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 #292, April 28, 2024

By Judy Stone | April 27, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #292, April 28, 2024

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. Please share: Great explanation of http://BlueVoterGuide.org – How to build the blue wave in 2024! https://youtu.be/1l8R_jEuZyA?si=i8v2kK-5To0TMxWY…  New post:  Bird Flu H5N1-What We Know So Far About Its Spread To Cows https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2024/04/27/bird-flu-h5n1-what-we-know-so-far-about-its-spread-to-cows/?sh=550693a36fbe News  Mike Hoerger: In the current “lull” of U.S. COVID-19 transmission, we are seeing an estimated 391,000 new infections per day, with 1 in 122 people actively infectious. In a group of 30, that’s about a 1 in 5 chance someone is infectious. Peter Hotez: we’re now at about our lowest levels of new COVID hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic… ~ ~ ~ @VirusesImmunity (Akiko Iwasaki) In a nutshell, we showed that over-the-counter cheap generic antibiotic neomycin can be repurposed in nasal formulation to prevent & treat infection, block transmission, and reduce disease burden against a wide array of…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #291, April 21, 2024

By Judy Stone | April 21, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #291, April 21, 2024

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. ~ ~ ~ Alert: The Supreme Court effectively abolishes the right to mass protest in three US states It is no longer safe to organize a protest in Louisiana, Mississippi, or Texas. News  JP Weiland: Infections are expected to start rising again because of FLiRT mutation. Mike Hoerger: “COVID-19 transmission is estimated to be its lowest level in 9 months (since July 16, 2023). 1 in 123 people actively infectious…the forecasting models show strong agreement that transmission will rise again soon. Expect 300,000-600,000 daily infections in the U.S. the next several months.” ~ ~ ~ Long Covid: Biomarkers for long COVID that were present in patients at eight months have largely resolved by 24 months among a cohort of people who contracted COVID-19 during Australia’s first wave. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-04-covid-patients-immunological-years-infection.html? ~ ~ ~ COVID-19 booster immunity…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #290, April 14, 2024

By Judy Stone | April 13, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #290, April 14, 2024

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: Important Test-to-Treat Program For Covid Patients Closes, Leaving Many Stranded https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2024/04/08/important-program-for-covid-patients-closes-leaving-many-stranded/?sh=5274a83742b6 News  Mike Hoerger: Transmission is low (for the past year) and high (absolute terms). 500,000 infections/day; Expect 400,000-600,000 daily infections the next 4 months;  1% of the U.S. actively infectious, 40% chance someone in a room of 50 would be infectious >25,000 resulting daily cases, equivalent to a small town daily Full Report https://pmc19.com/data/ The Good News Transmission is low relative to the past year. Now is the time to get required medical care that imposes risks. Use high-level precautions. ~ ~ ~ JPWeiland: “Now at low transmission levels, slight decline from last week. Still some time until JN.1 with FLiRT take hold. 245,000 new infections/day; ~2.76 avg total infections per capita across the US; 1 in every 135 people currently…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #289, April 7, 2024

By Judy Stone | April 6, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #289, April 7, 2024

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. ~ ~ ~ PSA – Supplemental Oxygen Access Reform Act (SOAR) brought by Representatives David Valadao (R-CA), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), Adrian Smith (R-NE), and Julia Brownley (D-CA), is identical to S.3821 introduced by US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Feb 28. The SOAR Act would establish a new payment methodology for liquid oxygen and for supplemental oxygen patients to access respiratory therapists. The legislation is supported by the American Lung Association, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, COPD Foundation, American Thoracic Society, American College of Chest Physicians, Council for Quality Respiratory Care, and American Association for Respiratory Care, and Alpha-1 Foundation. Please consider asking your federal reps to support this. The American Lung Association created an online form to allow constituents to easily contact their senators. ~ ~ ~ A call…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #288, March 31, 2024

By Judy Stone | March 30, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #288, March 31, 2024

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. A call to action–to defeat the GOP and protect democracy. Note: Maryland is now important to get involved in. If Hogan wins the Senate race, he will work w the Right wing Republicans. He is not the “moderate” many believe him to be; Hogan is just another one of Mitch McConnell’s allies. Given what is going on with the Supremes and in the world, it’s clearly more important than ever that we work to do this. There are so many ways you can help, from GOTV, to supporting various grassroot efforts, to phone banking, etc. There are 3 groups I work with and recommend: Strongly suggest checking out NOPE Neighbors https://nopeneighbors.org/ VoPro Pros: vopropros.com Field Team 6: MISSION:  Register Democrats.   Save the World.  I’ve also been working this week doing research for the Blue Voter Guide. They could use more…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #287, March 24, 2024

