Coronavirus pandemic non-socio-political discussions

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RxCowboy

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June 15

Covid-19: Update Monday the 15th
Masks, 2nd waves, primary spreaders, diabetes, and Disneyland.

1. Wearing masks could reduce the spread of COVID to near negligible according to a study out of the UK. Assuming only a 50% effectiveness of masks (which is a low assumption) - if we all wear them in public, we can eliminate the spread of COVID avoiding the second wave or additional lockdowns. This is important information as we re-open and 20 states are now seeing a resurgence in numbers with two states reporting record hospitalizations.

2. Second waves and second rounds of lockdowns are now happening around the globe in places like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Beijing. Beijing had been 2 months with no new cases, but they have now seen 79 cases in 4 days.

3. A study out of Japan suggests that many outbreaks are being started by those under 40 who don't feel sick.

4. Australian researchers report COVID-19 can lead to new-onset Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. We knew diabetes was a high-risk factor but new evidence is suggesting COVID can actually lead to new-onset. They do not yet know if diabetes will persist after the person no longer has COVID (think gestational diabetes). More research is now being done.

5. Hong Kong Disneyland will be reopening after being closed for 5 months due to COVID. Social distancing rules will be in place.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Monday is upon us and it ushers in a new week full of promise and ripe with opportunity.
 

RxCowboy

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June 16

Covid-19 Update: Tuesday June 16th
Numbers, SIP orders, air filters, faulty tests and a lack of antibodies.

1. Globally we passed 8 million cases. Alabama has had several record days for new daily cases, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Carolina are also experiencing record numbers as the 2nd wave hits. Please use precautions maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands often. Avoid touching your face and limit your contact with others.

2. More studies have looked at quarantine/Shelter in Place orders to see how much impact they had. 5 states didn't issue Shelter in Place orders - Iowa was one of them. So a study compared border counties of Iowa with border counties of Illinois before and after the SIP orders. They found, when they controlled for population density, economic status and dates of school closure, Covid spread more quickly in the Iowa counties compared to Illinois. About 30% of cases could be attributed to not having a SIP order. More and more of these studies are coming out but the findings are the same, quarantine mattered.

3. Air filters/purifiers with a HEPA H12 rating can filter out about 83% of aerosols that carry Covid compared to F6 filters that only remove about 54%.

4. Swab tests to detect active Covid continue to give high rates of false negatives - about 20% (rounded) of people with Covid get a negative test result even though they have it. Retesting is critical to catching cases.

5. Multiple studies have now come around around the world verifying that some people don't produce the antibodies (or enough of them) needed to provide immunity after having Covid. What percentage of people this happens to is still unknown. This has implications for the vaccine and of course creates issues for those countries hoping to take the herd immunity route.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The longer this goes you begin to see a variety of responses as we move through the stages of grief. It is easy to grow weary, weary of being the voice of reason, weary of doing the "right" thing, weary of isolation, bad news, loneliness. It's a good time to be reminded that this is only a virus. A serious one, but still a virus. It is a good time to be reminded that SIP worked. It saved lives, you saved lives. It is a good time to be reminded that you have made a difference, your words and actions have not been in vain. To quote Dory, "Just keep swimming"
 

RxCowboy

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June 17

Covid-19 Update, Wednesday June 17th
New Zealand, Rising numbers, Exposure time, GMO cows and protecting our pets.

1. New Zealand had their first two cases in nearly a month. (24 days to be exact). Two travelers from the UK brought it in. New Zealand has strict quarantine rules when entering the country and the travelers were put in quarantine but then allowed to leave because they had come to NZ because a family member there was dying. They were allowed to travel to see their loved one, who died. One of the women then developed symptoms and both tested positive. Contact tracers are working on isolating all those who were in contact with the women including people in the quarantine facility and those on the plane with them. Be kind to contact tracers.

2. Florida, Texas and Arizona set daily records for new cases. And things in Beijing are getting worse too as people emerge from quarantine. Wear a mask, avoid others when possible, wash your hands often. As a side note, some people are trying to change the term "social-distancing" to "physical-distancing" to be more precise. If you see that term don't let it confuse you it is the same exact thing trying out a new name.

