Coronavirus Tidbits #60 6/24/20
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.
Idiocy du jour:
Feds About To Bail On Supporting COVID Testing Sites In Texas And Other States–as cases skyrocket
Trump: “Slow the testing down please.”
How to more cases than anybody in the world pic.twitter.com/VA9bPJiQ6i— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) May 15, 2020
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During the biggest health crisis of this generation, @realDonaldTrump asked his officials to slow down the one thing that could keep us safe: testing.— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) June 23, 2020
How many families suffered and lives were lost because of his gross criminality? #AmericaOrTrump pic.twitter.com/xWYvodknE5
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Watch this dataviz.
This data simulation is about as sobering as you can imagine. https://t.co/jVByRTCMe9— Larry Lynam (@scopedbylarry) June 21, 2020
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Ousted Rebekah Jones in Florida explains how they are trying to cook the numbers again
BREAKING: 1 OF 3: Florida announced yesterday they’re not counting the icu bed availability anymore, a key element in keeping things open, so the state can proceed to the next phase by July 4.
2 OF 3 I have multiple sources at DOH who have just told me they have been instructed this week to change the numbers and begin slowly deleting deaths and cases so it looks like Florida is improving next week in the leadup to July 4, like they’ve “made it over the hump.”
3 OF 3 I’ve independently verified they’ve deleted at least 1200 cases in the last week.They’re only reporting all these cases now so they can restrict reporting next week to make everyone think it’s over. I’ve had two DOH employees in different offices confirm
Follow her or FloridaCovidAction.com for real Florida numbers
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75% of US workers can’t work exclusively from home, face greater risks during pandemic
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON 23-JUN-2020
About three-quarters of U.S. workers, or 108 million people, are in jobs that cannot be done from home during a pandemic, putting these workers at increased risk of exposure to disease. This majority of workers are also at higher risk for other job disruptions such as layoffs, furloughs or hours reductions, a University of Washington study shows.
These workers also represent some of the lowest paid workers in the U.S. workforce, Baker emphasized.
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China Halts Some Tyson Chicken Shipments Over Covid-19
Tyson on Friday said 481 employees across its northwest Arkansas operations had tested positive for the coronavirus since early June.
Chinese authorities suspended chicken imports from a Tyson Foods Inc. facility due to what Chinese officials said were Covid-19 infections among the plant’s employees.
The suspension issued Sunday covered products that have arrived in China or are about to arrive there, according to China’s General Administration of Customs.
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E.U. May Bar American Travelers as It Reopens Borders, Citing Failures on Virus
European Union officials are racing to agree on who can visit the bloc as of July 1 based on how countries of origin are faring with new coronavirus cases. Americans, so far, are excluded,
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Another reason we need universal health care, not insurance tied to jobs:
An Early Look at the Potential Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Health Insurance Coverage
Commonwealth Fund Health Care Poll: COVID-19, May–June 2020
The Commonwealth Fund, June 23, 2020, Sara R. Collins, et al.
Twenty-one million people in the United States were unemployed in May — more than 13 percent of the U.S. labor force.1 With more than half the U.S. adult population dependent on their employer or a family member’s employer for their health insurance, a key concern is that many of the newly unemployed have lost their health benefits along with their jobs.2
- Among people who said they or a spouse or partner lost a job or were furloughed because of the pandemic, two of five had health coverage through the affected job.
- Among those who previously had coverage through an affected job, one of five said they or a spouse or partner were now uninsured.
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Mini organs reveal how the coronavirus ravages the body
The virus can damage lung, liver and kidney tissue grown in the lab, which might explain some severe COVID-19 complications in people.
Nature – Smriti Mallapaty
Researchers are growing miniature organs in the laboratory to study how the new coronavirus ravages the body. Studies in these organoids are revealing the virus’s versatility at invading organs, from the lungs to the liver, kidneys and gut. Researchers are also experimenting with drugs in these mini tissues to see whether such therapies might be candidates to treat people.
Physicians know from hospitalised patients and autopsies that SARS-CoV-2 can have a devastating effect on organs. But it’s unclear whether some of this damage is directly caused by the virus or by secondary complications of the infection. Multiple groups are using organoid studies to show where in the body the virus travels, which cells it infects and what damage it does.
still an incredible, negligent lack of testing.
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Dogs show remarkable prowess at smelling coronavirus: 95% success rate from sweat samples
The dog’s accuracy is better than the PCR tests–faster, too. https://www.zmescience.com/
Coronavirus Antibody Tests Have a Mathematical Pitfall
The accuracy of screening tests is highly dependent on the infection rate
By Sarah Lewin Frasier | Scientific American July 2020 Issue
Scientists working to quell the COVID-19 pandemic have developed tests that detect antibodies in the blood of people who have previously been infected with the new coronavirus. These serology tests can provide important data on how COVID-19 is spreading through a population. There is also hope that the presence of certain antibodies may signify immunity to future infection—a possibility scientists are still investigating. Antibody tests do have potential shortcomings: they may detect ineffective antibodies, they do not indicate if an infection is still active, and they fail to detect infection if administered before antibodies develop. A new test’s accuracy can also be difficult to determine because of a lack of data.
Still, such tests have been proposed as a way for individuals to find out if they have already been infected with the novel coronavirus. But a mathematical wrinkle makes these tests—and in fact, all screening tests—hard to interpret: even with a very accurate test, the fewer people in a population who have a condition, the more likely it is that an individual’s positive result is wrong. If it is, people might think they have the antibodies (and thus may have immunity), when in fact they do not.
A positive screening test result for other diseases usually prompts follow-up testing to confirm a diagnosis. But for COVID-19 screening, such follow-up has been rare because testing resources are scarce or because other testing methods are prioritized for the sickest patients. Here’s a look at the massive impact infection rates can have on the predictive value of these tests for individuals.
#CUREID #DrugRepurposing database
and project explained by my daughter, @IDEpiHeather, with the history of project and current use for #COVID19 #NTDs, #Infections. Podcast with the @PharmaPinkSheet
#CPath launches CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory w/ @US_FDA and @ncats_nih_gov to accelerate identification of new uses of existing drugs as potential treatments for #infectiousdiseases diseases, including #COVID19. https://bit.ly/2VeEDi2
Virginia librarian uses drones to drop off books to kids stuck at home because of #coronavirus https://cbsnews.com/news/librarian-uses-drone-to-deliver-books-to-kids-stuck-at-home-due-to-coronavirus/…
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Ability of Fabric Facemasks Materials to Filter Ultrafine Particles at Coughing Velocity – for Home Made and Fabric Face Mask Creation
Eugenia O’Kelly, et al.
Posted June 20, 2020
This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.
We examined the ability of fabrics which might be used to create homemade face masks to filter out ultrafine (0.1μm and smaller in diameter) particles at the velocity of adult human coughing.
Twenty commonly available fabrics and materials were evaluated for their ability to reduce air concentrations of ultrafine particles at a face velocity of 16.5 m/s. Further assessment was made on the filtration ability of select fabrics while damp and of fabric combinations which might be used to construct homemade masks.
Single fabric layers blocked a range of ultrafine particles. When fabrics were layered, significantly more ultrafine particles were filtered. Nonwoven fusible interfacing significantly increased filtration.
The current coronavirus pandemic has left many communities without access N95 facemasks. Our findings suggest that face masks made from layered common fabric can help filter ultrafine particles and provide some protection for the wearer when commercial facemasks are unavailable.
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MASKS: Do you live in UTAH?
Well https://t.co/vKzdBpPNBo, what have you to say for your sourcing of masks with guns on ‘em etc?— Robert Marc de El Paso (@robertmarc60) June 23, 2020
original from https://t.co/uGs0a91Nrm pic.twitter.com/v5BnakdsnJ
Protesters and Covid-19
In Boston, only 2.5% of people who sought testing after taking part in recent protests were found to be infected with the coronavirus.
This mirrors findings from Minneapolis and NYC — in both places the #GeorgeFloydprotest #BLM participants have equal or lower #COVID19 test + results than their general populations. It seems to reflect widespread mask wearing + outdoors activities.
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Interviewed again for the local paper–https://www.times-news.com/news/coronavirus/counties-urged-to-step-up-coronavirus-testing/article_c0981924-ae59-5e81-8f34-7bcba89139f0.html
in which I again show how endearing I can be when so frustrated by the stonewalling and gaslighting we encounter. Local response is woefully inadequate.
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The most important COVID story right now is the age shift.— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) June 22, 2020
In Texas: Young adults driving the spike.https://t.co/7LbB7MWBDR
In Arizona: COVID cases growing 2X faster among ages 20-44 than 65+.
In Florida: Median age of new COVID cases fell from 65 in March to 35 this week —> pic.twitter.com/UOcaeMN0fx
This is driven by Texas, Arizona, and Florida
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There's one runaway state w/r to new cases, per million population— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) June 23, 2020
and 4 others are vying on the top 5 list today pic.twitter.com/FadTBOYIcR
Tips, general reading for public:
Wash your hands.
Rinse and repeat.
The four countries hardest hit by the coronavirus are all led by authoritarian leaders
The crisis has laid bare the tendencies of authoritarian leaders and their disregard for human life.
How to empty seat pic.twitter.com/SxDJ5M1sdN— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) June 22, 2020
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This may be the most astounding graphic of the pandemic. Despite hitting densely populated coastal states with high levels of international travel first, the rates there have marched steadily down. Meanwhile … pic.twitter.com/ZV9J7EJ2qT— Mark Sumner (@Devilstower) June 17, 2020
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As Covid-19 devastates communities of color, the government’s minority health experts are conspicuously quiet
Sheila Buck, a 62 yo Catholic kindergarten teacher was arrested while quietly praying at #Tulsa’s Trump rally.
Long interview w her about her upcoming law suit against Tulsa and Trump campaign here: https://abc7news.com/society/woman-arrested-outside-tulsa-trump-rally-plans-to-file-suit-/6260856/
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“Based on most recent testing numbers, today (June 20) way more Americans were diagnosed with #COVID19 than attended Trump’s campaign rally. Would’ve still been true if the arena was completely full… And the spillover area too… And the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa as well.”
– Dr. Craig Spencer
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Street Medic 101: First Aid, Consent, Military Strategy and More
— As national unrest continues, protest-medicine trainers are adapting to new threats and evolving priorities
Feel good du jour:
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Lovely: Beong-Soo Kim and Bonnie Wongtrakool providing concerts for their neighbors.
who falls UP stairs? it's like pence was getting closer to god and god was like f u https://t.co/A7M9t4XFXw— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) June 23, 2020
Nice interview w Sarah Cooper
US Comic @sarahcpr has gone viral with her lip-synching videos of Donald Trump, which have been so popular the President has even blocked her on Twitter. #TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/ptEuNdrZTa
— The Project (@theprojecttv) June 23, 2020
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That’s my coworker’s dog and one of the dolphins I work with! Gunner (the dog) and Delta (the dolphin) are still best friends years later! pic.twitter.com/KqbIXyR0UY— Emily Pacenta (@epace16) June 18, 2020
Coronavirus shows how ageism is harmful to health of older adults
Bits of beauty: