true… Atlanta has 30% Blacks, >50% of deaths from COVID) ~ ~ ~ Perspective from Dr. Gregg Gonsalves: The choice was NEVER between public health and the economy. We could and still can fight this pandemic and protect people’s livelihoods. It requires a massive and urgent federal response. Other countries have done this. We have made a choice NOT to. 1/…

The “American Way” is to do terribly at epidemic control and economic and social support. We’ve botched the response both to the epidemic and managing its economic fallout. Again, this was a policy choice. Made proactively by @realDonaldTrump 2/

He owns EVERY death, EVERY bankruptcy. They are his now. This is his legacy. He could have been #JacindaArdern #AngelaMerkel #MetteFrederiksen. They are leading their countries through this. He is a catastrophe in every way. 3/

We had a choice as a nation. We made the wrong one. The media has treated the entire episode as political entertainment rather than absolute state failure. The @TheDemocrats have been passive, not rising to the challenge either. This is where we are. 4/

So more deaths. In the thousands. More economic pain as we stumble again and again in containing this epidemic. end/

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.

US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) claims development of a COVID-19 diagnostic test

that could identify someone before they are capable of spreading the disease. Nice, if true. The new test measures messenger RNA (mRNA). The test requires a blood draw, which will somewhat limit usefulness. Preliminary data on accuracy look good; they are awaiting FDA to grant an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization). Keep in mind that the ease of which those were granted led, in part, to the abundance of inaccurate PCR tests on the market.

Drugs:

For those concerned about BP medications:

“these three studies do not provide evidence to support the hypothesis that ACE inhibitor or ARB use is associated with the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the risk of severe Covid-19 among those infected, or the risk of in-hospital death among those with a positive test. Each of these studies has weaknesses inherent in observational data, but we find it reassuring that three studies in different populations and with different designs arrive at the consistent message that the continued use of ACE inhibitors and ARBs is unlikely to be harmful in patients with Covid-19. Several other smaller studies from China and the United Kingdom have come to the same conclusion.12-15

Patients should not discontinue ACE inhibitor or ARB therapy out of a concern that they are at increased risk for infection, severe illness, or death during the Covid-19 pandemic.16-18 The data from these three studies support those recommendations.”

 

Devices:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Novameat Develops 3D-printed Pork Alternative to Feed Plant-based Meat Demand

This is also a response to African Swine Fever, which has seriously been hurting hog supplies.

The meatless pork is made with pea and rice protein isolates, olive oil, seaweed extract and beet juice

https://thespoon.tech/novameat-develops-3d-printed-pork-alternative-to-feed-plant-based-meat-demand/

Politics:

Trump replaces another Inspector General who crossed him:

Christi Grimm, at DHSS. Her sin? Reporting on the lack of PPE and testing.

~ ~ ~

It’s all who you know…

A contractor with zero experience got a $34.5 million contract to supply the VA with masks and other medical supplies. He flew around the country on a private jet trying to track everything down. He ultimately did not deliver a single mask to the VA. propub.li/2WlTSoO

~ ~ ~

Stillwater, Ok, amends rule requiring masks due to threats of violence.

“It is unfortunate and distressing that those who refuse and threaten violence are so self-absorbed as to not follow what is a simple show of respect and kindness to others,” City Manager said.

~ ~ ~

On No one could have predicted this pandemic… (even Bush did)

Feel good du jour:

This clip of Anderson Cooper was very moving:

Comic relief:

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A response to the idiots packing the Florida beaches:

Perspective/Poem

Quote: “If you expect elementary school children to endure the trauma of active shooter drills for your freedoms, you can wear a mask to Costco.”

~ ~ ~

Just Because I’m 90 Doesn’t Mean I’m Ready To Die ― Or Disposable

“As long as I’m still creative … as long as I still enjoy life, nobody has the right to write me off.” Varda Yoran Quite a remarkable bio. ~ ~ ~

Important read: see above in News

Reopening Economies Prematurely As A Civil Rights Issue

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/03/849837029/reopening-economies-prematurely-as-a-civil-rights-issue

Bits of beauty:

 

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