3. Current theory is that it takes about 10 minutes of exposure to contract the disease. This will vary person to person and in different conditions, of course but it is a safe rule of thumb. Try to limit close interactions with "unknown" sources to less than 10 minutes.

4. Those cows we discussed have now been genetically modified to make them ready to start developing antibodies. More to come on how that goes.

5. Further evidence has come out supporting the idea that we can spread it to our pets. Pets do not seem to be able to spread it to humans, but they do seem to be able to catch it from us. Dogs and cats can both become ill from the virus although cats seem to be at the higher risk.

FINAL THOUGHTS: We are 1/2 way through another wild 2020 week. It's a good day for a little self-care. Do a mental health check. How are you? What could you use today? Maybe it's extra time in the shower, or brownies after dinner, or a fresh coat of paint on your nails, or a new tie, or to sit and watch something completely indulgent on TV, maybe a long walk or a good run or a fresh hair cut. Maybe a long phone call with your best friend or your mom. Maybe lunch with a coworker or cranking the music up while you get ready for the day. Think of some small kindness you can do for yourself today and do it. You deserve it, you did save lives after all!
 

RxCowboy

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June 18

Covid-19 Update, Thursday the 18th

1. 21 States are now trending upward. Some of the news coverage on this can be quite alarming -but we expected some upward movement as things reopened. That is totally expected. The question is really how much of an increase. Some places are seeing 50-150% increases. That is too much. Texas, Florida, Oklahoma and Arizona are among the states seeing too much increase. Watch your state - better watch your county. Those numbers will give you a better idea of if and what additional precautions you may need to take. Beyond masks and hand-washing.

2. At the peak of things, deaths by COVID accounted for 27.5% of all deaths in America. (not the 100% some people claimed - i.e. everyone was not being coded as a COVID death). That is down to only 8.4% - so that is good news that we are getting better at treatment. Time and information have helped. As we start to see some states increasing we can monitor this number as another way to see how we are doing.

3. According to a new study in BJOG, mother to child transmission of COVID is rare/unlikely. When it does happen the infant is typically asymptomatic. Other studies have indicated vaginal delivery is safe and poses the lowest risk to mother and child.

4. I wanted to explain what a disparity is. Health disparity is when a population carries an undue burden of disease, not for genetic reasons but due to "other" reasons. For example, women having more breast cancer isn't a disparity - it's biology. But 33% of COVID patients being Hispanic when they only make up 18% of a community is. It's disproportionate. When we talk about seeing a disparity it doesn't necessarily mean that group of people is the majority of cases, but that their portion of the cases is a higher % of cases than it should be. We use that information to figure out why. Interestingly, the disparities we are seeing (men and minorities) are being seen globally - not just in the US. Part of this is because they tend to work in industries that were deemed essential or high risk. Many did so with out PPE. This put them at greater risk and this is a disparity.

5. Globally, more people died of starvation yesterday than died of COVID. Don't get me wrong. COVID is a serious virus that kills about 5% of those get it - which is high for a respiratory disease. Higher than the flu, higher than pneumonia. It spreads pretty easily and we can spread it before we even know we have it. I thought today may be a good day for a reminder that we have to keep things in perspective and to review the basics of what we know. Roughly 40% of people who get it will have little to no symptoms. Only about 20% of children who get it will have symptoms. About 15% of people require hospitalization and/or medical intervention. Those who do may face long-term health issues. Approximately 15-20% of those who get it won't develop immunity (current understanding) and therefore could get it again. It is serious and we need to take it serious. But you are not powerless. While everyone's situation is different and so our levels of prevention needs will also be different there are some general guidelines we can all follow. Wash your hands often. Wear a mask when social/physical distancing isn't possible. Leave space between yourself and others. Avoid large groups. Facts not fear.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Love, kindness and understanding may be the most powerful forces on the planet. But sometimes - these are incredibly difficult things to do and in those moments, you can be assured that that is when it is needed most. Those moments, when it is hardest - those are the ones for you. Those are the moments when you are tested and hopefully you shine, even if no one ever sees it. Those are the moments we grow. Make sure you are caring for yourself so that when those moments come, you will be ready. And if you fail? Don't be afraid to admit it and say you're sorry. Forgive yourself. Move forward. Do better the next time.
 

