Coronavirus Tidbits #53 5/30/20

Quick links

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


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.


What we do and don’t know about Covid:

Excellent thread by Megan Ranney, MD MPH @meganranney

start here: or

~ ~ ~

What the growing rift between the US and WHO means for COVID-19 and global health

by Amy Maxman A disaster in the making for all global health

~ ~ ~

Trump decides unilaterally to pull out of WHO 5/29

destroying everything he can of international relations and cooperation, damn the cost

“The US government provides 27% of the WHO’s budget for polio eradication; 19% of its budget for tackling tuberculosis, HIV, malaria and vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles; and 23% of its budget for emergency health operations.”…

~ ~ ~

Atul Gawande @Atul_Gawande “Pulling out of WHO is a disaster for the lives and health of all people, including Americans. I can’t imagine a worse thing to do in the midst of a pandemic and ongoing work to fight back TB, HIV, polio, and other health threats. America First does not work for global disease.”

~ ~ ~

Trump gave @WHO 30 days to meet US reform demands — & announced the US was leaving WHO on Day 11. It was also the day the US delegation in Geneva had a constructive meeting with @DrTedros about the US demands.

~ ~ ~

Jeremy Konyndyk also rips this decision:

11 days into the 30 day deadline from his letter, Trump hasn’t yet bothered to specify his reform demands but is furiously angry that WHO has failed to implemented them.

start here:

~ ~ ~

Worthwhile clips about the riots/racism:

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~


still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.


Questions raised over hydroxychloroquine study which caused WHO to halt trials for Covid-19

The World Health Organization halted all its trials involving hydroxychloroquine due to the concerns raised in the study about its efficacy and safety.

The study #s don’t jive.

“The experts who wrote The Lancet also criticized the study’s methodology and the authors’ refusal to identify any of the hospitals that contributed patient data, or to name the countries where they were located. The company that owns the database is Surgisphere, based in Chicago.

“Data from Africa indicate that nearly 25 percent of all Covid-19 cases and 40 percent of all deaths in the continent occurred in Surgisphere-associated hospitals which had sophisticated electronic patient data recording,” the scientists wrote. “Both the numbers of cases and deaths, and the detailed data collection, seem unlikely.”



Should lockdown protesters forfeit their right to medical care?

BioEdge by Michael Cook | 31 May 2020 |

Protests in US state capitals against coronavirus lockdowns have become a familiar feature of nightly news bulletins. In late April, about 1,500 people attended a rally in Madison, Wisconsin – and later about 70 tested positive for the virus.

It’s not certain that the 70 were protesters, but incidents like this have angered some bioethicists. Writing in PennLive, a Pennsylvania blog, Art Caplan, Dominic Sisti, Moti Gorin, and Emily Largent argue that protesters are freeloaders on the sacrifices made by people who observe lockdown restrictions.

“Individuals who get COVID-19 while protesting the very public health measures necessary to stop its spread should not get a ventilator before those who have been playing by the rules,” they contend.

The protesters often look like roughnecks from flyover country, who are waving American flags and brandishing placards. The bioethicists have little sympathy for their complaints: “Patrick Henry’s famous proclamation, carried by many protestors, is ‘give me liberty or give me death’ not ‘give me liberty and if that doesn’t work out so well give me a scarce ventilator.’”

This outburst provoked an equally passionate response on the blog of The Hastings Center by two ethicists, Isabel C. Legarda and Samara Peters, who said that Caplan and his colleagues were ignoring basic human rights and the Hippocratic Oath.

Epidemiology/Infection control:

How Mongolia prevented Covid

~ ~ ~

Why are Boston’s Asians underrepresented in COVID-19 cases and deaths?

Thought provoking article: 

Although Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders comprise just under 10 percent of Boston’s population, they account for only 4 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases and 6 percent of deaths.

Black residents, who represent a quarter of Boston’s population, account for 38 percent of COVID-19 infections and 35 percent of deaths, in cases where the race and ethnicity is known. Latinos, who make up nearly 20 percent of the city’s population, are similarly overrepresented in COVID-19 infections (25 percent), but underrepresented in deaths (11 percent).

(Paul Watanabe questions if)…reflection of the low level of testing among the city’s Asian American population. He noted that their percentage of deaths from COVID-19 is one and a half times the percentage of confirmed cases, which may indicate those with the disease are getting tested later, when they’re much sicker.

? fear of harrassment?…

~ ~ ~

AZ GOP governor can keep secret COVID-19 nursing home outbreak information: judge

~ ~ ~

Very disturbing read raising many issues about disparities and social justice, and the appalling ways immigrants are treated.

Every Single Worker Has Covid at One U.S. Farm on Eve of Harvest

“Farm workers are getting sick and spreading the illness…

In all likelihood, the cases will keep climbing as more than half a million seasonal employees crowd onto buses to move among farms across the country and get housed together in cramped bunkhouse-style dormitories”

Tips, general reading for public:


Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Quite an array of Online Resources During Shelter in Place from @zencaregivingsf

movies, art, music, and more!


Excellent perspective from Dr. Gregg Gonsalves, a long-time AIDS activist, on the response to Coronavirus and racism/disparities.

~ ~ ~

Feel good du jour:

Comic relief:

I’m afraid there is no comic relief at the moment. I am too sickened by the destruction of our country. Please–if we ever have an election again–get out and vote and do what you can until November to help others and get rid of this regime…


Mission to Destroy Public Education Rebrands Under COVID-19

Understanding the Christian Homeschooling Movement by Chrissy Stroop, a must-follow on Christian fundamentalism/Evangelicals

Bits of beauty:


From Kevin Seiter, Facebook

Share this post: