Coronavirus Tidbits #93 10/21/20

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Announcements:

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 text banking and GOTV efforts.

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

News 

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Twitter removed tweet from Trump’s Covid Advisor, Scott Atlas, for misleading info:

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And on the idiocy of promoting herd immunity:

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Who Are the Scientists Behind the Great Barrington Declaration?

— All three have advocated against lockdown measures since the start of the pandemic

The Great Barrington Declaration, a statement written by three public health experts from Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford, encourages governments to lift lockdown restrictions on young and healthy people while focusing protection measures on the elderly. This would allow COVID-19 to spread in a population where it is less likely to be deadly, the authors state…

this strategy was strongly denounced by many in the scientific community

The declaration was sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian, free-market think tank headquartered in western Massachusetts. The Institute is in a network of organizations funded by Charles Koch — a right-wing billionaire known for promoting climate change denial and opposing regulations on business.

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/89204?

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While Trump trash talks Dr. Fauci…

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent lack of rapid, accurate testing.

The Trump administration is sitting on $9 billion allocated for testing at the insistence of Trump adviser Scott Atlas, MD. (The Washington Post) [Atlas shrugged.]

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Dual PCR and antibody testing helped one system keep going safely with surgeries

https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/89194?

Drugs:

Flu shot may help protect against COVID-19

according to a Dutch study that found hospital workers who got a flu shot last winter were less likely to become infected with the new coronavirus. In test tube experiments, the researchers saw that last winter’s flu vaccine could prime healthy cells to respond more effectively not just to the flu, but also to the new coronavirus. When they analyzed COVID-19 rates among staff at their hospital, they found the number of infections was 39% lower among those who had gotten a flu vaccine.

https://bit.ly/35bqEgV (preprint)

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Interesting report that getting good night’s sleep for several days prior to flu shot improves antibody response

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/21/health/flu-shot-effectiveness-sleep-wellness/index.html

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By next year, the U.S. may have a handful of mediocre coronavirus vaccines. But people will struggle to know which to take and the availability of these options may hamper efforts to develop more effective vaccines. Some chaos and confusion “is inevitable,” Carl Zimmer writes. “But it didn’t have to be this way” ~ First, a Vaccine Approval. Then ‘Chaos and Confusion.‘ (The New York Times)

Devices:

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Our local health department is again asking for volunteers to sew gowns for the hospital…which of course, denies having any shortages.

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Masks:

Why Can’t America Make Enough N95 Masks? 6 Months Into Pandemic, Shortages Persist

npr.org/2020/09/17/913093387/why-cant-america-make-enough-n95-masks-6-months-into-pandemic-shortages-persist

Elastomeric masks:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/27/us/coronavirus-masks-elastomeric-respirators.html

https://hbr.org/2020/10/essential-workers-need-better-masks

Epidemiology/Infection control:

Good news–newborns needn’t be separated from their Covid positive mothers

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How long does someone remain infectious, need to isolate?

Evidence review confirms CDC guidance about infectivity of novel coronavirus

OHSU-led research scours 77 studies worldwide about length of time COVID-positive people may be infectious

… suggests that people may shed virus for prolonged periods, but those with mild or no symptoms may be infectious for no more than about 10 days. People who are severely ill from COVID-19 may be infectious for as long as 20 days.

That’s in line with guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirming recommendations for the length of time people should isolate following infection with SARS-CoV-2.

The review published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-10/ohs-erc102020.php

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Covid cases here in Allegany County increased by 35, and >100 so far in October

When you have most members of the Board of Ed and County Commissioners refusing to mask, what do you expect?

https://www.times-news.com/coronavirus/failure-to-follow-health-guidelines-brings-spike-in-local-covid-19-cases/article_0334591c-130d-11eb-9f47-c7db5111fbe8.html

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Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Politics:

Lawyers say they can’t find the parents of 545 migrant children separated by the Trump administration. https://nbcnews.to/3jej2iD

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President Trump’s tax records reveal a previously unknown bank account he has in China, where he’s spent a decade pursuing business deals. He’s paid $188,561 in taxes there (as opposed to $750 here)

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/20/us/trump-taxes-china.html

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At least 20 cases of COVID-19 have been tied to a Trump campaign rally and counter protests in Duluth last month, which theMinnesota Department of Health is calling an outbreak. (CNN)

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Feel good du jour:

Tom Lehrer has generously put all of his work in the public domain! 

https://tomlehrersongs.com/

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Stop Motion Love GIF by Mochimochiland - Find & Share on GIPHY

Comic relief:

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Perspective/Poem

Bits of beauty:

 

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