WTF Community

🤮 Coronavirus (Community Thread)


Some thoughts and highlights on school kids and their susceptibility and possible spread rates. No question that teachers are affected…but the kids themselves are getting it and spreading it.

Paywall on SF chronicle

Article in full SF Chron (Actually a Washington Post article)

Coronavirus updates: Halfway through the year, the pandemic’s only intensifying in many states

Halfway through the year - and halfway through the summer season when officials once hoped warmer weather might speed the coronavirus’s retreat - the pandemic is only intensifying in much of the country.

Major school districts are bucking federal pressure to say they won’t reopen classrooms in the fall. Infections have been reaching record heights in the South, West and Midwest. More than 20 states are reporting seven-day averages in coronavirus-related deaths higher than at the end of June, underscoring the turnaround since May and June when deaths declined nationally - a development President Donald Trump had touted as a sign of progress.

Here are some other significant developments:

The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in an upcoming coronavirus relief bill, people involved in the talks said Saturday. The administration is also trying to block billions that GOP senators want to allocate for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the people said.

A study from South Korea could bolster those who argue reopening classrooms in much of the United States is too risky, suggesting that, while children under 10 years old are less likely to spread the coronavirus, young people between 10 and 19 years old will spread it similarly to adults.

Georgia’s presentation of its coronavirus data is once again under scrutiny, with a viral tweet pointing out how the color-coding of a government map has evolved. At the beginning of the month, for instance, a county needed at least 5,959 coronavirus cases to be colored red in the state’s map of the outbreak. Now, a county needs at least 9,597 - with the result that no other county has newly joined the four that have been colored red since July 1, even as the state’s cases have jumped by more than 37 percent in the intervening time.

Health authorities are seeking to conduct testing faster while conserving resources. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday reissued an emergency use authorization to Quest Diagnostics for a coronavirus test to be used in pool testing, which involves combining samples from several people and testing them all at once.

Arizona on Saturday reported a single-day high in new deaths, another sign that the surge in fatalities health officials had warned about is underway. And North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Missouri announced record-high new cases. The country set another record Friday for daily coronavirus infections, with states reporting a combined 76,403 new confirmed cases - more than double the amount the country was reporting daily during the initial surge of cases in the spring.

Globally, coronavirus-related deaths are nearing 600,000, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University. Upward of 137,000 of those deaths were reported in the United States, where total known infections have ballooned to close to 3.7 million, based on data tracked by The Washington Post. More than 394,000 new cases and 4,300 deaths had been added in the U.S. over seven days.

Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb warned heading into the weekend that hospitalizations could surpass a nationwide peak of nearly 60,000 in the coming days and said the country was on track to see several more weeks of continued spread. California, Montana, Puerto Rico and Texas on Saturday broke their records for covid-19 hospitalizations.

“We’re taking a lot of infection into the fall, and once this collides with flu season the trajectory is going to be up,” Gottlieb told CNBC.

The new wave of infections is once again straining resources at hospitals and leading to testing backlogs, with one lab in Arizona on Saturday reporting more than 60,000 tests pending. In South Carolina, lawmakers have requested military installations to help speed testing and reporting of the results: “This is an all-hands-on-deck time for us,” state senator Tom Davis, a Republican, tweeted.

The FDA has reissued emergency use authorization for a coronavirus test to be used in pool testing as part of the ongoing effort to save precious resources.

Pool testing involves combining samples from several people and testing them all at once. If the batch comes out positive, then the patients would be retested individually. But if the batch is negative, everyone is cleared.

It’s “an important step forward,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn in a statement.

However, the virus has continued to disrupt nearly every aspect of daily life.

With the start of classes looming, some states such as Iowa, Florida and South Carolina have told schools to reopen. But others have backed off hopes of getting children back in the classroom, even as top federal health officials frame a widespread return to school as a boon to public health.

California has ordered most of its schools to conduct remote instruction in the new academic year unless counties can meet strict benchmarks for reducing community transmission. Under the mandate from Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom schools must stay off the state’s “watch list” for virus outbreaks for at least two weeks before they can resume classroom instruction.

Texas also pushed back start dates for in-person learning, allowing school districts more flexibility in when they decide to return after facing pushback for what many educators, parents and school officials said was a risky deadline for getting back to normal. And in Chicago, the country’s third-largest public school district, officials announced this week they would pursue a “hybrid” model involving a mix of at-home and in-person instruction.