RxCowboy

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June 22

Covid-19 Monday the 22nd update
Numbers, breast feeding, asymptomatic people and MMR.

1. Globally we hit 9 million cases - you may recall we hit 8 million on June 16th which means we added 1 million global cases in less than a week. The jump from 7 million to 8 million also happened in a week. Monitoring when we hit 10 million will help us see if the global numbers are growing too fast, slowing down or remaining steady. New Zealand (previously declared COVID free, has seen 6 new cases over the weekend including today, they now have 9 active cases, all from people traveling into the country. Also, Keep an eye on Brazil this week.

2. Saturday the US had 33k new cases reported. That is more than we had been seeing over the last month. You may recall we were hitting right around 20k a day for quite a while. Sunday we saw 26k new cases. So watching today to see if we move back below 25 - or stay above will give some indicators. Keep in mind we expected to see surges as we re-opened. That could not be avoided. The question is how much of a surge. Wearing masks and keeping physical distance between you and others will help minimize the spread. Most of the current surge in the US can be attributed to people ignoring the recommendation to avoid large gatherings, wear masks, and keep 6 feet between yourself and others.

3. In Italy they are recommending that nursing moms wear masks while nursing in order to reduce the risk of droplet transmission from mother to child. No such recommendations have been made in the US. There is no evidence that the virus can pass through breast milk. Depression among pregnant and new moms is up - so reach out to any you may know.

4. Researchers from the Scripps Institute did a study to see what proportion of people contract the virus and remain asymptomatic, they found what we really already knew, it's about 40%. But something else they suggested was that even though you don't develop symptoms, those people may still experience damage to their lungs. Additional research is needed to know for sure.

5. Young adults ages 18-44 have the most infections in the US followed by those 45-64. Together they account for 74% of total cases.

6. Having had or getting the MMR vaccine may provide some protection against severe cases of COVID according to an article in in mBio.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This has been going on for a while and people are suffering from what is called "caution fatigue" i.e. they are tried of taking precautions. Becoming discouraged is easy. Staying the course is not. Don't give up, you have made it so far. Stick with it. Wear your mask, wash your hands, keep your physical distance from others when in public. Do what you can to protect yourself and others and then live your life. Do not grow weary of doing good.
 

RxCowboy

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June 24

COVID-19: Wednesday the 24th update
Cats, Numbers, Treatments/Vaccines, Flu, and risk factors

1. Two domestic cats in the US have been confirmed to have COVID. The cats were pets and in both cases their owners tested positive. While it is believed that the cats got it from their owners, and both cats fully recovered, it is important to protect your pets from possible transmission.

2. Sunday was the highest number of new cases globally that we have seen thus far. The US ended yesterday with over 36k new cases - the highest day we have had in awhile, up from the 31k we saw on Monday. But Brazil came close to doubling their own number from Monday and ended yesterday at 40k. (24K on Monday)

3. People are being encouraged to get their flu shots this year. Because getting the flu and COVID would be awful. Typically, about 50% of us get the flu vaccine.

4.I don't cover all the treatment and vaccine news that comes out because there is quite a bit and most of it is still very preliminary. However, just as an update - there are lots of treatments being studied and researchers are making progress with treatment options. A vaccine out of the UAE is entering phase III trials for an inactivated vaccine (meaning dead version of the virus). You may recall phase III is the point where they give it to larger numbers of people to prove it elicits an appropriate immune response - meaning it will actually give you immunity.

5. A study was published in the Journal of Public Health to determine if disease differences in sex and ethnicity could be explained by cardiometabolic factors (think heart disease, diabetes, stroke), vitamin D levels, or some specific socioeconomic factors. They found that those factors could not explain the differences and recommended additional research to investigate more complex biological, genetic, economic, social and behavioral differences that may explain.

