Coronavirus Tidbits #49 5/19/20

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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.


Places without social distancing have 35 times more potential coronavirus spread, study finds

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Families of essential workers killed by COVID-19 face loss of health care

Repeat after me. We need universal healthcare.

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Interesting, damning long read from Propublica: 

Two Coasts. One Virus. How New York Suffered Nearly 10 Times the Number of Deaths as California.

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Food waste continues, but small efforts to help with surplus in potatoes by giving out bags and bags of spuds to cut down on waste

That works locally, but broader distribution is still a disaster.

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Another day, another injustice:





still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.

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FEMA fiasco again re testing swabs and solution:

Fed shipment of Q-tip-style coronavirus swabs to Washington may not be usable.


HHS secretary Alex Azar says Trump’s ‘Warp Speed’ vaccine ‘may not be safe and effective but we’ll have it’

As one of my friends mused, I suspect all too accurately, Trump will “probably announce a successful vaccine on Oct 15. He’ll have millions of syringes all ready to inject it. The entire country will be in awe and shower praise on the conquering hero. He’ll ride on a title wave of support into a new four year term. The reports of the vaccine’s horrible effects and worthlessness will start surfacing in November. By then he’ll be prepared to shutter the news outlets and clamp down on dissidents.”



Russia sent Aventa M ventilators to US. Then there were deadly fires from them in Russia…

The sending of ventilators from Russia to the U.S. was initially controversial because the equipment was manufactured by a subsidiary of a Russian company that was subject to U.S. sanctions, NBC News reported.

The cargo (which Russia billed as “humanitarian aid” to the U.S.) was also criticized as a cynical move by Moscow to help the U.S. in return for a relaxation of sanctions.

However, the State Department said in a statement at the time that it had paid for the cargo of equipment. Russia said that the cost of the cargo was split 50/50 — with half paid for by the U.S., and half paid for by the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Moscow’s sovereign wealth fund,

Now US is donating ventilators to Russia:

“The U.S. government is donating 100 percent of the cost of the ventilators, their start-up components and their delivery expenses, which officials said totals roughly $4.7 million.”

Can someone explain to me what is going on here? Just a money transfer to Putin from US?

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Another damning report on Masks:

The CDC’s policy change on N95 masks was not driven by new scientific research. It was driven instead by scarcity, political pressure and fear of liability.…

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And Trump on masks:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

Thought provoking. Some reasonable tips but…The cover pic is disturbing and misleading. She’s older (at incr risk), distancing is iffy, no masks or shields. They all handled the cooler? Who handled dishes? Makes one think about relative risk of activities.

So you really want to see your friends? Here’s how to assess the risk

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Infectious Covid virus is in stool

There’ve been reports that #Covid19 viruses may be shed in the stool of infected people. These were particles detected by PCR, and we didn’t know if these were infectious or not. Now we do know….they are. So flush the toilet with the lid closed to avoid aerosolizing it.

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Dr. James Mahoney, who delayed retirement to fight pandemic at low-income hospital, dies of COVID-19

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The price of being ‘essential’: Latino service workers bear brunt of coronavirus Low-paid ppl who clean floors, do laundry, serve fast food, pick crops, work in meat plants — having the jobs that keep America running has come with a heavy price.

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Prisons in Ohio have assumed an ostrich-like stance

After discovering two of the largest known outbreaks in the country… “The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is no longer conducting widespread testing in prisons”.…

Belmont consists of 10 dorm-style facilities, each housing more than 200 inmates who sleep in bunk beds and share kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Once five inmates in a facility test positive, the whole dorm is considered to have the coronavirus. But unless someone needs medical treatment, they remain in the dorm to recuperate, he said, adding that from one to five inmates are being sent to the hospital each day because their conditions have worsened.

Guards supervising COVID-19 inmates, Stevens said, are not provided N95 masks to protect them from infection. Instead, they get lower-grade cloth or surgical masks.

Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.



On WHO spat:

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Obama administration asked for funding to tackle future pandemics but Republicans refused

Tea Party blocked $321 million in funding for the stockpile, ProPublica finds


Feel good du jour:

Lovely pic and happy for Rachel’s success, but I don’t understand papa’s “fight me.”

Comic relief:

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“Book nerds have been hiding their faces since before it was cool,” Wheatberry Books, Chillicothe, Ohio, noted in sharing a photo of the store’s chalkboard, which reads: “Books: the original face covering.”


My Brother’s Death Didn’t Have to Happen – Elizabeth Warren

“It just feels like something that didn’t have to happen…” “It’s always hard to lose someone you love,” she said. “But to lose someone when you have to wonder: What were their last days like? Were they afraid? Were they cold? Were they lonely? That is a kind of grief that is new to all of us.”

Bits of beauty:


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