By Judy Stone | March 23, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #287, March 24, 2024

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: No one is coming to save us; we must do what we can to take care of ourselves and our community since the CDC has abdicated responsibility. Ventilation Should Be A Larger Focus In Our Fight Against Covid-19 https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2024/03/22/ventilation-should-be-a-larger-focus-in-our-fight-against-covid-19/?sh=176d40b2529f News  Forecasts: 1.43% (1 in 70) are infectious; >680,000 COVID cases/day; >30,000 resulting Long Covid cases/day. Expect continued declines in transmission the next 3 weeks, but a high trough. — Mike Hoerger, http://pmc19.com/data ~ ~ ~ 430,000 new infections/day; JN.1 + “FLiRT” (F456L and R346T) are now growing. 1 in every 770 became infected today; 1 in every 77 people currently infected JP Weiland https://twitter.com/JPWeiland/status/1768774655542767937 Wastewater levels: https://data.wastewaterscan.org/tracker/ ~ ~ ~ Vaccines cut risk of post-COVID heart failure, blood clots for at least 6 months, data suggest from large European study published in Heart The study…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #286, March 17, 2024

By Judy Stone | March 16, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #286, March 17, 2024

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. ~ ~ ~ A call to action–to defeat the GOP and protect democracy. Note: Maryland is now important to get involved in. If Hogan wins the Senate race, he will work w the Right wing Republicans. He is not the “moderate” many believe him to be: “GOP Governor Larry Hogan vetoes bill to expand abortion access” – CBS News“Paid family leave program passes despite Governor Hogan’s veto” – The Baltimore Sun and WMAR“Gov. Larry Hogan vetoes bills helping unions, tenants and voters” – The Washington PostHogan vetoed legislation that would have let voters fix mistakes on mail-in ballots– The Washington Post Hogan is just another one of Mitch McConnell’s allies. Given what is going on with the Supremes and in the world, it’s clearly more important than ever that we work to do…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #285, March 10, 2024

By Judy Stone | March 9, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #285, March 10, 2024

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. All copyrights belong to their respective owners! Message me if you don’t want images posted here. ~ ~ ~ #LongCovid treatment survey has launched! There are many treatment surveys, but this one is special – the data will be used as evidence to help inform which drugs to study in clinical trials! Please share! They need several thousand case reports to create enough data. Anyone in the world can submit cases. Please send to every #LongCovid patient and clinician you know. There are two links to submit reports: For #LongCovid patients: https://cure.ncats.io/create/quick-case?form-type=pasc… For #LongCovid clinicians, please see https://cure.ncats.io/create/quick-case?form-type=pasc… ~ ~ ~ A call to action–to defeat the GOP and protect democracy. Given what is going on with the Supremes and in the world, it’s clearly more important than ever that we work to do this. There are so many ways you…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #284, March 3, 2024

By Judy Stone | March 3, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #284, March 3, 2024

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. All copyrights belong to their respective owners! Message me if you don’t want images posted here. New post: CDC Drops Five Day Covid-19 Isolation Despite Controversy https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2024/03/01/cdc-drops-five-day-covid-19-isolation-despite-controversy/?sh=39505b2919d8 News  The nightmare of CDC dropping 5 day isolation. See link above. ~ ~ ~ @BNOFeed Weekly U.S. COVID update: – New cases: 187,416 est. – Average: 222,304 (-15K) – States reporting: 50/50 – In hospital: 16,786 (-1K) – In ICU: 1,907 (-83) – New deaths: 1,569 – Average: 2,062 (-252) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Excellent article: Covid Taught Us a Lot. The CDC Now Wants Us to Forget It. https://newrepublic.com/article/179304/covid-cdc-guidelines-isolation-symptoms ~ ~ ~ “Toronto is having an inaugural screening of Masked at the Movies | Innis Town Hall on Mar 13. MaskBlocTO will be there with free respirators!” … “Respirators are mandatory and…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #283, Feb 25, 2024

By Judy Stone | February 24, 2024 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #283, Feb 25, 2024

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. All copyrights belong to their respective owners! Message me if you don’t want images posted here. News  ~ ~ ~ Paxlovid use tied to 84% lower risk of hospital care University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill investigators report today that COVID-19 hospitalization risk was reduced by 84% among Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) recipients in a large, diverse healthcare system during January to August 2022, when the Omicron strain was dominant. The study appears in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Paxlovid is authorized for use in US patients 12 years and older at risk for developing severe outcomes from COVID-19 infections. In early clinical trials, the use of the antiviral drug was associated with a relative risk reduction of 89% of disease progression to severe illness. https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/covid-19/paxlovid-use-tied-84-lower-risk-hospital-care ~ ~ ~ Long Covid disparities in states:  pediatric long…

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