Politics, Science, and Other Assorted Musings

I love helping people understand issues and look at them from a different perspective. In this blog, I hope I can offer you some new insights—bridging the gap between basic science and your medicine chest—as I am still a practicing physician, as well as having had broad clinical research experience. I'm interested in developing new medicines and treatments, as well as caring for patients—and explaining these topics for you.

As medicine has evolved, so have my interests. I have also become increasingly interested in health disparities, social justice issues, and ethics. I invite you to join me as we explore a variety of territories. I hope that reading these posts will encourage you to learn, engage, and above all, work for the forces of good.

If there are topics you'd like to see me cover, please let me know—I welcome your input as to what you would like us to discuss in this column.

Coronavirus - COVID19

Please note that I will be posting Coronavirus Tidbits of news here. You can sign up for updates by clicking the box at the right and subscribe to Covid, Politics, and Science. All Covid posts will go here, and I will upload back issues as I have time. Please share w friends. Thanks!

I’m going to have a reference file here for articles I have found particularly worthwhile, and will update this here as we learn new information. Click on the COVID-19 Resources, below, to expand that.

If you see something terrific, please share. We’re all in this together.

Coronavirus Tidbits #220 11/19/22

By Judy Stone | November 19, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #220 11/19/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. With Twitter taking a nosedive and likely to soon be destroyed by Musk, the format here will likely be evolving. There will be no embedded tweets and fewer pictures to break things up. I will take screenshots of some tweets for visuals for now, but formatting probably won’t be uniform. Please let me know how these changes are working for you. It’s a nightmare for me–Twitter is THE best place for real time infectious disease news and misc news, especially that not covered by mainstream press. Georgia: @Bob_Casey   Nov 16 Since coming to Washington, @ReverendWarnock has delivered results for the people of Georgia. His character, integrity, and heart of service distinguishes him in this race. And, let’s be clear: winning Georgia is CRITICAL. Here’s what it means if we have a 51-49 Senate…

Read More

The Fetterman-Oz Debate Highlights GOP’s Disdain for the Disabled

By Judy Stone | November 7, 2022 | Comments Off on The Fetterman-Oz Debate Highlights GOP’s Disdain for the Disabled

The recent Pennsylvania senate debate was shocking and disappointing on many levels, although it held few surprises. Dr. Oz was articulate-as one might expect from his years in TV promoting medical “cures.” John Fetterman, recovering from a stroke, stumbled over words at times. He began by stating, “it knocked me down, but I’m going to keep coming back up. And this campaign is all about to me is about fighting for everyone in Pennsylvania that ever got knocked down that needs to get back up.” Last night’s courageous display was evidence for that. Oz played his advantage in this rapid-fire debate format to the hilt. While he allowed Fetterman to use close captioning, his responses were so quick that the transcribers probably had trouble keeping up and likely made errors. We won’t know because Oz refused to allow journalists to view the close captioning. Ask yourself, why not? Oz spoke down to his opponent, at one point saying, “I repeated it for you,” to Fetterman to further drive home his point. This is hardly the behavior of a compassionate physician. He also repeatedly reminded viewers that he was a doctor. But Oz himself is not immune to “mushing words” or…

Read More

Coronavirus Tidbits #218 11/6/22

By Judy Stone | November 5, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #218 11/6/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. ELECTIONS Need HELP please: If we lose the House, Kevin McCarthy and Marjorie Taylor Green will wreak havoc. With the Senate…oy Please help: 1. Wisconsin:  If you’re looking for a critical swing state where you can have a big impact right now, check out Wisconsin which is in trouble. These races are very close, and the votes we save there have the potential to save the day, just as they saved Biden in 2020. We are recommending that you BALLOT CURE in Wisconsin from NOW through NOV 8.  If we lose Wisconsin in 2022 there is almost no chance we will win it in 2024 when the future of our democracy will be even more precarious. WISCONSIN: Cure Remotely through November 7th Voters need your help fixing errors on their absentee ballots! Join WisDems…

Read More

Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #217 10/30/22

By Judy Stone | October 29, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #217 10/30/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. New Post: The Fetterman-Oz Debate Highlights GOP’s Disdain for the Disabled Mushed words and all, I would vote for John Fetterman, who had the courage to get up and debate. Elections should be about character rather than making debating points. Consider which candidate you would want having your back. https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/983142 News  Study shows temporary isolation wards provided effective protection against health care-associated COVID-19 transmission https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-10-temporary-isolation-wards-effective-health.html ~ ~ ~ Omicron keeps finding new evolutionary tricks to outsmart our immunity https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/10/25/1129196088/covid-new-omicron-variants-immunity ~ ~ ~ Humans transmit SARS-CoV-2 to their pets, household study finds Among a sample of 107 households with pets and at least one COVID-19-infected adult in Idaho and Washington state, 21% of dogs and 39% of cats had signs of infection, 40% of dogs and 43% of cats had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and 5%…

Read More

Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #216 10/23/22

By Judy Stone | October 22, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #216 10/23/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. New post:  Breaking The Mold: A Creative Musical Teaches About Antimicrobial Resistance https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/10/19/breaking-the-mold-a-creative-musical-teaches-about-antimicrobial-resistance/?sh=5cd1fd73580b News  Covid: Update on cases/variants: Of about 2.9 million new cases reported to the WHO last week, the five countries that reported the most were Germany, France, China, Italy, and the United States. (Cases also spiking in Singapore) Omicron viruses that descend from the BA.5 lineage are still dominant, making up 78.9% of sequences, followed by BA.4 (6.7%) and BA.2 (3.9%) lineages. The WHO said its monitoring of emerging subvariants suggests that XBB-a recombinant of BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 with 14 more mutations in the BA.2 spike protein-has the most immune escape properties of any SARS-CoV-2 variant. So far, XBB has been reported by 26 countries. Though the subvariant seems to have a higher growth rate, there’s no evidence of any…

