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 #226 1/1/2023

By Judy Stone | January 1, 2023 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #226 1/1/2023

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: A fun post to end the year, reminding me of why I like infectious diseases so much as a specialty. So much weirdness and sleuthing! What Do A Raccoon, Aquarium, And Walmart’s Aromatherapy Spray Have In Common? https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/12/28/what-do-a-raccoon-aquarium-and-walmarts-aromatherapy-spray-have-in-common/?sh=da709c7723a1 News  Covid: “There are currently more than 66,045 cases reported in the United States per day, with test positivity of 12%. When test positivity is above 5%, transmission is considered uncontrolled. There are more than 473 deaths per day, and hospitalizations have increased 22% over the last two weeks. Since many are using home tests that are not reported through public health or are not testing at all, the official case counts underestimate the actual prevalence of COVID-19. https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/what-covid-19-variants-are-going-around ~ ~ ~ @morganstephensa   Dec 29, 2022  some important research. Latest in @Nature find…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #225 12/25/22

By Judy Stone | December 24, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #225 12/25/22

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 Post: Planning A Caribbean Vacation? Here Are Some Infections To Consider Protecting Yourself Against https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/12/19/planning-a-caribbean-vacation-here-are-some-infections-to-consider-protecting-yourself-against/?sh=623576535ac0 News  Covid: Pre-procedure and pre-admission COVID-19 testing no longer recommended for asymptomatic patients Health care facilities should no longer routinely screen symptom-free patients for COVID-19 upon admission or before procedures and rely instead on enhanced layers of infection prevention interventions, according to a recommendation from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-12-pre-procedure-pre-admission-covid-longer-asymptomatic.html? ~ ~ ~ Scientists find key reason why loss of smell occurs in long COVID-19 The reason some people fail to recover their sense of smell after COVID-19 is linked to an ongoing immune assault on olfactory nerve cells and an associated decline in the number of those cells, a team of…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #224 12/18/22

By Judy Stone | December 17, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #224 12/18/22

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. News  Infectious diseases fellowships go unfilled for newly minted doctors: 44% of training programs are unfilled. Why do 2-3 more years training to get lower pay? Unfolding disaster https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/12/12/1142250941/newest-doctors-shun-infectious-diseases-specialty ~ ~ ~ Vaccine effectiveness: A new CDC study of non-immunocompromised adults finds that receiving a bivalent Covid booster dose (after 2, 3, or 4 monovalent doses) reduced the risk of hospitalization by 57% compared with being unvaccinated and by 45% compared with being unboosted. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm715152e2.htm? ~ ~ ~ @JReinerMD  Dec 12 COVID cases are up 53% over the past 14 days. Hospitalizations are up 30% and deaths are up 39%. Protect yourself. ~ ~ ~ COVID-19: What we know about new omicron variant BF.7 Since the COVID variant omicron emerged in late 2021, it has rapidly evolved into multiple subvariants. One subvariant, BF.7,…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #223 12/11/22

By Judy Stone | December 10, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #223 12/11/22

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. News  Covid: Which Respiratory Virus Do I Have? – There’s a range of possibilities, and it’s not easy to tell them apart [Good summary] https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/features/102007? ~ ~ ~ Nanobody treatment shows promise against SARS-CoV-2 infection https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-12-nanobody-treatment-sars-cov-infection.html ~ ~ ~ 41.6 percent of adults have serology indicative of past COVID-19 infection More than 40 percent of U.S. adults have serology indicative of past COVID-19 infection, of whom 43.7 percent report never having had COVID-19, https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-12-percent-adults-serology-indicative-covid-.html ~ ~ ~ Paxlovid Has Been Free So Far. Next Year, Sticker Shock Awaits. Currently $530 each, a discount for buying in bulk. Pfizer’s Covid shots will quadruple in price, from the discount rate the government pays of $30 to about $120. Federal law restricts Medicare Part D – the prescription drug program that covers nearly 50 million seniors –…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #222 12/4/22

By Judy Stone | December 3, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #222 12/4/22

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: Learn To “See” C. Difficile To Protect Yourself From This Serious Infection https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/11/28/learn-to-see-c-difficile-to-protect-yourself-from-this-serious-infection/?sh=7afb157b6fb9 ~ ~ ~ What Can We Learn From The Growing Measles Outbreak In Ohio? https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2022/11/29/what-can-we-learn-from-the-growing-measles-outbreak-in-ohio/?sh=7283b4813430 News  Covid US markers show upward trends In the United States, the 7-day average for new daily COVID-19 cases is at 43,692, up nearly 8% compared to the week before, according to the Washington Post tracker. Daily averages for new COVID hospitalizations and deaths are also up, 21% and 24%, respectively. In other developments, Twitter announced last week that it will no longer enforce a policy put in place to curb COVID-19 misinformation. https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/11/covid-19-cases-stable-globally-rise-2-regions ~ ~ ~ FDA ended its emergency authorization for bebtelovimab the only remaining Covid-19 antibody therapy cleared for use, saying variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1  that render it ineffective are now dominant in the…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #221 11/26/22

By Judy Stone | November 26, 2022 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Tidbits #221 11/26/22

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 format: Apparently Tidbits is not loading properly for some. While my web techie helpers try to figure this out, I’ve drastically reduced images. If this doesn’t work, I will be sending posts in 2 parts, 1 the Covid/medical and the other, the Politics. I will also be embedding far fewer Tweets and images to try to reduce load time. Please let me know if that helps it work better, though it’s not as eye-catching. Or would you prefer more images (like those that go with Tweets) and the newsletter split into two? You can reach me at drjudystone at gmail dot com. Please put “Tidbits” in the subject line. Thx. Thanks. News  Covid: Study ties Paxlovid to lower COVID-19 hospitalization rate Adult US COVID-19 patients who received the antiviral drug Paxlovid within…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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%…

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