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 #262, Sept 10, 2023

By Judy Stone | September 10, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #262, Sept 10, 2023

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: Where Have All The Masks Gone? And Where is the CDC? https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2023/09/07/where-have-all-the-masks-gone/?sh=219f88ec6c94 Unfortunately, Biden joked about not masking despite CDC recs after his wife got Covid–again. His excuse is that he tested negative. News  COVID hospitalizations have now been slowly rising for 8 straight weeks (9/1 report) For the week ending August 19, admissions increased 18.8% compared to the previous week. Deaths from COVID rose 17.6% last week and make up 2% of the nation’s deaths. Test positivity level at 14.9%. Biobot’s wastewater tracking shows a continuation of a gradual rise since about the middle of June, with levels highest in the South and West.   ~ ~ ~ COVID patients exhale high numbers of virus during the first eight days after symptoms start, as high as 1,000 copies per minute,  Covid isn’t…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #261, Sept 3, 2023

By Judy Stone | September 2, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #261, Sept 3, 2023

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. News  US Hospital Admissions 15,067 (August 13 to August 19, 2023) Trend in Hospital Admissions +18.8% in most recent week.  Jul 21, 2023Aug 19, 2023 Deaths % Due to COVID-19.  1.7% (August 13 to August 19, 2023) Trend in % COVID-19 Deaths +21.4% in most recent week ~ ~ ~ Upcoming new Covid vaccine booster see Drugs and Vaccine section ~ ~ ~ Limited data suggest rising global COVID-19 activity Though case reporting doesn’t accurately reflect COVID-19 activity because of decreased testing and reporting, the number reported over the past month increased by 63%, with increased cases reported in three regions, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest weekly update yesterday. During an online Q and A session today, Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, the WHO’s technical lead for COVID, said the latest update is the WHO’s final weekly report as it transitions…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #260, Aug 27, 2023

By Judy Stone | August 26, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #260, Aug 27, 2023

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 — 2 this week you won’t want to miss! CDC Weighs Lower Infection Safety Precautions For Healthcare Workers https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2023/08/21/cdc-weighs-lower-infection-safety-precautions-for-healthcare-workers/?sh=658b49717ba4 ~ ~ ~ Public Pushes Back On CDC’s Plan To Weaken Infection Control https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2023/08/25/public-pushes-back-on-cdcs-plan-to-weaken-infection-control/?sh=7ce1edc17179 Video highlights of the public comments (10″): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsCShaibO6M&t=4s   News  August 24th update (Biobot io) wastewater data Possible good sign, as numbers slightly down from last week. Estimated 580,000 new infections per day 1 in every 570 new people were infected today 1 in every 57 people currently infected 580,000 new infections/day 1 in every 570 new people were infected today 1 in every 57 people currently infected ~ ~ ~ Updated vaccines for the fall Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet slated for Sept. 12. New Covid vaccine should be approved and available shortly after. It…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #259, August 20, 2023

By Judy Stone | August 19, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #259, August 20, 2023

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. News  Critically important HICPAC meeting Tues, Aug 22 – Pls take action Excerpts from my letter to my Senators and Reps, as well as John Sarbanes, because he serves on the Health Oversight committee, which provides CDC’s funding: HICPAC (Healthcare Infection Control Advisory Committee) advises the CDC on guidelines for infection control in healthcare settings. They met in June and published slides summarizing their draft guidelines here. The planned HICPAC revisions will water down infection control protections, particularly for aerosol transmission and MDRO (multiply drug-resistant organisms). Most immediately worrisome is their conclusion that plain surgical masks (aka “baggy blues”) are equivalent to N95s and provide adequate protection to healthcare workers  (and patients). There has been abundant evidence to the contrary. You can read more about the issue here. HICPAC’s proposal also fails to…

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Coronavirus Tidbits # 258 August 13, 2023

By Judy Stone | August 12, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits # 258 August 13, 2023

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. Reminder, Resilience: One Family’s Story… is increasingly pertinent, as some of our politicians shift rightward. All proceeds go to Holocaust education. Available here.         New post: Food Supplements Are Transforming Tuberculosis Survival In India Note: The increased survival by providing food and micronutrients is likely not just true in India, nor just for TB. Why isn’t nutrition a priority in taking care of people? News  EG.1 Omicron subvariant (Eris), a descendant of XBB.1.9.2, continues its steady rise. ~ ~ ~ US is nearing 500k estimated infections per day (Aug. 9) from New wastewater numbers 484,000 new infections/day 1 in every 680 people were infected today 1 in every 68 people currently infected ~ ~ ~ 8/7: Most markers show more small rises for fourth straight week Hospitalizations-one of the main markers-were up 12.1% compared to…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #257 Aug 6, 2023

By Judy Stone | August 5, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #257 Aug 6, 2023