Read More

Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #215 10/16/22

By Judy Stone | October 15, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #215 10/16/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. New Post: CDC’s New Mask Guideline Says Vulnerable People Are Expendable https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/982329 News  Covid: Study: Long-COVID symptoms burdened 29% of survivors A German study published today in BMJ finds a considerable burden of long-COVID symptoms, especially fatigue and neurocognitive impairment (“brain fog”), at 6 to 12 months-even among young and middle-aged adults who had mild infections. A team led by Ulm University researchers parsed responses to a mailed survey from 11,710 adults aged 18 to 65 years living in southwestern Germany who tested positive for COVID-19 from Oct 1, 2020, to Apr 1, 2021, a period dominated by the wild-type virus. Average participant age was 44.1 years, 58.8% were women, 56.8% were employed full-time before the pandemic, 77.5% didn’t require medical care for their infection, 19.0% needed outpatient care, and less than 4% were hospitalized. Pre-existing chronic…

Read More

Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #214 10/9/22

By Judy Stone | October 8, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #214 10/9/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. New post: Hurricanes And Flooding Leave Infections in Their Aftermath https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/10/04/hurricanes-and-flooding-leave-infections-in-their-aftermath/ ~ ~ ~ Special announcement: Most of you likely know of my interest in Holocaust education and my having written our family’s story, Resilience, three years ago. I was inspired in part, and helped greatly by my aunt Kati. Kati–aka Kitty Williams, z”l, died Sunday. Since 2008, when she “came out” as being Jewish, she devoted her life to educating about the Holocaust in the Omaha area. A brief pictorial: This is Kitty at age 18, shortly before she was taken to Auschwitz. There, in Auschwitz, Kitty discovered my mother, who had just lost her newborn. Kati saved my mother’s life, nursing her back to health. Their father was murdered on arrival to Auschwitz. I learned the date of his death (and much more)…

Read More

Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #213 10/2/22

By Judy Stone | October 1, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #213 10/2/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. New posts: Cracks In Promising Treatments For Monkeypox-TPOXX And Jynneos https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/09/21/cracks-in-promising-treatments-for-monkeypox-tpoxx-and-jynneos/?sh=5b15d4ad3122 ~ ~ ~ The Pandemic Is NOT Over https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/981321 ~ ~ ~ What Makes Some Infections Asymptomatic? https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/981679 News  Covid: Five things about covid we still don’t understand at our peril https://wapo.st/3fAlzYB  FREE gift article  Good overview Short-term increase in menstrual cycle length related to COVID-19 vaccination A recent study found that women who received any type of COVID-19 vaccination had a short-term increase in menstrual cycle length, according to a press release from NIH. This was the second NIH-funded study to investigate the relationship between menstrual cycle duration and COVID-19 vaccination. https://www.healio.com/news/womens-health-ob-gyn/20220928/shortterm-increase-in-menstrual-cycle-length-related-to-covid19-vaccination ~ ~ ~ As few as 1 in 5 COVID cases may have been counted worldwide, mathematical models suggest https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-09-covid-cases-worldwide-mathematical.html ~ ~ ~ Big COVID-19 waves may be coming, new Omicron…

Read More

Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #212 9/25/22

By Judy Stone | September 24, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #212 9/25/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. New Posts: Cracks In Promising Treatments For Monkeypox-TPOXX And Jynneos https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/09/21/cracks-in-promising-treatments-for-monkeypox-tpoxx-and-jynneos/?sh=5b15d4ad3122 ~ ~ ~ Can We Eliminate Measles and Rubella Worldwide? https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/981204   News  Covid: I’ll have a post in Medscape early in the week on Biden’s foolishly declaring the pandemic over. In the meanwhile, in a Friday night news dump, the CDC just announced that many hospitals and nursing homes no longer have to mask. This is awful, and particularly stupid as we head into flu and RSV season. Many hospitals are already reporting no pediatric beds. They have thrown vulnerable people under the bus. Here’s what some others are saying, as well as other news: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Quick test kit to determine a person’s immunity against COVID-19 and its variants A team of scientists from…

Read More

Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #211 9/18/22

By Judy Stone | September 17, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus & Monkeypox Tidbits #211 9/18/22

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. New post: How To Reduce Your Child’s Risk Of The Enterovirus Infection (EV-D68) That Is Causing Paralysis https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/09/14/how-to-reduce-your-childs-risk-of-the-enterovirus-infection-that-is-causing-paralysis/?sh=75d1bc896cc5 ~ ~ ~ Asymptomatic Infections Drive Many Epidemics, Including Monkeypox, Polio, and COVID https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/980118 ~ ~ ~ Election volunteer opportunities: NOPE Neighbors: https://www.nopeneighbors.org/volunteer Power the Vote https://www.powerthevote.org//. I’m a fellow volunteer. Are you interested in voter protection research? Battleground states including Arizona, Michigan and Texas need help. Volunteers would work with the voter protection program directly on research tasks. Examples include: (i) calling elections offices to get information about certain election plans, so that programs know where and when to send volunteers; (ii) calling elections offices to follow up on public records requests for needed information (such as data on ballot rejections); and (iii) reviewing elections websites to ensure information is accurate and up to date. This…

Read More