FINAL THOUGHTS: When is this going to end? That is a common thing I get asked. My answer doesn't bring a ton of comfort - we don't really know. But I would advise you to plan on this being part of our life for at least the rest of this year. While that may seem discouraging, it doesn't have to be. Acceptance is the final stage of grief and be assured, collectively, we are grieving. Accepting that this is here for a while, will help you navigate it and stop fighting it. Mentally, it will help. Laughing helps too. So look around you and determine your risk and determine what you are willing to do. Then find power in the fact that that is your choice. I am not ready to go to a restaurant. That is my choice. I am willing to go to a store. I am willing to have family over for dinner and a movie, or better, a BBQ, if they too have been quarantining. Decide what you are comfortable with and then own that decision. Watch funny things on TV, turn off the news and watch funny cat videos instead - or whatever it is that makes you laugh. Space Force on Netflix is doing it for me these days. Then own it. Because owning it removes that sense of powerlessness that can be so damaging. Reach out for help if you need it. Be kind to others.
 

RxCowboy

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June 25

COVID-19: Thursday the 25th - I'm running late today.

1. A team of researchers at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) and the University of California, San Diego have developed technology they are calling "nanosponges" to combat COVID. The idea is that these "sponges" are covered in both immune cells and lung cells - which makes them very attractive to the virus. The virus will rush to the sponges and attack them instead of the person's actual cells - and the nanosponge will then kill the virus. So far lab testing has been extremely promising so this is one to follow.

2. Over 1/2 of US states are now seeing a rise in cases. Again, to some degree, we were expecting that as we opened, the concern is the rate at which it is happening. Last week Washington state reported a 35% increase, some states are seeing 50-100% increases. The US new case number was 38k yesterday, up from the day before, up significantly from even a week ago. Just for perspective, we have added 400k cases in 2 weeks. We hit 2 million cases on June 10 and we ended yesterday at 2.4 million. Wearing a mask in public places when you are around others is one of the best ways to assure we can reopen safely.

3. When and if a vaccine becomes available, there won't be enough for everyone right away. So there are people currently working on a plan to determine who should get it first and how it will be distributed. Standard procedure is to vaccinate first responders first - I don't have evidence that this is part of the plan but it is standard protocol so if you see that know that it is the norm. The idea is they need to be safe and healthy to care for the rest of us. Current discussions are around the development of a lottery system. Stay tuned for more on that.

4. Low-income countries are running out of oxygen for treating COVID patients. Oxygen, as a medication/treatment option is in short supply and cost is on the rise in low-income countries making the situation more dire.

5. The EU is planning to reopen its borders on July 1 but not to US travelers. So if you were hoping for a European vacation - you may want to rethink it.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Today I would like to acknowledge all the huggers out there. This has to have been especially awful for you - and of course, it isn't over. I want you to know we hear you. We acknowledge how hard it has been for you. Just know that we know and that we are bracing up for all the hugs to come. We offer virtual hugs to you today.
 

RxCowboy

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June 26

COVID-19: Friday June 26th
Another day of not great news - so, if you are struggling today, save this for another time.

1. Friday means a review of the weekly numbers. We are ending the week with 2.5 million cases in the US and 126k deaths. That is up 240k cases (rounding) from last week but only 6k deaths. For perspective, from the 6th - 12th we went up 170k, the 12th - 19th we went up 170k cases, the 19th-26th we went up 240k cases. Since May 29th (roughly a month ago) we have gone up 880k cases and 23k deaths. Yesterday we added 40k new cases, the highest daily number since the outbreak began.

2. The study of antibodies has continued and now finds that 33% of cases do not produce enough antibodies to produce immunity. Meaning at least 33% of people who have it can get it again. Those who were hospitalized did have enough antibodies to be protected from reinfection. So case severity seems to be a major factor in immunity. Let's be thankful we didn't go with a "let's all just get it" approach.