As fear of the virus wins out, a fast retreat from in-person learning

The South Korean study suggesting young people between 10 and 19 years old spread covid-19 much like adults comes days after CDC Director Robert Redfield said that there is not “much evidence” of children driving transmission, though he allowed that the risks could become clearer as children head back to school. The Trump administration has generally pointed to foreign countries’ experiences reopening their schools as evidence that the United States can move ahead safely.

The pandemic also remains a persistent source of uncertainty in the sports world. The latest disruption hit summer baseball, as the Toronto Blue Jays said Saturday they are “in the process of finalizing the best home location for the remainder of the 2020 season” after the Canadian government barred the team from playing home games at their ballpark in Toronto. Officials said covid-19 was to blame.

“Based on the best-available public health advice, we have concluded the cross-border travel required for MLB regular season play would not adequately protect Canadians’ health and safety,” said Marco Mendicino, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship.

The announcement arrived just days before Opening Day in Major League Baseball. The Blue Jays’s home opener is July 29 against the visiting Washington Nationals.

Responses to the U.S.'s rise in infections have been inconsistent at the state and local level, creating a nationwide patchwork of public health measures and reopening plans. Former FDA head Gottlieb warned on CNBC on Friday that lack of policy action at the state level left it up to the “collective action of individuals” to protect themselves and their communities.

In hard-hit Texas, for example, it’s been Houston Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner challenging a planned in-person Republican Party of Texas convention that he argues poses too great a health risk with infections in the area spiraling out of control. A federal appeals court just blocked a lower-court ruling that would have allowed the Texas GOP to proceed with the gathering in downtown Houston.

“In the middle of a pandemic, the doors remain locked,” Sylvester said of the appeals court’s decision.

More than half of all states have instituted some form of statewide mask requirements, but governors have faced resistance. In Arkansas, some local law enforcement officials were refusing to enforce the mask mandate Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued this week. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has experienced similar pushback from sheriffs and county officials.

Other governors have moved to strike down local mask ordinances, including Georgia’s Brian Kemp, a Republican, who this week sued to stop Atlanta from enforcing the mayor’s mandate for face coverings in public - even as the state’s coronavirus numbers soar.

Georgia on Saturday reported a record high of nearly 4,700 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total cases to nearly 140,000, while 36 new deaths were reported. Average daily deaths have risen 150 percent compared with a week ago.

Georgia along with Florida, Texas, California and Arizona have led the country in new cases over the past seven days. Florida alone added more than 80,000 infections.

How Sweden wasted a ‘rare opportunity’ to study coronavirus in schools | Science | AAAS


The White House pushes to eliminate billions from a relief proposal drafted by Senate Republicans.

The Trump administration has balked at providing billions of dollars to fund coronavirus testing and shore up federal health agencies as the virus surges across the country, complicating efforts to reach agreement on the next round of pandemic aid.

Senate Republicans had drafted a proposal that would allocate $25 billion in grants to states for conducting testing and contact tracing, as well as about $10 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and about $15 billion for the National Institutes of Health, according to a person familiar with the tentative plans, who cautioned that the final dollar figures remained in flux. They had also proposed providing $5.5 billion to the State Department and $20 billion to the Pentagon to help counter the virus outbreak and potentially distribute a vaccine at home and abroad.

But in talks over the weekend, administration officials instead pushed to zero out the funding for testing and for the nation’s top health agencies, and to cut the Pentagon funding to $5 billion, according to another person familiar with the discussions. The people asked for anonymity to disclose private details of the talks, which were first reported by The Washington Post.

The suggestions from the administration infuriated several Republicans on Capitol Hill, who saw them as tone deaf, given that more than 3.5 million people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and many states are experiencing spikes in cases.

With unemployment benefits and a number of other aid measures included in the stimulus package set to expire at the end of the month, Congress is rushing to pull together the measure within the next two weeks.

The administration’s position presents an added complication to negotiations between Democrats, who are pressing for a more expansive aid bill, and Republicans, who hope to unveil a narrower opening offer for virus relief as early as this week.

Again this Administration not helping

(David Bythewood) #1204


From the Lincoln Project:

(David Bythewood) #1205

Oh dear… here we go again.

(David Bythewood) #1206

Oxford vaccine triggers immune response

A coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford appears safe and triggers an immune response.

Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus.

The findings are hugely promising, but it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are under way.

The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine.

How does the vaccine work?

The vaccine - called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 - is being developed at unprecedented speed.

It is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees.

It has been heavily modified, first so it cannot cause infections in people and also to make it “look” more like coronavirus.

Scientists did this by transferring the genetic instructions for the coronavirus’s “spike protein” - the crucial tool it uses to invade our cells - to the vaccine they were developing.

This means the vaccine resembles the coronavirus and the immune system can learn how to attack it.

What are antibodies and T-cells?

Much of the focus on coronavirus so far has been about antibodies, but these are only one part of our immune defence.

Antibodies are small proteins made by the immune system that stick onto the surface of viruses.

Neutralising antibodies can disable the coronavirus.

T-cells, a type of white blood cell, help co-ordinate the immune system and are able to spot which of the body’s cells have been infected and destroy them.

Nearly all effective vaccines induce both an antibody and a T-cell response.

Levels of T-cells peaked 14 days after vaccination and antibody levels peaked after 28 days. The study has not run for long enough to understand how long they may last, the study in the Lancet showed.

Prof Andrew Pollard, from the Oxford research group told the BBC: "We’re really pleased with the results published today as we’re seeing both neutralising antibodies and T-cells.

"They’re extremely promising and we believe the type of response that may be associated with protection.

“But the key question everyone wants to know is does the vaccine work, does it offer protection… and we’re in a waiting game.”

The study showed 90% of people developed neutralising antibodies after one dose. Only ten people were given two doses and all of them produced neutralising antibodies.

“We don’t know the level needed for protection, but we can maximise responses with a second dose,” Prof Pollard told the BBC.

Is it safe?

Yes, but there are side-effects.

There were no dangerous side-effects from taking the vaccine, however, 70% of people on the trial developed either fever or headache.

The researchers say this could be managed with paracetamol.

Prof Sarah Gilbert, from the University of Oxford, UK, says: “There is still much work to be done before we can confirm if our vaccine will help manage the Covid-19 pandemic, but these early results hold promise.”

What are the next steps in the trial?

The results so far are promising, but their main purpose is to ensure the vaccine is safe enough to give to people.

The study cannot show whether the vaccine can either prevent people from becoming ill or even lessen their symptoms of Covid-19.

More than 10,000 people will take part in the next stage of the trials in the UK.

However, the trial has also been expanded to other countries because levels of coronavirus are low in the UK, making it hard to know if the vaccine is effective.

There will be a large trial involving 30,000 people in the US as well 2,000 in South Africa and 5,000 in Brazil.

There are also calls to perform “challenge trials” in which vaccinated people are deliberately infected with coronavirus. However, there are ethical concerns due to a lack of treatments.

When will I get a vaccine?

It is possible a coronavirus vaccine will be proven effective before the end of the year, however, it will not be widely available.

Health and care workers will be prioritised as will people who are deemed at high risk from Covid-19 due to their age or medical conditions.

However, widespread vaccination is likely to be, at the earliest, next year even if everything goes to plan.

Boris Johnson said: "Obviously I’m hopeful, I’ve got my fingers crossed, but to say I’m 100% confident we’ll get a vaccine this year, or indeed next year, is, alas, just an exaggeration.

“We’re not there yet.”

What progress is being made with other vaccines?

The Oxford vaccine is not the first to reach this stage, with groups in the US and China also publishing similar results.

The US company Moderna was first out of the blocks and its vaccine can produce neutralising antibodies. They are injecting coronavirus RNA (its genetic code), which then starts making viral proteins in order to trigger an immune response.

The companies BioNtech and Pfizer have also had positive results using their RNA vaccine.

A technique similar to the Oxford one, developed in China, also also seems promising.

However, all these approaches are at the absolute boundary of science and have not been proven to work before.

More traditional methods of vaccine development are also being investigated. The company Valneva is taking the whole coronavirus, inactivating it and then inject it.

In total there are 23 coronavirus vaccines in clinical trials around the world and another 140 in early stage develoment.

Will the UK get a coronavirus vaccine?

The UK government has struck deals for 190 million doses of different vaccines.

This includes:

  • 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine made from a genetically engineered virus
  • 30 million doses of the BioNtech/Pfizer vaccine, which injects part of the coronavirus’ genetic code
  • 60 million doses of the Valneva inactivated coronavirus

These have been paid for even though it is uncertain which, if any, of the vaccines may prove effective for immunising a nation with 66m people.

