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 #142 5/30/21

By Judy Stone | May 30, 2021 | 2 Comments

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. ~ ~ ~ Great #scicomm friend, virologist Ian Mackay is donating all profits from his infographic to charity–currently MSF. The image is available on shirts, mask, mugs, etc. at https://www.redbubble.com/shop/ap/65034354 Love the image…and Ian’s been a friend since first Ebola days a lifetime ago. Hope you’ll help spread the word & support.   News  Neat infographic on Variants of Concern – and interview w Angie Rasmussen ~ ~ ~ Covid’s Deadliest Phase May Be Here Soon  OpEd by Zeynep Tufecki There’s troubling new evidence that the B.1.617.2 variant, first identified in India, could be far more transmissible than even the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in Britain, which contributed to some of the deadliest surges around the world. In countries with widespread vaccination, like the United States and Britain, we can expect that Covid cases, hospitalizations…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #141 5/23/21

By Judy Stone | May 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

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. Still seeking help for our friends in India, or How this nice Jewish girl ended up starting a GoFundMe for Touch Ministries… LWH Hospital urgently needs help, so I have set up a GoFundMe for supplies. https://gofund.me/7c5442b5  Donations are tax-deductible for this charity. News  China, Fauci and the Origins of Covid Did the virus come from a Chinese lab funded by the celebrated doctor’s U.S. government institute? Before Covid-19 ravaged the world, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded coronavirus research that included work at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. The idea was to study the ability of such viruses to attack humans, but could a Fauci-funded experiment actually be the source of the deadly global infection? In an exhaustive account of the viral possibilities published this week by the Bulletin of the…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #140 5/16/21

By Judy Stone | May 16, 2021 | 0 Comments

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. Tidbits will likely be weekly for the foreseeable future. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. Special announcement – Seeking help for our friends in India, or How this nice Jewish girl ended up starting a GoFundMe for Touch Ministries… It began with the saying, “Whoever saves one life, it is as if they saved the world.” As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and having had very bad experiences with takeovers of community hospitals here by Catholic networks, I was surprised to find myself volunteering at a mission hospital in India in 2011…I remember my initial dismay and discomfort with their morning prayer and meeting. Conducted in Hindi, I quickly found them peaceful and comforting, a good reminder for staff of their purpose and good way to start the day. I quickly fell in love with Lady Willingdon Hospital and…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #139 5/10/21

By Judy Stone | May 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

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. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. New post: Wearing A Mask For Covid-19 Protection Is Scientific And Perfectly Normal I was really angry about @emmaogreen’s post in @TheAtlantic, so I wrote a response:  https://forbes.com/sites/judystone/2021/05/07/wearing-a-mask-for-covid-19-protection-is-scientific-and-perfectly-normal/?sh=48ae28e6c1a9… Some of us face the realities of what is now and is likely to happen w opening up too soon. News  SARS-CoV-2 reinfection generally milder than primary infection in US study uncommon…but was associated with two deaths, according to findings from a U.S. study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases. “Therefore, policies regarding face masks, social distancing and vaccination apply to survivors of initial SARS-CoV-2 infection as well,” Qureshi said. “The results also indirectly suggest that vaccination may not provide complete immunity over a long period of time and periodic boosters…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #138 5/2/21

By Judy Stone | May 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

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. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. My latest post, for a friend:  Covid-19 Vaccine And People With Spinal Cord Injuries https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2021/04/29/covid-19-vaccine-and-people-with-spinal-cord-injuries/?sh=2b0e1fe2363f News  Must read on the disaster in India by my friend Madhukar Pai: Opinion: India’s covid-19 crisis is a dire warning for all countries https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/04/30/indias-covid-19-crisis-is-dire-warning-all-countries/ ~ ~ ~ Where did India’s catastrophic surge come from? Blame a “perfect storm” of political, biological, behavioral, and meteorological factors. (New York Times, USA Today) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Brazil Senate votes to suspend patent protection on COVID-19 vaccines It now goes to the lower chamber. According to the proposal, patent holders would be obliged to provide authorities with all the information needed to produce COVID-19 vaccines and medicines. Then, if the government were to call a state of emergency,…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #136 4/24/21

By Judy Stone | April 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

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. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. ~ ~ ~ New post: Malaria Resistant to Artemisinin Emerging in Africa for first time https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/949687 News  US denies India’s request to lift an export ban on raw materials needed to make COVID-19 vaccines! I believe this to be morally corrupt. It also flies in the face of everything the US has been saying about cooperation and pandemic preparedness. With China supplying most of the APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) for the world, and India supplying ~50% of the US’s generic medicine, this also seems colossally short-sighted and NOT in US’ self -interest. What are they thinking? Under some law from the previous regime, the US is not allowed to export the AstraZeneca vax to India either….

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Coronavirus Tidbits #135 4/18/21

By Judy Stone | April 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

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. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. Latest post: Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Is Paused – How Much Should You Worry? News  COVID disrupts healthcare in low- and middle-income countries re TB, HIV, and Malaria according to a new report by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The fund found that, from April to September 2020, HIV testing fell 41%, TB referrals declined 59%, and malaria diagnoses fell 31% among 502 health facilities in 32 LMICs in Africa and Asia. According to 85% of the surveyed facilities, COVID-19 was the main reason patients no longer sought healthcare, with most reporting fear of transmission (28%), disruption to public transit (20%), lockdown or stay-at-home orders (20%), and general delayed care-seeking…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #134 4/10/21

By Judy Stone | April 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

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. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. WordPress was possessed; hence the delay in getting out the weekend edition. Apologies. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. News  19.9% of Americans Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 per CDC ~ ~ ~ Study finds link between COVID-19 infection and subsequent mental health and neurological conditions Study using electronic health records of 236,379 COVID-19 patients mostly from the USA estimates that one in three COVID-19 survivors (34%) were diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric condition within six months of infection. Anxiety (17%) and mood disorders (14%) were the most common. Neurological diagnoses such as stroke and dementia were rarer, but not uncommon in those who had been seriously ill during COVID-19 infection. For example, of those who had been admitted to intensive care,…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #133 4/3/21

By Judy Stone | April 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

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. Tidbits will likely be less frequent for the next little bit, down to weekly. 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. ~ ~ ~ https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2021/03/31/how-counterfeit-covid-19-vaccines-and-vaccination-cards-endanger-us-all/?sh=6f3d42b73649 News  Pfizer-BioNTech Vax in Adolescents in a Phase 3 trial in adolescents 12 to 15 years of age with or without prior evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses (better than earlier results) ~ ~ ~ COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant on its way to becoming the dominant variant in the United States it is 40-50 percent more transmissible and about 50 percent more likely to cause fatal COVID-19 http://outbreaknewstoday.com/covid-19-b-1-1-7-variant-on-its-way-to-becoming-the-dominant-variant-in-the-united-states-23689/ ~ ~ ~ Nice seeing companies working…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #132 3/28/21

By Judy Stone | March 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

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  Disturbing level of vaccine hesitation in HCWs About 4 in 10 healthcare workers haven’t gotten a COVID-19 vaccine yet, and more than 1 in 3 say they aren’t confident the vaccines have been thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness, according to a new poll from The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey queried more than 1,300 front line healthcare workers between February and March, finding just over half (52%) had received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the time. Other findings were more worrisome for vaccination efforts: 3 in 10 said they weren’t sure they were going to get a vaccine, while 1 in 6 said they would quit if their employer forced them to get vaccinated. By comparison, 70% of Americans believe healthcare workers who work…

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