3. More cases are being seen in younger people aged 20-39. 44% of all new cases in CA are in people younger than 35. Across the nation, those 18-29 now have the second highest numbers. 50-64 year olds have the highest. Current work is being done to determine the precise reason for this.

4. The CDC has reported that pregnant women with COVID are 50% more likely to be hospitalized than infected women who weren't pregnant and 70% more likely to need a ventilator. In the same report they lowered the BMI risk from 40 to 30 - so those with a BMI of 30 or higher are at increased risk for severe complications. And in a bit of positive news, high blood pressure is not quite as powerful a predictor as once believed, although it does increase risk, it doesn't seem to increase it as much as we thought, but sickle cell has been added to the list of underlying conditions that will put you at higher risk.

5. Gowns are the latest PPE to be in short supply. So if you happen to have some medical gowns lying around visit GetUsPPE to learn more about where you can donate.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I am sorry to have been the bearer of bad news today and I know it is hard to hear after so long a season. Isolation is tough. Uncertainty is stressful. Fear is contagious. Conspiracies are frustrating. It is easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. Please. Please. Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your mental health. Step away from this, from all of it. Shut down the noise and spend some time in the quiet, stillness, because next week, this will still be here and you need to be ready. Someone is counting on you to be strong, and calm and loving. It may be someone you would least expect. So be informed, swim in facts not fear. Then take time to process it all and step away. Give yourself a break, a chance to renew. I will see you back here on Monday. We must hold each other up. Together, we can do this.
 

RxCowboy

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The study of antibodies has continued and now finds that 33% of cases do not produce enough antibodies to produce immunity. Meaning at least 33% of people who have it can get it again. Those who were hospitalized did have enough antibodies to be protected from reinfection. So case severity seems to be a major factor in immunity. Let's be thankful we didn't go with a "let's all just get it" approach.
Someone around here was saying "we don't know how long 'natural immunity' will last" from the beginning.
 

RxCowboy

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June 29

COVID-19: Monday the 29th
Apple, Rising cases, common symptoms, mutations and how to avoid more shutdowns.

1. Apple announced that the next version of the Apple Watch will detect when someone is washing their hands and will encourage 20 seconds of washing. For those without an Apple watch, other companies are working on similar tech. Proper hand-washing is a simple and effective way to protect yourself.

2. 36 states are now reporting increases in cases. Only 2 (RI and CT) are reporting declines. When states announced they would be opening for Memorial Day, without having met the criteria for doing so, most Public Health professionals and Epidemiologists predicted a rise in cases 2-4 weeks later. Here we are. If those predictions continue, starting this week we should begin to start seeing increased hospitalization rates followed by increased fatality rates.

3. A review of the literature across 9 countries and 24k patients found the most common symptoms to be: Fever (78%) Cough (57%) and Fatigue (31%). People with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and COPD have double the risk for severe infection or death. If you fall into that category you should consider yourself high risk and take every precaution.

4. The virus is indeed mutating, RNA viruses are known for rapid mutations. But those mutations, thus far are not making it stronger or significantly different, which is good news.

5. We can avoid a second round of quarantine and shut-downs if we follow some simple guidelines: a)avoid going out into public when it isn't necessary, b)wear a mask when you are out in public or are around people outside of your household, c)don't touch your face d)wash your hands often.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I hope you are rested and renewed. Over the weekend I was reminded that there is no shortcut for patience, and patience, long-suffering, and endurance are precisely what this situation demands. The temptation to lose patience or offer quips that tear others down instead of words that build them up can be great. It is tempting to judge those around us who aren't wearing masks, socially distancing etc. But don't. Just don't. Instead, show kindness and understanding. Help normalize masks by wearing yours as a badge of love for mankind. Get some sunshine, take a nap, have a Zoom meeting and play charades. Keep your bucket full this week so that you can pour into the lives of those around you. Remember that some people will never hear you - so let that go. And when you need help, reach out and let someone know. Let's make this week count by uplifting each other.
 