Kate Bingham, chairwoman of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, told the BBC: "What we are doing is identifying the most promising vaccines across the different categories, or different types of vaccine, so that we can be sure that we do have a vaccine in case one of those actually proves to be both safe and effective.

"It’s unlikely to be a single vaccine for everybody.

“We may well need different vaccines for different groups of people.”


The state is grappling with a significant surge in coronavirus cases, reporting upwards of 10,000 new cases on Monday alone.

The largest teachers’ union in Florida filed a lawsuit Monday against Gov. Ron DeSantis over his administration’s push to fully reopen all public schools next month — even as coronavirus cases in the state are spiking.

The Florida Education Association (FEA) accused DeSantis and other state officials of violating a state constitutional mandate to keep public schools “safe and secure.” The union asked a state court in Miami to halt the governor’s reopening edict, according to a copy of the suit obtained by NBC News.

The lawsuit, filed in circuit court, names several defendants: DeSantis, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, the Florida Department of Education and the Florida State Board of Education. The legal filing is sure to escalate a nationwide political debate over school reopenings amid the pandemic.

Gov. DeSantis needs a reality check, and we are attempting to provide one,” FEA President Fedrick Ingram said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “The governor needs to accept the reality of the situation here in Florida, where the virus is surging out of control."

(David Bythewood) #1208

It only took Trump six MONTHS and nearly 150k dead Americans to decide that face masks just might be patriotic.

But of course, he had to get some more racism in in the process.

I hate him.


We blew it

Pretty much

America spent the spring building a bridge to August, spending trillions and shutting down major parts of society. The expanse was to be a bent coronavirus curve, and the other side some semblance of normal, where kids would go to school and their parents to work.

The bottom line: We blew it, building a pier instead.

There will be books written about America’s lost five months of 2020, but here’s what we know:

We blew testing. President Trump regularly brags and complains about the number of COVID-19 tests conducted in the U.S., but America hasn’t built the infrastructure necessary to process and trace the results.

  • Quest Diagnostics says its average turnaround time for a COVID-19 test has lengthened to “seven or more days” — thus decreasing the chance that asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic carriers will self-quarantine.
  • The testing delays also make it harder for public health officials to understand current conditions, let alone implement effective contact tracing.
  • Speaking of contact tracing, it remains a haphazard and uncoordinated process in many parts of the country.

We blew schools. Congress allocated $150 billion for state and local governments as part of the CARES Act, but that was aimed at maintaining status quo services in the face of plummeting tax revenue.

There was no money earmarked for schools to buy new safety equipment, nor to hire additional teachers who might be needed to staff smaller class sizes and hybrid learning days.

  • U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was not among the 27 officials included in the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and rarely appeared at Task Force press conferences.
  • The administration insists that schools should reopen this fall because kids are less likely to get very sick from the virus, but it has not yet offered detailed plans to protect older teachers, at-risk family members, or students with pre-existing respiratory or immune conditions.
  • Silicon Valley provided some free services to schools, but there was no coordinated effort to create a streamlined virtual learning platform. There also continue to be millions of schoolkids without access to broadband and/or Internet-connected devices.

We blew economics. The CARES Act was bold and bipartisan, a massive stimulus to meet the moment.

  • It’s running out, without an extension plan not yet in place.
  • Expanded unemployment benefits expire in days. Many small businesses have already exhausted their Paycheck Protection Program loans, including some that reopened but have been forced to close again.
  • There has been no national effort to pause residential or commercial evictions, nor to give landlords breathing room on their mortgage payments.

We blew public health. There’s obviously a lot here, but just stick with face masks. Had we all been directed to wear them in March — and done so, even makeshift ones while manufacturing ramped up — you might not be reading this post.

We blew goodwill. Millions of Americans sheltered in place, pausing their social lives for the common good.

  • But many millions of other Americans didn’t. Some were essential workers. Some were deemed essential workers but really weren’t. Some just didn’t care, or didn’t believe the threat. Some ultimately decided that protesting centuries of racial injustice was a worthy trade-off.
  • All of this was complicated by mixed messages from federal and state leaders. Top of that list was President Trump, who claimed to adopt a wartime footing without clearly asking Americans to make sacrifices necessary to defeat the enemy.
  • Five months later, many of those who followed the “rules” are furious at what they perceive to be the selfishness of others.

