Coronavirus Tidbits #52 5/28/20

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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.


Don’t want to wear a mask? Who will take care of you? CDC report finds over 60,000 healthcare workers have COVID-19

The CDC says there have been over 290 deaths among healthcare personnel with over 1,662,400 cases in the country and 98,000 deaths.

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Baby steps from Twitter, putting a small, easily overlooked link in response to some of Trump’s more egregious lies in his tweets: 

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Need another reason to quit Facebook? Zuckerberg knocks Twitter for fact-checking Trump, says private companies shouldn’t be ‘the arbiter of truth’


still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.

Antibody tests, looking for evidence of immunity, (as well as the PCR tests for diagnosis) for Covid-19 wrong up to half the time, CDC says

Quite an interesting explanation–part of the accuracy of the test depends on the frequency of the problem being looked at.

Across populations, tests give more accurate results if the disease being tested for is common in the population. If an infection has only affected a small percentage of people being tested, even a very small margin of error in a test will be magnified. If just 5% of the population being tested has the virus, a test with more than 90% accuracy can still miss half the cases. The CDC explains why testing can be wrong so often. A lot has to do with how common the virus is in the population being tested. “For example, in a population where the prevalence is 5%, a test with 90% sensitivity and 95% specificity will yield a positive predictive value of 49%. In other words, less than half of those testing positive will truly have antibodies,” the CDC said.

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Dogs can sniff out COVID-19

After only a few weeks of training, dogs trained in detecting disease-specific scents were able to identify the urine of people infected by #coronavirus “almost as reliably as a standard PCR test” used to diagnose #COVID19.


Nothing new to add, surprisingly


On Face Shields vs. Masks:

A group of researchers from the @uiowa (@eliowa, @mike_edmond@dan_diekema) detailed the efficacy of face shields in relation to masks. Big takeaways:

1) Face masks are porous because of the material they are made of, so some droplets still make it through the mask in both directions. A shield is not porous, so it protects not just those around you, but the wearer as well.

2) Shields protect all facial orifices where the virus can enter, while masks (when worn correctly) still leave the eyes completely unprotected. Most people don’t wear masks correctly all of the time as well, so nasal passages are often inadequately covered.

3) You can still touch your face subconsciously with a mask, but the shield automatically blocks inadvertent actions to touch your face.

4) Shields are protective even in social situations in ways masks aren’t. For instance, you can still drink coffee or eat something with a shield in place, but it wouldn’t be possible with a mask.

Face shields are usually more comfortable. However, the most important thing is that you use PPE in public. Please use whichever (mask or shield) you have access to. It’s vital for the health and safety of our community.

JAMA 4/2020 Eli Perencevich

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Masks Sold by Former White House Official to Navajo Hospitals Don’t Meet FDA Standards… by

Epidemiology/Infection control:

The United States, which makes up roughly 4.25% of the globe’s population, accounts for ~28% of the global #Covid19 deaths. Sobering reality as the U.S. death count nears 100,000.

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Such a sad story of incompetence and neglect:

Inside the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home was a man who had served as a jailer to Hitler’s top aide. A man who had rescued Japanese kamikaze pilots from the sea. A man who carried memories of a concentration camp.

“Of the 210 veterans who were living in the facility in late March, 89 are now dead, 74 having tested positive for the virus. Almost three-quarters of the veterans inside were infected”

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Meat plant workers…

It’s been almost a month since Trump signed an executive order encouraging meat plants to reopen. Since then, worker deaths have more than tripled. Infections tied to plants have more than quadraupled.

There are now more than 11,000 coronavirus cases tied to Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods and JBS ~ ~ ~

My last post cautioned about singing and religious gatherings:

A Stairway To Heaven? Reopening Churches And Coronavirus

On Friday May 22, the guidelines read: “consider suspending or at least decreasing use of a choir/musical ensembles and congregant singing, chanting, or reciting during services or other programming, if appropriate within the faith tradition….

…The act of singing may contribute to transmission of Covid-19, possibly through emission of aerosols.”

The CDC has now removed those cautions.


Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Generally good, basic overview:


Disgusting view of working people:

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Snark du jour: Trump has been bashing Joe Scarborough, essentially accusing him of murder of a staffer, Lori Klausutis. 

The woman’s husband, Timothy Klausutis, asked Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, to remove President Trump’s tweets that push a debunked conspiracy theory about the death of his wife, Lori Klausutis. Twitter said it would not do so.

In a turnabout is fair play, this appeared:

You can read the rest of this thread here:

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Feel good du jour:

Hearing that medical workers were sleeping in campers, this group gives them free temporary condos

Caregiver Shelter Fund — a nonprofit started by Airriva, a property management company in Columbus, Ohio. The agency fills up empty corporate apartments and condominiums with doctors and nurses working on the front lines of the pandemic, no payment required.

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10-year-old Chelsea Phaire gave 1,500 art kits to kids in shelters and foster care during the pandemic

she now runs Chelsea’s Charity, an organization aimed at providing art supplies to children, particularly those who have endured hardship and trauma in their young lives.

“Art helps me communicate when I can’t express myself,” she said. “Art is my voice.”

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Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

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Wish Jacinda were our leader

Comic relief:


Powerful, sad words from Dr. Craig Spencer, who previously survived Ebola, about treating Covid-19

Bits of beauty:


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