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. Reminder, Resilience: One Family’s Story… is increasingly pertinent, as some of our politicians shift rightward. All proceeds go to Holocaust education. Available here.       Ohio Election is going on now => Aug 8 Please remind your friends in Ohio to VOTE NO on Proposition 1, the only thing on the ballot. Abortion access and gerrymandering are especially on the line. On August 8, the only thing on your ballot will be Issue 1 to permanently end majority rule in Ohio. A yes vote is a vote to end majority rule  A no vote defends majority rule and the sacred principle of ‘one person, one vote’  to volunteer: https://www.mobilize.us/opalmissionvote/event/568468/ ~ ~ ~ New post: Kidney Transplants From HIV-Positive Patients Likely To Save Lives https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2023/07/30/kidney-transplants-from-hiv-positive-patients-likely-to-be-a-game-changer/?sh=1e1a952a1977   News  U.S. COVID hospitalizations climb for second straight week. Levels are still…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #256 July 30, 2023

By Judy Stone | July 29, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #256 July 30, 2023

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. Reminder, Resilience: One Family’s Story… is increasingly pertinent, as some of our politicians shift rightward. All proceeds go to Holocaust education. Available here.         Ohio Election is going on now => Aug 8 Please remind your friends in Ohio to VOTE NO on Proposition 1, the only thing on the ballot. Abortion access and gerrymandering are especially on the line. On August 8, the only thing on your ballot will be Issue 1 to permanently end majority rule in Ohio. A yes vote is a vote to end majority rule  A no vote defends majority rule and the sacred principle of ‘one person, one vote’  to volunteer: https://www.mobilize.us/opalmissionvote/event/568468/ News  Trend in Hospital Admissions From Covid — +10.3% in most recent week Jun 16, 2023Jul 15, 2023 ~ ~ ~ Wastewater surveillance may be best marker of…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #255, July 23, 2023

By Judy Stone | July 22, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #255, July 23, 2023

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. Reminder, Resilience: One Family’s Story… is increasingly pertinent, as some of our politicians shift rightward. All proceeds go to Holocaust education. Available here.         New post: In-N-Out Burger’s New Masking Policy Threatens Their Employees’ Health https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2023/07/17/in-n-out-burgers-new-masking-policy-threatens-their-employees-health/?sh=1da77c4909c8 In-N-Out finally released a statement about their discriminatory mask ban policy. They are doubling down on valuing “smile” over the health and safety of their employees and their families.  – Dr. Lucky Tran Call In-N-Out at 1-800-786-1000 about their discriminatory policy banning masks. News  Covid: COVID-19 Weekly Update for the United States Key Data Takeaways (as of 7/17/2023)• COVID-19 indicators, including emergency department visits, test positivity, and wastewater levels, have begun to show small increases nationally.• Hospital admissions have leveled off after steadily declining. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home ~ ~ ~ Had COVID but no symptoms? You might have this genetic mutation At least 20% of people…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #254, July 16, 2023

By Judy Stone | July 15, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #254, July 16, 2023

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. Reminder, Resilience: One Family’s Story… is increasingly pertinent, as some of our politicians shift rightward. All proceeds go to Holocaust education. Available here.         ~ ~ ~ Critical Ohio election coming up that will decide abortion (among other) Watch this dynamite ad on what’s at stake re privacy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z10j_H7zOb8&t=3s Here is information on what’s at stake with Issue #1, special election Aug 8. Early voting has started. https://votenoinaugust.org/facts/  and volunteer opportunities. Please help defeat this bill. News  Covid: To optimize performance of SARSCoV2 rapid tests, if negative If Asymptomatic-repeat 3 times at 48 hr intervals If Symptomatic -repeat 2 times at 48 hr intervals From a prospective study, largest to date, paired rapid tests and PCR https://acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M23-0385… via Eric Topol Jul 3 The article also shows that testing 3x with rapids over 48hr caught 75%…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #253, July 9, 2023

By Judy Stone | July 8, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #253, July 9, 2023

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. News  Covid: #Novids: Updated seroprevalence estimates show nearly 1 in 4 people in the US hadn’t had a covid infection, including 44% of those >65yo, by the end of 2022. In California by the end of 2022, 30% hadn’t had covid, including 50% of those >65. This nationwide study looked at antibodies in the blood. From Jan 2022 it was conducted as a longitudinal study of ~143,000 blood donors, with quarterly seroprevalence estimates. The study has now ended. We’re now relying on wastewater, hospitalization, ER and death. Not ideal. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#nationwide-blood-donor-seroprevalence-2022 @CHRomatowski  July 5 But it’s possible to have had Covid w/negative serology; rates of non-seroconversion & seroreversion could account for these stats. This matters: the false belief neg serology means no Covid is wrongly excluding patients from Long Cov research & care https://nature.com/articles/s41579-022-00846-2…

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