The bottom line: America has gotten many things right since March, including the development of more effective hospital treatments for COVID-19 patients.

  • But we’re hitting daily infection records, daily deaths hover around 900, and many ICUs reports more patients than beds. It didn’t have to be this way.


Everyone is concerned that Covid-19 is very contageous and potentially deadly for certain parts of the population.

Article in full…

Six months into the pandemic, researchers are homing in on an answer to one of the basic questions about the virus: How deadly is it?

Researchers, initially analyzing data from outbreaks on cruise ships and more recently from surveys of thousands of people in virus hot spots, have now conducted dozens of studies to calculate the infection fatality rate of Covid-19.

That research—examining deaths out of the total number of infections, which includes unreported cases—suggests that Covid-19 kills from around 0.3% to 1.5% of people infected. Most studies put the rate between 0.5% and 1.0%, meaning that for every 1,000 people who get infected, from five to 10 would die on average.

Covid-19 Fatality: Analyzing the Evidence

A comparison of 26 studies that estimate the disease’s infection fatality rate* found varying results but pinpointed an overall rate of around 6.8 deaths per 1,000 infections.

Link to article for chart.

*The infection fatality rate measures deaths out of total estimated infections as opposed to confirmed cases

Note: Studies not identified by author names were led by governments or local authorities.

Source: Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, Lea Merone

The estimates suggest the new coronavirus is deadlier than the seasonal flu, though not as lethal as Ebola and other infectious diseases that have emerged in recent years. The coronavirus is killing more people than the deadlier diseases, however, in part because it is more infectious.

“It’s not just what the infection-fatality rate is. It’s also how contagious the disease is, and Covid is very contagious,” said Eric Toner, an emergency medicine physician and senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, who studies health-care preparedness for epidemics and infectious diseases. “It’s the combination of the fatality rate and the infectiousness that makes this such a dangerous disease.”

Health authorities and researchers have been working to gauge the death rate from the coronavirus to better understand the risk of the disease, estimate how many people might die and respond with the necessary public-health measures.

Pinpointing that rate has been challenging, however, because a significant chunk of cases have few to no symptoms or haven’t been tested. The rate also varies depending on factors such as a person’s age and the strength of a jurisdiction’s health-care system.

“It’s very difficult to measure, but robust studies are finding a clear signal in the noise,” said Timothy Russell, a research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

A study by Dr. Russell and colleagues published in February that examined data from China and an outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship put the infection-fatality rate at around 0.6%.

What’s News

How Deadly is COVID-19?

More than 14.7 million people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 across the globe, and over 609,000 people have died, with nearly a quarter of the fatalities in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That means that among confirmed global cases, roughly 4.2% of those people died.

The percentage of deaths among people with confirmed infections is higher than the percentage of deaths among infections overall, researchers say, because so many milder and asymptomatic Covid-19 cases go missed.

**The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that for every known case of Covid-19, roughly 10 more went unrecorded** through the beginning of May. From March to early May, the total number of infections was likely six to 24 times greater than the number of reported cases depending on the state, the agency said Tuesday in a paper published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

“The hard bit really is to work out how many people have been infected,” said Lucy Okell, who alongside colleagues at Imperial College London estimated the infection-fatality rate in China at 0.66% in a paper published in March.

To come up with an estimate for the fatality rate, some researchers take the known cases and numbers of deaths, then estimate the proportion missed or asymptomatic cases. Death tallies, however, might also miss undetected Covid-19 fatalities, and researchers must adjust for that as well.

Other researchers develop estimates based on results from antibody test surveys, which scan the blood of participants for signs of past infections.

Yet antibody testing data has its own flaws, as scientists work to understand the immune response to the virus. The researchers must also tweak their estimates to compensate for the risk of faulty test results or delays between infection and death.

No matter their approach, the researchers use complex mathematical models and statistical techniques to fine-tune their estimates.

An analysis of 26 different studies estimating the infection-fatality rate in different parts of the globe found an aggregate estimate of about 0.68%, with a range of 0.53% to 0.82%, according to a report posted in July on the preprint server medRxiv, which hasn’t yet been reviewed by other researchers.

“To say that we will ever have one absolute true estimate is erroneous. We can get an idea of a trend, but we need to be mindful that this can change and vary,” said Lea Merone, a public-health physician and health economist at James Cook University in Australia who co-wrote the paper. “It is context dependent.”