Mar 27, 2020
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"It is tempting to judge those around us who aren't wearing masks, socially distancing etc. But don't. Just don't. Instead, show kindness and understanding. Help normalize masks by wearing yours as a badge of love for mankind."

Your posts always seem to be level-headed and informed. I do have to disagree at this point with your view of being non-judgmental of those not wearing masks. I've normalized my mask for months now and yet every day I see more and more not wearing them. Kindness is getting us sicker and sicker. Are we kind to drunk drivers? Are we kind to physical abusers? Are we kind to bullies? Sex offenders have to register so that they are basically publicly shamed. I've been told to "stay home" if I'm so afraid to go out. I say it's time for the mask wearers to tell the non- mask wearers to stay home if you can't summon the most basic of courtesies to your fellow man. You want your life back, you want the economy back but you are destroying those very things you desire. Patience will win the day but from what I'm seeing, many are lacking that virtue.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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"It is tempting to judge those around us who aren't wearing masks, socially distancing etc. But don't. Just don't. Instead, show kindness and understanding. Help normalize masks by wearing yours as a badge of love for mankind."

Your posts always seem to be level-headed and informed. I do have to disagree at this point with your view of being non-judgmental of those not wearing masks. I've normalized my mask for months now and yet every day I see more and more not wearing them. Kindness is getting us sicker and sicker. Are we kind to drunk drivers? Are we kind to physical abusers? Are we kind to bullies? Sex offenders have to register so that they are basically publicly shamed. I've been told to "stay home" if I'm so afraid to go out. I say it's time for the mask wearers to tell the non- mask wearers to stay home if you can't summon the most basic of courtesies to your fellow man. You want your life back, you want the economy back but you are destroying those very things you desire. Patience will win the day but from what I'm seeing, many are lacking that virtue.
Great point! People pick and choose what they judge. Everyone should have masks in public point blank period!
 

Jostate

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FINAL THOUGHTS: Get some sunshine, take a nap, have a Zoom meeting and play charades. WATCH THE EDDIE DOCUMENTARY. Keep your bucket full this week so that you can pour into the lives of those around you. Remember that some people will never hear you - so let that go. And when you need help, reach out and let someone know. Let's make this week count by uplifting each other.
1 small amendment.
 

RxCowboy

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"It is tempting to judge those around us who aren't wearing masks, socially distancing etc. But don't. Just don't. Instead, show kindness and understanding. Help normalize masks by wearing yours as a badge of love for mankind."

Your posts always seem to be level-headed and informed. I do have to disagree at this point with your view of being non-judgmental of those not wearing masks. I've normalized my mask for months now and yet every day I see more and more not wearing them. Kindness is getting us sicker and sicker. Are we kind to drunk drivers? Are we kind to physical abusers? Are we kind to bullies? Sex offenders have to register so that they are basically publicly shamed. I've been told to "stay home" if I'm so afraid to go out. I say it's time for the mask wearers to tell the non- mask wearers to stay home if you can't summon the most basic of courtesies to your fellow man. You want your life back, you want the economy back but you are destroying those very things you desire. Patience will win the day but from what I'm seeing, many are lacking that virtue.
These aren't my posts, they are the posts of a friend of mine who is an epidemiologist at Purdue. I'm not going to speak for her, but look at what you listed: physical abusers, drunk drivers, bullies, sex offenders. Do you really want to raise not wearing a mask to that level? No mask=sex offender?
 

Boomer.....

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2. 36 states are now reporting increases in cases. Only 2 (RI and CT) are reporting declines. When states announced they would be opening for Memorial Day, without having met the criteria for doing so, most Public Health professionals and Epidemiologists predicted a rise in cases 2-4 weeks later. Here we are. If those predictions continue, starting this week we should begin to start seeing increased hospitalization rates followed by increased fatality rates.
This will be really telling.
 

RxCowboy

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June 30

COVID-19 Tuesday June 30th
A look at the numbers and some misleading headlines.
1. Let's look at the numbers. Globally we surpassed 10 million cases over the weekend and we hit 1/2 a million deaths yesterday. While we knew these numbers were coming, the pace is what we want to watch. If the global number hits 11 million before Friday we are increasing faster than we were before. In the US, more states are setting record highs with hospitalizations on the rise. Arizona in particular is a state to watch.

