Coronavirus Tidbits #48 5/15/20


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.

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


Unemployment Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this morning that almost 40 percent of households earning less than $40,000/year (as of February) lost their jobs in March.

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Covid Hits Conservation Efforts

As the pandemic hits tourism, it's also hurting conservation efforts that rely on tourism dollars. @undarkmag

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Ousted vaccine official Rick Bright to warn of ‘darkest winter’ if virus returns without better response

image: Ousted vaccine official to warn of ‘darkest winter’ if virus returns without better response - The Washington Post

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Trump and Fox friends rebuke Fauci:

Fauci has been attacked this week by Trump, Rand Paul, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Rush Limbaugh for his science-based recommendations and suggestion that we are not ready to reopen schools.


still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.

Accuracy of Abbott's Covid test still questioned:

The coronavirus test from Abbott Laboratories used at the White House to get rapid answers to whether someone is infected may miss as many as half of positive cases, according to a report from New York University that the company immediately disputed.

The analysis, which has yet to be confirmed, found that Abbott’s ID NOW missed at least one-third of positive cases detected with a rival test and as much as 48% when using the currently recommended dry nasal swabs, according to the report on BioRxiv, a server where researchers post early work before it has been reviewed by other scientists.

Abbott said the researchers didn’t use the test as intended and that the false-negative rate, as reported to the company, is 0.02%.


Gilead should ditch remdesivir and focus on its simpler and safer ancestor

Chemists Victoria Yan (@VictoriaCyanide) and Florian Muller question why this isn't happening.


This is why we can't have nice things:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

Speak softly...

“We estimate that 1 min of loud speaking generates at least 1,000 virion-containing droplet nuclei that remain airborne for more than 8 min”…

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If you can (afford to), #StayAtHome

A @UCSF study of thousands of workers in the Mission District found that of those testing positive for the coronavirus, those who had to leave home to work accounted for 90% of the positive cases. Staying home seemed to make a difference.
It was also the low-income who were being hit hard in that @UCSF study. Nearly 89% of those who tested positive earn less than $50,000 a year.

That's why experts urge gov't to be careful as they plan reopenings. Be careful it's not done on the backs of low-income people "doing the front-line jobs who are going to get the most exposed," @UCSF's Dr. George Rutherford said at a a recent panel…

Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.


Team Trump Pushes CDC to Revise Down Its COVID Death Counts

Deborah Birx is selling out on this, too-- Birx, the coordinator of the administration’s coronavirus task force, has urged CDC officials to exclude from coronavirus death-count reporting some of those individuals who either do not have confirmed lab results and are presumed positive or who have the virus and may not have died as a direct result of it.

Fauci thinks the numbers are actually higher than reported.

Bob Anderson, the chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch in CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics: “We’re almost certainly underestimating the number of deaths"

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Response to Trump's "If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases."

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A Trump nominee — who is not a medical doctor and has no background in virology — played a key role in shelving the CDC's detailed reopening guidelines.

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Partisan idiocy: #Wisconsin Supreme Court strikes down governor’s coronavirus stay-at-home order despite #PublicHealth emergency

And in a note of hypocrisy, they issued the decision remotely.

Feel good du jour:

After @SDPublicLibrary 3-D printed 1,600 face shields for SD hospitals, I’ve directed them to make 1,000 more for Tijuana health care workers. #COVID19 knows no borders, and protecting first responders in Mexico helps keep Americans safe in San Diego. We’re in this together.

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Comic relief:


Powerful read: Doctors Already Manage Alone

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And So It Goes: A Lyrical Illustrated Meditation on the Cycle of Life

“We don’t know when, but those who arrive will leave one day as well.”

Book also available free on Hoopla

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George Saunders on the Power of Kindness, Animated

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.”

Bits of beauty:


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