The CDC is now using the report as the basis for its own best-estimate for the infection-fatality rate in its pandemic planning scenarios. The agency’s estimate is 0.65% as of July 10, higher than its previous estimates.

The fatality rate for an individual varies, sometimes markedly, depending on factors such as age, sex and the presence of pre-existing medical conditions, studies show.

Researchers in the U.S. and Switzerland examined data from the Swiss city of Geneva to calculate fatality rates for different age groups. They found those over 65 had an infection-fatality rate of 5.6%—40 times the risk of someone in their 50s.

Quality and access to health care and treatment could shift the mortality rate. Better treatment in the future could push the rate down, but a situation in which a hospital system is overwhelmed can drive the rate up, said Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an epidemiologist at the University of Wollongong who co-wrote the July medRxiv paper.

An infection-fatality rate of roughly 0.6% is six times greater than the 0.1% estimate for seasonal influenza, which is based on CDC data. Though researchers point out the estimates are calculated in different ways and the flu estimate doesn’t take asymptomatic cases into account.

Diseases such as SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome; MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome; and Ebola are much deadlier, with case fatality rates ranging from roughly 10% to 50%.

There have been far fewer deaths from those diseases than the new coronavirus and even the seasonal flu because they aren’t nearly as infectious or widespread.

SARS and MERS have killed 774 and 858 people, respectively. More than 11,300 people have died from Ebola.

Also, many doctors worry Covid-19 might result in longer-term complications for some patients, especially those who have spent weeks in the hospital before being discharged.

“There’s this narrative I think a lot of people have that you get the disease and you die, or you’re fine. And that’s not true,” Dr. Toner said. “There’s a large range of health-care consequences for people who get severely ill, not just death.”


This :point_up_2: impacts our long-term health and our economy. The more people get sick the more people can’t work. You can’t separate those facts.



(David Bythewood) #1213

Turns Out Mass Death Is Bad For The Economy

Republicans spun a false tale about sacrificing people for the economy. Democrats shouldn’t have believed it.

My two cents: I don’t know any Democrats who did believe it.


I have a relative that is presumed to have had covid19. Mid March had terrible back pain & headache. Never had chills, fever or loss of smell. Still battling fatigue & irregular heartbeats 4 months later. There is a big group on fb of long term survivors that are having relapses.

We need to spread the knowledge that even if you only get mild symptoms, you might be facing long term health issues. And who knows if asymptomatic people will have future health problems.

(David Bythewood) #1215

I’ve been seeing how it can leave lasting neurological, organ, and nerve damage. We just do not know the full extent yet. So many who have recovered continue to have issues.

(David Bythewood) #1216


Project Lincoln hits Ron DeSantis with a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” video:


Fauci responds to Trump: ‘I consider myself more a realist than an alarmist’


Alarming report on calls that Dr. Birx has made to 11 US cities to warn them that they better do major mitigation NOW because their Coronavirus numbers are too high right now.

These are the cities - Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

As seen on Maddow tonight…

video :point_down:

New red flags about the severity of the coronavirus outbreak come after Trump focused on upsides in televised briefing

Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned state and local leaders in a private phone call Wednesday that 11 major cities are seeing increases in the percentage of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 and should take “aggressive” steps to mitigate their outbreaks.

The cities she identified were Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.

The call was yet another private warning about the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreaks given to local officials but not the public at large. It came less than a week after the Center for Public Integrity revealed that the White House compiled a detailed report showing 18 states were in the “red zone” for coronavirus cases but did not release it publicly.

(David Bythewood) #1218

Marine assigned to Trump’s helicopter squadron tests positive for Covid-19

A Marine assigned to the military helicopter squadron responsible for transporting the president has tested positive for Covid-19, a Marine Corps spokesperson told POLITICO.

Marine belonging to Trump’s helicopter squadron tests positive for COVID

(David Bythewood) #1219

Wearing masks could help you avoid major illness even if you get coronavirus, experts say

As health experts urge the public to wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus, they continue to get pushback. Among the arguments of skeptics: If masks can’t fully protect me against COVID-19, what is the point of wearing them?

Scientists’ counterargument is that masks can help reduce the severity of the disease caused by coronavirus even if you get infected.