2. Some headlines are claiming COVID-19 is the top cause of death in the US. That is very misleading and not a good use of statistics. Those headlines are doing a month/month comparison which is an unfair comparison for several reasons - one of which is the real-time reporting of COVID compared to delayed reporting for other causes. COVID-19 has moved into the 6th leading cause of death in the US - based on the averages we typically see (You can see the list and numbers in the comments). Keep in mind we are only in June, comparison numbers are for total deaths per year on average based on 2017 data. I used the 2017 chart because it hasn't changed much and this was the most concise and easy to read version of the data.

3. Another misleading headline I want to make you aware of started popping up yesterday and at first glance can be alarming but is mostly hype. The headlines say things like, "New pig virus with pandemic potential" or something similar. There is a virus among pigs in China - a flu like virus that is being called G4. As we have discussed, viruses mutate inside the body because they use the DNA/RNA of their host. When pigs are exposed to several strains of the flu at once, the viruses intermix, it's called "reassortment" and it creates a new virus - so to speak. G4 is a mix of three different flu variations and the core of it is an avian flu - for which we have no immunity. It is a swine flu, bird flu, human flu combo. Pigs can transmit viruses to humans but those viruses do not typically transmit from human to human. G4 infected 2 people back in 2018 - neither spread it to anyone else. We call these "dead end infections." While this is something to monitor - and people have been for years, it is not new and it is not something to worry about. Could it happen, yes of course. But this isn't breaking news and it is not the risk the headlines insinuate.

4. The final headline I want to address is making the rounds saying that the herd immunity requirements may be much lower than expected. This is based on a legitimate study that ran modeling based on serology tests (the blood tests done after the fact to see if you had it in the past). The study was built on sound principles but there are a few issues. Timing is the biggest. There is a lag between when research is conducted and when it is published. We now know that serology tests are unreliable but more importantly we now know that immunity doesn't happen for mild cases and may not be present for moderate cases. And we think it may only last 3-4 months. (that is still being studied so we don't know for sure). When calculating herd immunity needs you typically account for the % of people who won't develop immunity. The more people that won't develop immunity, the more people you need to be immune. The fact is, we can't really know precisely how many people we need to be immune in order to have herd immunity - we simply don't have enough information yet. I would also remind you that herd immunity is the result of vaccination programs, not a technique for managing infectious disease.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Some days it is all too much. Your nerves are tested, your patience is tested, your kindness is tested. Those are the days that really count. I have to remind myself that being kind to those who are kind is easy. It is being kind to the people who drive me crazy that is the test. So when your nerves are frayed and your patience is AWOL - step away. Take a breath. Feed your soul. Because what you say and do matters. And we will never win anyone over with arguing, condemnation and judgment. Have someone you can vent to, and allow them to do the same but spread understanding and kindness.
 

SLVRBK

Johnny 8ball's PR Manager
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4. The final headline I want to address is making the rounds saying that the herd immunity requirements may be much lower than expected. This is based on a legitimate study that ran modeling based on serology tests (the blood tests done after the fact to see if you had it in the past). The study was built on sound principles but there are a few issues. Timing is the biggest. There is a lag between when research is conducted and when it is published. We now know that serology tests are unreliable but more importantly we now know that immunity doesn't happen for mild cases and may not be present for moderate cases. And we think it may only last 3-4 months. (that is still being studied so we don't know for sure). When calculating herd immunity needs you typically account for the % of people who won't develop immunity. The more people that won't develop immunity, the more people you need to be immune. The fact is, we can't really know precisely how many people we need to be immune in order to have herd immunity - we simply don't have enough information yet. I would also remind you that herd immunity is the result of vaccination programs, not a technique for managing infectious disease.
Happy to read this part...check the headlines for the "New Swine Flu Pandemic"
https://news.google.com/stories/CAA...TWdjM1IxWkhrb0FBUAE?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US:en