There’s now mounting evidence that silent spreaders are responsible for the majority of transmission of the coronavirus — making universal masking essential to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus, experts say.

This makes the coronavirus different from the seasonal flu. With seasonal flu, peak infectiousness occurs about one day after the onset of symptoms. But with the coronavirus, even among people who do end up becoming visibly sick, peak infectiousness can occur before they show symptoms.

In fact, experts say, significant amounts of virus can start coming out of people’s noses and mouths even when they feel well.

This is a key reason, they say, why tactics to deal with the coronavirus must be markedly different than with the seasonal flu. And the universal wearing of masks is key. Here’s a Q&A based on research and interviews with medical experts.

What’s the point of wearing a cloth face covering if it doesn’t filter out everything?

Cloth face masks still provide a major protective benefit: They filter out a majority of viral particles.

As it turns out, that’s pretty important. Breathing in a small amount of virus may lead to no disease or a more mild infection. But inhaling a huge volume of virus particles can result in serious disease or death.

That’s the argument Dr. Monica Gandhi, UC San Francisco professor of medicine and medical director of the HIV Clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, is making about why — if you do become infected with the virus — masking can still protect you from more severe disease.

“There is this theory that facial masking reduces the [amount of virus you get exposed to] and disease severity,” said Gandhi, who is also director for the Center for AIDS Research at UC San Francisco.

What evidence supports this theory?

The idea that a lower dose of virus means less severe illness is a well-worn idea in medicine.

Even going back to 1938, there was a study showing that by giving mice a higher dose of a deadly virus, the mice were more likely to get severe disease and die, Gandhi said.

The same principle applies to humans. A study published in 2015 gave healthy volunteers varying doses of a flu virus; those who got higher doses got sicker, with more coughing and shortness of breath, Gandhi said.

And another study suggested that the reason the second wave of the 1918-19 flu pandemic was the deadliest in the U.S. was because of the overcrowded conditions in Army camps as World War I wound down. “In 1918, the Army camps [were] characterized by a high number of contacts between people and by a high case-fatality rate, sometimes 5 to 8 times higher than the case-fatality rate among civilian communities,” the study said.

Finally, a study published in May found that surgical mask partitions significantly reduced the transmission of the coronavirus among hamsters. And even if the hamsters protected by the mask partitions acquired the coronavirus, “they were more likely to get very mild disease,” Gandhi said.

What happens if a city dramatically masks up in public?

If Gandhi is right, it may mean that even if there’s a rise in coronavirus infections in a city, the masks may limit the dose of virus people are getting and result in less severe symptoms of illness.

That’s what Gandhi says she suspects is happening in San Francisco, where mask wearing is relatively robust. Further observations are needed, she said.

There’s more evidence that masks can be protective — even when wearers do become infected. She cited an outbreak at a seafood plant in Oregon where employees were given masks, and 95% of those who were infected were asymptomatic.

Gandhi also cited the experience of those aboard a cruise ship that was traveling from Argentina to Antartica in March when the coronavirus infected people on board, as documented in a recent study. Passengers got surgical masks; the crew got N95 masks.

But instead of about 40% of those infected being asymptomatic — which is what would normally be expected — 81% of those testing positive were asymptomatic, and the masks may have helped reduce the severity of disease in people on board, Gandhi said.

What has happened in other countries where residents have masked up?

The protective effects are seen in countries where masks have been universally accepted for years, such as Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Singapore.

“They have all seen cases as they opened … but not deaths,” Gandhi said.

The Czech Republic moved early to require masks, issuing an order in mid-March, Gandhi said; that’s about three months before Gov. Gavin Newsom did so statewide in California.

But in the Czech Republic, “every time their cases would go up … their death rate was totally flat. So they didn’t get the severe illness with these cases going on.”

By May, the Czech Republic lifted its face mask rule. “And they’re doing great,” Gandhi said.


The scope of the rapid spread of Covid-19 is astounding. And here are some graphs to review the areas on the map of where the hot spots are.

The COVID Tracking Project Covid Tracking Project Website


Seems like the states that had the shortest lock-downs and politicized mask wearing are now being hit the worst. This is terrifying, we’ve social distancing and wearing masks since March and the Seattle area is still on the rise. I can’t imagine living in the red zone right now. :unamused:

Found this gem of a risk chart on my hometown county’s website, wish all the health departments would put these up everywhere. People do not understand the risks.